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Before you leave for the umrah journey, there are a few things that you need to know about it. First, one should spend time in remembrance of Allah Almighty and His Messenger (P.B.U.H). One should embrace their loved ones, ask them for forgiveness and ask them to make dua.
The Umrah pilgrimage is an essential aspect of a Muslim’s life. Umrah can be performed at any time of the year, unlike Hajj, which has to be performed during the five days from the 9th-13th of Dhul Al-Hijjah, the 12th month of the Muslim lunar calendar.
In the sacred cities of Mecca and Medina, more than 750,000 people travel to perform the rituals of Umrah or Hajj every year or month. We can say that It is known to be every Muslim's dream to see the Kaaba at least once in their lifetime. The experience you get by performing this pilgrimage leaves a lasting, life-changing impact. It gives you a spiritual change. Therefore, before going to Umrah, make many spiritual and mental preparations to help you in your journey to the Kaaba.
It is a piece of clothing that is specified for men. However, women can wear any attire. Ihram for men is a 2 piece of white loads that are not stitched together.
There are a few things that you need to know when you wear Ihram
Before leaving for Umrah, these are the few things that you should keep in mind :
Umrah is an expedition for the mind, body and soul. Therefore, it is related to personal and social life in Islam. Therefore, it brings a lot of joy and excitement to the families of pilgrims. Family, friends, and relatives gather around in their houses and help the person going for Umrah in different manners. They help them to plan their pilgrimage and arrange all the necessities they would need for the pilgrimage, which creates an atmosphere of peace, Serenity, and harmony.
Before you begin your umrah journey, you should visit your neighbours, friends, mentors and teachers. They should seek forgiveness for any wrongs/ hurtful actions they could have done in the past. It is a good opportunity to clear your grudges and say farewell before the pilgrimage. Furthermore, it is recommended that you make duas for everyone you know while performing Umrah.
Astawdi'ukumu-llaha-lladhi la taḍi'u wada'i'uh – Ibn as-Sunni (506), an-Nasa'i (508), and al-Futuhat (5/114). Ibn Hajar states that this is a ḥasan hadith.
I now leave you to be in Allah’s care, the almighty who ensures that nothing entrusted to Him is lost.
Zakat is a part of one of the best five pillars of Islam that makes you a complete Muslim. So If you are getting ready for Umrah, it is essential to perform all duties and obligations that are expected of and bound upon the pilgrim. Helping people who are in need through zakat is essential. It can be in the form of food and money. As donations are one of the essential deeds that are to be performed while one is going to be a guest at Kaaba Makkah.
One is advised to perform Salah and make duas for different purposes and has many different preferences. For those who are going to Umrah, praying for their safety during the pilgrimage is recommended. Pilgrims should perform two rak’ahs of salah for protection as they leave their houses. Scholars recommend a few Surahs that are intended for pilgrims' well-being while they are returning from the Umrah.
After you have offered the prayer. Make dua for a safe journey, calling for Allah’s help and blessings throughout their journey. Some of the most known prayers you should recite while leaving are:
Allahumma ilayka tawajjaht, wa bika-‘taṣamt. Allahumma-kfini m hammani wa ma la ahtammu lah. Allahumma zawwijni-t-taqwa wa-ghfir li dhanbi, wa wajjihni li-l-khayri aynama tawajjaht – Ibn as-Sunni (496) and al-Futuhut (5/11)
O Allah, to You I turn and hold. Be my sufficiency, one that preoccupies me and also the one that does not. Forgive my sins, and always turn me towards the good and the pious.
Allahu akbar Allahu akbar Allahu akbar.
Subḥana-lladhi sakhkhara lana hadha wa ma kunna lahu muqrinin wa inna ila Rabbina la-munqalibun. Allahumma inna nas'aluka safarina hadha-l-birra wa-t-taqwa, wa mina-l-'amali ma tarḍa. Allahumma hawwin 'alayna safarana hadha, wa-twi 'anna bu'dah. Allahumma Anta-s-Sahibu fi-s-safari wa-l-Khalifatu fi-l-ahl. Allahumma inni a'udhu bika min wa'tha'i-s-safar, wa ka'abati-l-manzari wa su'i-l-munqalabi fi-l-mali wa-l-ahl
Allah is the Greatest. Glory is to Him, who has provided us with this opportunity (for pilgrimage), which we could never have had with our efforts. O Allah, we ask You for goodness and piety through our journey and to make us do what pleases You. O Allah, make this journey easy for us and its distance quick to cover. You are our companion on the road and the One in whose care we leave our family. I seek refuge in You through this journey's hardships to save and protect us from the wicked sights and also keeping our family safe upon return.
Pilgrims have a long journey for them to reach Makkah. Some have to fly across countries for them to complete their dream umrah. However, travelling can be very exhausting, but some exceptions relieve them. In past times, the pilgrimages were very tough. They used to walk long distances to reach the holy mosque in Makkah to seek Allah’s blessings. Currently, people travel shorter distances and are not so laborious, but still, it is tiring.
If you are praying alone during the journey, you can cut short your Asr, Isha and Zohar salah from four rak’ahs to two rak’ahs. However, you must pray your Maghrib and Fajr Salah as it is. Pilgrims must continue to perform salah this way during Hajj or Umrah. Unless their stay is extended for more than 15 days.
You can also combine prayers. The method of combining two prayers in one prayer time is called Jama'. This is valid in the Shafi'i, Hanbali and Malki and Hanbali academies of reflection. However, it is not for Hanafis.
Pilgrims can pray in two ways – one at the initial prayer (Jama' al-Taqdim) and the other at the time of the last prayer (Jama' al-Takhir).
If you are travelling in the month of Ramadan and can’t fast during your trip, you can postpone or put off your fasts.
During travel on a plane, one should perform all the essential prayers without disturbing the other travellers.
Before wearing Ihram, pilgrims must perform Wudhu by washing their face, arms, feet, and more than one-fourth of the head.
It is important to stand while one is praying, so you must face the Qiblah. You must find the most suitable area to pray in a moving plane or train.
And as for Salah timings, you can begin your Magrib, Fajr and Isha by looking out the window. Saudia airline often offers a specific area for you to perform Salah, whereas some airlines don't.
So, you can sit or stand in the prayer if there's a space limitation or the plane is unstable. But, if you cannot perform the prayers as told, you can perform them again when you arrive at your destination.
All Muslims must move on with this spiritual journey with a clear conscience and good intentions. Violence and misconduct of any kind are not acceptable. They must ask for forgiveness and show their devotion to both Allah and humanity. It is a journey that calls for one to practise love and generosity and live a righteous life. One of the key components of completing your Umrah pilgrimage effectively is praying daily, fasting, and practising humility and generosity.