Friday, September 22, 2023

Top 10 things to do in Mecca and Medina for Umrah pilgrims

Mecca and Medina are the most famous and holiest cities in Islamic culture. These cities are vital destinations for performing Umrah and Hajj (pilgrimage). Mecca houses the most prominent Mosque in the world Masjid al-Haram where the Umrah is completed. Medina is famous for Prophet’s mosque, that’s called Majid al-Nabawi. Both cities are significant and valuable for Muslims in their way.
If you plan to perform Umrah, search for what to do in Mecca and Medina. It may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for you, so it’s best to research and look for a proper guide. To make the most of your pilgrimage, you will try to spend most of the time in holy cities (for Ziyarats).
Tip: In this search, you should confirm what holy places are being offered in Umrah Package 2023 by travel agents.
Take a look below points for the top things to do in Mecca and Medina for Umrah pilgrims:

Experience Umrah (the lesser pilgrimage)

You are going to Saudi Arabia and visiting the Grand Mosque; undoubtedly, your purpose is to perform the pilgrimage. You should complete every step of Umrah with whole spirituality and remembrance of God. Usually, there are four rituals of Umrah:
⦁ Ihram
⦁ Tawaf
⦁ Sa’i or Sa’ee
⦁ Halq/Taqsir (cutting or trimming hair)
Make the most of your pilgrimage by performing every ritual honestly and correctly.

Visit the Cave of Hira.

The cave of Hira is located in the Jabal al-Noor (mountain of light) in Mecca. This cave is about 270 meters (890 feet) high. The cave is significant because, according to Islamic narrations, the first revelation of the Holy Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). It’s become a popular pilgrimage site for Muslims during the pilgrimage. You should make Dua and offer Nafl prayers in the cave to take blessings. Moreover, it will give you a thorough historical context and reflect on the past.

Visit Mada’in Saleh ruins.

Mada’in Saleh, or Al-Hijr, is an ancient city on the northwestern side of Saudi Arabia. It was once the capital of the Nabataean Kingdom and is famous for well-designed tombs and temples. In 2008, Mada’in Saleh became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It would be best if you visited the Royal Tombs and Hegra Museum. If you see the place for the first time, take a guided tour. The area also offers hiking and local villages to glimpse the traditional way. The site is open from 8 am to 6 pm, so arriving soon is best to avoid the crowds.

Take a tour of Mount Arafat.

Mount Arafat (Jabal al-Rahma) is located 20 kilometers southeast of Mecca. Mount Arafat reaches about 70 meters, known as the “Mountain of Mercy,” where the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) gave His Farewell Sermon. The most important thing you should do on Mount Arafat is to pray and recite the Holy Quran. Mount can be crowded, so be patient, don’t frustrate, and arrive early.

Go shopping in the markets of Mecca and Medina.

Sopping is one of the activities that everyone does while visiting other countries. Whether it’s a typical journey or a specific Umrah journey, you will undoubtedly go shopping. Markets of Mecca and Medina are great places to buy souvenirs and other Islam-related items. The following are the most popular items to believe in the markets of Mecca and Medina:
⦁ Pilgrimage clothing
⦁ Prayer caps and mats
⦁ Tasbih (Prayer beads)
⦁ Holy Quran
⦁ Dates – the famous food in Saudi Arabia
⦁ Honey
⦁ Perfume specially Oud
⦁ Some old items you like

Visit the Prophet’s Mosque (Masjid An-Nabwi)

Prophet’s Mosque is Medina’s most significant, valuable, and prominent Mosque. It’s the second holiest site in Islam after the Holy Kaaba in Mecca, and that’s the reason Muslims visit Medina after performing Umrah. The Mosque is divided into the inner courtyard and the outer courtyard. The inner part is where Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) tomb is located. The outer part is where the Muslims pray.
You can pray in Masjid An-Nabwi, but the most important is the Salat al-Fajr, the Morning Prayer. Try to take such a residence in your Umrah package; you do not give up any daily prayer because of the distance from the hotel to the mosque. The Prophet’s Mosque is sacred, so being respectful is essential. It’s a great place to learn more about Islam. There are many resources available such as books, lectures, etc. You can ask from mosque staff for help.

Pray at the Qiblatain Mosque

Qiblatain Mosque is situated in Medina, the only Mosque where the direction of prayer (Qibla) changed twice. For this reason, it is called Qiblatain Mosque. The first Qibla was Jerusalem. Later on, it was changed to Mecca’s direction. The Mosque was built in 622 CE and can accommodate more than 2000 people. The Mihrabs are the most crucial feature of the Mosque. It would be best to arrive here early because it gets crowded, especially during peak seasons such as Hajj and Ramadan.

Visit Mount Uhud

Mount Uhud is one of the most prominent mountains in the north of Medina. It’s the site where the battle of Uhud was fought in 625 CE between Muslims and Meccans. Muslims visit this mountain to pay their respect to the martyrs (who died there). Here are some things that you should do in Mount Uhud:
⦁ Visit the Mosque there built by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
⦁ Pay respects to the martyrs
⦁ Climb the mountain
⦁ Learn some basics of battle history
⦁ Bring water specifically if you are in summer

Take a ride by camel through the dunes.

Visiting Saudi Arabia or the Middle East will see the dunes or camels. Many Muslims forget this fantastic opportunity: enjoying a beautiful camel ride through dunes. The best time to take a camel ride is during the more excellent hours of the day. The ride can be pretty bumpy, so be prepared for a rough side. This ride is a great way to experience the desert and unique landscapes. Choose a reputable tour operator with a well-cared camel that is manageable.

10) Enjoy the authentic Middle Eastern food buffet

Food in Saudi Arabia is one of the best and most experienced activities. Many local and luxury restaurants offer a variety of foods and cuisines. Whether you are a seasoned traveler or a first-time visitor, a food buffet in Saudi Arabia or the Middle East is a great way to experience it. Have a look at below dishes that you may find in the Middle East:
⦁ Kabsa
⦁ Machboos
⦁ Falafel
⦁ Shawarma
⦁ Harees
⦁ Kunafa
⦁ Aseeda


Umrah is a life-changing experience, so Muslims should try to make it the most by spending time in additional Ziyarats and visits. You should plan your trip in advance if you plan to perform it. Verily, it will assist you in preventing unexpected problems. Dress modestly in holy sites. Stay hydrated, especially in Mecca, because it is a very hilly area compared to Medina. If you feel tired or unwell, take some breaks. Enjoy your trip, and make sure to enjoy every moment of it.


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