Umrah Packages from UAE
Umrah Guide Step By Step
Learn about the pillars and rituals of Umrah, from Ihram, to Tawaf and Sa'i, for Umrah is not complete without the fulfilment of all its requirements.
What to do before Umrah
Travelling for Umrah can be demanding, both physically and financially - here is a checklist to help you prepare for the spiritual journey ahead.
Umrah Guide Step By Step
Umrah and its Virtues
Linguistically, “Umrah” is derived from the Arabic word “I’timar”, meaning “visit”, whereas religiously it refers to the act of visiting Kaa’ba and performing Tawaf, then Sa’i seven times between Safa and Marwa. Umrah is generally considered as the minor pilgrimage that can be performed at any time of the year, except for the days of Hajj, given that the latter differs from the former in the sense that it is a pillar of Islam and an obligatory duty to be performed by every adult, capable Muslim. Umrah can also be performed more than once as per the individual’s health and financial ability. There are many hadiths on the virtue of Umrah, notably what has been narrated by Abu Hurairah – the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The performance of Umrah is expiation for the sins committed between it and the previous ones. And the reward for Hajj Mabrur (pilgrimage accepted by Allah) is nothing but Paradise.”
Pillars and Steps of UmrahUmrah has three main pillars that must be observed by every Muslim seeking to perform it correctly:
- Dhu'l-Hulayfah : This miqat is now called Abar Ali, and it is the furthest from Maccah. It is mainly for those who live in Madinah and for those who approach Maccah from the direction of Madinah.
- Juhfah : This miqat is for the people who come from the direction of the Levant countries, Egypt, Sudan, Morocco and other places en route.
- Qarn ul-Manazil : Also known as Miqat Al-Sail Al-Kabir, serves pilgrims coming from the Najd region, the GCC countries and other places en route.
- Yalamlam : This miqat serves the pilgrims from the direction of Yemen, and was named after Yalamlam Mountain.
- Dhat-i 'Irq : This mīqāt serves pilgrims coming from the direction of Iraq and other places en route.
When the Mu’tamer reaches the miqat, it is recommended (mustahab) to wash and cleanse before discarding all stitched clothing and wearing the Ihram attire, consisting of seamless white clothing for men. Women may wear regular plain clothing.
He then speaks the niyyah (intention) to enter Ihram in his heart, and utters the phrase, “Labbayk allahumma Umrah,” followed by the talbiyah of the Prophet (peace be upon him): “Labbayka Allahumma Labbayk. Labbayk La Sharika Laka Labbayk. Inna l-Ḥamda, Wa n-Niʻmata, Laka wal Mulk, La Sharika Lak.” (Translated as:“Here I am at Thy service O Lord, here I am. Here I am at Thy service and Thou hast no partners. Thine alone is All Praise and All Bounty, and Thine alone is The Sovereignty. Thou hast no partners.”) He keeps repeating it until he reaches the Kaa’ba, wherein he approaches the Black Stone and kisses it, or points at it and uttering takbir (Allahu Akbar) if unable to reach it.
Following that, the Mu’tamer begins his Tawaf, i.e. circling the Kaa’ba seven times, while touching the Black Stone and kissing it every time he passes it, or else pointing at it as indicated above. After completing the Tawaf, the Mu’tamer shall pray two rak’aas behind the Kaa’ba or any other place in the mosque, reciting after Surat Al-Fatihah Surat Al-Kafirun in the first rak’aa and Surat Al-Ikhlas in the second rak’aa.
After completing the Tawaf, the Mu’tamer will begin his Sa’i between Safa and Marwa, i.e. walking rapidly between the two points. Beginning with Safa, the Mu’tamer utters,“Indeed, as-Safa and al-Marwah are among the symbols of Allah.” (2:185) and whichever prayers he prefers, before walking rapidly towards Marwa and repeating what he did at Safa.
Upon completing the Sa’i, the man shaves his hair or shortens it, while the woman gathers her hair and cuts an equal amount or less. Once the Mu’tamer performs all these steps, he has successfully completed his Umrah – Allah willing – and is entitled to anything that was forbidden to him in the state of Ihram.
Sunnat of UmrahThe Mu’tamer can perform a number of sunnats (plural of sunnah, which means the traditional practices of Islam) during his Umrah, which include the following:
- Ghusl (full body purification).
- Using perfume (before Ihram).
- Wearing white Ihram clothes.
- Talbiyah and reciting from the Quran during Ihram.
- Going into the state of Ihram after a prayer of two rak’aa.
- Walking at a quicker pace in the first three laps.
- Kissing Al-Rukn Al-Yamani (the southwestern corner or rukn of the Ka'bah).
- Kissing the Black Stone or pointing to it with the right hand.
- Making du’aa at both Safa and Marwa.
Restrictions of IhramBelow is a list of actions that could cause the Mu’tamer to break the state of Ihram if intentionally made:
- Removing hair
- Cutting fingernails
- Using perfume or any scented product after Ihram
- Covering the head (for men)
- Wearing stitched clothing (for men)
- Wearing niqab and gloves (for women)
- Acting on any lustful desire
What to do before Umrah
The UmrahMe team has compiled a list of useful tips that will help you get ready for Umrah and leave your home with complete ease of mind, enabling you to focus fully on the journey ahead:
Learn the rules of Ihram and UmrahBefore anything else, it is essential to learn the correct rules of Umrah and all the steps and rituals involved, including Ihram, Tawaf and Sa’i. Simple as they may be, an error of judgment may lead to violations that would require a fidya (penalty). For example, perfume is not allowed after Ihram, even in the form of soap, and men are not allowed any head coverings.
For your convenience, we have prepared a step-by-step guide on Umrah and its rituals, including all Mustahabb and forbidden actions.
Determine all the miqat points on your routeIhram is done at the miqat points identified by the Prophet (peace be upon him). Make sure you know the miqat point you should visit beforehand to ensure you are in a state of Ihram when arriving in Makkah. For example, all direct flights to Jeddah Airport cross the miqat before landing, therefore you must be in the state of Ihram before you board the plane.
Re-familiarize yourself with the rules of congregational prayers and other religious actsDuring Umrah, you may be required to perform congregational prayers or even funeral prayers. It is essential that you familiarize yourself with all the steps and rules to ensure achieving the maximum benefits and thawab (reward) during your time in Makkah.
It would also be helpful to learn rulings related to Muslim travelers, such as how to perform Tayammum (dry ablution for when you have no access to water), or how to pray Qasr (shortening of the five daily prayers).
Make sure you have all the necessary travel documentsIt is crucial that you prepare all your travel documents and pack them in a clear folder well in advance. These include: your passport, ID card, airline ticket, hotel booking receipt, travel/transport vouchers, vaccination certificate, passport size photos, and health insurance certificate (if any). Women must also carry a document or certificate proving their relationship to their spouse or any other mahram travelling with them.
Make sure you take all the required vaccinations and medical precautions.Before travelling, make sure to acquire all the necessary vaccinations – in addition to the required Meningococcal Meningitis vaccine – against infectious diseases such as typhoid fever and the flu, and schedule an examination with your general physician to check for any underlying conditions. It would also be prudent to pack a first-aid kit and a few essential medications in anticipation of any unforeseen events.
Prepare a checklist for everything you need to pack before travellingIt is easy to forget to pack an item, no matter how well-prepared you feel you are. For that reason, it’s always helpful to prepare a list of the items you need to take with you on your trip, including: your Ihram clothes – fresh towels – slippers – toiletries – scissors – a prayer mat – a small copy of the Holy Qu’ran – etc.
Exchange currency before travellingA lot of travelers will be exchanging currency at the airport or the hotel lobby, resulting in long queues that can easily be avoided by taking care of the exchange prior to departure, saving you valuable time and effort that would be better spent praying by the Holy House.
Keep a decent amount of cash with youMake sure to carry a decent amount of cash and change with you at all times, to buy souvenirs and dates and meals that may not be covered by the package, and to pay charity (sadaqah) or penalty fees (fidya) in case of violating the rules of Ihram or missing any required acts.
Look up information on both Makkah and MadinahDespite our best attempts to ensure that our packages are comprehensive and cater to your full requirements, they may include some locations that you wish to visit that are not part of the inclusions. For that reason, we recommend reading up on Makkah and Madinah so as to gather some knowledge about the areas and important sites before you go there; this would give you the flexibility to move around at your own pace.
Activate your roaming/data plan from your telecom service providerIf you do not wish to purchase a Saudi SIM card, an alternative way to keep in touch with your loved ones back home would be to activate your roaming or data plan on your phone. Most telecommunications service providers offer a variety of packages that would fit the requirements of each individual traveler.
History of Umrah
They were, however, refused entry by the Quraysh tribe, and the Prophet did not wish to enter the holy site by force out of respect for Ka’aba. Diplomatic negotiations occurred between the two parties, concluding with the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah that promised a period of 10 years free of hostilities, and access to the Ka’aba for three days annually.
In the subsequent Hijri year, the Prophet (peace be upon him) made his way to Maccah together with 2000 Muslims, men, women and children, where they performed the rituals of what would become the first Umrah in Islam.
Importance of UmrahUmrah is considered by many to be the “minor pilgrimage”, while Hajj is considered to be the “major pilgrimage”. It is a sunnah, not an obligatory act, and Muslims are advised to strive to perform it not once, but for as many times as they are able during their lifetime, as evidenced the hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him), wherein the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) says: “The performance of `Umrah is expiation for the sins committed between it and the previous ones. And the reward for Hajj Mabrur (pilgrimage accepted by Allah) is nothing but Paradise.” (Al-Bukhari)
Performed with the truest of intentions, Umrah can be a way to purify the mind and soul tarnished by sin and blemished by negativity, for it has been reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Alternate between Hajj and Umrah, because both rid one of poverty and sins just as the blacksmith’s bellows remove all impurities from metals like iron, gold and silver.” (At-Tirmidhi)
One should seek forgiveness from Allah Almighty at all times and places, but Umrah has tremendous rewards, as it requires the Muslim to leave their home and the comforts of life behind and devote their entire time to the worship of Allah. In Surat Al-Baqarah (2:186), the Almighty says, “And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me - indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.” And how greater are His blessings when seek Him and call upon Him in His Sacred House?
Furthermore, any Muslim who journeys for Umrah is considered a pilgrim until they return home. In a hadith narrated by Ibn Umar, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The performers of Hajj and Umrah are deputations of Allah Almighty. If they call Him, He answers them and if they seek His forgiveness, He forgives them.
Special Virtues of UmrahUmrah is considered one of the best deeds one could perform to gain closeness to Allah Almighty, and it is extremely critical to learn of the great blessings one could gain by utilizing every single moment during their time near the Sacred House of Allah, and the massive impact it could have on their spiritual and mental state, not only at the time of performing this minor pilgrimage, but throughout the rest of their lives. It is not simply an act by which one can reset their slate and wipe it clean.
It is also considered a form of Jihad in this modern day and age, especially for the elderly, the weak, the women and children, who would not have been capable – during the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) – of partaking in the Islamic conquests and traditional acts of Jihad.
While Umrah can be performed at any time during the year except during the days of Hajj, it is especially recommended that the Muslim performs it during the holy month of Ramadan. In an important hadith, Ibn Abbas reports that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Umrah performed in the month of Ramadan will equal (in rewards) to that of Hajj or Hajj performed with me.” (Bukhari, Muslim)
In another hadith, Umm Maaqil (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated, “When the Messenger of Allah performed the Farewell Pilgrimage; and we had a camel; Abu Maaqil dedicated it to the cause of Allah. Then we suffered from a disease; and Abu Maaqil died. The Prophet went out for hajj. When he finished the Hajj; I came to him. He said to me: Umm Maaqil; what prevented you from coming out for Hajj along with us? She said: We resolved to do so; but Abu Maaqil died. We had a camel on which we could perform hajj; but Abu Maaqil had bequeathed it to the cause of Allah. He said: Why did you not go out for hajj upon it; for hajj is in the cause of Allah? If you have missed this Hajj along with us; perform Umrah during Ramadan; for it is like Hajj.
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