And complete the Hajj and ‘Umrah for Allah
Sura Baqarah: 196
Known as the minor pilgrimage, Umrah can be performed at any time of the year. The rituals of Umrah are four in number as described in the interactive map below.
- Remove unwanted hair, clip nails, trim moustache etc
- Make Ghusl (if possible) or make Wudhu
- Wear Ihram prior to arriving at the Meeqat
- Pray 2 raka'at (optional)
- Make an intention for performing Umrah with the following words:
Please recite this:
Allaah humma inni ureedul amrata fa yas-sir haa lee wa taqabbal haa minni "
O Allah, I intend to perform Umrah; make it easy for me and accept from me"
To enter the state of Ihram, recite the Talbiyah:-
Labbayka Allaahumma labbayk, labbayka laa shareeyka laka labbayk, innal-hamda wan-ni'mata laka wal-mulk, laa shareeyka lak "
Here I am, O Allaah, here I am. Here I am, you have no partner, here I am. Verily all praise and blessings, and all sovereignty are Yours. You have no partner."
Proceed to Makkah and head to al-Masjid al-Haram, oft-repeating the Talbiyah
- Before commencing Tawaf, uncover the right shoulder (men only). This is known as Idtiba.
- Approach al-Hajar al-Aswad, raise your right hand and make istilaam with the words:-
Bismillahi, Allaahu Akbar
"In the name of Allah, Allah is the greatest"
- Commence the Tawaf in an anti-clockwise direction ensuring the Kabah is on your left.
- During the first 3 circuits, men are to walk at a brisk pace (where possible). This is known as Raml. The remaining 4 circuits are completed at normal pace.
- During Tawaf, one is free to recite Quran, make Dua and Dhikr as he/she chooses. There are no specific recitals during Tawaf other than between the Yamani corner and the black stone, it is Sunnah to recite:-
Rab-banaa aatina fid-dunyaa hasanah wa fil aakhirati hasanah waqina 'azaaban naar
"O Allah, grant us goodness in this world, and goodness in the hereafterm and save us from the punishment of the fire"
- Upon completion of Tawaf, cover the right shoulder and pray 2 rak’at sunnah behind Maqam Ibrahim. If there is no space, anywhere in the mosque will suffice.
- After the prayer, drink zamzam water calling to mind the etiquettes and supplications of the Prophet (PBUH).
- Proceed to Mount Safa. Ascend the raised area, face the direction of the Kabah and make supplication.
- Walk to Mount Marwa, remembering to recite Quran, make Dua and Dhikr along the way.
- Men only should walk briskly or jog between 2 points, indicated by green lights on the wall.
- Upon reaching Mount Marwa, make Dua again facing the direction of the Kabah. This is one circuit completed.
- Complete 7 circuits in total. You should finish at Mount Marwa on the 7th circuit.
- After completing the Sa’ee, shave or trim your hair (men only) from the barber shops available. Women are required to gather their hair and cut approximately a fingertips length from the end of their plait.
- Umrah is now complete. All the restrictions of Ihram are lifted and you are free to live as normal.
The first thing many people think about when embarking on the pilgrimage is the items they must take with them. Although packing is important, as Allah Himself says in the Qur’an: “And take provision for the journey”, mental and spiritual preparation is also key.
Allah is Pure and will only accept what is pure. It is therefore vital that your income and the money you are using to pay for your Hajj and Umrah has been attained through halal means.
Our Prophet ﷺ mentioned the case of a man who, having journeyed far, is dishevelled and dusty, and who spreads out his hands to the sky saying “O Lord! O Lord!” while his food is haram (unlawful), his drink is haram, his clothing is haram, and he has been nourished with haram, so how can [his supplication] be answered?"
Many people question the possibility of performing Hajj while being in financial debt. It is important to realise there are two types of debts:
- Scheduled debts: These are paid back in instalments over time, e.g. a mortgage or paid in one instalment on a set date. These should not preclude one from undertaking Hajj.
- Non-scheduled debts: Unlike a mortgage, these are debts where there is no set payment schedule. They should be cleared before Hajj or you should seek permission from your debtor before deciding to perform Hajj.
Hajj and Umrah can take a toll on your body. During the journey, you will probably walk further than you ever have before; for example, Sa’i alone (walking between Safa and Marwa to commemorate the journey Lady Hajar took to find water for her son) is over 3km.
A great way to get your body ready is to take regular walks, preferably daily. Train yourself to walk five miles in one go so that during Hajj your body won’t feel too tired.
Before you leave for Hajj or Umrah, inform your family and friends.
It is advised to build bridges with people who we have differences with before we depart for Hajj. Remember we are journeying to Allah to seek acceptance of our deeds and His forgiveness for our shortcomings. Be kind and compassionate towards your family and friends, ask for forgiveness for your wrongdoings and forgive others for theirs.
If you have children, especially of a tender age, it is difficult to leave them and other loved ones behind for a prolonged period of time. But call to mind our Prophet Ibrahim when he had to leave his wife and son in the barren valley of Makkah on the order of Allah. Have full faith and trust in Allah:
“Our Lord, I have settled some of my offspring in a valley of no vegetation, near Your Sacred House, our Lord, so that they may perform the prayers. So make the hearts of some people incline towards them, and provide them with fruits, that they may be thankful.”
Use this opportunity to instil in your offspring a love of Hajj. Explain to them the rituals and show them videos of the Ka’bah and other places you will be visiting. Let them help you in your preparation so their contribution, however small, will have a positive impact on them InshAllah. It is important that they know why you are going and that they are happy and excited for you. Hajj is a great opportunity to inspire your whole family to have a close connection to Allah.
Preparing the mind
To truly appreciate the rituals of Hajj and Umrah, one must keep in mind two things: dhikr (remembrance) and taslim (complete submission to Allah).
- Dhikr: one should remember Allah at every step of the way. The performance of Hajj & Umrah revolves around the constant remembrance of Allah. From the outset, remind yourself of the objective of your journey in the words of your intention: 'Here I come O Allah to perform Umrah or Hajj'. Thereafter, regularly repeat the Talbiyah as a constant reminder of your ultimate goal.
- Taslim: you must trust and utterly surrender to the will of Allah. Naturally, one may wonder about the purpose and wisdom behind certain rituals: why do we perform seven circuits around the Ka’bah? What is the reason for pelting the Jamarat in a certain way? The answer simply lies in the saying of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Take from me your rituals” . In other words, our rituals, which come from Allah and His Messenger ﷺ, are filled with meaning, and our role is simply to surrender our will to the order of Allah and what He has prescribed.
Dhikr is synonymous with the word du’aa. The Prophet ﷺ said: “Du'aa is the essence of one's worship.”
Reciting the Qur’an is also a form of dhikr. Allah ﷻ said: “Verily We, It is We Who have sent down the dhikr (i.e. the Qur’an) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption).”
Dhikr is a gift from Allah and only when we make it an integral and natural part of our lives, will our hearts experience what the Prophet (ﷺ) described as “the sweetness of iman”.
Ibn Ata' Allah Al-Iskandari says in his Kitab al-Hikam (book of aphorisms): He (Allah) ennobled you with three gifts: (1) He made you an invoker of Him; were it not for His bounty, you would not have been worthy of engaging in His remembrance; (2) He made you remembered by Him because He confirmed His association with you, and (3) He made you remembered by those with Him, and thus He perfected His grace upon you”.
Types of dhikr:
- Glorifying Allah (ﷻ)
- Reciting Qur’an
Etiquettes of making Du’aa
We learn from the example of the Prophet ﷺ to observe the following etiquettes when making du’aa:
- It is recommended to be in a state of wudhu
- Face the direction of Qibla and raise your hands with palms facing upwards
- Begin and end the du’aa with the praise and glorification of Allah and bestow peace and blessings on His beloved Prophet Muhammed ﷺ
- Keep one’s voice at a moderate level, not too loud and not too quiet
- Repeat the du’aa preferably three times
- Implore Allah with humility and repentance
- Ask Allah (ﷻ) with absolute certainty that He will answer your call, and do not be impatient or despondent
- Always ask Allah (ﷻ) for excellence in Dunya and Akhira and acknowledge that He is aware of what is best for you, regardless of what you request.
Although Allah (ﷻ) has given us the gift of being able to make du’aa at any time, there are also some times and days that are particularly special for making supplication. They are:
- The day of Arafat
- The days of Mina
- The month of Ramadan
- The night of Qadr
- Fridays (from Thursday sunset)
- The last third of the night
Other good times for du’aa:
- After every act of worship, such as salah, upon breaking the fast, after giving charity
- Between adhan and iqama
- Completing the recitation of the Qur’an
- After drinking zamzam
- During the days of Mina after pelting the small and middle Jamarat
- When it rains
- During travel and illnesses
Some notable places to make du’aa in Makkah:
- At Al-Multazam (the area between al-Hajar al-Aswad and the Door of the Ka’bah).
- On and in between Safa & Marwa (two small enclosed mountains situated near the Ka’bah within the precinct of Masjid al-Haram).
- Under the Mi'zaab (the golden spout from where rainwater on the roof of the Ka’bah falls)
- Al-Mash'ar Al-Haram in Muzdalifah (a place in Muzdalifah where the Prophet ﷺ supplicated from)
- Behind Maqam-i-Ibrahim (the stone whereupon Ibraheem ﷺ stood while building the Ka’bah).
- In Hijr Ismail (an area adjacent to the Ka’bah enclosed by a semi-circular wall)
- Generally in Al-Masjid al-Haram
Some of the most accepted supplications:
- Parents for their children
- A righteous child for a deceased parent
- The du’aa one makes for someone in their absence
- When someone is in desperate need or feels helpless
Begin and end your du’aa with the praise of Allah ﷻ, sending peace and blessings upon the Prophet ﷺ and always ask Allah to accept your du’aas.
It is also beneficial to carry a small book with you which includes some Quranic and Prophetic du’aas. Perhaps it may also be a good idea to write down the names of the people you want to make du’aa for in this book.
What to take and what to wear are perhaps the most common questions asked by pilgrims. Below is a checklist of recommended travel items. This is by no means an exhaustive list; we also recommend speaking to friends and family for advice.
List of recommended travel items for Umrah
- Sandals or slippers (preferably used ones)
- Vitamin tablets
- Wet wipes
- Imodium, Lip Balm
- Pain killers e.g. Paracetamol, Annadin, Ibuprofen
- Savlon cream and a supply of plasters
- Sun block cream
- Travel sickness tablets
- Prescription drugs if needed (e.g. Ventolin, diabetic medicines etc.)
- Toothbrush, mouthwash, toothpaste etc…
- Bath towels, face towels
- Feminine toiletries (non-perfumed)
- Cash for your expenses
- Black permanent marker for labeling luggage
Buy a strong suitcase!
Reasonable size – think about getting it on top of the bus and being thrown around! Hard case is preferable to soft but either will do.
Try to find an innovative way of identifying your suitcase – very useful when there are so many similar styles and colours. Please note it is crucial you ensure your suitcase and all hand luggage are labeled.
A few more important suggestions & why
- Sunglasses ― Sunglasses are essential for those whose eyes are strained by the bright sunlight
- Money belt/Waist pouch ― To keep money, passport & valuables
- Water bottle ― Hydration is important! In the interest of ecology and recycling our advice is that you purchase water for your journey in the departure lounge and try to use the same container throughout the journey
- A plastic bottle ― Right throughout your Umrah refilling it constantly with Zam Zam for your use. See if you can arrive back in the UK with the same bottle – well done!
- Qur’an & books ― Your ‘own’ Qur’an; Any Umrah reading
- Note book and pen ― For taking notes
What to wear
- Belt, safety pins etc…
- Comfortable sandals, shoes
- General thawb with pyjamas underneath Or normal comfortable clothing.
- Loose, comfortable clothes with pyjamas, loose trousers, underneath
- Abayah / Shalwar Kamees
Comfortable shoes/sandals are essential on Umrah. Buy your footwear now and wear them regularly so that your feet are used to them before Umrah. Good Sandals should be purchased from Clarks or any outdoor shops. If you have old sandals your feet are used to and are fit for the purpose – best to use them. Crocks are ideal for Umrah for both men and women. They are light and because they do not absorb water and dry out quickly they are ideal for regular performance of Wudu.
We would not recommend flip flops unless you are very accustomed to wearing them regularly. Please note that the amount of walking done on Umrah requires good footwear.
If you have a health condition, seek your doctor’s advice to help you decide whether you are fit to travel and if you are, then ask your doctor to confirm it in writing. If you are on medication, take a supply long enough to last you through the trip.
Meningococcal A, C, W135 and Y is obligatory Your GP will give you advice on other vaccinations.
Everyone gets it. Be Prepared! Can be severe or light – best to have the Flu jab before going on Umrah.
Very important to drink enough fluids e.g. Water, preferably Zam Zam, rather than fizzy drinks (Yoghurt drink)
Physical exercise, heat and sweat can cause chafing, particularly on the inner thighs. Before a long walk, ensure to apply Vaseline or any other suitable cream on this area or any potential areas that may chafe.
Be careful when you eat from outside vendors. Eat plenty of fresh fruit.
The need for good comfortable, sensible footwear cannot be overemphasised. Blisters can cause a problem if not treated promptly Sore feet from walking on hard marble – suggest slipper socks for women Soreness from rubbing ‘skin on skin’ in heat (e.g. inner thighs) – use Vaseline.
You can delay your period for a time by using Norethisterone. Speak to your GP and get full advice on how and when to use it. You can also seek advice from our female guides over the phone or the Dome Tours doctor by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
During The Journey
- Always carry water with you to keep hydrated and to prevent cramps & headaches
- Stay in the shade or use an umbrella to avoid direct sun rays
- Be careful what you eat from outside vendors and try to avoid greasy and oily meals
- Eat plenty of fresh fruits and be sure to wash them properly
Travel insurance is not included in your package. However the new Umrah and Hajj visas include medical insurance/cover.
Medical service is provided by many government hospitals in Makkah and Madinah.
If you need to see a doctor, the Saudi authorities provide free medical services for all pilgrims. Alternatively, you can seek advice from any of the doctors and pharmacists within our group.
Medical Contact Points in Saudi Telephone numbers for the emergency services in Saudi Arabia are:
- Ambulance: 997
- Police: 999
There are several medical centres inside the Grand Mosque in Makkah if you need medical assistance whilst in the Masjid. Clinics have a white sign with a red crescent and are situated in a number of places around al-Masjid al-Haram.
There are a few medical clinics around the courtyard of Al-Masjid An-Nabawi, for example opposite Jibreel Gate next to Al-Baqee. There are also several other hospitals and clinics nearby. Our guides will be able to help you locate these if needed.
Dome Tours camps are very close to The Mina Valley Hospital and Mina Clinic No. 9.
Dome Tours’ doctors or any of our Hajj Team members will be ready to assist in case of a medical emergency.
During Hajj two doctors will also accompany the group to provide emergency medical assistance.
It may be advisable to obtain travel insurance. If you do, you may want to check that your insurance fully covers all your personal requirements including medical expenses, pre-existing medical conditions and repatriation in the event of accident or illness.
Some insurers include cancellation charges, lost baggage and flight cancellations and delays. It may also be that your credit card company includes travel insurance. Please check with your card issuer.
If you are a regular user of a wheelchair, then we strongly recommend you bring it with you. Please also ensure a friend and/or family member accompanies you for assistance. Wheelchairs for purchase are also available at pharmacies in Makkah with costs varying from £100-£200 depending on the quality and features of the wheelchair.
If you do not use a wheelchair but feel you may need one to perform umrah, then this can be arranged by hiring a private wheelchair attendant. As part of the service provided by the Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques at the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah for the Guests of Allah, over 8,500 electric buggies and wheelchairs are provided for the elderly, the sick and pilgrims with special needs.
Depending on the day and time, the cost may vary from £40-80 up to £130-150. They can even arrange to collect you from your room and bring you back there after completion of the rituals.
There are 3 types of assistance available:
- Electric Self-Driven buggy:
- Electric buggy for 1 person: 150 SAR (approx. £35 for Tawaf and Sa’i)
- Electric buggy for 2 people: 200 SAR (approx. £45 for Tawaf and Sa’i)
- Wheelchair operated by Official Attendants:
- 200 SAR (approx. £40 for Tawaf)
- 150 SAR (approx. £35 for Sa’i)
- Free wheelchairs are also available to be pushed by an accompanying pilgrim.
TIP: Be clear on the arrangement you make with the attendant. Only make payment after completion of the rituals
Where to find the wheelchairs?
The closest point to our hotels is the Ajyad Haram Courtyard which is next to King Abdul Aziz Gate. The attendants are usually situated in front of the clock tower.
Wheelchair Entrance to the Grand Mosque
The closest gate to enter the mosque to our hotels is the Ajyad Bridge Entrance next to King Abdul Aziz Gate. The bridge leads to the Tawaf Track on the mezzanine floor of the Mosque.
If you need a wheelchair for the full duration of Hajj, please speak to the office prior to our departure
Most currencies are accepted at the money exchange kiosks in Saudi Arabia. The currency is Saudi Riyals. The current exchange rate of £1 is between 4.5 - 5 Saudi Riyals.
You do not have to buy Saudi Riyals in the UK before your travels as you can easily exchange money in the airport upon arrival and in Makkah and Madinah.
Major credit cards and debit cards are also accepted in most places in Saudi Arabia. Check with your card issuer for any charges for using your card abroad.
The amount of money you need will depend on:
- Additional meals, drinks and snacks. Average spend may be between £10-£15 per person, per day
- Phone credit, shopping and gifts you will take back home. Some of the most common gifts are jewellery, Arabian itr (perfumes), incense, dates, prayer mats, hijabs, and rosary beads
- Charity you wish to donate
- Additional sacrifice
It is important to have a way to stay in touch in case of an emergency. You can either use your existing UK mobile while travelling or buy a local SIM card. Ideally, each pilgrim should keep a phone with them.
Using Your UK Mobile in Saudi
If you want to use a UK mobile during the trip, check that your UK number is active for roaming. Also, contact your network provider about roaming bundles, packages and charges.
Buying a Local Saudi SIM Card
If you want to use a local SIM in Saudi Arabia, make sure your handset is unlocked (i.e. that it is not closed to any network like Vodafone, EE, O2 etc). Please speak to your network provider for further information and/or to unlock your phone.
There are 4 main network providers in Saudi Arabia: STC, Mobily, Zain & Virgin Mobile. You can buy 'Pay as You Go' cards from their kiosks in Jeddah or Madinah airports, as well as around the Haram in Makkah and Madinah.
Currently, the average price of a prepaid SIM card is £5-£10. You can then top-up with credit as and when required for data and/or for making phone calls. The average price for 1GB data bundle is around £10-£15.
To Activate A Saudi SIM Card:
- Buy a SIM card from a local provider (such as STC, Mobily, Zain or Virgin Mobile). There are outlets available in the Hajj Terminal and in Makkah. Activate the SIM at the same outlet.
- For activation, you will need:
- A copy of your passport;
- The unique entry number written next to the Immigration Entry Stamp;
- To provide your fingerprint to the mobile vendor to activate your SIM card. [At the passport control desk at the airport, make sure the immigration officer takes your fingerprints, otherwise you will not be able to activate your SIM card later].
- Once activated, please inform us of your mobile number so we can update our records.
Note: Queues are long and it may take a while to activate the SIM as your personal details and fingerprint will be taken.
Tip: Make sure your phone is unlocked to use a local Saudi SIM card. If it is not, contact your network provider
For a number of years, we have been exploring ways in which we can make the performance of specially Hajj a more sustainable experience. We are working in the background on developing this initiative and, Alhamdulillah, in 2019, Dome Tours was accepted as a member and affiliate of Green Tourism, a global accrediting body for sustainability in tourism.
Why is this important?
Nearly three million Muslims from around the world perform Hajj each year, which means that the Hajj has an enormous environmental footprint.
As well as performing Hajj, it is our ethical and religious duty to look after the planet as we complete this pillar of our faith. During Hajj, a huge quantity of waste is generated, including plastic bottles, packaging and food. Water wastage and vehicles fumes are other such examples. The direct result of all this pollution damages the health of the pilgrims and causes litter which chokes public infrastructure and is an eyesore.
The Quran as our Guide
There are many verses in the Qur'an that deal with the environment and green issues.
The Qur'an reminds us that “corruption has appeared throughout the land and sea by what the hands of people have earned”. Littering, deforestation, toxic waste and pesticides, to name a few, are destroying our planet.
Being stewards of the Earth, it is the responsibility of every individual, not just Muslims, to care for the environment. “And it is He (God) who has made you successors (khala’ifa) upon the earth".
“And do good as Allah has done good to you. And do not seek to cause corruption in the earth. Allah does not love the mischief-makers.”
The Quran also cautions against wasting resources, “O children of Adam! … waste not by excess, for He (Allah) loves not those who waste.”
The Prophet as our Example
There are numerous hadith, sayings of the Prophet (peace be upon him) which deal with environmental issues, such as reducing waste, conservation, sustainability, looking after resources and recycling.
When asked about how the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to live in his house, the Prophet’s wife, Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her), said that he used to repair his own shoes, sew his clothes and carry out all such household chores without complaint or want for more.
Reusing, repairing and recycling things instead of always buying new are signs of prophetic character.
It is reported from Abdullah bin Amr that the Prophet (peace be upon him) passed by S’ad while he was performing ablution. The Prophet said, “What is this extravagance?” S’ad said, “Is there extravagance with water in ablution?” The Prophet said, “Yes, even if you were on the banks of a flowing river.”
Less is more when packing for Hajj and Umrah. Many pilgrims take far too many things, which they bring back unused. Try rolling your clothes to create more space. The weight and amount of luggage you pack increases the weight of the plane and the fuel it will burn, which in turn impacts the amount of CO2 emitted.
Part of going to perform Hajj and Umrah is letting go of things. So use this opportunity to declutter your belongings and your life!
Buy a re-usable bottle
Re-filling a bottle made from metal, for instance, and keeping it with you can substantially reduce the need for plastic bottles which is undoubtedly good for the environment.
Many eco-friendly bottles keep the water cool throughout the day, which means carrying a reusable water bottle encourages more water consumption.
Not only will it make your life easier by carrying all your things in one place, it reduces your use of plastic bags, one of the biggest culprits of ocean pollution.
Whilst performing Hajj and Umrah, it is better to avoid plastic bags. A day bag would be ideal in which to carry your gifts and presents.
You might also want to consider eco-friendly toiletries, such as a biodegradable toothbrush, lotions and sunscreens that are organic and are 100% vegetarian.
There are a huge number of eco-conscious companies providing ethical and sustainable products.
Eat in moderation and share
You should be wary of overeating as it will leave you feeling lethargic, or going too hungry as you will feel weak. Eat in moderation so you have enough strength and energy to perform your acts of worship.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The human does not fill any container worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam to eat what will support his back. If this is not possible, then a third for food, a third for drink, and a third for his breath.”
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