There is no doubt that the best form of Hajj is the Hajj at-Tamattu' (i.e. joining the ‘Umrah to the Hajj while coming out of Ihraam for a period in between).
This is the type of Hajj that we have just explained: To perform the ‘Umrah, come out of Ihraam, then put on the Ihraam for Hajj. This division between the two sacred states of Ihraam is known as “At-Tamattu'”.
A person may say:
"The Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) never performed Hajj at-Tamattu', for he only performed the Hajj al-Qiraan.” 
Since the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) remained in his Ihraam due to his Hajj al-Qiraan, how can we say that Hajj at-Tamattu' is best when the Prophet never performed it? Is it possible that the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) abandoned that which was better?!
We must make it very clear that the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) NEVER abandoned anything that was better. However, during that time (in which he performed his only Hajj), he was unable to come out of and leave Ihraam, because he had brought his hadee along with him.
He said to his Companions:
“If I had not brought (drove) the hadee (with me), I would have certainly come out of Ihraam, and would have made it an ‘Umrah.”
Hence, the one who is prevented from coming out of Ihraam is the Muhrim who has brought the hadee with him, since before the Meeqaat. Whoever brings the hadee from the Meeqaat is unable to come out of the sacred state of Ihraam due to Allaah's statement:
“Do not shave your heads (i.e. Do not come out of Ihraam) until the hadee reaches the place (of sacrifice).” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 196]
So whoever has brought their hadee with them, they are unable to come out of Ihraam (after making the ‘Umrah). The Companions, who were on Hajj with the Prophet, wished to perform the same (type of Hajj) as the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم), but he did not allow them to continue their Ihraam after performing the ‘Umrah, saying:
“Had I known my affairs before as I came to know them later, I would not have brought the hadee (sacrificial animal), but would have made this an ‘Umrah.”
There is no doubt that whatever the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) desires to do, that is what is best (and most preferable). He would rather have performed the ‘Umrah and then come out of Ihraam (i.e. at-Tamattu'), but in reality, he already had brought the sacrificial animal with him, thus he was unable to come out of Ihraam.
So whoever has the hadee with him must remain in Ihraam “until the hadee (sacrificial animal) reaches the place (of slaughter).” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 196] This is why the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) remained in the sacred state of Ihraam until the Day of Sacrifice ([b]Yawm an-Nahr) at Minaa.
Hajj at-Tamattu' necessitates that the sacrifice of a hadee be done on the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah. If one is unable to afford a sacrificial animal (hadee), or possesses the funds, but does not find one to purchase, i.e. he searches for someone selling them but doesn’t find him, or a full day passes while searching and not finding someone selling a hadee, then it is obligatory for the one who is unable (due to these above reasons) to “fast three days during the Hajj, and seven days after his return (from Hajj).”
“For whoever cannot (obtain a hadee), he must fast three days during the Hajj and seven days after his return (home), making ten days in total. This is for the one whose family is not present at al-Masjid al-Haraam (a non-resident of Makkah).” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 196]
This order is only for those who are too poor or unable to purchase a hadee. They must fast three days during the Hajj. It is apparent that those three days are the Days of Tashreeq (i.e. the 11th, 12th, and 13th of Dhul-Hijjah). The remaining seven days are fasted after returning home to their families, thus completing a total of ten days.
Any point in the journey homeward can be considered as a day of “returning.”
The People of Knowledge have stated that it is not a requirement to actually arrive at one’s home, when a person is “returning” after Hajj (for these seven fasts). They may fast en route while travelling because whoever sets out to return home, from the time he sets out and establishes the journey homeward, he has verified his intention of “returning.”
So from any point during the journey returning home, one can complete the remaining fasts due upon him. What is important here is that one must fast three days during the Hajj, and seven days while on the road, ar after arriving home, if he is unable to procure a hadee.
This ends the description of the ordered rites of ‘Umrah and Hajj in all of its different parts. And may the peace and blessings of Allaah be on Muhammad, his family and Companions.
 Translator’s Note: Hajj al-Qiraan is when the pilgrim joins the ‘Umrah and the Hajj without coming out of Ihraam in between, staying in the sacred state of Ihraam from the first time it was entered into (at the Meeqaat) until the final rite (of slaughtering the hadee (sacrificial animal).