Muslim scholars approved that Umrah is prearranged in Islam and is an act of virtue. Imam Abu Haneefah and Imam Maalik viewed that it is a Sunnah and mustahabb (better), but not obligatory; this was also the view favored by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah.
They mentioned as mark that hadeeth related by al-Tirmidhi (931) from Jaabir, who said that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked whether Umrah is obligatory or not. He said. “No, but if you do Umrah it is better.”
But same hadeeth is da’eef (weak); it was classified as da’eef by al-Shaafa’i, Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, Ibn Hajar and al-Nawawi; by al-Albaani in Da’eef al-Tirmidhi, and by others.
Al-Shaafa’i (may Allah have forgiveness on him) said: It is da’eef (weak) and cannot be used as mark. There is nothing sure that says that Umrah is an intentional act of love.
Ibn Abd al-Barr said: It was related with isnaads that are not legal, and such intelligences cannot be used as signs.
Al-Nawawi said in al-Majmoo’ (7/6): the scholars of hadeeth are decided that it is da’eef (weak).
One thing indicate that this is da’eef (weak) is the element that it was verified that Jaabir was of the vision that Umrah is obligatory, as we shall see under.
Imam al-Shaafa’i and Imam Ahmad were of the opinion that it is obligatory. This was favoured by Imam al-Bukhaari. (May Allah have mercy on them all)
Who says it is compulsory here is proof:
The report related by Ibn Maajah (2901) from ‘Aa’ishah who said: “I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, do women have to engage in jihad?’ He said ‘yes they must do jihad in which there is no fighting: Hajj and Umrah,”
Al-Nawawi said in al-Majmoo’ (7/4): Its isnaad is saheeh giving to the situations of al-Bukhaari and Muslim. It was assigned as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah.
The knowledge in this hadeeth is the Prophet (peace be upon him) said alayhinna i.e., they must do, which means that it is compulsory.
The famous hadeeth of Jibreel (peace be upon him) in which he asked the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) about Islam, eemaan (faith) and ihsaan, and about the Hour and its signs. This was narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah and al-Daaraqutni from ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allaah be pleased with him), in which Umrah was mentioned along with Hajj: “Islam means to bear witness that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; to establish regular prayer; to pay the zakaah; to perform Hajj and ‘ Umrah to the House; to do ghusl to cleanse oneself from janaabah (impurity following sexual activity) and to do wudoo ‘ perfectly; and to fast Ramadan.” Al-Daaraqutni said,”This isnaad is proven and saheeh (true).