Prepare yourself for the Umrah mentally, spiritually, and physically:
It would be best if you were mentally, spiritually, and physically prepared for the Umrah.
To prepare yourself mentally and spiritually, try to obey the following for a blessed & successful Umrah:
- Stay away from shirk.
- Don’t talk harshly with others, and don’t get yourself involved in any arguments.
- Ask ALLAH for the forgiveness of your minor and major sins, and ask him to protect you from all the major and minor sins.
- Try not to repeat the sins you did earlier.
- Be grateful to ALLAH for giving you a chance to perform Umrah.
- Ask for forgiveness from the people you have hurt earlier.
- Clear all your Debts before you perform Umrah (Recommended).
- Make sure you are not spending Haram money for Umrah.
- One can accept money for Umrah as a gift but not as a loan.
- Purify your intentions, don’t think badly about others, and don’t backbite about others.
- Ask ALLAH to guide you on the right path for Umrah and also for life after that.
- Recite the Quran more than Usual.
- Start using Tasbeeh more.
- Download some of the Quran and Dua apps to keep yourself engaged in the Quran.
You must prepare yourself for Umrah physically as well. It requires a lot of energy and stability to perform Umrah based on the following reasons:
- Performing Umrah is a long process and involves a lot of walking through many km/miles regardless of the weather
- It may take up to 20 miles or 35 km approximately to complete Umrah successfully. This includes all the rites and rituals of Tawaf and Sa’ee, going to Mount Safa and Marwah, Masjid Al-Haram. Going to Madinah is excluded from the above travel estimate as it is not mandatory to go to Madinah to complete Umrah.
- The weather in Mecca in Saudi Arabia is generally hot, so you have to be prepared to perform Umrah.
- If someone is not physically fit,t there are some special facilities provided during Umrah. But to perform Umrah efficiently and effectively to satisfy yourself and ALLAH, it is advisable to be physically fit and healthy.
- Pilgrims also tend to catch viral diseases by being in a huge crowd, heat exhaustion by being under the sun, performing rites for long, and can also have some skin problems.
- To avoid all this, be physically fit and healthy, and take precautions from time to time.
- Gather information about the health camps provided during Umrah
Some tips that could help you to be physically fit and prevent diseases before you start your Umrah
- Get your Meningitis ACWY Vaccine and certificate and other vaccines
- Protect yourself against Coronavirus MERS –CoV
- Have a health check-up
- Be prepared to prevent and manage diarrhea.
- Take an Umrah medical kit.
- Protect yourself from the Sun
- Look after your feet
- Keep physically fit
- Start walking and start exercising
2. Prepare yourself by gathering useful information regarding Umrah and its process:
- Gather information through reliable websites.
- Gather information from Wikipedia.
- Read some official blogs and articles.
- Gather information from relatives and friends.
- Take advice from relatives and friends.
- Tally the gathered information.
- Ask your nearest Islamic scholars.
- Read some articles by top Islamic scholars.
- Watch the webinars by top scholars.
- Try to visit the Islamic sessions taking place near you.
Here is some information which may help you to be prepared for Umrah:
- Umrah is not bound to time, unlike Hajj. It can be performed at any time of the year except at the time of Hajj.
- Umrah is not mandatory for every Muslim who can financially and physically perform Umrah.
- The Niyyah or Intention is compulsory to be made if you’re performing Umrah during any month of the year or Umrah as a part of Hajj al-Tamattu.
- A Muslim cannot travel directly to the Kaaba in Mecca to begin Umrah. Surrounding Mecca are five Miqat points, which are special holy barriers, so everybody must pass through Miqat before proceeding towards the Kaaba with the intention of Umrah. At the Miqat, all pilgrims must wear Ihram, special white clothing. This clothing is two special pieces of unstitched white cloth for men, while for women, this is an ordinary but loose conservative dress.
- Upon reaching Kaaba begin Tawaf (circumambulations around Kaaba); pilgrims are encouraged to repeat the Talbiyyah continuously; pilgrims may also recite portions of the Quran and other special prayers.
- After completion of Tawaf, move to Maqam e Ibrahim to offer two Rakat feel Salah. These two Raka’t are wajib, Salah.
- After offering Salah, go to zam zam well, drink zam zam to your satisfaction, and pour some on your head as zam zam purifies the body and soul.
- After completing Tawaf, Sa’yee (walking between Mount Safa and Mount Marwah) should be performed. Sa’yee involves walking back and forth between two small mountains. Pilgrims must complete seven rounds to complete Sa’yee.
- After completing the seventh round of Sa’yee, the pilgrims at Marwah should shave their heads, and women must cut some of their hair. After this, the Umrah is completed, and pilgrims can change and revert to their regular clothes.
3. Prepare a list of documents needed for Umrah and make it ready to submit:
- Get proper information on what documents are required to apply for Umrah.
- Make a list of it and arrange it properly.
- Make multiple copies of the documents.
- Submit it in a proper process to an authentic person.
- Keep yourself updated on the process.
Here is the list of some required documents and guidelines:
- Filled and signed the Umrah visa application form.
- Latest passport-size photo with white background.
- For converted Muslims who still carry a non-Muslim name, a certificate from a mosque or Islamic centre is required as proof.
- The applicant’s passport should be valid for up to six months from the day of submission.
- Round trip tickets are non-refundable and in a period of two weeks from departure.
- A companion (Adult Mahram) is compulsory for women and children with a certificate to prove.
- For every pilgrim, it is mandatory that they should have prearranged accommodation and return tickets.
4. Prepare yourself for Umrah with money and banking options:
- Umrah can only be accepted if you spend Halal money on it; it isn’t acceptable if there is 1% of haram money.
- If someone is providing a free trip to Umrah as a gift to someone, then the Umrah can be fair, but one can’t perform Umrah on the money of a loan.
- One should check Saudi currency, compare the value with the existing country, and take an estimate of expenses according to it.
- Exchange the currency in your home country or after arriving in Saudi, but one should know the exchange rates.
- Payments depend on the person as per their requirements and spending capacity.
- Excluding the visa and travel agent expenses, calculate the carrying amount by considering the animal sacrifice cost based on your needs.
- Regarding banking, many ATM options are available that accept major international debit and credit cards like Visa, American Express, and MasterCard.
5. Prepare yourself with Ihram:
- Ihram is the state where the pilgrim enters before doing rites for Umrah by purifying the body and wearing the prescribed attire. It is also required to make a niyyah. This should be done before crossing Miqat.
- Ihram for men is of two white, simple pieces of cloth known as the Izar, which wraps around the waist covering the lower body, and the Rida, which is draped over the shoulders covering the upper body like a shawl without wearing any kind of scent.
- Shoes/sandals may be stitched or unstitched but mustn’t include the heel and ankle bones.
- Ihram for women is just any simple dress without wearing any kind of scent.
- Women are not supposed to cover their faces when in the state of Ihram.
6. There are some do’s and don’ts which might help you to prepare for Umrah:
- Before booking the trip, research travel agents, hotels, and their accessibility to Masjid-ul-Haram.
- Make a packing checklist.
- Enlist Dua’s book.
- Pack light.
- Before entering the state of Ihram: Clipping nails, plucking the armpit hair, trimming the moustache, and shaving the pubic hair must be done.
- Wear white Rida and Izar.
- Begin Ihram soon after praying an obligatory or supererogatory Salah.
- Repeat Talbiyyah at the time of embarking, disembarking, or Salah.
- Keep yourself hydrated.
- Make Salah in Haram.
- Eat light food to remain active.
- Shaving or shortening any hair on the body.
- Clipping the nails.
- Wearing any kind of scent.
- Hunting and killing animals for food or pleasure.
- Kissing, touching or caressing with sexual desire.
- Touching women.
- Wearing stitched clothes (only for men).
- Wearing shoes or socks (only for men).
- Cursing others.
- Arguing with others.
- Covering the head (for men only).
- Submerging the head in a water body is not allowed for both men and women.
- Covering the face (for women).
- Shading themselves from sun or rain (for men)
- Causing blood to come out of one’s body.
- Pulling out teeth.
7. Prepare a checklist and check it before you leave for Umrah:
Some suggestions on what to be mentioned in the checklist
- Visa Documentation
- Proof of Vaccination
- Passport Sized Photos
- Valid Tickets
- Full Travel Itinerary
- Pocket Quran
- Dua Book
- Dua List
- Prayer Mat
- Compass for the Qibla
- Ihram x 2
- Waist Pouch
- Comfortable, Loose-Fitting Clothes
- Sandals x 2
- Required tablets with a prescription and other general tablets.