It is compulsory for all Muslims to perform Umrah at least once in their lifetime. It is therefore seen that every year a large number of Muslims arrange their visit to Makkah and Madina availing Umrah tour packages. Only in UK, a lot of people are rushing to the tour operators to avail cheap travel packages for 2016.
There are many tour operators offering several umrah tour packages for people of different income groups. Out of these umrah tour packages, visitors can select the one that suits them. When Muslims come together to perform a sacred practice like Umrah, certain rules and regulations have been laid down for them to follow while performing. These rules or obligations must be followed even under extreme circumstances because if they are violated, the Umrah becomes void. On the contrary, there are some violations which can be compensated by sacrificing an animal, such as a sheep, in the name of Allah.
The procedure of performing Umrah and Hajj are the same but many practices and rituals set the two apart from each other. If a pilgrim decides to offer Umrah in the month of Hajj he needs to understand the procedure thoroughly. First and most importantly, a pilgrim performing Umrah must wear an unstitched white robe covering the lower part of his body only leaving the shoulders bare, called the Ihram at the point of Miqat. Once he wears the Ihram he must abide by the procedure and follow some rules to avoid violation. He must not cut or shave his hair, trim his nails, kill animals, smoke, have marital relations, use perfume, speak ill of others, use foul language or have bad intentions towards fellow human being. Whereas for women, Ihram is their usual clothes as prescribed by Islam which cover them fully. They need not cover their face and they are free to wear any kind of jewelry they want.
Next the pilgrims perform the Tawaf upon reaching the Holy Ka’aba. They start from their left side and walk around the holy ka’aba seven times reciting Talbiah the whole while. Upon completing a round the pilgrim stops to kiss the sacred black stone which is said to wash away all the sins of a believer. If this is not possible due to the crowd the pilgrim can raise his hand towards the stone and continue reciting the prescribed verses from the Holy Quran. Men are required to walk briskly as they are the guardians whereas the women should not walk fast to avoid accidents. After completing the seven rounds the pilgrims then proceed to offer two rakats behind Maqam-e-Ibrahim.
Next the pilgrims perform Saa’ee by running between the hills of Safa and Marwa reciting verses from the Quran. Saa’ee is performed to pay tribute to Hazrat Hajra’s efforts for finding water for her infant son Hazrat Ismial and also to show obedience to Allah. This traces back to the time when she ran out of food supplies and left her crying son to run seven times between the two hills in search of water. She came back to find a spring of cold water running beside him which was a reward from Allah Almighty for the struggle and patience. Allah has made this act compulsory to complete Hajj so the Muslims could remember the struggle and piousness of Hazrat Hajra.
Once a pilgrim completes these rituals they trim their hair, men shave their head while women cut a strand of their hair. After this the procedure of Umrah is completed. If the pilgrim has performed Umrah in the month of Hajj he can proceed to perform Hajj on the 8th of Zil-Hajj by wearing the Ihram, move onto to completing the Tamattu and join the Muslims at the plains of Arafat.
In order to enjoy the duration and travel to Makkah and offer umrah in peace and comfort, you must choose suitable umrah tour packages available with tour operators.
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