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10 Pieces of Advice Before You Leave for Umrah

Abu Ibrahim

Published

Some people may be heading out for the spiritual journey of a lifetime soon, so I just wanted to take a moment and give a few pieces of advice for those who will be traveling soon to perform the beautiful Umrah journey.  The following pieces of advice are amongst those that I received and some that I thought of while I was abroad in the sacred sites:

  1. Do your homework
    Learn about Makkah and Madinah.  Learn about Umrah.  When I was preparing for my journey, I came across many different books that discuss Hajj and the virtues of Hajj.  However, I found it difficult to find information on Umrah.  Sure, the books on Hajj made references to Umrah and had short chapters in it, but those snippets didn’t satisfy my craving to learn more.  I did eventually come across a nice book on Umrah entitled, “The Ultimate Guide to Umrah.”  I am not endorsing one specific book over another, but I would urge you to learn about what you are about to experience before you go.  Also, make a copy of your passport and important documents and email them to yourself and your loved ones so you have a copy if something goes awry.
  2. Company makes a man
    If you are going with other people, then make sure they are good people.  A company makes a man, and it’s true when you are in the sacred sites as well.  Having good company can make a lasting impact on your journey.  Are the people you are with going to encourage you to pray Tahajjud in the Haram and do extra tawaf or are they going to instead encourage you to eat the 4000 calorie meal from McDonalds at 2 am so you experience a food coma and have trouble waking up for fajr?
  3. Know the rules of Ihram
    There are simple rules that people can violate without thinking.  For example, know that you can’t use scented soap when in ihram, so try to get some unscented soap before you leave.  Another rule is that you can’t cover your head with your ihram (for men).  So even if it’s really sunny, don’t wrap that towel to protect yourself.  Another issue is it’s important to cover your awrah while in the state of ihram.  Don’t expose yourself while you are wearing it, just be careful insha’Allah.  If you get a chance, check out Shaykh Yasir Qadhi’s transcribed lecture entitled, The Fiqh of Hajj and Practical Advice for Hajj, which has some good tips when it comes to ihram.
  4. Barber hygiene
    At the conclusion of Umrah, it is customary for men and women to cut their hair.  For men, don’t just cut a snip of your hair.  Instead, cut your hair all around, even if you don’t want to shave it.  If you do decide to shave it (recommended), then make sure the barber whom you visit uses a brand new disposable blade.  The Saudi government requires it and most barbers follow this rule, but just be extra careful and have your barber open up your blade in front of you.  You wouldn’t want some blood-borne disease such as Hepatitis C to be transferred to you from the dried blood of the customer before you.  For women, don’t expose yourself and cut your hair at the Kaaba.  Wait until you get back to the hotel so that you can take off your hijab and cut your hair.  Don’t sacrifice your modesty because you’re in a hurry to finish your Umrah.
  5. Take some Vaseline
    This advice is specific to men.  When you are in a state of ihram, you aren’t wearing any boxers or underwear.  Your legs will chaff and Vaseline can make a world of a difference.
  6. Visiting the Rawdah
    The best time to visit the Rawdah in Madinah is at night time.  The Rawdah is a piece of paradise found in the Prophet’s Masjid in Madinah.  It is floored with green carpet and so it is easy to identify but difficult to take advantage of.  Many people have a goal of trying to pray in the Rawdah while in Madinah and so large fluxes of people are vying for a very small area.  After talking with people that lived in Madinah, the best time to try to visit the Rawdah (for men) is at night.  If you wait several hours after isha or a few hours before fajr, the rush at the Rawdah is less and it is much easier to pray and have some peaceful time for reflection in the Rawdah without the hustle and bustle that may be present at other times.
  7. Visit the sites in Madinah
    The best time to visit the sites in my opinion is in the morning time sometime between sunrise and Dhuhr prayer.  You can visit places like the site of the battle of Uhud as well as Masjid Quba, which is the first masjid built by the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).  Don’t forget to pray 2 rakats in Masjid Quba and reap the reward of Umrah while you’re there, insha’Allah!
  8. Contact back home
    If you have a smartphone, you can download apps like Viber or MagicJack that make it easier to call home for free on WiFi, which is available in some hotel lobbies.  Keep your phone on airplane mode and turn on the WiFi so that you don’t get charged extraordinary roaming charges.  Also, if you have an iPhone, you can use iMessaging to text other iPhone users while the phone is still in airplane mode using WiFi for free as well!
  9. Talk with people
    Ask them where they are from.  I met people from countries I never expected to meet people from.  There are people from all over the world.  Makkah and Madinah are places of gathering for people from all over the world.  Have you ever met people from Azerbaijan or Mauritius?  Become enlightened on the beautiful brotherhood/sisterhood of our amazing faith.
  10. Make dua
    Simple to say, but very important to do.  Make dua for yourself, for others, for the entire Ummah.  You are blessed with being in such a spiritual place.  Take advantage of that beautiful spiritual high and make lots and lots of dua, insha’Allah!

Have a beautiful journey.  May Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) accept from you, Ameen!

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86 Comments

86 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Abu Asiyah

    March 19, 2014 at 1:18 PM

    assalaamu ‘alaykum,

    Masha’Allah, jazakumAllahu khayr! I’m hoping to be able to go on ‘umrah in the forseeable future, so this is important advice.

    One small comment: there’s a typo in #2: the title reads “Company marks a man” and it should me “makes a man”. Important to fix that since those who skim will generally focus on the boldface.

    • Abu Ibrahim

      Abu Ibrahim

      March 24, 2014 at 12:47 AM

      Walaikumasalam bro,
      JazakAllahkhair for the advice, I fixed the typo above!

      • Avatar

        shaffick

        March 15, 2015 at 4:02 PM

        Salaam,very happy that you mention mauritius. I am from mauritius and was searching the net for info and came across your site. Very informative!

  2. Avatar

    Me too

    March 19, 2014 at 3:17 PM

    As-Salamu `alaikum,

    Regarding point number five, I found corn starch to work well for the same purpose, wouldn’t Vaseline just rub off quickly?

    • Abu Ibrahim

      Abu Ibrahim

      March 24, 2014 at 12:48 AM

      Walaikumasalam,

      You know I never thought about corn starch! That may be work even better, I’m not sure Vaseline did work rather well in my experience. As long as it gets the job done!

      • Avatar

        Almasi

        July 2, 2016 at 9:15 PM

        Assalam aleykum. What is wrong with underwear? Can tell me the reason.

    • Avatar

      Yunos

      July 17, 2016 at 3:01 AM

      I’m first perform to umra it’s ok to my hear are not cutting?? Can you give me answer??

  3. Avatar

    Razia

    March 19, 2014 at 3:20 PM

    Jazakallah for this post!We are leaving for Umrah in 2 weeks inshallah!The book you mentioned is very helpful alhamdulilah!I’ve been reading it for the past couple of weeks. Also make lists and plan beforehand especially if traveling with young children. We are traveling with our 4 and 2 year old. I’m from Mauritius by the way!

    • Abu Ibrahim

      Abu Ibrahim

      March 24, 2014 at 12:49 AM

      Very awesome, masha’Allah! Keep your fellow brothers and sisters in your duas. Have a beautiful journey, insha’Allah!

  4. Avatar

    ZAI

    March 19, 2014 at 5:36 PM

    Question related to #3:

    Is it permissible to use sunscreen when in ihram?
    I did Umrah in 2009 and discovered I don’t tan well and go straight to burning.
    Was painful, but ultimately ihram doesn’t have to last long so was fine after the
    1st day. However, Hajj would do me in….so would sunscreen be fine if I could
    find one that’s unscented?

    • Avatar

      Rabya

      March 21, 2014 at 1:06 PM

      @ Zai, in shaa Allah sunscreen is fine IF its UNSCENTED.

    • Abu Ibrahim

      Abu Ibrahim

      March 24, 2014 at 12:50 AM

      To be honest, I’m no shaykh or a scholar so I’m going to refrain from answering. However, I’m sure you could find the answer by asking a person of knowledge whom you trust, insha’Allah.

  5. Avatar

    A. Debaji

    March 25, 2014 at 8:43 AM

    There is a great app for that for iPhone called UmrahSalam. It actually addresses every step of Umrah giving you the correct du‘ā’ at the correct time, has a place to put your personal du‘ā’ and has a great map integrated into the app.
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/umrahsalam-mrt-slam/id670956837?mt=8

  6. Avatar

    Umthalatha

    April 9, 2014 at 3:07 AM

    Assalamualaykum. Too bad this article came out just today. My family & I just came back from Umrah 3 days ago. I could have used some of your advices. Alhamdullilah it was (as usual) a great and uplifting experience! I was looking for a guide for Umrah in the internet and found a step by step guide, including the dua’s to be said. (Sorry I forgot the site’s name) I think this is the best time to go since the weather is good and it’s not too crowded. You can concentrate more with your ibadah. One advice I can give by the way is to book a hotel which is close or facing the 1st gate because this is the only way to get inside the masjid. We got one that is on the opposite side and we had to walk too far and it made us too tired coming & going to the masjid.

    • Avatar

      Mariyam

      April 16, 2016 at 1:12 AM

      Salam May. Know which is the nearest hotel to stay at if I’m gg for umrah.

    • Avatar

      Syed Hussain

      October 28, 2016 at 8:49 PM

      Salaam,

      I am planning to take my wife and daughter for Umrah, question to you can I book hotel myself and is there a problem…?

  7. Avatar

    Shaiff Hira

    April 9, 2014 at 6:57 AM

    ASSALAAMUALAYKUM Reaspected Shaykh Abu Ibrahim,

    I am Shariff, Khaadimul- Ummah and i am from Mauritius. Actually I am Khateeb and Khaadim at The Imam Muhammad Adam Institute,boys Unit and leading Zuhr Swalaah.
    Also Khaadimul Masjid at Madani High School Leicester together with my beloved son Qaari Shabaan who is currently leading Fajr Swalaah at Madani Masjid in Leicester.
    Sayyidunaa Ibrahim and Ismail Alayhimussalaam, built the Hose Of Allah and you Shaykh Abu Ibrahim gave a wonderful and useful advice regarding the rules and etiquette to visit The Holy House of Allah.
    Insha Allah i am also willing to visit the Holy House with my family during next coming days by the Grace of Allah, and very much happy to get the very important advice which is very helpful for the entire Ummah.
    May Allah Reward you for your kind effort and concern.

    Khaadimul – Ummah.

    Abu Swabeeha

  8. Avatar

    mumtaz

    April 14, 2014 at 3:58 AM

    Asalamvalikum rahmathulla hi va barkathu

    thanks, such good useful information – inshalla am planning for umra trip may be after two weeks earlier too i been to umrah several time but always in hurry this time it should be special as i decided to spend few days in both places –
    the informations should be more useful – i pray that all the muslims get connected all over the world so to ripe all this type of useful knowldge and information
    allahfiz – all brothers and sister of islam keep me in ur duas

  9. Avatar

    safdarquddus

    July 8, 2014 at 7:29 AM

    Enumerating the steps perhaps takes the soul out of the trip.

  10. Avatar

    Muslimah Delights

    September 13, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    JazakAllah, useful tips.

  11. Avatar

    Afzal

    November 11, 2014 at 7:04 PM

    Aslaam alaikum wa rahmatullah hay wa barakat-e-hu.

    Alhamdolillah! Beautiful advice brother! May Allah (swt) accept all your ibadah and reward you and your loved ones with the very best of His (swt) favours and blessings and grant you success in this life and in the hereafter in-sha’Allah, Aameen!

    In-sha’Allah, we (my father, brother and myself) will be going for umrah next month. May Allah(swt) accept our umrah and our humble prayers, in-sha’Allah. Please kindly remember me and all my loved ones in your duahs particularly my late mother.

    Wa’salaam.

  12. Pingback: What You Should Expect From Your Hajj Or Umrah Package Tour Agents | Hirharang

  13. Avatar

    Muhammad

    April 14, 2015 at 12:47 PM

    Alhamdullilah, It is very beautiful and helpful for the brother who are going for Umrrah. Can I publish this article on our website. It is a masjid site.

  14. Avatar

    Syed Imtiaz Ali

    April 25, 2015 at 5:22 AM

    Thank you very much to share it. Very informative and beautiful stuff in short wordings.

    I am going too to perform Umrah in next week. Ps. remember in your prayers.

    Jazak’allah

  15. Avatar

    Kabir S. Ahmed

    June 8, 2015 at 8:18 AM

    Alhamdulilahi! This piece is precious. May Allah reward you.

  16. Avatar

    Shareen

    September 21, 2015 at 5:42 PM

    Salaam to all, i would like to know if it is suitable to use the simple product range while in state of Ihram while preforimg umrah.

    JazakAllah in advance.

  17. Pingback: Comment on 10 Pieces of Advice Before You Leave for Umrah by Zayeneesha | Souqhub | Blog

  18. Avatar

    fazila

    October 16, 2015 at 4:18 AM

    Slmz to all would love to learn more about Umrah. Inshallah..want to go soon

  19. Avatar

    Nadia Nell

    October 26, 2015 at 9:03 PM

    Another item that could prove to be very useful for UMRAH & HAJJ is women’s prayer abaya…all white… go into this link…http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Prayer-Abaya-Telekung-Mukena-NEW-2pc-free-P-P-/272018441874?hash=item3f55900692:g:WyIAAOSwA4dWITxs

  20. Avatar

    Layaq Ali Khan

    November 13, 2015 at 1:38 AM

    Thanks, for the useful advice. Jazakallah khair. I am going for the first time for Umrah next month with my wife inshaallh. If some information regarding other holly places to be visited in Mecca muazzama & Madina munawwara could be given. Will be very helpful. VVassalam.

  21. Avatar

    Farhan

    December 29, 2015 at 1:48 AM

    Just want to ask about vaseline. Isnt it scented? can we use it then?

    • Avatar

      Imran Ghani

      February 28, 2016 at 10:51 PM

      If Vaseline to be used, use unsented, jelly type.

      Someone told me that pure coconut oil work wonders, always apply before u leave your hotel for prayers/tawaf or Umrah.

  22. Avatar

    Danish Akhtar

    January 25, 2016 at 6:11 AM

    Alhamdullilah, It is very beautiful and helpful. Thanks for sharing. VVassalam

  23. Avatar

    Abdulaziz

    January 25, 2016 at 11:28 PM

    Assalaam Aleykum WarahmatuLLAHI wa Barakaatu. MāshāALLAH wa JazaakaALLĀH my brother, my ALLĀH reward you for your effort. I have an advice for those who need tips on Hajj &Umrah. Look up “Hajj step by step” by Sheikh Muhammad Salah of Huda Tv on youtube. He explains all the steps in detail. I found it quite helpful for me and i thought i should share.

  24. Avatar

    Neelufar Shaik

    February 19, 2016 at 5:51 AM

    Jazakallah for the tips. It will be really useful when we have a plan for Omrah. Hoping for a chance to perform Umrah.. Insha Allah..!!!

  25. Avatar

    Masood UK

    April 6, 2016 at 1:53 PM

    Just returned from umrah in Saudi. Cheapest travel option to and from Al-Masjid an-Nabawi and Medina Airport (MED) is by using the red public transport bus – SAPTCO, route no.400. Charges only 10 Saudi ryal (around £1.75) each way per person. No stops in between, and takes around 25mins to get there. Bus stops in front of airport where the taxis are normally waiting. By Masjid, the stop is very close to Medina Hilton hotel front entrance.
    Also, regarding Jeddah terminal, if you need to travel between terminals (as one terminal is solely for Saudi airline & the other is for all others), then do so using the shuttle service outside the terminals. It’s a 25-seater mini van that comes every 30 mins or so and parks up with the waiting taxis. Charge is 20ryal per person. Only use taxis if its an emergency as they charge too too much, min’m 100ryal and over!
    Do go on ziarats in and around medina. Very good operator is South African Mufti Abdullah Jinnah, mble no. 0507038182. Provides two and a half hour coach tour every day @ 7:15 & 10:15am. English language running commentary throughout showing around 45 different places with stops at Msjd Quba, Msjd Qiblatain & Mount Uhud. Costs 55ryal per person – very beneficial.

  26. Avatar

    Abdul Kalam

    April 13, 2016 at 12:19 PM

    Asalamu alikkum masha allah jazakkumulla hair my brother …..this is the very help full artikel . i am going for ummra next month insha allah…..

  27. Avatar

    ukkir Ras

    April 24, 2016 at 9:10 PM

    Assalamu’alaikum Wr. Wb.

    good article, please send me email or paket umroh ramadhan if you have new article like this.

    wassalam

    • Avatar

      Biaya umroh plus turki murah

      August 11, 2016 at 8:12 AM

      assalaamu ‘alaykum,

      Masha’Allah, jazakumAllahu khayr! I’m hoping to be able to go on ‘umrah in the forseeable future, so this is important advice.

  28. Avatar

    Rivana

    April 30, 2016 at 9:14 AM

    hiii can you please say what is the dua is recited while giving thasbh(salam) to the people going/returning after performing hajj/umrah…detailing about it we hold the people hands and hug for three times

  29. Avatar

    Arthur

    May 18, 2016 at 1:57 PM

    I loved the site content. :) :)

  30. Avatar

    Naa Wisata

    May 18, 2016 at 8:48 PM

    Jazakumullah khair. I like the content..

    Wassalam

  31. Avatar

    Luqman

    May 18, 2016 at 8:53 PM

    Good content. I just visit this site. If anyone would like to know about umra ramadhan in Indonesia, pls visit this site

    http://www.naapaketumroh.com/2016/03/tentang-umroh-ramadhan-lailatul-qodar-idul-fitri-2016-1437-h.html

    thank you.

  32. Avatar

    ramadan umrah packages

    May 23, 2016 at 9:27 AM

    Make your reservation confirm for the ramadan Umrah packages ticket from the UK, and get an easy and direct approach to the dream destination at Makkah.
    Looking for the direct flights from the UK to Makkah then choose the Ramadan umrah packages Umrah tickets from the UK and your flight to the sacred land is not too far from you.

  33. Avatar

    Umroh Ramadhan

    May 26, 2016 at 6:48 AM

    It’s the so useful advice, The people who will be traveling for umrah or pilgrimage must read these advice.

    Thank you very much for your sharing..

  34. Avatar

    Paket Umroh Desember

    June 11, 2016 at 12:40 PM

    It’s the useful sharing..

    Thanks for your informations..

  35. Avatar

    Paket Haji Plus

    June 13, 2016 at 1:56 PM

    really great post very interesting

  36. Avatar

    paket umroh desember

    June 17, 2016 at 10:25 AM

    Assalaamu’alaikumwarohmatullahi wa barakaatuh,

    thank you articles with tips that really helped us in performing ‘ Umrah with safe and comfortable

  37. Avatar

    Rida Anwar

    July 13, 2016 at 4:27 AM

    Very nice article me also planning for Umrah in this december hoping everything will be perfect in this journey may Allah bless us all

  38. Avatar

    Adriano Jonas

    July 23, 2016 at 9:34 PM

    Thanks, for the useful advice. Jazakallah khair. I am going for the first time for Umrah next month with my wife inshaallh.

  39. Avatar

    Umroh Desember

    August 6, 2016 at 12:23 AM

    Good advices, I Liek it..One think I can not do that is Talk to people, because I’m very diffcult to talk with the other people with different Language..Thanks for your advice may you visit us also in Umroh Desember 2016

  40. Avatar

    zuwaynab

    August 7, 2016 at 6:14 AM

    Oh and if you are going with kids, found THIS article as the most comprehensive guide!
    http://ayeina.com/packing-checklist-for-hajj-umrah-with-kids/

  41. Avatar

    Biaya Umroh

    August 10, 2016 at 7:11 PM

    Thanks For your Advice, it’s very useful for All the Muslim who wants Go umrah….Syukron

  42. Avatar

    Biaya umroh plus turki murah

    August 11, 2016 at 8:07 AM

    I loved the site content. :) :)

  43. Avatar

    Layla Sheikh

    August 11, 2016 at 11:32 AM

    Alhumdulillah…………If someone going to perform Umrah it is really important to learn something about how to perform Umrah

    Because you are going for a precious journey of your life.

  44. Avatar

    Khazzanah

    August 13, 2016 at 2:45 AM

    Alhamdulillah ….

  45. Avatar

    Sarah Rosner

    August 16, 2016 at 2:49 PM

    Great article, before reading it i was not aware of many of these things, thanks for making it easy for us. It is obviously very necessary to fulfill these duties the way Allah has order us to. So it is very helpful indeed. May Allah Bless you.

  46. Avatar

    alice ben

    August 17, 2016 at 11:43 AM

    I have offered Umrah few months before, preparation of Umrah is very important. Buy a book regarding performing Umrah. Visit doctor and ask him to write prescription for you containing general diseases and their medicine and bring these medicines with you. On reaching hotel, just grab the hotel’s visiting card and keep it in your pocket or ballet because its happens that people forget their hotel location, even name of hotel too.

  47. Avatar

    Maheen Raza

    August 18, 2016 at 4:50 AM

    very nice article and very useful also

  48. Avatar

    MarghoobSafdar

    September 17, 2016 at 5:41 AM

    keep writing such useful Articles

  49. Avatar

    saliha Khan

    September 23, 2016 at 4:25 AM

    very nice article and very informative for those who are going to perform Umrah for the first time

  50. Avatar

    rudy hananto

    September 28, 2016 at 1:11 PM

    Alhamdulillah, jazakumullah khairan katsiira

  51. Avatar

    Noor Khan

    October 5, 2016 at 5:27 AM

    Very nice post I will follow it JazakAllah

  52. Avatar

    Sarah Javed

    October 15, 2016 at 5:39 AM

    very well written . thanks for sharing

  53. Avatar

    Neelum Munir

    October 18, 2016 at 4:08 AM

    very nice article JAZAKALLAH

  54. Avatar

    Abdul Qadir Jilani

    November 3, 2016 at 5:42 AM

    Jazak, Allah Khair brother. Found it useful.

  55. Avatar

    Marcia Badeni

    November 8, 2016 at 1:07 PM

    Obrigado por compartilhar, gostei muito

  56. Avatar

    Maria Bras

    November 15, 2016 at 11:14 AM

    Eu quero irrrrrrrrrrrrrrr……………..

  57. Avatar

    islamic names

    November 19, 2016 at 7:26 AM

    Always Follow it Insha Allah!

  58. Avatar

    islamic names

    November 19, 2016 at 7:29 AM

    Allahu Akbar! Islamic Names A to Z Please Come in>> http://www.islamnames.info/

  59. Avatar

    Fatma yah

    December 27, 2016 at 12:05 AM

    Beautiful, Jazak Allah.

    Also, don’t forget to give zakat in the holy cities. There are many who need it.

  60. Avatar

    Marketplace Umroh

    January 22, 2017 at 10:58 PM

    This is very useful, can I rewrite this article into my language and post it in my website? I have a website with umrah/hajj topic. Thank you for your answer.

  61. Avatar

    unknown

    February 10, 2017 at 7:25 AM

    This was useful site! thanks for sharing this useful tips.

  62. Avatar

    Wahyu

    October 15, 2017 at 11:14 AM

    Salam.. A must to have note when preparing for umrah. I think they are same as hajj preparation, but need more amount of them, aren’t they?

  63. Avatar

    HABIB AHMED

    November 12, 2017 at 11:00 AM

    so concise and informative.

  64. Avatar

    Cheap Hajj Packages

    June 2, 2018 at 4:41 AM

    Every Muslim who is leaving for Umrah must read these advises as these advises completely guide the pilgrims while leaving for Umrah.

  65. Avatar

    Aafia

    July 20, 2018 at 7:10 AM

    Useful tips, especially the tip # 05 for the men.
    Recommended for the people who’ve got plans to leave for Hajj & Umrah this year.
    Keep up the good work.

  66. Avatar

    Umar Raheed

    June 11, 2019 at 8:10 AM

    Aslam O Alaikum
    I’m happy to see this article. it’s so informative about Umrah you discuss all the necessary things umrah related. Thanks for sharing. To avoid problem during Umrah, you must select Haramayntours.co.uk they provide all facilities that are needed.

  67. Avatar

    Madiha Khalil

    September 20, 2019 at 12:50 PM

    Assalaam u Alaykum

    Brother, it would be very nice if you provide us the link for the book you mentioned, “The Ultimate Guide to Umrah.”

    JazakAllahkhair

  68. Avatar

    Muhammad

    September 23, 2019 at 5:27 PM

    Great Advice, JazakAllah for all the Precious Advises:)

  69. Avatar

    Zubeda Noorien

    November 4, 2019 at 3:39 AM

    Assalamualikum,
    JazakAllah for the excellent advice for umrah. Indeed it is very helpful for the first-timers to go on Umrah and I happened to travel to Makkah by the help of Sara International Travel a leading travel agency of the United States and their Scholars also gave the advice before our departure and it was also helpful.

  70. Avatar

    wazeer shaik

    February 13, 2020 at 6:03 AM

    MashAllah,
    This types of article help us to know step by step process of umrah correctly, I have the intention to perform umrah in future, just came across one the scholar of sarainternationaltravel.co.uk’s Ahmed Saad Al-Azhari British Islamic scholar, and founder of the Ihsan Institute, you can watch him in the seminar of hajj 2020. It will benefit the people who are going for umrah.

  71. Avatar

    Haramain Tours

    February 13, 2020 at 6:08 AM

    Insah allah nice tips. These can make pilgrimage journey very easy.

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Imam Azfar Uddin, Guest Contributor

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Much emphasis has been given on the importance of fasting on the day of ‘Arafah, but don’t forget, this was a day the Prophet Muhammad (upon him be peace) “made du’a from the time of Dhur til the time of Maghrib on the day of ‘Arafah while STANDING.” (Sahih Muslim)

He ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) also said, “The best du’a is that which is made on the day of ‘Arafah.” (Sahih Muslim)

If we can develop the capacity to binge watch on Netflix 5-6 for hours a day, we can develop the capacity to make du’a longer than 30 SECONDS on the day of ‘Arafah.

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I used to be a person who couldn’t make du’a longer than 2 minutes.

3 things changed

1. I started writing my personalized du’as on a mini-notebook

2. I started reading du’as using Hisnul Muslim (The Fortress of the Muslim)

3. I started following the etiquettes of making du’a.

As an Imam, I have numerous meetings with members of my community. Sometimes, at the end of my meetings, I asked the community member to end our meeting with a du’a. It is surprising that many of them do not know the etiquettes of making du’a. By following the above etiquettes of making du’a, you can make du’a longer than 2 minutes inshAllah!

Here are 16 etiquettes of making du’a from the Qur’an and Sunnah

1) Have 100% conviction that Allah will answer you

2) Find a way to praise Allah before making your request

3) Use the proper names of Allah

4) Send salutations upon Muhammad (upon him be peace)

5) Raise your hand like a beggar

6) Face the qibla

7) Be in a state of wudu

8) Cry

9) Be a lone wolf (Be alone)

10) Ensuring that your food is pure

11) Acknowledge your sins (Privately)

12) Repeat the du’a 3 times

13) Start the du’a by praying for yourself

14) Expand your heart, pray for everyone (in particular those Muslims in China who wish they could fast on the day of ‘Arafah, but they are prohibited from doing so.)

15) Say Amin after making du’a.

16) Make du’a during the “prime-times” (From Dhur till Maghrib on the day of Arafah is primetime!)

Bonus tip: If you’re like me, you may get stuck when making du’a. An excellent tip given by our master Muhammad (upon him be peace) is to use the “filler du’a”. This “filler du’a” was actually what Muhammad (upon him be peace) and all of the Prophets made on the day of Arafat!

He said, “The best invocation is that of the Day of Arafat, and the best that anyone can say is what I and the Prophets before me have said:

Lā ‘ilāha ‘illallāhu

wahdahu lā shareeka lahu,

lahul-mulku wa lahul-hamdu

wa Huwa ‘alā kulli shay’in qadeer.

Translation:

None has the right to be worshipped but Allah

Alone, Who has no partner.

His is the dominion and His is the praise,

and He is Able to do all things. (Al-Tirmidhi)

To recap, here are 5 action items you and your family can perform on the day of Arafah.

1. Go over the following hadith with your family members.

“Allah frees far more people from Hellfire on the Day of Arafah than on any other day, and Allah comes closer this day and proudly says to the angels, ‘What do these people want and seek?’” (Sunan an-Nasa’i)

2. Say to your family members or whoever you have influence over,

“The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) made du’a on the day of Arafah from Dhur till Maghreb. How long do you think we can make du’a for on this day?”

3. Go over the 16 etiquettes mentioned in this post.

4. Challenge your family members to make a 10 minute du’a.

     Materials needed

  • Whiteboard
  • Markers
  • A Creative mind
  • Brainstorm with your family members what du’a you want to make and then write them on a whiteboard.

5. Whenever you get stuck and you can’t don’t know what du’a you want to make, make the “filler du’a” the Prophet (upon him be peace) made on the day of ‘Arafah.

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The Inner Dimensions of the Udhiyah

Apart from Ḥajj, the greatest action a Muslim can do in the blessed days of Dhū al-ijjah is to offer the udḥiyah (qurbāni/sacrifice).

‘Āisha raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) reports that Rasūlullah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “A human does no action from the actions of the Day of Naḥr [slaughtering; refers to the day of Eid al-Adḥā] more beloved to Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) than sacrificing the animal. On the Day of Judgement, it will appear with its horns, and hair, and hooves, and indeed the blood will be accepted by Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) before it even falls upon the ground, so let your heart delight in it.” [Tirmidhī]

Although we all know that this is an action that is traditionally performed on Eid al-Adā, a lack of understanding of its reality has led some to question the importance of doing it in the first place. In past years, and increasingly during the current pandemic, many have been asking, “Can I give ṣadaqah (charity) instead?”

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To answer this, it is necessary to understand the following.1 Everything in this world is comprised of an outer form – an appearance and a desired outcome – a “soul.” These two are intertwined in such a way that separating them is impossible. One cannot survive without the other. The clearest example of this reality is in ourselves.

سَنُرِيهِمْ آيَاتِنَا فِي الْآفَاقِ وَفِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ ۗ

“Soon we will show them Our Signs in the horizons [external] and in themselves [internal] until it becomes clear to them that it is the Truth.” [Surah Fussilat; 53]

We are made of a body, which is comprised of several parts, and a soul, which fills the entire body and allows each part to fulfill its unique function. Without a body, our soul cannot survive, and without a soul, our body cannot survive. Additionally, if any part is missing, the whole person will be considered to have some deficiency. Likewise, the same principle applies to our n. Our n has an outer form, which is comprised of the actions that we perform, and a soul as well. The fact of the matter is that our goal in life is to achieve a complete connection with Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). The Quran identifies this quality with the word taqwā. The soul that permeates our entire n and therefore, all our individual actions is taqwā. All these actions display a different aspect of taqwā and together form complete n in a person. If anything is missing, a person’s n will be deficient.

For example, the soul of ṣalāh is the portion of taqwā that relates to expressing humility in front of Allāh. The soul of fasting is the portion of taqwā that relates to suppressing one’s desires for Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). The soul of is adaqah is the portion of taqwā that relates to curing one’s love for wealth by donating in the path of Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).

Each of these things is necessary, and although they are all types of taqwā, they are not interchangeable. To expand on this, imagine that a person had $100 in cash, $100 worth of food, and $100 worth of furniture.2 The values of all three would be the same, but the functions they perform are different. None is more important than the other but all are necessary.

Similarly, a person cannot discard the outer form (different forms of ibādāt) and say that the only thing that matters is the soul (taqwā). If this were the case, our entire religion could be discarded. Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says:

لَن يَنَالَ اللَّهَ لُحُومُهَا وَلَا دِمَاؤُهَا وَلَٰكِن يَنَالُهُ التَّقْوَىٰ مِنكُمْ ۚ

“Neither their flesh reaches Allāh nor their blood (the udḥiyah animal); it is your taqwā that reaches Him.” [Al Hajj; 37]

There goes udḥiyah. Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

“Oh you who have believed, fasting has been prescribed on you as it has been prescribed upon those before you so that you may become people of taqwā.” [Surah Al-Baqarah; 183]

There goes fasting.

 إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ تَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ ۗ

“Verily ṣalāh prevents indecency and sin” (in essence, taqwā) [Surah al-‘Ankabut; 45]

Ṣalāh can also be put to the side.

لَّيْسَ الْبِرَّ أَن تُوَلُّوا وُجُوهَكُمْ قِبَلَ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ وَلَٰكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَالْمَلَائِكَةِ وَالْكِتَابِ وَالنَّبِيِّينَ وَآتَى الْمَالَ عَلَىٰ حُبِّهِ ذَوِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينَ وَابْنَ السَّبِيلِ وَالسَّائِلِينَ وَفِي الرِّقَابِ وَأَقَامَ الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَى الزَّكَاةَ وَالْمُوفُونَ بِعَهْدِهِمْ إِذَا عَاهَدُوا ۖ وَالصَّابِرِينَ فِي الْبَأْسَاءِ وَالضَّرَّاءِ وَحِينَ الْبَأْسِ ۗ أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا ۖ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُتَّقُونَ

“Virtue is that one sincerely believes in Allāh, the Last Day, the Angels, the Book and the Prophets and, out of His love, spend of one’s choice wealth for relatives and orphans, for the needy and the wayfarer, for beggars and for the ransom of slaves, and establish ṣalāh and give zakāh. And the virtuous are those who keep their pledges when they make them and show fortitude in hardships and adversity and in the struggle between the Truth and falsehood; such are the truthful people, and such are the people of taqwā.” [Surah Al-Baqarah; 77]

There goes our entire dīn.

The soul of udḥiyah is that portion of taqwā that expresses our total submission to Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). “O Allāh, my life is in your Hands. Do with it whatever you wish!” The actual command was to sacrifice the thing that is most dear to you – a life. And in Ibrahīm 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) case, the life of his only child. The life of the child who for decades, he prayed and hoped for. Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) commanded Ibrahīm 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) in a dream to sacrifice his beloved son, Ismā’īl 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him). Ibrahīm 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) said, “My beloved son, I have seen that I was sacrificing you in dream. What do you think?” Without hesitation, Ismā’īl 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) responded, “O my beloved father, do as you have been commanded. Inshā Allāh, you will find me among the patient.” When Ibrahīm 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) tried to push the knife on his son’s neck, it became dull and “We called on to him, O Ibrahīm! You have surely fulfilled your dream. This is how we reward those of excellence. Indeed, this was a clear test. We ransomed him with a mighty sacrifice.” [As-Saffat; 100-107]. From that day until the end of time, Muslims have and will continue emulate this sacrifice of Ibrahīm 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) as a reminder of what true submission is.

When standing before Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), we will need to present all types of taqwā. If we were to have a surplus of one type, for example, ṣadaqah, we would be rewarded for it, but that would not change the fact that something else is missing. If we were to tell our child to make sure that their room is clean for Eid and, instead of doing that, they cooked a delicious meal, we would thank them for their gesture, but then say that there is a time and place for everything and this time is for cleaning your room.

The purpose of ṣadaqah is to cleanse our hearts from the love of wealth by giving it to the poor. Although it is recommended to give a portion of the sacrifice to the poor, it is not the purpose, nor is it a requirement for its validity. The purpose of udḥiyah is to follow the command of Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), in the way that He commanded it. In the past, and even now in some agrarian societies, the most beloved belonging to many people was their animals. This is because unlike other wealth, animals serve many purposes. They are a means of milk and clothing, a status symbol, a means of breeding, and also can be sold or eaten. To sacrifice an animal was truly a great sacrifice.

However, times have changed. Yet due to this very reason, udḥiyah is still a sacrifice, especially in America. We are used to the comforts of our home and would much rather donate money than take a day off from work and spend time, money, and energy in going to a farm and performing the udḥiyah. This is our sacrifice. We cannot abandon this great act.3,4

May Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) preserve our pristine religion in the manner it was practiced by Rasūlullah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and his companions.

قُلْ إِنَّ صَلَاتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

“Surely my prayer, my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allāh alone, the Sustainer of Universe. He has no partner. This is what I have been ordered, and I am the first to submit.” [Al-An’am; 162]

و ما توفيقي إلا باالله عليه توكلت و إليه أنيب

[1] The concept of actions having an outer form and inner soul were expanded upon in the Khutbāt of Hakīm al-Ummah Mawlāna Ashraf Alī Thanvī (throughout volume 16 – Barakāt e Ramaḍān) and Hakīm al-Islām Qāri Muḥammad Ṭayyib رحمهما الله تعالى رحمةً واسعةً . Qāri Ṭayyib specifically spoke about this concept in relation to the udḥiyah (Sunnat e Khalīl ‘Alayh al-Salām, volume 3, page 211). I benefited from these works immensely in the course of writing this article and hope the readers appreciate the depth and foresight of our pious predecessors’ foresight.

[2] This general idea – actions of being of the same value but different types – is proposed by ‘Allāma Ibn Taymiyyah and mentioned by Muftī Rashīd Aḥmad Ludhiyanvi رحمهما الله تعالى رحمةً واسعةً  in Aḥsan al-Fatāwā in relation to another topic, but the concept fits here as well.

[3] This article is not meant to say that having someone else perform your sacrifice by sending it overseas is invalid. Its purpose is to explain that the sacrifice itself is an important part of our dīn, and its full benefit will be realized when we perform the sacrifice by ourselves. It should also be noted that perhaps the reason that there is confusion over why the sacrifice cannot be substituted with ṣadaqah and thus, the distinction between the two is not clear.

[4] This article was started before the current pandemic. In a situation like this, if someone does not feel comfortable from a health perspective to perform the sacrifice on their own, they can appoint someone else to perform it for them, whether here or overseas. However, the current situation does not allow for ṣadaqah to be given in place of the sacrifice. Many ahadith (Bukhārī, Ahadith 968, 984, 985; ‘Ilā al-Sunan 17:212-217) indicate that the sacrifice is wājib. A wājib act cannot be substituted based simply on our thoughts or opinions. For more details on the obligation of the sacrifice, please read Muftī Abdullah Nana’s upcoming article about the fiqh of the udḥiyah.

* Two more points should be kept in mind. First, despite the pandemic, people have not stopped eating meat. In the current climate, if one is not able to perform the sacrifice by themselves, having it done in another country will also be a means of helping others. In fact, for many, Eid al-Adhā is the only time of the year that they able to eat meat. Second, we must broaden our thinking about charity. Our charity should not be restricted to only those things that are obligated upon us by Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) such as zakāh and udḥiyah. If Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has blessed us with the means,  we should strive to give ṣadaqah above and beyond these obligated act.

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30 Khawaatir in 30 Days- A Parent’s Guide | Day 17: Hajar and her Sa’i

Marwa Aly, Guest Contributor

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Now that we have learnt about the best of you, let’s now talk about Hajar raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) and her sa’i.

Question: Can anyone tell me the common steps we have to take when we perform the Umrah or Hajj in Mecca? 

Yes! We have to make tawaaf around the Ka’bah, and walk/jog between the hills of Marwa and Safa, drink zam zam, and then shave or cut our hair. 

Question: Do you know who we’re emulating when we walk/jog between Marwa and Safa?

Hajar raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her)was a noble woman, who was also the wife of Prophet Ibrahim 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) and the mother of Prophet Isma’il 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him). One day, Prophet Ibrahim 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) was instructed by Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to leave his wife and baby in the barren desert. There were no people there, no water, no animals; it was completely deserted. Hajar raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) asked Prophet Ibrahim 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him): “Did Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) command you to do this?”

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Prophet Ibrahim 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) replied “Yes,” to which she said: “Then certainly, He will not abandon us.”

After a while, Hajar’s raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) milk started to run out and so did her food. Baby Ismai’l 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) was crying and crying out of thirst and hunger. Out of desperation, Hajar raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) then starts running between the hills of Marwa and Safa, climbing to the very top of each hill and looking to see if anyone is there to help her and her baby.

After Hajar raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) runss between the two hills seven times, the angel Jibril  appears and strikes the ground where baby Ismai’l 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) is crying, and out gushes zam zam water that is still quenching the thirst of and healing Muslims until today! 

Question: Do you know the Arabic word for what Hajar raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) was doing? 

It’s called sa’i (to pursue, endeavor, to strive). When we are putting in our utmost effort, sometimes, we won’t see the fruits of our labor directly. Hajar  raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) did not see the zam zam gush out on the hilltop. Rather, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) told Angel Jibril to strike the ground near Prophet Ismail’s 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) body. However, Hajar’s raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) effort is not lost with Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). She had firm faith that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) would not abandon them, and Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) rewarded and protected them. They were now in charge of the zam zam water; birds soon came to drink from it, and people soon followed. This once barren desert is now where millions of people go to perform Hajj and Umrah every single year. 

Question: I want you all to think of what your sa’i for the sake of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) looks like. Do you feel like you are striving to please Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)? When we look back at our family’s sa’i, will we be proud of it? 

Sometimes, we find ourselves only focusing on getting the zam zam, but we don’t want to put in the hard work that it takes to get there. So, every time you are struggling with a new idea, or doing a chore you don’t really want to do, or getting into the habit of learning how to read Qur’an and pray those extra prayers, remember that this is all a part of your sa’i and Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) will actually thank you for it.  Can you believe it?

 

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