Hajj and Umrah
‘Perform the pilgrimage and visit for Allah’
Surah Baqarah(2), Verse 196
Performing Hajj and
Umrah is compulsory for every Muslim in his/her lifetime on the condition that they have the financial means to carry out
this duty. Hajj is the pilgrimage performed at the fixed time of the year, which are in the five days of Dhil Hajj
9th – 13th. The ‘Umrah’ means ‘to visit’ and can be performed at any time during the year, depending
on when the Umrah visa are available.
This essay ‘Journey of a Lifetime
– My Diary’ does not discuss the duties of performing Hajj or Umrah but is to share the unique
spiritual experience of this journey to Makka Makkaramah and Medina Munawwarah. There is great literature available for all
people who intend to perform Hajj or Umrah and it is essential
we read and understand the fara’id – obligations of the pilgrimage. I am not
qualified to educate people in this area but will offer a list of recommended literature. However I will emphasise the fact
that despite the pilgrimage of a Hajj and Umrah involves duties to be performed in Makka exclusively (the number of
compulsory duties to be performed are different for Hajj and Umrah) but visiting Masjid
–e- Nabi in Medina is essential to seek the pleasure of Allah (swt). The experience and preparation of visiting
the city of Prophet Muhammad (salla la hu alayhi wasallam) has to be a
major part of any journey we make for our faith.
Allah (swt) blessed me with a unique opportunity of performing Umrah. This would
be my very first time that I visited the Haramain Sharifain
(The two sacred cities – Makka and Medina). I wanted to capture every moment of my
preparation and experience as it was going to be the most blessed journey that I could undertake in this lifetime. I intended
to gather every emotion that I would feel and place them all into a time capsule so that I would live those moments again
and again. Therefore I decided to keep a diary of my feelings and experiences as I prepared to go and also
keep an account throughout the time that I would spend in the blessed land.
this was my very own account that begins from the moment that I began my preparation at home and was continually updated each
and every night during my amazing time in Makka Mukkaramah and Medina Munnawarah. By keeping this account it gave me an opportunity to express some of the feelings and
emotions as I embarked on something truly inspirational and helped me reflect on everything that I was seeing and doing. I
am sharing my diary with all of you so that the ones who have not yet done the
Ziyarah – sacred journey, will get a glimpse of the tremendous effect it should have. I hope
inshallah that all of us make the intention to go again and again and may Allah (swt) grant each and every Muslim this blessing
once in our lifetime.
Please enjoy the following
chapters and remember that my words and in fact any words that are used cannot be sufficient to describe the journey that
takes you to the House of Allah (swt) and to the blessed place where Rasulullah (saw) rests.
And proclaim unto mankind the Pilgrimage. They will come unto
thee on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every deep ravine’ (Surah 22, 27)