I understand that whilst residing in the blessed city of Makkah, performing as many Ṭawāf is more virtuous than performing ʿUmrah. However, is it permissible to perform ʿUmrah if someone decides to do so? Many people visit Tanʿīm, also known as Masjid ʿĀʾishah, and put on Iḥrām from here for ʿUmrah. I have heard some people say this is an innovation and must be avoided. Please clarify the matter.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
It is incorrect to suggest that entering into Iḥrām at Tanʿīm or any other place outside of Ḥaram (the sanctified area) and performing ʿUmrah is an innovation. This is because the Prophet ﷺ instructed the mother of believers ʿĀʾishah (d. 58/678) (may Allah be pleased with her) to enter into the state of Iḥrām from Tanʿīm and perform ʿUmrah. Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī (d. 852/1449) suggests that this instruction alone is sufficient to establish the practice of ʿUmrah from Tanʿīm and refutes the assertion of Ḥāfiẓ Ibn al-Qayyim (d. 751/1350) who suggests otherwise. Further, he cites a narration from Imam Muḥammad ibn Sīrīn (d. 110/729) who said, “It has reached us that the Prophet ﷺ fixed Tanʿīm for the people of Makkah.” He also cites a narration narrated by Imam Fākihī (d. 272-9/885-92) from ʿAṭāʾ ibn Abī Rabāḥ (d. 114/732) who said, “Whoever intends to perform ʿUmrah from the people of Makkah or otherwise should exit [the Ḥaram] to Tanʿīm or Jiʿirrānah and enter into Iḥrām from there. More virtuous than this is to proceed to one of the Mīqāt.” 
Furthermore, ʿAllāmah Kirmānī (d. 786/1384), Ḥāfiẓ Badr al-Dīn al-ʿAynī (d. 855/1451) and ʿAllāmah Qasṭalānī (d. 923/1517) suggest that the words of the narration of Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī: “Then both of you finish” indicate that ʿAbd al-Raḥmān ibn Abī Bakr (d. 53/673-4) (may Allah be pleased with him) who accompanied his sister ʿĀʾishah (d. 58/678) (may Allah be pleased with her) also performed ʿUmrah.
Our respected teacher Muḥaddith al-ʿAṣr Shaykh Muḥammad Yūnus Jownpūrī (b. 1355/1936 – ) explains that ḥadīth scholars such as Imam Bukhārī (d. 256/870)  and Imam Tirmidhī (d. 279/892) have included a chapter regarding ʿUmrah from Tanʿīm in their books. If ʿUmrah from Tanʿīm was an innovation, these masters of ḥadīth would not have established this chapter. It is true that ʿĀʾishah (d. 58/678) (may Allah be pleased with her) performed ʿUmrah from Tanʿīm due to her excuse [of being unable to perform ʿUmrah due to menstruation and her subsequent grief]. However, she would later in her life perform Hajj and thereafter exit Makkah and enter into Iḥrām and perform ʿUmrah. This is mentioned in the narration of Muwaṭṭāʾ Mālik.  Shaykh Muḥammad Yūnus Jownpūrī further suggests that ʿĀʾishah (may Allah be pleased with her) had an excuse when she performed ʿUmrah with the Prophet ﷺ. However, this excuse was not permanent. Indeed, after this, her action of exiting Makkah and returning in the state of Iḥrām and performing ʿUmrah is evidence of permissibility. If this was an innovation, she should not have performed ʿUmrah in this manner without an excuse later in her life.
In addition to this, we have already mentioned the view of several leading commentators of Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī that ʿAbd al-Raḥmān ibn Abī Bakr (d. 53/673-4) (may Allah be pleased with him) also performed ʿUmrah from Tanʿīm whilst accompanying his sister. This also affirms that this is not an innovation.
Furthermore, in addition to Imam Bukhārī (d. 256/870) and Imam Tirmidhī (d. 279/892), other scholars who have included the chapter of ʿUmrah from Tanʿīm in their books include Imam Ibn Mājah (d. 273/887), Imam Nasāʾī (d. 303/915), Imam Abū ʿAwānah (d. 316/929) and Imam Bayhaqī (d. 458/1066). In fact, Imam Bayhaqī suggests in one place that ʿUmrah from Tanʿīm is mustaḥab (desirable). Similarly, Imam Ibn Khuzaymah (d. 311/924) has the following two chapters in his Ṣaḥīḥ: “The chapter of ʿUmrah in Dhū al-Ḥijjah from Tanʿīm for the one who has performed Hajj that year contrary to the statement of those who claim that ʿUmrah is not permissible except from the Mīqāt.” This chapter is proceeded by the following: “The chapter of mentioning the evidence for the fact that ʿUmrah from Mīqāt is more virtuous than from Tanʿīm as it requires more effort and incurs more cost.”
Furthermore, it is stated in al-Mudawwanah: “We asked Imam Mālik [d. 179/795] regarding a person who finishes from his Hajj and then intends ʿUmrah from Tanʿīm or Jiʿirrānah does he have to perform the farewell Ṭawāf? He replied: No. He further said: If he proceeds to a Mīqāt such as Juḥfah or any other Mīqāt so that he can perform ʿUmrah from there, then he should perform the farewell Ṭawāf.” This clearly indicates that according to Imam Mālik, it is permissible to perform ʿUmrah from Tanʿīm. This permissibility is also explicitly mentioned in his Muwaṭṭāʾ wherein he adds that it is preferable to enter into Iḥrām from Mīqāt.
In addition to this, Imam Ibn Abī Shaybah (d. 235/849) narrates from Saʿīd ibn al-Musayyib (d. 94/712-3) who advised a person in Makkah wishing to perform ʿUmrah to enter into Iḥrām from Tanʿīm. Imam Ṭaḥāwī (d. 321/933) writes that a person in Makkah intending to perform ʿUmrah can enter into Iḥrām from anywhere in Ḥill (the area in between Ḥaram and Mīqāt) including from Tanʿīm. This has also been mentioned by Imam Nawawī (d. 676/1277). Many Ḥanafī scholars have affirmed the practice of performing ʿUmrah from Tanʿīm. They include ʿAllāmah Sarakhsī (d. ca. 490/1097), ʿAllāmah Samarqandī (d. ca. 540/1145-6), ʿAllāmah Kāsānī (d. 587/1191) and others.
It is clear from the above that performing ʿUmrah from Tanʿīm is not an innovation. It is true that it was not the general practice of the companions or the pious predecessors to regularly visit Tanʿīm and perform ʿUmrah from here. Rather, they would perform Ṭawāf in abundance. However, to label this as an innovation and to criticise those who do so is incorrect and contrary to the narrations and views of the majority of scholars.
Allah knows best
24 Rajab 1437 / 1 May 2016
 Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī (1560, 1788).
 Zād al-Maʿād (2: 89). Also see al-Inṣāf (4: 57) wherein ʿAllāmah Mardāwī (d. 885/1480) narrates from Shaykh al-Islām Ibn Taymiyah (d. 728/1328) that it is an innovation to exit Makkah for ʿUmrah for a non-obligatory ʿUmrah because this was not done by the Prophet ﷺ or the companions except ʿĀʾishah (may Allah be pleased with her).
 Akhbār Makkah (2839).
 Fatḥ al-Bārī (3: 606). It is worth noting that Mawlānā ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Mubārakpūrī (d. 1353/1935) has cited the research of Ḥāfīẓ Ibn Ḥajar (d. 852/1149) and not critiqued it. This indicates his agreement (See Tuḥfat al-Aḥwadhī, 4: 3).
 Al-Kawākib al-Dirārī (8: 88).
 ʿUmdat al-Qārī (9: 194).
 Irshād al-Sārī (3: 126).
 Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī (1784).
 Sunan al-Tirmidhī (934).
 Muwaṭṭāʾ Mālik (1219).
 Al-Yawāqīt al-Gāliyah (1: 308). It is worth noting that according to Imam Mālik (d. 179/795), Imam Shāfiʿī (d. 204/820) and Imam Aḥmad (d. 241/855), the ʿUmrah performed by ʿĀʾishah (may Allah be pleased with her) was optional and not an obligatory ʿUmrah (See al-Mugnī, 3: 421; al-Majmūʿ, 7: 416; Sharḥ Ibn Baṭṭāl, 4: 230). For further information regarding this read our Fatwā titled ‘Query regarding menstruating woman unable to perform ʿUmrah due to limited stay in Saudi Arabia’ or click here to read online.
 Sunan Ibn Mājah (2999).
 Al-Sunan al-Kubrā (4216).
 Mustakhraj Abū ʿAwānah (3180).
 Al-Sunan al-Kubrā (8796).
 Maʿrifah al-Sunan Wa al-Āthār (9308).
 Ṣaḥīḥ Ibn Khuzaymah (3025).
 (1: 493).
 Muwaṭṭāʾ Mālik (1265).
 Muṣannaf Ibn Abī Shaybah (12940).
 Sharḥ Maʿānī al-Āthār (4084).
 Al-Majmūʿ (7: 205).
 Al-Mabsūṭ (4: 29).
 Tuḥfat al-Fuqahāʾ (1: 410).
 Badāʾiʿ al-Ṣanāʾiʿ (2: 167).
 Radd al-Muḥtār (2: 502); al-Mugnī (3: 220); al-Inṣāf (4: 57); Muṣannaf Ibn Abī Shaybah (15837); Akhbār Makkah (446); Majmuʿ al-Fatāwā (26: 249).