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Section I: The Timing Mawaqeet of Hajj and `Umrah

Firstly: The Months of Hajj
Scholars have held various positions regarding the specific definition of the months of Hajj. The two most prominent positions are:
The first position: The months of Hajj are Shawwal, Dhu al-Qi`dah, and the first ten days of Dhu al-Hijjah. This is the position of the Hanafi and Hanbali schools and a group of the Salaf. It is the position of choice of al-Tabari, Ibn Taymiyyah, and Ibn Baz. It is the fatwa of the Permanent Council.
The second position: The months of Hajj are Shawwal, Dhu al-Qi`dah, and the month of Dhu al-Hijjah until its end. This is the position of the Maliki school and was related from al-Shafi`i according to his old position. It is also the position of a group of the Salaf. It is the position of choice of Ibn Hazm, al-Wazir ibn Hubayrah, al-Shawkani, and Ibn `Uthaymin.
Secondly: Ihram before the Months of Hajj
Scholars have held various positions regarding the ruling of entering into ihram before the months of Hajj, including:
The first position: Entering into ihram for Hajj is valid and effected before the months of Hajj. This is the position of the majority: the Hanafis, Malikis, and Hanbalis.
The second position: Entering into ihram is not effected before its months. Rather, `umrah is effected. This is the position of the Shafi`i school, one position amongst Malikis, and a narration from Ahmad. It is the position of a group of the Salaf and is the position of choice of Ibn `Uthaymin.
Thirdly: The Timing of the Meeqat of `Umrah
`Umrah is permissible at every time of the year and during every one of its days and nights. This is the position of the Shafi`i, Hanbali, and Zahiri schools. It is the position of some of the Salaf. It is the position of choice of al-Shawkani.
Fourthly: The Best Times for `Umrah
1. `Umrah in Ramadan
It is mustahabb to perform `umrah in Ramadan. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
2. `Umrah during the months of Hajj
It is mustahabb to perform `umrah during the months of Hajj. This is the position of the Shafi`i school and a group of the Salaf [961] Some of them even preferred `umrah during Dhu al-Qi`dah and Shawwal over `umrah in Ramadan. .


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