Performing `Umrah during the months of Hajj

Q: A Fatwa (legal opinion issued by a qualified Muslim scholar) has been recently circulating throughout Jeddah and neighboring villages. The Fatwa states that it is not permissible to perform `Umrah (lesser Pilgrimage) during the months of Hajj as a voluntary act of `Ibadah (worship); and that whoever does this will be required to perform Hajj in the same year. On 8/11/1416 AH, His Eminence Shaykh Muhammad ibn Salih Al-`Uthaymin delivered a lecture in Jeddah. A lot of inquiries regarding this Fatwa were presented to him during the lecture. He answered and said that (Part No. 10; Page No. 12) this Fatwa was invalid. He asked me to send Your Eminence a letter of inquiry about this Fatwa so that you will issue a written reply to it. This is being done in the hope that everyone will benefit from it. What is the opinion of Your Eminence?

A: `Umrah may be performed in any month of the year. Allah has appointed certain months during which Hajj is to be performed. This is indicated by the Ayah (Qur'anic verse) in which Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says: The Hajj (pilgrimage) is (in) the well-known (lunar year) months (i.e. the 10th month, the 11th month and the first ten days of the 12th month of the Islâmic calendar, i.e. two months and ten days). Whoever performs `Umrah during the months of Hajj is not obligated to perform Hajj. This is simply because there is no evidence to put him under this obligation. The Prophet (peace be upon him) is reported to have performed `Umrah during the eighth year of Hijrah (the Prophet's migration to Madinah) following the Battle of Hunayn. He started Ihram (ritual state for Hajj or `Umrah) from Al-Ji`ranah in Shawwal and did not perform Hajj that year.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.