Preparation for Umrah

Umrah is an expiation for the sins committed between it and the previous Umrah; and the reward of Hajj Mabrur (i.e. one accepted) is nothing but Jannah. [Sahih al-Bukhari]

Alhamdulillah I was blessed to perform Umrah recently and visit Makkah and Madinah for the first time. Inshallah this post aims to share some advice and guidance about preparing for Umrah, a spiritual journey of a lifetime.

Below are lists of things to consider and do.

Things to Study

  • How to Perform Umrah according to the Quran and Sunnah
    • The rites of Umrah
    • How to enter into Ihram
    • The rules of Ihram
    • How to perform Tawaf
    • How to perform Sai
    • Procedure for cutting hair
  • Learn any relevant Quranic and Sunnah Duas
  • Memorise the Talbiyah and its meaning

لبّیک اللّٰھم لبیّک، لبّیک لا شریک لک لبّیک، ان الحمد والنّعمۃ لک والملک، لا شریک لک۔

Labbayk Allahumma labbayk, labbayk la shareeka laka labbayk, innal-hamda wan-ni’mata laka wal-mulk, la shareeka lak.

“I respond to Your call, O Allah (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)) I respond to Your call. I respond to Your call, You have no partner. I respond to Your call. Indeed, the praise and grace are yours as well as sovereignty. You have no partner.”

  • Learn the Fardh and Sunnah requirements for Wudhu and how to pray Tahiyyat-ul-Wudhu

Any one who performs the ablution perfectly and then offers 2 rak’ahs of prayers concentrating on them with his heart and face, paradise will necessarily fall to his lot. [Sunan Abu Dawud]

  • Learn the Fardh and Sunnah requirements for Salah

The Prophet Muhammad (ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)) said: “Prayer in this masjid of mine is superior to a thousand prayers elsewhere, except for Masjid al-Haram, and prayer in Masjid al-Haram is superior to one hundred thousand prayers elsewhere.” [Ahmad and ibn Majah]

It is important that prayers are performed correctly in order to maximise the reward.

  • How to pray Salaat-al-Jamaa’ah (Salah in Congregration) and the Etiquettes of praying in a Mosque including how to pray Tahiyyat-ul-Masjid

The Prophet Muhammad (ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)) said: “Prayer in congregation is superior to praying individually twenty-seven times.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

He also said: “Allah will prepare for him who goes to the mosque (every) morning and in the afternoon (for the congregational prayer) an honorable place in Paradise…” [Sahih Bukhaari] 

  • How to perform Salat al-Janazah (Funeral prayer)

The Prophet Muhammad (ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)) said: “Whosoever attends the funeral of a Muslim believing and hoping for the reward from Allah (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)) and remains with it until the prayer is offered over it and the burial is completed, he will return with a reward of two Qirat; each Qirat is equivalent to Mount Uhud; and whosoever offers his prayer over it and returns before its burial, he will come back with one Qirat.”

There is a Janazah after each Fardh Salah therefore take the opportunity to gain the extra reward. After each Fardh Salah do Dhikr and Istighfaar and wait for the Janazah Salah to start rather than rushing to perform the Sunnah and Nafl prayers.

  • How to perform Salat al-Musafir (Salah during Travel)
  • How to Perform Tayammum (Dry Ablution)
  • How to send Salaams on the Prophet Muhammad (ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him))
  • What to do during Ziyarat of Makkah and Madinah
  • Etiquette of visiting Graves

Spiritual Things to Do

  • Perform the 5 daily Salah on time and with khushoo (sincerity and concentration) including the Sunnah and Nafl prayers

“The first of man’s deeds for which he will be called to account on the Day of Resurrection will be Salah. If it is found to be perfect, he will be safe and successful; but if it is incomplete, he will be unfortunate and a loser. If any shortcoming is found in the obligatory Salah, the Glorious and Exalted Rabb will command to see whether His slave has offered any voluntary Salah so that the obligatory Salah may be made up by it.” [At-Tirmidhi]

The Prophet Muhammad (ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)) said: “Whoever persists in performing twelve rak’ah from the Sunnah, a house will be built for him in Paradise: four before the Dhuhr, two Rak’ah after Dhuhr, two Rak’ah after Maghrib, two Rak’ah after the Isha and two Rak’ah before Fajr.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]

  • Make Dhikr and Istighfaar (seek Allah’s (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)) pleasure and forgiveness)
  • Practice Sabr (patience) and humility
  • Recite the Quran and reflect on the meaning
  • Organise your Dua list. Make a list of Duas you want to make including the requests you receive from family and friends
  • Make a list of goals you wish to achieve whilst on Umrah e.g. number of chapters to read from the Quran, the number of Nafl Tawafs to perform, the extra Nafl and Sunnah prayers you want to perform, any Sadaqah (charity) you want to give
  • Purify your heart, what you eat, what you say, what you see and hear

Practical Things to Do

  • Book with a Travel Agent
    • Flights
    • Accommodation
    • Itinerary
    • Travel Arrangements to and from airports, hotels and for Ziyarat
  • Apply for Visa
  • Have a medical check up and get travel vaccinations e.g. Meningitis, Flu etc.
  • Arrange extra prescriptions
  • Write or update your Islamic Will
  • Walk 30 minutes daily to prepare for Tawaf and Sai

Things to Pack

  • Islamic Resources
  • Paperwork
    • Passport and Visa
    • Travel Itinerary
    • Booking Confirmation
    • Tickets
    • Cash / Traveller’s Cheques
    • Marker Pen for labelling Zamzam water
  • Electronics
    • Phone
    • Phone Charger
    • Portable Charger
    • Extension Cable
    • Universal Travel Adaptor
    • Digital Luggage Scale
  • Travel Accessories
    • Water Bottle
    • Sunglasses
    • Suitcase Locks and Keys
    • Luggage Straps
    • Travel Pillow
    • Zip Lock Bags
    • Wet Wipes
  • Clothes and Accessories
    • 1-2 Ihram (men)
    • 2-3 Thobes (men)
    • 3-5 Abayas (women)
    • 3-5 t-shirts
    • 3-5 trousers
    • 3-5 Hijabs and pins (women)
    • Sandals / Flat Shoes/ Trainers
    • Underwear
    • Socks
    • Flight Socks
    • Backpack / Drawstring bag for shoes
  • Washing and Bathing
    • Towels
    • Spare Glasses / Lenses / Lens Solution
    • Toothbrush
    • Miswak
    • Toothpaste
    • Face Wash
    • Face Cream
    • Shower Gel
    • Shampoo and Conditioner
    • Body Lotion
    • Hand Cream
    • Foot Cream
    • Hair Brush or Comb
    • Vaseline
    • Pocket Tissues
    • Cotton Buds
    • Nail Cutters
    • Hair Scissors
    • Razor
    • Safety Pins
  • Medicine
    • Prescription Medicine
    • Painkiller
    • Cold and Flu medicine
    • Cough medicine
    • Throat sweets e.g. Lockets
    • Indigestion medicine e.g. Gaviscon
    • Diarrhoea medicine e.g. Imodium
    • Rehydration salts e.g. ORS Oral Salts (prevents dehydration)
    • Plasters
    • Blister Plasters