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Umrah For The First Time

Umrah For The First Time

01.02.2017

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Umrah For The First Time

My first trip to perform Umrah was full of excitement and a little bit of nerves just like everyone else… The common questions (would I be able to perform Umrah as per Sunnah, what if I miss any rituals or prayers, what if I make a mistake etc. etc.) were there all the time but you know what it is hard to believe that it all disappeared as soon as I set off and left my house.

 

Planning my Umrah

Just like every other Muslim, I had always wanted to go and visit Makkah & Madinah to perform Umrah and visit the house of Allah. One thing for sure, it only happens when you make an intension and work towards it. I made an intension, asked Allah to make it happen for me and started to look at my options well in advance. I rang loads of travel agents up and down the country but at the end I found exactly what I needed i.e. Freedom to choose my own flights, hotel and created my own trip basically. I went for 3 & 4 star hotels and found them to be excellent quality for price.

Before setting off

I like to think I am pretty organised and don’t feel comfortable about situations I am unsure about so this led me to some very productive research and I managed to plan my trip exactly how I wanted. I created a checklist of all the necessary items I needed to carry with me including a step to step guide on how to perform Umrah. I had seen some videos online, read articles, spoken with some friends and had prepared everything well in advance. I had the maps of my hotel locations, ziyarats I wanted to make etc.

My Journey to Makkah

I left home full of happiness, joy and some emotions (especially knowing that I was now going to be the guest of Allah swt). I can easily say I had never felt this good before, it was just exceptional and I felt honoured. I prayed at every stop along the way and made loads of Duas. This experience took another turn when the pilot announced we were reaching Meekat (point at which you should put on Ihram and make niyyat for Umrah). We all started saying Talbih loud on the plane which was something very specialJ. At Jeddah airport I took a taxi from the stand (loads of these waiting outside when you exit) straight to my hotel in Makkah. Checked in, left my luggage in the room and I was ready to walk towards to Kaaba and perform Umrah.

Seeing Makkah and performing Umrah

I was walking in Masjid e Haram corridor and looking for a corner to put my shoes when all of sudden I spotted a small section of Kaaba through the corridor. From that point it was about a couple of minutes’ walk before I could walk down and see the whole of Kaaba. Only way I could describe my first sight of Kaaba is as if I was day dreaming, I couldn’t believe my own eyes and I was totally absorbed by the beauty of Kaaba. It was the most beautiful sight my eyes had ever witnessed. I think unless one experiences it themselves, it is simply not justice to describe the glory of Kaaba in words. I performed my Umrah alhamdulillah and went back to my hotel. Following day I had the privilege to go to Masjid Aisha and put on Ihram and perform another Umrah.

Visiting Madinah

After performing Umrah and spending a few days in Makkah, I took a shared taxi (only charged me 50 Riyals) and went to the holy city of Madinah for the first time. I found the breeze of Madinah to have a particular freshness and calmness to it. Masjid e Nabwi is just a paradise on earth, it feels so perfect to just sit there and perform Salah. After Fajr prayer you will see loads of local taxis waiting outside Masjid e Nabwi and taking people for Ziyarats (sightseeing), I took one of these for only 10 Riyals and enjoyed seeing the holy sites with other 5 people that I got on really well with. I took the flight back from Madinah as it was convenient and left Saudi Arabia with a very big smile on my face. I absolutely loved the experience and plan to go there many more times now Inshallah.