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Agony Aunt: Preparing for Umrah

by in Ramadan on 25th February, 2024

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Assalamualaikum. I hope this message finds you well. I am reaching out with a mix of excitement and nervousness as I am about to embark on my first Umrah journey with my family. While the anticipation is high, I am afraid that I may not make the most of this spiritually significant experience.

I would appreciate any tips or guidance you may have on how I can best prepare myself for this sacred and important journey.

Maya Areem responds:

Salam alaykum,

May this message find you in the best of health and iman. It is heartening to hear about your upcoming Umrah journey and your eagerness to make the most of this spiritually significant experience. May Allah bless your pilgrimage and make it a source of immense spiritual growth for you and your family.

Preparing for Umrah is a beautiful process that goes beyond the physical preparations. Here are some tips and guidance inspired by the Quran and Sunnah:

1. Set Your Intention: Before embarking on this journey, take a moment to make sincere niyyah (intention) and remind yourself that you are doing this for the sake of Allah alone. Recall the purpose of  Umrah – it’s about seeking nearness to Him and asking for His forgiveness. This intention will serve as a guiding light, illuminating each step of your sacred journey.

“While they were not ordered but to worship Allah, making their submission exclusive for him with integrity, and to establish salah and pay zakah. And that is the way of the straight religion.” (Surah Al-Bayyinah 98:5)

2. Understand the Rituals: The next thing you can do before leaving is familiarizing yourself with the rituals of Umrah by studying authentic sources. Understanding the significance behind each act, from entering the state of Ihram to the Tawaf and Sa’i, will enhance each step of the journey and grant you the spiritual experience you are seeking inshaAllah. Sharing a few resources here:

3. Reflect and Repent: You can also take this opportunity for self-reflection, a chance to honestly evaluate your actions and seek forgiveness for past mistakes. Repentance is a key element of the pilgrimage experience. 

Consider carrying a small journal or notebook with you during your journey. Use this journal as a personal space for reflection, jotting down your thoughts, feelings, and any realizations that come to you during moments of solitude. This journal can serve as a powerful reminder of your self-discovery and can be a source of inspiration for positive change when you return home.“And whoever repents and does good has truly turned to Allah properly.” (Surah Al-Furqan 25:71)

4. Make Du’as From the Heart: It is important to remember that the precious moments during Umrah are ideal for heartfelt supplications. Make a list of personal prayers and remember the Ummah, your family, and loved ones in your invocations. Consider bringing a du’a (supplication) book or a list of personal du’as. This can help you stay focused during your personal moments of reflection. You can also refer to our article Du’as for Umrah as a guide. 

“And when My servants ask you concerning Me, indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:186)

5. Have Sabr & Shukr: Embrace every step of your Umrah with patience. Challenges may come your way, but each trial is an opportunity for spiritual growth. Approach obstacles with a calm demeanor, remembering that everyone around you is on a similar spiritual journey.

Moreover, express sincere gratitude for the unique opportunity bestowed upon you to embark on this sacred pilgrimage. 

“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed: ‘If you give thanks [by accepting faith], I will give you more [of My Blessings]; but if you are thankless [i.e., deny faith], verily My punishment is indeed severe.'” (Surah Ibrahim 14:7)

6. Follow the Sunnah: Even though Umrah is a deeply personal journey, it’s essential to remember the Sunnah and follow the example of the Prophet Muhammad . Emulating his kindness and generosity, engage in acts of charity. This can be in the form of monetary donations, providing food, or assisting fellow pilgrims. Sharing experiences or offering help when needed, can foster a sense of community.

“Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately and know that your deeds will not make you enter Paradise, and that the most beloved deed to Allah is the most regular and constant even if it were little.” (Sahih Bukhari)

May Allah accept your Umrah, forgive your sins, and grant you spiritual elevation. Ameen.

Love + duas,

Aunt Maya

If you would like some wisdom from Aunt Maya, send in your problems here! Please note Aunt Maya may consult the opinion of others from time to time and ask the Amaliah community for their advice too. Aunt Maya is not a licensed therapist or mental health professional.

Maya Areem

Maya Areem

Maya is a teacher by day and student by night. She hopes to pass on what she learns.