Top things to do in Mecca during Umrah
The city of Mecca visited by billions of people for Hajj or Umrah every year is situated 909 feet above sea level in a narrow valley. Did you know it is considered to be the holiest city by 1.23 billion of people around the world which is precisely 23 percent of the entire world’s population? It is also the direction in which all Muslims around the world offer their prayers 5 times a day.
The major tourism in Saudi Arabia revolves around pilgrimages but an increase in leisure tourism sector has also been noticed recently with 3 million people visiting Mecca every year. This city gives everyone exactly what they want from excellent restaurant chains (Middle Eastern, American, Indian, Southeast Asian food … you name it?) to 5 star hotels. You won’t find alcohol or pork anywhere as it is forbidden in Islam and they follow it.
Are you planning to go for an Umrah? There is a lot you could explore in this city. Here are some of the things you can do on your visit to Umrah next time…
You name Mecca and this mosque is the first place to pop up in your mind. It is the most sacred mosque due to its most revered association with Islamic history.
2 million Muslims travel to visit Al-Masjid Al-Haram every year in order to perform various spiritual rites included in Umrah and Hajj.
Hajj is one of the 5 pillars of Islam and every able Muslim should perform it once in a life time if it’s affordable for them. Umrah, also considered a lesser pilgrimage consists of a journey to Mecca at any time of the year feasible to you.
Black Stone – Hajra e Aswad
What a wonderful sight it is when you see so many people so anxious to see this stone and let alone touch it and kiss it.
This sacred stone has a history goes 1400 years back. When tribes quarreled as to who will set the stone, Prophet Muhammad set it into the wall of Kaaba in the year 605 AD.
While circumambulating the Kaaba as a Tawaf ritual, many people try to come close to it and kiss it the same way Prophet Muhammad (SAW) used to.
It is believed that this stone has come down from Paradise while science thinks of it as a meteorite.
Abraj Al Bait
If you are looking for one of the finest hotels to stay in and allow the glory of Masjid- al Haram to soothe your eyes every single moment you are in Mecca?
Abraj Al Bait also called the Fairmont Makkah Clock Royal Tower can prove to be the best choice for you as it is not only located next to Masjid Al Haram but is also a five star hotel. What can be a better location than this?
It also happens to have a little fact file to it. It is thought to be one of the tallest buildings in the world featuring 1542 guest rooms and residences, 56 elevator which enable very easy access to Al Masjid Al Haram, 120 floors and 9 state-of-the-art restaurants and much more.
This extravagant hotel offers a perfect combination of warm tradition of genuine Arab hospitality and luxurious design.
‘Jabal’ means mountain and ‘Nour’ means light in Arabic. There is a reason why they call it the “The Mountain of Light” or “Hill of Illumination”.
This mountain has a cave engraved in it also known as the Cave of Hira. Cave of Hira is the place where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) spent a lot of time in meditation and it is here that he received the very first revelation from God sent through Angel Gabriel.
The first verse of the Holy Book of Quran present in Surah Alaq was brought here in this cave. So the propagation of light or ‘Nour’ began from here which is where it gets its name from.
Something you should know before you visit this sacred cave is that it takes 1.5 hours climb which is why you shouldn’t forget to take water and praying mat with you.
It is not an easy climb up the mountain. You will be able to see Masjid al Haram from the top of the mountain.
Al Wahba Crater
This is a huge enormity to the sight. This huge crater is located in a desert with the measurements being 1 mile across with 850-foot cliff faces stretching to the bottom of the pit.
This crater has water welling up in the wet season while it becomes huge bowl of salt in the summers when the sun evaporates all the water.
This area has been known to experience a lot of volcanic activity with the sandy plains around it covered with volcanic ash. You can climb up the sides of the crater and move to the top.
You will find palm trees along the way which enable the exhausted hikers to rest in its shade. Although camping is allowed around the crater, it is better to hire a guide if you are thinking of a night stay.
It is actually an auction of jewelry in a mall. It is almost zero distance from Masjid al haram. There is a big shop of Gold and silver in the mall.
They sell the jewelry by bidding and the price beings from 10 SR with new jewelry in the stock every day. You bid the highest and you win. It is a must-go-to place for ladies.
It doesn’t come as a surprise why Mina is thought of as a ‘city’ that accommodates millions of people in the annual Hajj pilgrimage.
This place is set up with 100,000 air-conditioned tents coated with Teflon so that they can resist the temperature of 700 degree Celsius and offer the exhausted pilgrims a comfortable temporary shelter. It is forbidden for men and women to sleep together at this place.
Makkah Mall is a shopping center that offers an aura of high end dining, shopping, and entertainment for families.
This place will never bore you. Both visitors and Saudis consider this mall to be the most important and complete shopping center located in Mecca.
The reason for this is the huge range of supermarkets, restaurants, local and international brands, and what not to engage to engage the visitors. You can enjoy a perfect leisure and shopping experience here.