There are three ways of performing hajj: ifrad, qiran, and tamattu'.
According to some scholars such as the Shafi'is, ifrad is performing hajj before 'umrah by entering ihram for hajj first from the designated miqat, finishing the rites of hajj, leaving Mecca for al-Hill to assume ihram for 'umrah and then performing its rites. For hajj ifrad, some scholars do not stipulate making 'umrah after hajj and consider that hajj ifrad is accomplished by performing the rites of hajj alone (without subsequently performing 'umrah).
Qiran means entering ihram for hajj and 'umrah simultaneously, or enter ing ihram for 'umrah and subsequently incorporating the intention to perform hajj into the intention for 'umrah before beginning the rites of 'umrah. A pilgrim then performs the rites of hajj, fulfilling the obligation for both hajj and 'umrah.
Tamattu' means performing 'umrah first before subsequently entering ihram for hajj, so called because a pilgrim on hajj tamattu' is allowed to do the things that are unlawful for a person in ihram in the period between 'umrah and hajj.
A pilgrim on hajj ifrad is not obliged to slaughter, though he may do so if he wishes. But a pilgrim on hajj qiran or tamattu' must slaughter and the reason for this obligation is the omission of entering ihram for hajj from the miqat site for people of his country.
There is a scholarly debate on the best way to perform hajj. According to the Maliki and Shafi'i scholars, the best is hajj ifrad. Maliki scholars have maintained that it is followed by qiran and then tamattu' in preference while the Shafi'is said that it is followed by tamattu' and then qiran. According to the Hanafis, the best of the three is qiran, followed by tamattu' and then ifrad while the Hanbalis maintain that tamattu' is best followed by ifrad and then qiran.
We recommend that a pilgrim choose that which is easier for him.