The very first thing that every pilgrim needs to prepare long before leaving for Umrah is to prepare him/her self well to perform Umrah mentally, physically and financially as well. Do planning of everything from A to Z it makes your trip more relaxing and tension free as you don’t have to worry there about anything and you just keep focus on prayers and supplications. Learn about Makkah and Madinah; do research about the sacred places which you have to visit. Learn about Umrah, read as many books as you can. Memorize supplications. For your physical preparation, two to three months before start regular small exercise and walk, eat less food and make changes in your sleep time. double check on everything before leaving, make sure to keep photocopy of all your important documents and e-mail them to yourself and your love ones so you have a copy if something goes awry.
If you are performing Umrah in a group of unknown peoples then make sure they are good people with true intentions as company makes a man. Having a good company can make positive and lasting impact on your journey. Don’t expect everything from others but also make yourself someone who can influence others as well. Encourage others for good deeds when you are on holy land as even a smallest deed there will earn you a great reward.
Ihram is a sacred state in which pilgrims enter before perform hajj or Umrah. It is necessary to learn the rules of Ihram because many people can violate the simplest rules of ihram without thinking. Like some may use scented soap or shampoo in the state of ihram which is prohibited or cover their heads in ihram. Read our blog on Prohibited acts in Ihram and Permissible acts in Ihram to know further about Ihram and its rules. The book of Sheikh Yasir Qadhi “The Fiqh of Hajj and Practical Advice for Hajj is the recommended book which has some good tips about Ihram. Check out this book if you get a chance.
The final ritual of Umrah is to cut the hair for both men and women. But many of them make mistakes while completing this ritual. It is mandatory to learn about this ritual and ask scholars for guidance or read books. For men it is recommended to shave their head instead of just cutting a snip. Make sure the barber to whom you visit uses a brand new disposable blade. According to the Saudi government it is necessary for the barbers and they follow the rules but just be extra careful ad have your barber open up your blade in front of your eyes. If you don’t want to shave it at least cut your hair all around.
For women it is not allowed to go to the barber but cut your hair at the hotel. Women are prohibited to shave their heads.
Before going for the Umrah make sure to pack some good quality Vaseline. As you have to walk there miles of miles and your legs may get itchy. This advice is especially for men because your legs will chaff and Vaseline can make a world of difference there.
Plan and learn your visit of Rawdah before going for Umrah. Rawdah is a piece of Paradise found in Masjid e Nabwi in Madinah so make sure to plan your visit to Heaven on land perfectly. What time is best to visit? What supplication you have to make there? What to recite?
The best time to visit Rawdah is the night time. The piece of Paradise floored with green carpet and so it is easy to identify but difficult to take advantage. The best time is few hours before Fajr.
There are many sacred places in Makkah and Madinah to visit and the best time to visit these sites is morning time sometimes between sunrise and Dhuhr prayer. Don’t forget to pray two rakahs in Masjid e Quba and reap the reward of Umrah while you are there.
From time to time contact your home but don’t use your phone too much or for fun purposes. Remember you are not there for fun but to pray. Focus on your prayers and supplications.
Before going for Umrah talk with your friends, family, love ones and relatives. Make sure to pay all your debts before leaving and don’t forget to write your will. If you have any clash with any one or you are angry with someone make sure to solve your disputes before leaving.
When you are on the Holy land to perform the most sacred religious obligation make sure to make lots of dua. Making the dua is simple to say and very important to do so make it for yourself, for your family, your love ones, for the entire Ummah as you are blessed with being in such a sacred place. Take advantage from this and make lots of dua and ask Allah Almighty for forgiveness and Mercy on the entire Muslim Ummah.
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