Q. It is said that performing the Umrah in Ramadan is tantamount to offering the pilgrimage. Is this true?
A. The Prophet (Pbuh) is quoted to have said that “Performing the Umrah in Ramadan is equal to a pilgrimage.” In another version of this Hadith, the two words, “with me”, are added at the end, which means that it is equal to offering the pilgrimage in the company of the (Pbuh). There is no doubt about the authenticity of this Hadith; it is authentic. What this Hadith indicates is the high reward one is certain to have if one offers the Umrah in Ramadan. This is not surprising because every good deed is increased in reward when done in Ramadan, because Ramadan is a season for good actions. So the reward of Umrah undertaken in this month is increased to a reward for pilgrimage. This is a great gesture of kindness and generosity by Allah. The Hadith does not mean, and it must not be understood to mean, that performing the Umrah in Ramadan discharges the duty of offering the pilgrimage, or that it gives a choice between doing the pilgrimage in its season and doing the Umrah in Ramadan. That is not right. It is only a question of increased reward. The obligation of doing the Haj remains in force until one has fulfilled this great duty at the appropriate time and in the manner indicated by the Prophet.