It’s an earnest desire of every Muslim to visit the Bait Allah, the exhalted Haram Shareef in Makkah and Madina. There are two main ways to visit Khana Ka’bah for the Muslims living outside Saudi Arabia, Hajj and Umrah. In this article we would give you a quick over view of Umrah only.
Documentary Requirements for Umrah
You need to have a valid passport and visa for Saudi Arabia to proceed for Umrah. Every country has its own Visa and passport regulations. You need to consult us or relevant government office for that.
It is mandatory for all Muslims proceeding for Umrah to have compulsory vaccination and necessary medical certificates to enter Saudia Arabia. Government of your country arrange for provision of such medical facilities before you board for Umrah (If required).
Some of the Muslims have little or no understanding of the process which needs to be completed before performing Manasiq of Umrah (Rituals of the holy pilgrimage) for this purpose, professional Umrah services make all the arrangements for a specified sum of money they charge for their service.
These services are offered against certain type of Umrah Packages. Generally Umrah packages are less expensive than Hajj packages.
Every company has its own way of offering Umrah packages. Umrah agencies provide packages that include better living arrangements, shorter duration (like 07 days or less), and moreover Umrah packages can be customized as per your requirements.
In a customized Umrah package you can opt for a package that suit your budget and time available with you.
Many people prefer longer duration packages which allow them to spend more number of days in the holy places but at the same time there are many people who want to visit Mecca and Madina on Umrah but have less time.
There are many people who want to visit Mecca and Madina on Umrah but have less time.
Umrah travel or Umrah tours agencies:
Most Umrah travel or Umrah tours agency offers private and government packages simultaneously. These companies offer packages basing the calculations on the number of nights that you get to spend in Makkah and Madina, the quality of living, food and other facilities like travelling arrangements etc.
If, you do not want to search food and restaurants by yourself then you can opt for a package that offers to arrange your breakfast, lunch and dinner. In such an arrangement, you will have to pay more than the normal package.
Most of the people who belong to Pakistan, Bangladesh, India and rest of the South East Asia prefer packages without food arrangements.
They find it inexpensive and prefer to have their own private arrangement for food from local Pakistani and Indian restaurants. All food served in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is Halal.
If you are performing Umrah for the first time, it would be advisable to take such packages that include complete facilities from hotels, to breakfast, lunch, dinner and transportation.
If you have performed Umrah several times and know the circumstances, markets and hotels of Makkah and Madina then you can opt for any package.
Most of the Umrah travel companies provide transportation facilities as well. You can opt for such packages to save your time for Ibadah. Most people take these packages, especially those who perform Umrah for the first time as they have little or no knowledge about procedural and other matters like hotel bookings etc.
Preparations before leaving for Umrah:
The most important step is to know which duas and necessary preparations you need to do before leaving your house for Umrah.
Now that you have some amount of understanding about Umrah packages, Umrah travel and Umrah tour companies, the next important step is to know which duas and necessary preparations you need to do before leaving your house for Umrah.
It is important to note that Umrah is less physically demanding than Hajj, but still it is a difficult Ibadah considering 45-50-degree centigrade and above temperature of Makkah.
You need to be healthy to make sure that you can perform all ibadah at ease.
When you are selected and awarded with Umrah Visa, your Umrah travel company would arranges for your Umrah arrangements.
Your Umrah tours agency will also provide you some guidance literature and dua books that are compulsory to be recited before and during Umrah.
Rules of Ihram:
Al-Bukhari states that Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) said: "one shouldn't pass the Miqat unless he/she is in the state of Ihram." (Al-Bukhari)
Ihram is the special dress that you wear for Umrah. It has some compulsions that you have to follow.
Ihram consists of two white pieces of unstitched cloth for men. One piece is wrapped around lower half of the body to cover it completely and the other piece is used to wrap one shoulder and leave the other shoulder uncovered.
Women have to wear abaya and scarf that cover their entire body from head to toe. Women can use any neutral or light color of their choice (except for bright colors, which are too conspicuous).
The following dua is preferred to be recited when leaving home:
“Bismillahi, Tawakkaltu, ‘a-lallahi, wa laa hawla wa laa quwatta illah billah”
(In the name of Allaah, I place my trust in Allaah, and there is neither might nor power except with Allaah)
Following dua is again important to recite before setting off in your car or travel arrangement.
“Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar. Subhaa-nalathee, Sakha-ra-la-naa ha-thaa wa maa kunaa, lahu muq-ri-nee-na wa innaa ilaa rabbinaa la-mun-qa-le-boon”
(Allaah is the greatest x3, How perfect He is, The One Who has place this (transport) at our service, and we ourselves would not have been capable of that, and to our Lord if our final destiny.)
Men are required to recite this dua at the time of changing their clothes for Umrah (changing over to Irham)
“Labbaik Allaahumma ‘Umrah”
(Here I am O Allah making ‘Umraah)
“Allaahumma mahillee haithu habastanee”
(I come out of the state of Ihraam from the place You prevent me from continuing)
Now you have to continue to recite following dua till you reach to Makkah and start performing Tawaf
“Labbayk Allahumma labbayk, labbayka laa shareeka laka labbayk, innal-hamda wan-ni’mata laka wal-mulk, laa shareeka lak”
(Here I am, O Allah, here I am. Here I am. You have no partner. Here I am. Surely all praise, grace and dominion is yours, and you have no partner.)
At the time of entering into Makkah with your right foot recite following dua
“Bismillahi, Allallhumma salli ‘alaa muhammadin wa sallim – allaahumma aftah lee abwaaba rahmatika”
(In the name of Allaah! O Allaah! Exalt the mention of your Messenger. O Allaah! Forgive my sins, and open the gates of Your mercy for me).
During your 7 Tawaf around the Ka’bah be sure you are in wudu and recite following Dua’s:
"Rabbanaa aatinaa fid-dunyaa hasanatan wa feel aakhirati hasanatan wa qinaa ‘adhaaban naar"
(Our Lord, grant us good in this life and good in the hereafter and save us from the punishment of the Hellfire. [Quran; 2:201])
After completing Tawaf recite these verses
“Wattakhidhoo min-maqaami ibraaheema musalla”
(And take you (people) the Maqaam (place) of Ibraheem as a place of Prayer. [Quran; 2:125])
Then visit Zam Zam dispensing point and pour water over your head. Start with Sai and recite these duas
“Bismillahi was-salaatu was-salaamu ‘alaa rasoolillahi, Allahum-ma inee a’-aluka min fadhlika, Allahum-ma a’simnee minash-shaitaanie-rajeem”
(In the name of Allah, and prayers and peace be upon the Messenger of Allaah. O Allaah, I ask You from Your favour. O Allaah, guard from the accursed devil.)
Upon reaching the Mount Safa, recite these aayaah
“Innas-safaa wal marwata min sha’aa’irillaahi faman hajjal baita ‘awi’tamara falaa janaaha ‘alaihi an yattawwafa bihimaa wa man tatawwa’a khiran fa’innallaaha shaakirun ‘aleemun”
(Verily, As-Safaa and Al-Marwah are from the symbols of Allaah. So it is not a sin on him who performs Hajj or ‘Umrah of the house (ka ‘bah) to perform the going (tawaaf) between them. And whoever does good voluntarily, then verily, Allaah is the All-Recognizer, All-Knower. [Quran; 2:158])
After completing all steps of Sai, men have to shave their head or trim the hair to the minimum.
This would complete your umrah inshallah