Last Updated on October 5, 2022 by Maria Kennedy
In contrast to the hajj, which has definite dates according to the Islamic lunar calendar, the Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca that may be conducted at any time of year.
The Arabic word ‘Umrah’ simply means to travel to a crowded area and best Umrah packages. Umrah is a subset of Hajj, an act of devotion undertaken by millions of Muslims by visiting Makkah and executing the Umrah ceremonies as performed by our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Except for Hajj days, Umrah is a non-obligatory form of prayer that can be undertaken at any time of year. Millions of Muslims travel to Makkah to undertake Umrah for the love of Allah (SWT) and to become spiritually linked to Him. It is critical to make this Umrah journey unforgettable so that it would live on in our memories for a lifetime. Tawaf and Sa’i are two fundamental rites that Muslims must do during Umrah. Tawaf is a circumambulation of the Kaaba. This is followed by Sa’i between Safa and Marwah in Mecca’s Great Mosque.
Check out these 5 useful tips for pilgrims travelling to Umrah:
Stamina Build up
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Umrah necessitates a significant level of physical labour, and the amount of walking you will be undertaking might be difficult on your body. (Put on your Fit bit, this will be worth it.) In Makkah, you will be walking from your hotels to Masjid e Haram (Holy Mosque) for every Fardh (prayer), walking as you do your tawaf, walking as you perform our sa’i (ritual walking), walking as you make your way within the Masjidil Haram, and walking again as you go shopping for souvenirs.
As we all know that the world is suffering from a harmful pandemic. To protect ourselves and our loved ones, getting immunized is an important step before undertaking Umrah. With an annual gathering of over 2 million Muslims in the Holy Land, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health keeps a careful eye on health regulations to prevent contagious illnesses. Some immunizations, such as those against meningococcal illness, are required before doing Umrah, while others, while not required, are strongly recommended. Before travelling someplace, you also need to take care of your health. Even if you have a little cough, fever, or cold, do not disregard it. Consult your local medical store for appropriate medications to cure your illness. People with sufficient stamina can undertake Umrah without fainting or experiencing health problems. People who want to improve their stamina should consume nutritious foods and take the right supplements. People can get adequate vitamins and proteins by eating three meals every day. So, if you are intending to travel for Umrah, be sure you consume nutritious meals.
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Things You Should Carry
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It’s a good idea to keep general supplies at hand such as unscented soaps, moisturizers and wet tissues. You will be carrying a hand-carry at all times. These are lightweight things that would not be heavy but they are a lot in number. And would need packaging that could contain them.
A change in place or sleep schedules affect your biological activities as well. You may want to carry a bottle which should contain water for ablution. The toilets are far away, and travelling back and forth might be a problem for you.
Adding more to these things, you would be well aware of the climate of the desert country. You take a few steps, and sweat breaks out as rain does in the tropical areas. You may want to keep cool and ease your mind to not be affected by the scorching heat of Saudi Arabia. For these reasons, it will always be a source of comfort for you to carry a portable fan that is easily available everywhere and at all times. Phone chargers are another must thing. Power banks and your other portable devices like headphones or ear pods shall be placed within the hand carry. If you get stuck anywhere on the way, the last thing you do not want to happen to you is connecting to other people to get you rescued. Not that you would need a rescue from any situation, but phones help you figure out where you are and you can follow maps to reach anywhere you want. You can also interact and communicate with the locals through translators. All of these things are only going to happen if you have a charged phone. So you need to have all your power plugs saved in one mini bag that you will be carrying to all the places.
Last but not least, medical preparedness should be at the top of every traveller’s priority list. Illnesses or injuries can cause a great deal of misery and trouble during your journey. A basic first-aid package for allergies, pain treatment, anti-diarrhoea, and digestive issues is required. Common medications may be purchased at local pharmacies, although you may not always locate the same type. These prescriptions are sometimes written in other languages that you may not be able to understand. Google translator is useful if your phone is charged.
People who travel frequently may become hungry. It is impossible to have a full dinner while travelling. As a result, only carry tiny food items such as chips, cookies, fruit cakes, and anything else that comes in a package. Also, instead of packing the family-size packs of lotion, shampoo, and a sanitiser, bring the little ones. As a result, your bag will be lighter and have more capacity to hold various items. Instead of carrying cash, I prefer to carry credit cards. This is because currency takes up more room and is more difficult to manage. Credit cards, on the other hand, are thin and take up little space. Furthermore, there is no security issue. Make careful to include lightweight items in the bag and have them with you at all times. So that you may utilize all of the products when they are needed.
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Saudi Arabia has a generally hot climate. Whether you go in the summer or the winter, make sure to bring light clothing with you. It’s also a good idea to bring extra clothing because garments can get filthy quickly. It is essential to wear clean garments, especially Ihram, for Umrah. So make sure to dress nicely. Furthermore, avoid wearing gilded clothing during Umrah. Simplicity is the root of all the ibadah, in Islam. Therefore, wearing gilded clothing, and making yourself appear different from the people present there would be challenging the simplicity that is mostly recommended.
While the days are hot, the nights in Saudi could be cooler. Depending on your schedule for Umrah, you should check out the weather shifts, and trends. Take clothes as they best suit your needs. You do not need to take many clothes and make your bags weigh too much. All you need are three to four sets of clothes. These would be more than sufficient. Umrah visas are due for fifteen days at most. Overall the ritual takes 5 to 6 hours to be completed. The rest of the activities like excursions are optional and you get them only if you have signed up for a package offering these activities. So, clothing would not be a problem. Plus, being minimal in this aspect could relieve you from washing and pressing so many clothes.
Since ihram is the uniform for men expecting to perform Umrah, a spare one would come in useful in the emergence of an unexpected situation. For women, abayas are important. Having two could last you for weeks.
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Because pilgrims walk a lot during Umrah ceremonies, it is best to wear comfortable shoes. Male pilgrims are expected to display their ankle and the front portion of their foot when in Ihram. As a result, a pair of flat, soft sandals or slippers are advised.
Other additional recommendations might assist you when completing Umrah. However, the ones we’ve mentioned here are effective and simple to implement. Following these recommendations will make your Umrah travel easier, and you will be able to avoid the pitfalls that novices make. So, if you are going to conduct Umrah or are thinking about doing so, keep these guidelines in mind. First, learn about the Umrah traditions and memorize all of the prayers and Dua’s. Then concentrate on Umrah reservations. This is because many Muslims are anxious to undertake Umrah, and hotels fill up even before the Umrah begins. Also, priorities reserving accommodations near Makkah and Medina to save money on transportation. Keep these suggestions in mind and have a good time.