in sha Allah may Allah SWT accept all our zikr and call us to His house for the Holy pilgrimmage. Ameen
Firstly I’d like to start this post off by saying that this post is not meant to be read in an Islamic context, but more as a tourist. Alhamdullilah I really enjoyed my recent trip to Saudi Arabia where I was blessed enough to perfom an Umrah. I really hope and pray that in sha Allah I will one day be blessed enough to go again and perform my obligatory Hajj.
So here are my tips for when visiting Saudi Arabia:
- Do travel light (there’s loads of beautiful abayas to buy there so don’t spend crazy amounts on abayas from here!)
- Do complete all your shopping in Madinah, the people are nice, you will get a better price. (Also dates are incredibly hard to find in Makkah)
- Do exchange your money in Madinah as the rate is better than Makkah
- Do your research when booking hotels as distance to the Haram is important.
- Do take toiletries to use in Makkah as they are not as readily available.
- Do ensure you have comfortable footwear.
- Do make sure you do ziyaarat in both Makkah and Madinah, there are so many beautiful things and places to see.
- Do drink as much Zam Zam as you can, it is highly beneficial.
- Do take a small drawstring bag, it comes in very handy to hold shoes and water bottles.
- Do fill all your water bottles up with Zam Zam
- Do buy a local SIM card as this works out much more cheaper.
- Do think hard about what you want to pray for as the beauty of the Harams can be overwhelming, so it’s easier to remember than think.
- Do try to pray all of your Salah in the Haram.
- Do be practical (you may not always get a space inside the Haram so pray where it is next as close as possible)
- Don’t lose patience as we must remember there are loads of people with very many different cultures, beliefs and etiquette.
- Don’t forget to fulfill all the necessary acts
- Don’t forget your manners, just because someone else has
- Don’t try to cut a piece of the cloth on the Holy Kaba, this is stealing and therefore haraam
- Don’t offend anyone
- Don’t continuously film/take photos in the mosque (I took a few pictures as it was so beautiful but this was not during prayers)
- Don’t forget the baggage allowance and restrictions.
- Don’t do your wudhu with Zam Zam from the wells in the mosques
- Don’t go crazy with the shopping, remember the purpose of your visit is Ibadaah
- Don’t push yourself more than possible, remember to have rest and keep hydrated.
- Don’t forget a cardigan/shawl for Tahajjud/Fajr time, it can get chilly.
Where we stayed:
Madinah: Al-Haram Hotel – was absolutely beautiful and very very close to the Haram. This hotel has a WiFi option, however it is very costly.
Makkah: Al Olayan Al Khalil – was very basic but clean, the closest hotel to the Haram out of all of the cheaper hotels. This hotel has free WiFi in the lobby.
Both were very good value for money, clean and had good customer service.
What we ate:
Chicken Shawarmas were a favourite of ours in Madinah, this was a light and fast option which was incredibly cheap and very tasty.
The fourth floor of the Al Abraj Al Bait shopping center (just off the Haram in Makkah) is full of lovely places to eat. It is worth trying the less known brands as this works out more cost-effective.
Cone Zone is an ice cream place in between Baskin Robbins (brave I know!) which has a wider range of flavours and much more easy on the wallet. Lovely ice cream indeed 🙂
What we read:
Shaykh Muhammad Saleem Dhorat’s How to Perform Umrah – Download it here!
insha’Allah may Allah SWT reward Shaykh Saleem Dhorat profoundly for all of his assistance and guidance. Ameen
What we wore:
Light abayas with leggings or harem pants underneath. Avoid heavy materials and thick woolly hijabs during the day.
The Abraj Al Bait Shopping Centre have a lovely prayer hall overlooking the Holy Kaba. (P9 for Men and P10 for Women)
This is not-so-secret but I didn’t know prior to my visit, women are no longer allowed to enter Jannatul-Baqi
Jazak’Allah Khair for reading and I hope this comes in handy!