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The ʿUmrah is an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Hijaz, Saudi Arabia, performed by Muslims that can be undertaken at any time of the year, in contrast to the Ḥajj which has specific dates according to the Islamic lunar calendar. In Arabic, ‘Umrah means "to visit a populated place." In the Sharia, Umrah means to perform Tawaf round the Ka‘bah, and Sa'i between Safa and Marwah, both after assuming Ihram. Ihram must be observed once traveling by land and passing a Miqat like Zu 'l-Hulafa, Juhfa, Qarnu 'l-Manāzil, Yalamlam, Zāt-i-'Irq, Ibrahīm Mursīa, or a place in al-Hill. Different conditions exist for air travelers, who must observe Ihram once entering a specific perimeter about the city of Mecca. It is sometimes called the 'minor pilgrimage' or 'lesser pilgrimage', the Hajj being the 'major' pilgrimage which is compulsory for every Muslim who can afford it. The Umrah is not compulsory but highly recommended.
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