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Umrah Preparation Guidelines for Novice Travelers

The Importance of Umrah in Islam

The pilgrimage performed by Muslims, to Makkah is called Umrah. It is performed at all times of the year apart from Hajj days. It is an ultimate form of worship and requires great effort from believers as they seek Allah Almighty’s forgiveness and deepen their connection with their Creator.

All the rituals of the Umrah are performed primarily in Makkah and visiting Medina is not an obligatory Umrah ritual. However, the graceful city of Medina has the status of being the final resting place of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) which is responsible for attracting millions of pilgrims every year.

Umrah is a means to purify the mind and soul. It is the minor Hajj that Muslims perform throughout the year. Umrah holds great spiritual rewards and value for Muslims who desire to perform it and seek the blessings of Allah Almighty.

It refines the soul from prior sins and rejuvenates it. It is the Sunnah of our beloved Holy Prophet (S.A.W) and he performed this pilgrimage twice in his lifetime. Allah (SWT) promises to pardon all the previously done sins of the believers who perform Umrah with pure intentions to seek Almighty’s forgiveness.

While emphasizing the significance of Umrah, Holy Prophet (SAW) has stated, “the utmost struggle is Jihad and next to it is accepted Umrah and Hajj.” at another place, he narrated that Hajj and Umrah remove poverty and sins of a person like fire separates impurities from the iron, silver, and gold.

Having established the importance of Umrah, it is important to understand a few things before embarking on this spiritual journey. Since everyone wants their Umrah journey to be perfect, you must choose the right agency that has a reputation for providing comfort so that you don’t face any unwanted inconveniences during your Holy visit to Makkah and Medina. Following are some of the other things that you would need to know as part of your learning and preparation for your Umrah journey.

Prepare yourself for Umrah

If you intend to perform Umrah and seek the blessings of Allah Almighty, then you must get yourself prepared in the following aspects. Here’s a list of certain key aspects that you would need to ensure before setting off for the minor pilgrimage.

  1. Prepare Yourself Spiritually

Preparing spiritually requires one to refrain from all kinds of sins. One who intends to achieve the blessings of pilgrimage must prepare himself to devote this journey to pleasing Allah (SWT) and seek His mercy and forgiveness.

Resist all the temptations of committing acts that can take you towards sins and make a dedicated effort to please Allah Almighty. Also, make sure you purify your heart and soul before departing for the Umrah journey by resolving any disputes that you have with family and friends.

For Hajj and Umrah, an individual need to make Niyyat (intention) with a clean heart and pure soul.

  1. Prepare Yourself Physically

Prepare yourself well as Umrah and Hajj require lots of walking and overall physical fitness. Start practicing walking in advance so that you have no issues when you perform your rituals in Makkah and Medina. Get yourself a soft and comfortable pair of shoes that can be helpful in your journey.

Also, you should get used to the Duas while walking. Practice looking down and avoiding distractions because your focus should be to attain Allah’s forgiveness. Make sure that you find yourself a Tasbeeh/zikr counter as it helps focus on zikr.

Furthermore, you must get all the medical tests done before embarking on the Umrah journey. Never forget that it is mandatory to get immunization against viral coronavirus disease and certificates of polio vaccination. Carry basic medicines that you might require during your pilgrimage.

  1. Prepare Yourself Mentally

It is recommended that you interact with the ones who have recently performed Umrah and ask about their experiences. Refer to the short books and audio recordings that can guide you during Umrah journey.

Prepare a checklist of Ibadahs and Duas that can help you remain focused on your Umrah journey. The Ibadahs and Duas you perform during Umrah will be rewarded hundreds of times. So, get the most out of this golden opportunity and do as many Ibadaah as you can.

Remember these before leaving for the Umrah journey. Here are a few things that you must know before setting off on your Umrah journey. Every Muslim is well cognizant of the sanctity and sacredness of the Holy places.  Therefore, it is recommended that you understand the Do’s and Don’ts of pilgrimage.

 Know the rules of Ihram

Ihram is the dress in which one performs Umrah and Hajj. For men, Ihram comprises two sheets of unsewn white cloth and women can wear any clothing. Following rules must be followed while in Ihram.

  • You are forbidden to use scented soap. Buy unscented soap for pilgrimage.
  • Once in Ihram, no nail or hair trimming.
  • No foul language or abuse in Ihram’s dress
  • No killing of insects or any other living thing in Ihram attire

 Know the cleansing rituals

It is important to follow up with the cleansing rituals while preparing for Ihram like trimming nails, and hair, and taking bath. Also, you should know that after the completion of Umrah one needs to cut their hair. Men must get their heads shaved while women must cut one inch of their hair after returning to their hotel.

 Know the Prayers

Make a list of all important Duas for Umrah and frequently recite them throughout the day.

Umrah Essentials that must be carried:

If you are up for a pilgrimage, there are a few important things you must carry:

  • Ihram
  • Towel
  • Pair of Slippers and Socks
  • Umbrella
  • Prayer mat if needed
  • Daily life needs (toothbrush, paste, soap, shampoo, tissues, etc.)
  • Basic Medicines, first aid kit.
  • Extra useful materials like scissors, nail cutters, needles, etc.

Final Word

When a Muslim makes niyyah for Umrah and leaves his house to perform pilgrimage, until he arrives back, he is entitled to countless rewards. Umrah is the best way to strengthen one’s faith and get closer to Allah (SWT) to seek his mercy and forgiveness. If you are planning to perform Umrah, make sure you pick the right agency for your pilgrimage.

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