The scholars disagree as to which of these is the best kind. The Shafi’i school holds that ifrad and tamattu’ are superior to qiran, because in either of the former two kinds a pilgrim has the opportunity to perform complete rites of Hajj and of ‘Umrah. On the other hand, a qarin (one who undertakes a qiran Hajj) is able to perform Hajj only.
As to which of the two – tamattu’ or ifrad – is better, there are two opinions. One group of scholars holds tamattu’ as superior to ifrad, while the others hold ifrad is better.
The Hanafi school holds that qiran is better than tamattu’ and ifrad, and that tamattu’ is better than if rad. The Maliki school holds that if rad (Hajj only) is better than tamattu’ and qiran. The Hanbali scholars, on the other hand, are of the view that tamattu’ (combining Hajj and ‘Umrah with a break in between), is better than the qiran and ifrad. This is comparatively easy and the people can perform it comfortably.
In fact, this is what the Prophet (peace be upon him) performed himself and commanded his Companions to do likewise. ‘Ata said, “I heard Jabir ibn Abdullah saying, ‘We (the Companions) declared our intention to perform Hajj only. On the 4th of Zhul-Hijjah the Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded us to terminate our state of ihram, saying, “Terminate your state of ihram and go to your wives.” He did not, however, oblige us to do so but he permitted us. We said: ‘There are only five days left to the Day of ‘Arafah. Shall we go to ‘Arafah while semen is dribbling from our male organs?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) stood up and said: “You know that I fear Allah the most, and that I am the most truthful, and the most pious amongst you. If I had not brought my sacrificial animals with me, I also would have terminated my state of ihram. If I were to again come (to Makkah), I shall not bring the sacrificial animals with me. So terminate your state of ihram.” At this we terminated our state of ihram; we listened to and obeyed (the Prophet).” This was reported by Muslim.