Some resources for those who are planning to go for Umrah in Ramadan
[Little hint: Go in the first few days if you can because it’s jam packed towards the end of Ramadan.]
[A little note about Umrah: Most people do not realise that there is a dispute amongst the scholars about whether Umrah is obligatory or not. Some say yes, it has to be performed once in a lifetime, if one is able to perform the journey (obviously if you do Hajj At-Tamattu or Hajj Al-Qiran, both of which contain Umrah, then that’s enough.) Other scholars point out that it is just recommended.
I used to take the latter opinion until I found quite a few ahadeeth (I have them all with me so feel free to ask) which made me change my mind. I now hold the former view i.e. that it is an obligation to do it once in your lifetime if you can afford to do so.
Am I telling you this to make you change your mind? No, I just want everyone to be aware that there is such a dispute so that if you can afford to do Umrah and you have never done so, then just go ahead and finish it off as it might be an obligation. ]
If this is the first time that you’re going for Umrah, then I’d advise you to buy one of the few books that’s dedicated to Umrah alone (i.e. without mentioning Hajj). It’s called “The Ultimate Guide to Umrah” by Abu Muneer Ismail Davids. It’s based on his excellent book “Getting the best out of Hajj” with two additional chapters on Umrah in Ramadan and Visiting Madinah.
It’s not online* (not that I know of anyway). You can buy it from Darussalam. though. This is what it looks like: http://store.dar-us-salam.com/product/201.html
[*Some of it is on Google books. If you have the patience to refresh the page a million times, eventually you’ll get to see all the pages of the book, insha-Allah.]
[For Sisters in Dubai / Sharjah / Ajman, if you can’t find the book, you’re welcome to borrow my book. Feel free to ask, no worries.]
This is another book that you could buy: http://www.darussalam.com/product_info.php?products_id=907
Want online resources? Sure.
[Click on the article/book title to download the book.]
1) Umrah Flyer by Muhammad Alshareef
2) How to Perform the Rituals of Hajj and Umrah by Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen (rahimahullah)
3) Guide to Hajj, Umrah and the Prophet’s (salallahu alaihi wasallam) Masjid by The Agency of Islamic Enlightenment in Hajj
4) The Book of Hajj and Umrah By Mahmoud Murad
5) A Brief Guide to the Rites of Hajj and Umrah by Shaikh Usaamah Al-Qusee
I’d also advise you to read this: Hajj and Tawheed. Quite thought provoking.
Need fatwas*? Islam Q and A has lots.
[*To the women who are travelling to Umrah without Mahrams: I’d advise you to check them. The stronger (and majority, if I’ve not mistaken) opinion is that a women may NOT travel to do Umrah without a Mahram, even if she is travelling with a group.]