Oldest and Holiest Shrine in Islam
Mecca, the oldest and holiest shrine in Islam, is located in the western Saudi Arabian region of Hijaz and is a significant location for Muslims worldwide.
It is believed that the Quran, the Islamic sacred book, was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad here.
As Saudi Arabia lifts the temporary ban on Umrah pilgrimages to Mecca and Medina for Saudi citizens and residents of the kingdom, Middle East Eye explains what the lesser-known pilgrimage entails.
What is Umrah?
Umrah is the name given to a shorter version of the yearly Hajj trip to Mecca. Umrah is the Arabic term for “visiting a populous location.”
Umrah provides Muslims with the chance to renew their faith, ask forgiveness, and pray for their needs. One who does it is supposed to have their sins purged.
What are the main differences between Umrah and Hajj?
Umrah is optional, whereas Hajj is obligatory for physically and financially fit Muslims.
Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, and Muslims must complete it at least once in their lives if they are able.
Umrah is conducted throughout the year, however Hajj is only undertaken between the 8th and 13th of Dhul Hijah, the final month of the Islamic lunar calendar, between the 8th and 13th of the month.
Depending on how busy it is, the Umrah can be done in less than two hours. Hajj is a multi-day, more intensive event.
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World’s Largest Yearly Gatherings
Hajj is one of the world’s largest yearly gatherings, with over two million pilgrims from around 188 nations participating each year. Umrah, often known as the “minor” pilgrimage, may be conducted by several million individuals each year, most likely due to the fact that it is less expensive and easier to execute.
The Kaaba, the black cube-shaped building located in Mecca’s enormous mosque complex known as Masjid al-Haraam, is the focal focus of both pilgrimages. Muslims perform their five daily prayers towards the direction of the Kaaba, regardless of where they are in the globe.
Umrah and Hajj share the same set of essential devotional acts, although Hajj requires a more extensive set of rituals.
How can Pilgrims Travel to Umrah?
Non-Saudi Arabian pilgrims often arrive by plane and must apply for a special Umrah visa that is good for one month. They must also have a meningitis vaccine and the appropriate documentation to confirm it.
Travelers from neighboring countries are permitted to cross borders by automobile, although a visa is also required.
No particular documentation is required for Saudi citizens or those currently living and working in the Kingdom.
Umrah and Hajj can be performed by Muslims of any age, and there are no limitations on the number of times a person can undertake the pilgrimage in their lifetime.
However, women under the age of 45 must be accompanied by a male relative or family member over the age of 17. Women above the age of 45 are authorized to travel without a mahram with tour groups.
There are a variety of hotels surrounding the Masjid al-Haraam, ranging from budget-friendly to seven-star places.
Umrah Packages 2023
D Travel Company offers a lot of packages that include the fastest Umrah visa processing, greater service at the lowest cost, comfortable hotels in Economy, the best customer support during your journey, and with them, there are no false travels! They also offer budget economy to 5 star luxury packages!
Additionally, there is also an option to make your own Umrah package!
The most popular packages are as follows:
1. 21 Days Economy Umrah
2. 15 Days 3 Star Umrah
3. 21 Days 3 Star Umrah
4. 10 Days 5 Star Umrah