These are advice shared with us by Ashjaarul Jannah, especially for sisters, to consider when they are on the blessed journey.
TAKE SOME REST
1. After landing take some rest prior to doing Umrah. Sometimes people travel long flights and perform umrah straight away whilst tired and sleepy. This will naturally affect the quality of your Umrah. Take some rest, have some light food and then go to perform Umrah.
2. When you first see the Kabah, sit somewhere suitable and make a long dua asking Allah your each and every need. Duas are accepted when you first see the kabah so don’t rush this step. Take a good 20 minutes or more and speak to Allah.
3. When performing Tawaaf, invest in a small tawaaf tasbeeh to ensure you don’t make a mistake in counting how many circuits you’ve done.
4. Prepare some duas to say/make beforehand so you don’t waste this unique opportunity to supplicate whilst doing tawaaf. Likewise do this for sa’ee as well.
VISIT HISTORICAL SITES
5. On completing your umrah, take some time out to visit historical sites within Makkah and do ziyarah of them. Study the seerah beforehand so it really hits you when you see it first hand. Nabi SalAllahu alayhi wassalam spent so much of his life in Makkah.
6. If you can, visit the cave of Hera, where our Nabi SalAllahu alayhi wassalam received the first revelation. If you can, climb Jabal Nur to see the cave first hand. But be sure to take good shoes/trainers if you plan to do this. Don’t push yourself excessively as the walk up is quite strenuous. If you do plan on climbing up, a good time is after fajr when the sky is brightening but it’s not too hot yet.
7. Try to visit Jabal Rahma in the plains of Arafah where our beloved Messenger SalAllahu alayhi wassalam delivered the last sermon. Read the last sermon on going there. The messages will really hit home. It will bring it alive InshaAllah.
8. When travelling to Madinah, ensure you read through the seerah especially the part when our Messenger SalAllahu alayhi wassalam is travelling with Abu Bakr radiAllahu anhu during Hijrah. Imagine you are taking a similar route. This will increase the love in our hearts for Nabi SalAllahu alayhi wassalam
9. Salawaat, salawaat and more salawaat. When you travel to Madinah, we should moisten our tongues with salawaat. Enter with humility for this is the land of the best of creation, SalAllahu alayhi wassalam. Really appreciate where you are and when this thought settles in the heart, salawaat will naturally follow.
ZIYARAH FOR WOMEN
10. When going for Ziyarah, women do this via gate 25. Usually outside Ramadan, women can do Ziyarah after dhuhr, esha and fajr. Ensure you are praying inside gate 25 prior to these prayers if you wish to go for Ziyarah. Don’t push and don’t run. Remember who you are giving Salam to. Don’t raise your voice on entering the blessed Rawdah. Usually the female guards let in group by group. Stay with your group, be patient and your turn to enter the blessed Rawdah will come. When in the Rawdah, perform two rakah nafl/dua and then swiftly leave as others need to pray. Don’t occupy a place for a long time as others will need it and that will cause more congestion and pushing. On leaving the Rawdah, sit somewhere and make dua to Allah, send salawaat and really let it sink in that you are just metres from the best of creation, SalAllahu alayhi wassalam.
11. Whilst in Madinah, visit key historical sites such as the grave of Hamza and Musab Ibn umair radiAllahu anhum. See the mountain of Uhud. Read about this beforehand within the Seerah for it to have a real effect on you. Read about the lessons we learn from Uhud and how many sahaba were martyred during it.
12. For men, you can enter Jannatul Baqi, women can see it from outside. Know that so many Sababa were buried there. Many of the Ummahatul Mumineen are there except Khadijah radiAllahu anha who is buried in Makkah in Jannatul Ma’la. Make the dua for visiting the graves. You will feel such a cool breeze on entering Baqi and even from standing at its gates for women. True reflection of how blessed the people are who are buried there. They are from the best of generations.
13. Use your time in Umrah to make as much dua and ibada as you can and most importantly sincere intention to change on returning home. Imaan levels peak in Umrah and although it’s hard to maintain that always, travelling for Umrah is the first stepping stone to make real change InshaAllah and a firm intention to be steadfast on it.
14. Eat wisely. Often people eat a lot of fast food when going Umrah. Eat wise because the last thing you want is tummy problems whilst you’re there!
15. Try and do a Khatm in makkah or madinah or both! The rewards are immense and duas are accepted after khatm so imagine doing it in the best of places!