Umrah or the Lesser Pilgrimage
Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage, performed by Muslims. They visit the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah throughout the year and perform this pilgrimage. Unlike Hajj, that is performed only once a year in the holy month of Ramadan and is an obligation in Islam; Umrah can be performed all year round and is not an obligation. It is because of this that Umrah is also known as the lesser pilgrimage. People travel from all over the world to get to these holy cities, therefore the process of traveling and staying there can be long and hectic.
In order to reduce the chaos that may come with planning the nitty-gritty details of the trip, travel agencies have now started offering a wide variety of umrah packages that contain all the facilities that you should require while traveling. One such company that offers cheap Umrah packages all year round include Mina Tours, a UK based travel agency.
Each deal in the Umrah packages section is categorized in terms of the package; there is a 3-star, 4-star, and 5-star package, depending on your budget, which is then further offered according to the number of nights you wish to stay, these range from 7 nights to 14 nights in total and have varying days for each city.
Apart from offering various transportation facilities and hotel bookings in the cheap umrah packages mentioned, travel agencies also offer the applicants with the Umrah visa. The key points to remember is to have a valid passport before applying, have all the flight and hotel confirmations ready before applying for the visa. Alongside this, if a female pilgrim is traveling without a mahram, she should be at least 45 years of age in order to qualify for the Umrah visa. The pilgrim must be mindful of using block-lettered handwriting while filling out the paperwork in order to ensure that there is no miscommunication and that the writing is not misinterpreted.
When the application for a visa has been accepted, it may be issued within five working days. However, if the pilgrim wishes to attain the visa on an urgent basis, that may also be possible on demand.
After all the paperwork has been filed and all the arrangements have been made and the traveler is ready to set out, they must sit and read up on all the various health risks they put themselves in by simply traveling to a different country. Therefore, it is essential for travelers to be mindful of the different health precautions they can take to guard themselves. This includes wearing a mask at all times, especially in crowded areas in order to avoid coming into contact with any germs. Secondly, pilgrims should always wash their hands before any meal and make sure to wash their food if possible, for example, they should always wash fruits before eating them. Apart from that, pilgrims should also avoid eating undercooked meat as it might lead to digestive problems. Lastly, pilgrims should avoid rubbing their face and eyes with bare hands.
After all the arrangements have been made, a few procedures have to be carried out in order to obtain and qualify for the Umrah visa. Firstly, it is important to have a valid and functioning passport before application. After that, the applicant must have complete and concrete knowledge about their flight bookings as well as hotel and transportation reservations in each city. One should also be careful to fill out all the Umrah visa paperwork in block letter handwriting in order to avoid any miscommunication through illegible handwriting.
If the visa application has been accepted, the umrah visa may be issued in the next 4-5 working days, but may also be issued on an urgent basis.
Visit sacred and holy places
When visiting the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah, there are many sacred and visit-worthy places that the pilgrim should be visiting. For example the Masjid e Quba, Masjid e Jummah, the mountain o Uhad as well as the graves of the martyrs of the battle of Uhad, the location of the battle of Trench in Madinah.
Some prominent places to visit in Makkah include Mina, Masjid Al Haram, Muzdalfa, the birthplace of Prophet Muhammad as well as the plane of Arafat and the house of Hazrat Khadija.