Niyyah : Umrah Niyat and Niyyah Prayer

In Islam declaring Niyyah, is also known as Niyat. The word Niyyah comes from the Arabic word which translates as intention. This is considered to be

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In Islam declaring Niyyah, is also known as Niyat. The word Niyyah comes from the Arabic word which translates as intention. This is considered to be a crucial step in performing a ritual prayer. It can also be explained as the determination in one’s heart to execute the act of Ihram for the sake of Allah. Simply, it also refers to the intention of performing an act of worship and is an essential requirement for worship. The objective behind Niyyah is that it distinguishes the holy acts of worship from the ordinary acts of daily life. It also differentiates between the type and level of worship, whether the act of praying is obligatory or supererogatory.

Umrah Niyyah

It is important to remember that while performing Niyyah for Ihram, it should come from the heart but not be necessarily uttered by the tongue. The verbal intention pronounced by a pilgrim depends on what lies in his/her heart, then the latter is given precedence over the former. It is believed by many Islamic scholars that if the Niyyah is made by heart, pilgrims do not need to utter it verbally. Further, there is no proof that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon Him) or his companions ever said Niyyah aloud before any prayer.

Certain acts of Sunnah are performed by some Muslims when entering the state of purity. As per Islamic beliefs, a pilgrim before declaring their intention to enter the stage of Ihram should purify himself physically and mentally. Thus, before the entering state of Ihram, a pilgrim should take bath and wear white clothes. After declaring the intention for the holy journey, one should refrain from wearing the prohibited clothes and choose outfits that are not sewn or felted to the body.

Steps involved in making Niyyah for Umrah

Niyyah is to be performed at one of the Miqat. It is recommended to be made in Arabic or the native language but should be made from the heart.

For making umrah niyat, two Rakahs are required to be recited by the pilgrim. For the first rakat Surat al-Kafirun shoule be recited after Fatihah and Surat al-Ikhlas for the second Rakah.

After this, the pilgrim is required to stand facing the Qiblah and say the Niyyah prayer,

“O Allah, here I am to perform Umrah. O Allah, I intend to perform Umrah. O Allah, I intend to perform Umrah, so accept it from me and make it easy for me.”

It is important to recite Talbiyah after making Niyyah validate the intention for Umrah before entering the state of Ihram. The importance of Talbiyah is also highlighted in the hadith narrated by Ibn Umar, as the Prophet also used to recite it before any pilgrimage. Men should recite Talbiyah out loud, but the women should recite the same in low voice. Talbiyah can be recited until one reaches one of the doors of Masjid al-Haram. After this, he or she should pray to Allah, the God Almighty, to welcome his good deeds and protect him from the hellfire.

Hence, Niyyah can be defined as the assurance in one’s heart to execute an act for the sake of Allah. Niyyah for Ihram is an important act that one must perform before undertaking the holy pilgrimage. While cleansing oneself for the holy journey to Makkah, only donning the clothes of Ihram is not enough. It is declaring the intention to perform the deed that causes one to enter into the state of Ihram.

While making the intention to perform the Umrah, one must remember to make Umrah Niyat prayer with a pure heart and also make Umrah Niyat for others.

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