HMN Holidays

An ultimate guide to First timer pilgrims going on an Umrah

Embarking on an Umrah trip holds a great significance in a Muslim’s life and marks a profound experience of spiritual purification. For those who are going to experience this sacred journey for the first time, the question of what to bring? Or anticipate can be somehow fearsome. This comprehensive guide is designed to encompass all the essential elements necessary for a prosperous and comfortable Umrah trip.

What is Umrah?

Saudi Arabia holds a significant position among Muslim countries due to two holiest cities, Mecca and Medina, which draw millions of Muslims annually for pilgrimages such as Umrah and Hajj. The roots of Umrah trace back to 629 CE when Prophet Muhammad led 2000 followers on the inaugural pilgrimage from Medina to Mecca, forging a significant historical event.

Umrah, a visit to Mecca open to Muslims worldwide, stands out for its flexibility, as pilgrims can undertake it at any time, in contrast to Hajj, which adheres to specific lunar calendar dates. The term “Umrah” translates to “visit a populated place.”

Pilgrims flock to Masjid al-Haram, the Grand Mosque in Mecca, housing the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest site. Although categorized as a “minor pilgrimage” and non-mandatory, Umrah holds profound significance in Islam, serving as an expression of gratitude and devotion to Allah. It provides believers the opportunity for forgiveness and cleansing from sins, a ritual that can be repeated throughout one’s lifetime.

Umrah imposes no age restrictions, if a person is physically fit then he/she can perform this holy act at any time of the year and at any age. Saudi Arabia has recently revised its longstanding regulation, which previously required single women to be accompanied by a male relative during the Islamic pilgrimage. This modification not only enables thousands of single Muslim women to participate in the Hajj/Umrah in 2023 but extends beyond the pilgrimage itself.

Best time to plan Umrah 

As it was mentioned earlier, Umrah can be performed throughout the year, however, the weather condition also matters a lot, as extreme weather conditions lead to illness for the pilgrims.

Summer:

Advantage: Cheapest time for Umrah due to extreme heat.

Consideration: Pilgrims need to be prepared for high temperatures.

Winter:

Advantage: Pleasant weather and during Ramadan, attracting more pilgrims.

Consideration: Most expensive time for Umrah.

Spring:

Advantage: Popular season with milder weather compared to summer.

Consideration: Another high season for Umrah.

Autumn:

Advantage: Lower prices compared to winter or spring.

Consideration: Mild weather, especially during cool nights.

Upon arriving in Saudi Arabia specifically in summers, the intense heat and humidity may induce nausea and dizziness. Safeguard your well-being by staying hydrated. When accompanied by elderly individuals or children, prioritize their health. Exercise extra caution in crowded areas like Haram, frequented by numerous pilgrims. Steer clear of sharing potentially contaminated food or water to safeguard against diseases. Note that the Saudi government mandates vaccinations for yellow fever, polio, and Meningococcal Meningitis to obtain Umrah visas.

Essentials to keep for an easy pilgrimage 

Besides being physically fit, a pilgrim has to be mentally calm to prepare this holy trip. Following are the list of important essentials, before going on a journey for performing Umrah. 

Travel Documents

The first and foremost thing to keep is important documents and the vital travel documentation consists of:

  • Passport and copies of it
  • Travel documents, vaccination records, and visas
  • Copies of hotel booking confirmations
  • Payment receipts for the Umrah
  • Passport-sized pictures
  • Certificate of Relationship (if you are traveling with your spouse)
  • Saudi Riyals
  • Credit/Debit card
  • Travel schedule
  • Numbers to call in an emergency

Plan the visit wisely

Carefully plan your research to select an Umrah package aligning with your budget and needs, encompassing flights, accommodations, and essential facilities. Verify the approval of your chosen Umrah tour operator by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, Saudi Arabia. Additionally, delve into the details of Umrah rituals and regulations for a comprehensive understanding. Thorough planning enhances the quality of your pilgrimage; ensure both physical and emotional readiness for this significant journey. For better Umrah packages visit 

Click on the link below

https://hmnholidays.com/

Packing of clothes according to weather conditions

Traveling to Makkah for Umrah requires careful consideration of clothing and accessories. Opt for lightweight, comfortable attire suitable for long flights and road trips. Given Makkah’s high temperatures, choose airy, light-colored clothing that aligns with local cultural values. Men often wear shirts and pants, while women prefer abayas or shalwar kameez.

Essential items for both genders include a cord bag, comfortable shoes, a waist pouch, bathroom slippers, sunglasses, security pins, a prayer cap, and a foldable umbrella as well as lightweight sweaters.

Women should also pack:

Five to ten lightweight headscarves

Hijab under caps

Hijab pins

Hair accessories

Socks

Slips or light clothing for under an abaya

Light pajamas

Blister patches

Carry First Aid Kit

Ensure you include a (approximately) 50-day supply of prescribed medications with their prescriptions as well as a copy of your medical history. Moov/muscle relaxant cream, anti-rash cream, painkillers, and basic medicines such as Disprin, Ponstan, Strepsils, cough syrup, and Imodium in your basic first-aid kit for a long trip.

Things to remember during Umrah tour

  • Develop a profound understanding and reverence for Prophet Muhammad (s) and his mission for humanity.
  • Foster humility and patience as you embark on this spiritual journey.
  • Show respect and consideration for others; avoid littering, making loud noises, and imposing opinions. Everyone is esteemed in Allah’s house.
  • Be kind and considerate. Use polite language and practice patience in all interactions.
  • Adjust your expectations, recognizing that situations beyond the tour operator’s control may arise.
  • Anticipate potential delays during travels in Saudi Arabia and maintain patience throughout.
  • Perform 2 rakats of Salaat-al-Tawbah (repentance of past deeds) and focus on good deeds throughout your journey.
  • Follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) and adhere to the five daily prayers.
  • Read the Quran with understanding, sincerely practicing its teachings.
  • Interact respectfully with people from diverse backgrounds, avoiding pointless arguments and seeking forgiveness if you unintentionally hurt anyone.
  • Address concerns by composing a detailed letter to your tour operator, providing constructive suggestions for improvement.

Visiting the sacred sites in Mecca and Medina

Apart from Al-Haram, there are several significant Ziyarats in Mecca and Medina that pilgrims should explore post their Umrah completion. These include the caves of Hira and Saur, Jabl-e-Rehmat, Ayesha mosque, Masjid-e-Jinn, the house of Abu Jahal, and more. Despite not being in close proximity to the Haram, these sites hold historical importance. For a smoother Umrah experience, consider selecting a suitable Umrah package.

 Numerous operators in Pakistan offer diverse packages; establish a budget, list desired facilities, compare options, and verify the operator’s authorization through the Hajj Ministry’s website in Saudi Arabia. The Ministry provides a list of authorized agents and guidelines to avoid deceitful practices.

Conclusion

For a smoother Umrah experience, consider these practical tips. Begin by familiarizing yourself with Umrah traditions and committing prayers and Duas to memory. Prioritize securing Umrah reservations early, as demand is high, and accommodations in Makkah and Medina fill up quickly. Opt for lodging near the holy cities to minimize transportation costs. These straightforward recommendations will enhance your Umrah journey and help you avoid common pitfalls. Keep these guidelines in mind for a fulfilling and hassle-free experience

Have a safe Journey..!

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