Umrah | My experience

by - Monday, June 29, 2015


Hi guys! This post is very special to me, and I feel that instead of posting about my June Favorite Books on Wattpad, I do this instead. Also I want to share my experience in going for Umrah with you all. 

Around this time last year (July) I went with my family to Saudi Arabia, mainly Makkah and Madinah to perform Umrah. Umrah is a mini version of Hajj, which you can perform any time of the way, The main process of completing Umrah is to wear Ihram, Tawaf of the Ka'bah, walking/running from Mount Safa to Marwah, and lastly shaving hair(men) or trimming one's hair(women). 


It had been a very long time since I travelled to another country, so experiencing it was just amazing, and the fact that the country was Saudi was even more exciting and literally perfect. Knowing that one is going to Makkah and Madinah makes you feel soo happy, so when I found out that we will be travelling to these two cities made me feel ecstatic. 

Inside of the Airplane
I won't dwell on the journey there too much, but let's just say that it could have been better, but hey we don't always get the best airplane service, sometimes it's like alright :) Despite that, the journey was peaceful and there were no hassle at all. During this time it was Ramadhan, so no food was being served until sunset. And when we did get food it was meh :/ Didn't end up having too much of the airplane food, and instead had some snacks that I already kept in my bag, 

We reached Saudi Arabia, the next day early in the morning, and I must say the weather was legit so hot, I couldn't take it in the beginning because I am so used to Britain's weather. However I gradually started getting used to it, and it wasn't that big of an issue. From the Saudi Airport to Madinah took about 2 and a half hour, so in between we did take a stop to a fast food shop, which was Burger King (perks of being in a Islamic Country, the shops are Haram in my city, is Halal there) in order to have our sehri/suhoor just in case. 

Chicken Tower Burger with some Fries

We arrived in Madinah shortly, and it was beautiful, whilst we were getting to our Hotel, we saw Masjid - Al - Nabawi, and it brought a smile on not just mines but all my siblings face because it was our first time! I looked around everywhere and saw many people out in the morning, going to the Masjid, or heading towards the little shops that were literally on every roads, which was nice seeing because there was always people around no matter what time of the day it was. People say Las Vegas is a city that never sleeps, but they need to think again because it is not. Instead 
its Makkah and Madinah!

Stairs led to the buffet area

Dining area
The hotel that I stayed at with my family was Dallah Taibah, which was really good. In our package deal we got to have Sehri/Suhoor and Iftar in the hotel, which was great because it was buffet so you could it as much as you want. Our hotel rooms were lovely as well. Basically there was one door, which you went through and on the left was one room, and on the right was another. My sister, my brother, and I were in the room on the left, whilst my mum, her husband, and small sister, were in the other. 

Beds

Window side

Table, Mirror, and TV

So far, everything was going so well, and it was soo good to be in Madinah, because the atmosphere was just amazing; it was peaceful, holy, and just perfect. It is so hard to explain how it felt because there is no words that can portray how one feels being in Madinah and Makkah. 

Once we were all settled, my mum and her husband took us to Masjid - Al- Nabawi (they already performed Hajj 6 months ago, so they knew what to to). We were lucky to have our hotel really close to the Masjid, as it took us less than 5 minutes to get there. Whilst walking there, I saw many mini shops around either selling scarfs, tasbeeh, prayer mats, abayas, jubbah etc. We entered the Masjid, and we walked around to how it looked everywhere, and plus we needed to got to a place where we were able to see the Green Dome, and pray some dua's. 

It was soo good just seeing the Masjid, then the Green Dome. Unfortunately us girl, weren't able to go inside the Masjid since it was about to be Prayer time, so my mum, my 2 sisters, and I went to an area where food were going to be served since it was a few hours away from Maghrib. We spent the next few hours, just sitting in that area, whilst praying some dua's, or my mum telling us informations. There were so many people coming in through the gates, from all around, and it was soo nice to see many muslims gather in one place.

Outside of the Masjid

Inside of the Masjid

Area that we sat, with the umbrellas protecting us
It was then Maghrib time. It was my first time ever praying in a Masjid, so having that experience was soo good. Back home, I always prayed at home, as that is what I was taught, so when I did pray in a Masjid, with so many other people around, you feel belonged. Once Maghrib prayer was over, we went back to the hotel, to have food. At first we were confused on where to go, as there were different areas situated for different companies, but when we did find out area, we had the yummy delicious food. Alhumdulillah there were no issue with that as there were food that I was used to or knew. As days past, we became used to the routine, and we eventually started to take food to our rooms, since the dining area were always crowded, and busy. 

Over the 10 days of spending in Madinah, I had experienced praying Taraweeh there, which is a long prayer but I at least had to experience that whilst I was in Madinah. What was good was that during the night, the weather was warm and not hot, so it was easier to pray the Namaaz. 

One day at about 1/2 in the morning, I went inside the Masjid with my mum because I wanted to do Salaam Pesh which is to send blessings, and Salaam to the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W). I was told by my mum that there were 3 sections, in the Masjid. when one wanted to do Salaam Pesh. So the women in each section were allowed to visit at a time. During the time that I went to the Masjid was when many other women came as well in order to do Salaam Pesh. My mum, and I had to wait around 3/4 hours until we were allowed to go through, When I was doing Salaam Pesh, there were large amount of women around to, and it was so easy for one to be pushed around, whilst trying to get the the white barrier, which one touches and prays dua's and sends salaam to the Prophet. 

When I was doing Salaam Pesh, I completely forgot about the women around and just focused on what I wanted to and this is because it was the only way for me to keep praying my 2 rakaats of namaaz. I prayed as many as I can, not because I had to but because I wanted to pray as many 2 rakaats in that room. I spent quite a while in the room, just praying, and making duas. When I was done and I walked out, I felt at peace. It was soo amazing to just be in that room, and sending many Salaam to Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W). Our prophet who sacrificed and did so much for his Ummah.

After I spent about an hour or less, just looking at shops around, and since it was early morning so it wasn't too hot, and the weather was perfect for that time. I tried and done a bit of looking around for items to buy for my dad as he requested for some things. As for myself I looked at jewellery's and hijabs. The prices for the items were affordable and quite cheap! 

The rest of my stay at Madinah, I just carried on visiting the masjid, roaming around the streets of Madinah, going to different shops, and just praying as much as I could. Overall my stay at Madinah was literally just so amazing and being there made me feel happy. I didn't miss home, because because being there made me feel at home. 

My last day in Madinah was blissful, since it was Eid Day. I was able to see how Eid day was spent in Madinah and Makkah since half the day was spent in Madinah then Makkah. The vibe on that day was just so fun, and happiness was everywhere around. My family and I woke up very early in the morning, to get ready and so that my sisters, my mum and I were able to see how Eid Namaaz was like. And it was honestly worth it. When I looked out the windows, I saw many men and boys outside on the road praying Eid Salah because inside the masjid it was soo full. 

Eid Salah In Madinah
We went downstairs to see more, and what we found were that there were men right up to the hotel that we were staying at in order to pray the Salah, and it was just wonderful seeing that view. Once the Eid Namaaz was done, everyone around were congratulating one another, and at the hotel I was at, there was like an Eid Party, so there wee cakes, and just many many foods, in order to spend this occasion at Madinah.

Once that was over, we had a bit of a problem back in our hotel rooms, since my small sister started to puke, and I mean a lot. which was horrible, but bless her, she was having a rough time. After Zuhr namaaz, we travelled to Makkah, whilst travelling there we took a stop outside Masjid Quba, in order to change into our Ihraam. For women you just wear a normal Jubbah/Abaya, whereas the men changed into a two long white piece cloth, when wearing the Ihraam, a dua is prayed.

From then on the experience of Umrah started. We reached the hotel after quite a long while, and went to our hotel first, which was the Movenpick Hotel, and I must say that hotel was great, and classy. We got to our room which was quite like an apartment, so there was a door in between that attached both rooms together. and put our bags and items away, and just had some food in order to get energy since we decided that on the same night we will straight complete our Umrah.

Siblings Hotel Room

Cupboard, Desk, a Door to the parents room on the other side.
Once we were set to go out, we walked to the Haram, and on the way we saw many many shops, since we were in the Clock Tower, so in the building there are many hotels in different floors, and it different directions. We were once again lucky because it took us about 5-10 minutes to get from our Hotel to the Haram. We got to the Masjid, and took our shoes out, put it in our bags, and walked in, When we walked in on the sides I was able to see a row of ZamZam water, and since the weather was quite hot, we all went for it and had some ZamZam water which felt so refreshing. We carried on walking, and since my mum told us to look down when we entered, there came the time when she told us you can look up now. So when I did, I saw the Ka'bah. It felt soo surreal, and beautiful. I felt so amazed, that I had such a big grin on my face, because for so many years I've been wishing to see the Ka'bah in person, and not via photographs. The feeling was and still so hard to explain, and I am just so grateful to Allah that I was able to be there and witness it. 

Haram

The Ka'bah <3
I performed the Tawaaf of the Ka'bah 7 times, which was not hard at all, it was literally so easy, and peaceful, there were many people around but there were hardly any pushes. Small groups were walking together reciting duas, which I couldn't help but join in sometimes, and other times, I was just walking around, reciting tasbeeh. I felt at peace just being there, I had no worries in my head, that my mum or siblings were ahead, because I was in a holy place, and with Allah by our side always, nothing would happen. Once I completed the Tawaaf, there was still two more steps to be completed. So when I found my other family members, we all walked to the area, where the Mount Safa and Mount Marwah was situated. When performing the Sa'i, You had to walk seven times from Safa to Marwah, and in between you turn towards the Ka'bah and pray dua's, The part was relaxing because at the time I was performing it, it wasn't too crowded, and quite a lively atmosphere, because the families, groups, and little childrens were around, and it was such an amazing sight to see many muslims gathered there, doing the same actions.

Clock Tower.
Once the Sa'i was performed, we headed back to our hotel, and since cutting hair/shaving hair was part of the Umrah. My sisters, mum and I carried on going to our hotel, whereas my mum's husband and brother went to a barber shop to get their hair shaven off. When we got to the hotel room, my mum just trimmed about 1 and half inch of hair, and after that we were out of Ihraam and completed ou Umrah. 

It was the best feeling ever, because I was officially able to say that I have done Umrah. Not only that by I have visited Makkah and Madinah, been to Masjid - Al - Nabawi, seen the Ka'bah, done Tawaaf of the Ka'bah and prayed in the Haram. And knowing that I will be experience all this again when performing Hajj Insha'Allah makes me so happy because this is something I want to do so many times, and I pray that I visit Makkah and Madinah again. 

Since we were staying in Makkah for another 3 days. I unfortunately got very ill the next day, so most of the time I was in bed, even though I wanted to go out, but due to vomiting loads, and having a high fever which was not normal for me to go through at all, it was tough. However during the evening I went to the prayer room in the hotel, to pray my namaaz, and when I completed it. I looked at the window, and my mum showed me a spot where some men were carrying 2/3 people who passed away. This was something I had never seen before, but what I thought were that those muslims were lucky to have passed away in Makkah. 

I finally got strength and got a bit better over the next 2 days, and managed to go back out. I made sure that I used these two days wisely, and performed as many tawaaf as I was able to. Some of my family members had already touched the Ka'bah, and when hearing that I did feel quite upset as I was unable to, but no one can underestimate the power of Allah, and duas. Hence on the second last day I touched the Ka'bah and prayed 2 rakaat in the Hatim. On the last day I was able to touch the golden door, all four corner of the Ka'bah, and pray in the Hatim again. Of course one couldn't touch the golden door without a few difficulties, and I thank Allah that I was able to. On the other hand touching the Hajre Aswad was very very very hard especially for women, but when my mum went again this year during February, she was able to (LUCKY!).

After our days were over, we went spent a week in Dubai, now I don't know if this is like a norm but I know quite a few people who after visiting Saudi they go to Dubai. I might talk about my Dubai experience in another post later on. But Dubai also was a beautiful country, and having to always wish that I went there, I felt grateful to have visited the beautiful, rich country!

Coming back to the UK, was a dread because it just meant coming back to the world were there is so much distractions, which would divert out attention. Staying in Makkah and Madinah, makes one realise that the things that we do, and are consumed in, are in fact our decisions. And you realise whether it was you or the Shaytaan who influenced you, and that is scary. When I completed Umrah, I felt pure and cleansed, and so much more closer to Allah, and that is when you feel like you want to keep that connection, and do good, and not divert to the wrong path. Honestly I would like to go back their again because the environment and the feels are just way better there, and it feels home like we are meant to be there.

I love travelling around the world, and the only countries that I have been to are France and Burma. Burma was when I was really young, and France is like a normal place to visit since I have families. So technically I haven't been travelling in over 10 years, and having Saudi Arabia be my first one is really good, and blessed. 

I hope you guys have found this post helpful, and great to read, because this is very close to me, which is why I can't stop talking about it. One cannot explain how they feel when visiting Makkah and Madinah because it literally leaves you speechless, and you have to experience it yourself in order to understand. If you want to go for Umrah then you should go for it, and what I love about Umrah is that it can be performed anytime of the year, and as many times as you want. Though it is costly, it is worth spending every penny for it because in return Allah will bless us with so much more. 

If you have any questions, or been for Umrah or Hajj then share your experience, by leaving it down in the comment below :) <3



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