Unlike Hajj, Umrah is a spiritual journey that can be taken at any time of the year besides the days of Hajj (9-13th of Dhul-Hijjah) and it is this flexibility that allows people who have time and financial constraints to choose their Umrah schedule and go for the pilgrimage. The goal of this journey is the intention to get closer to Allah in worship, renouncing everything, confessing sins and receiving the expiation. When rituals are fulfilled with proper zeal and guidance, Umrah can be quite inspiring, fulfilling and truly enlightening experience.
A lot of preparations are required before embarking on such a spiritual and important journey and it is vital to know and understand what you are in for and how to prepare yourself for it.
We have noted down some of the most important tips or advice on preparing for Umrah so that your spiritual journey becomes memorable
Research on what is Umrah, how it is performed and accustom yourself with the rituals.
2. Recite the verses of the Quran with translation and tafseer.
Also, try to learn and understand the meaning of the Surahs and Duas that you would recite in Salah.
3. Repent to Allah (SWT) sincerely by praying 2 raka’t nafl and make tawbah.
4. Stay Fit – Although Umrah is physically less demanding than Hajj, a lot of people are not aware, that you would need to do a lot of walking, approximately 20 miles at a stretch. You need to be healthy to make sure that you can perform all ibadah at ease hence; it is a good idea to start exercising 6 months in advance before you embark on this pious journey. It would make you feel more relaxed, efficient and durable.
5. One of the most important things to do before leaving for Umrah is to ask your family and friends for forgiveness and forgive those who have wronged you.
6. Make a list of dua for yourself, your family and friends. You will be in the most sacred place on earth and your duas are more likely to be accepted if you make them with a pure heart and good intention.
7. Learn about the history of Makkah and Madinah - get an in-depth understanding of the life of the Prophet (PBUH). It will not only enable you to appreciate the beauty of the place that you are about to enter but also make your Umrah even more special.
8. Prepare a checklist of what all you need to carry along for Umrah
9. Learn to wear Ihram and the Fard of Ihram
The wearing of Ihram (for men) is somewhat complicated and would need some practice to carry it well. There are certain restrictions which Ihram imposes on you and it is extremely important to be aware and strictly abide by them. Some of them are clipping of nails, using fragrance or even removing of hair once in the state of Ihram is prohibited.
10. Attend Umrah training or read related literature carefully.
Your Umrah tours agency will also provide you some guidance literature and dua books that are compulsory to be recited before and during Umrah.
Visit your nearest Akbar Umrah tours and they would guide you on all aspects of this holy pilgrimage.