Umrah in Ramadan
Falling on the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Ramadan holds the promise of many rewards for Muslims. So what better way to make the most of this special 30-day period, than by combining it with the holy pilgrimage of Umrah?
What is Umrah?
Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage that occurs in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.
Unlike Hajj, which is mandatory for Muslims at least once in their lives, Umrah is a voluntary practice that can be arranged at any point in the year.
Similar to Hajj, there are various rituals worshippers must partake in, in order for their pilgrimage to be accepted.
Umrah rituals and duration
The holy rituals of Umrah can be completed in a number of hours. The process itself consists of three main parts: Ihram, Tawaf and Sa’i.
Ihram refers to the purification stage, whereby believers undergo cleansing rituals, state their intention and enter into a sacred state.
Next comes Tawaf, which involves walking around the holy Kaaba seven times. Duas of supplication should be recited during each rotation.
Finally, you have Sa’i, during which pilgrims hike between the Safa and Marwa hills seven times. Following this, it’s customary to perform Halq (shaving of the head - for males) or Taqsir (shortening of one’s hair).
Umrah in Ramadan
One of the most popular times for Umrah among Muslims is Ramadan. Last year, over nine million pilgrims were recorded to have performed Umrah in just the first 10 days.
Due to this high demand, the trip is often more expensive throughout the holy month. One should also note that the rituals may take longer as a result of the crowds.
Therefore, when making Umrah in Ramadan, it’s best to leave the majority of the day free.
Why is Umrah in Ramadan recommended?
Many believe that making Umrah in Ramadan holds special reward, with the experience even being equal to Hajj in spiritual merit.
This association comes from a Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reported by his cousin Ibn Abbas.
“Perform Umrah when Ramadan comes, for Umrah in Ramadan is equal to Hajj (in reward).”
This inspiring benefit does not however exempt Muslims from fulfilling their duty of the actual Hajj pilgrimage. Rather, it complements it and is a chance to obtain extra reward.
Duas for Umrah in Ramadan
For any Muslim, duas are a powerful way to connect with The Almighty. Duas during Umrah in Ramadan hold especially esteemed merit.
It is worth spending some time ahead of your trip to learn the prescribed Umrah duas.
They include duas for travelling, sighting the holy Kaaba for the first time, and entering Masjid al-Haram, alongside specific supplications for each of the Umrah rituals.
How to prepare for Umrah in Ramadan
Preparing for your journey to Saudi in advance alleviates the stress and anxiety often linked with travel. This allows you to concentrate on your prayers and the spiritual aspects of your journey.
Additionally, booking the right accommodation is crucial for a comfortable and meaningful experience. We spoke to UmrahMe, a one-stop-shop for all accommodation needs, ensuring a hassle-free pilgrimage.
Mohammed Bin Mahfouz is the driving force behind the groundbreaking Umrahme initiative, aimed at addressing the myriad challenges faced by pilgrims during their Umrah journey.
Bin Mahfouz emphasises the platform's commitment to transparency, round-the-clock digital assistance, and the cultivation of a communal spirit among pilgrims. Umrahme endeavours to offer a seamless and spiritually enriching experience to all pilgrims, placing a strong emphasis on simplifying the pilgrimage planning and execution processes.
With its user-friendly interface, comprehensive support, and community-driven initiatives, Umrahme stands as a guiding force, ensuring that pilgrims can navigate their journey with ease, leaving them to concentrate on the core of their spiritual quest.
“Our approach revolves around fostering trust, building connections, and constantly innovating to meet evolving needs,” he said.
It’s important to prepare for your Umrah journey both spiritually and mentally, but also physically. Umrah involves a lot of walking, so do what you can to ensure you’re in a fit state. This will also help manage energy levels whilst fasting.
Check the forecasted weather beforehand so you may pack accordingly. Note: summer gets particularly hot. You will also want to invest in some good walking sandals and ensure you have the right attire for Ihram.
As mentioned, Umrah in Ramadan is appealing for the majority of Muslims, therefore you should expect a big crowd. Take care to stay close to loved ones, but designate a meeting point in case anyone gets lost.
So now you know, Umrah in Ramadan comes with bountiful rewards. It is absolutely worth doing at least once in your lifetime. But, given the transcendental ambiance and nature of the experience, you may very well end up wanting more.
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