Today I wanted to talk about my trip to Saudi Arabia. So, at Christmas in 2016, I was blessed to be able to go to Saudi Arabia with my family to perform ‘Umrah’- a small sacred pilgrimage for Muslims. I say small, because compared to ‘Hajj’ (which is the greater Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, which takes place in the last month of the Islamic year and which all Muslims are expected to make at least once during their lifetime), it is seen as kind of small. Umrah lasts a couple of hours, compared to Hajj which lasts a couple of weeks or so.
ANYWAY, my family and I first went to Medinah for 5 days. There, we visited the Prophet’s (PBUH) Mosque and as our hotel was within walking distance to the Mosque, I spent most of my day and night in the Mosque. The Mosque truly is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. At night, it’s bright and colourful (as shown in my photos below), and during the day, the umbrellas open up when it’s really hot and they are absolutely huge and detailed. This time, whilst I was there for 5 days, the umbrellas didn’t open up because the heat was fairly moderate. However, when I went for the first time to Saudi in February 2014, it was so hot that the umbrellas were open everyday and honestly, they are BEAUTIFUL. Besides spending my time at the Mosque and visiting the Prophet’s grave which lies in the Mosque, I also had the chance to shop around and try new cuisines. Obviously, as many Muslims across the world flock to Saudi every year for pilgrimage, Saudi has many restaurants with all sorts of food. In Medinah, I tried some Indonesian food (it was so good!!) and Arabian food also. We also had a tour around Medinah and visited religious landmarks and places that had sentimental value. After our five days were over, we went for a six hour drive to Makkah where we completed our Umrah. Umrah consists of performing 7 Tawafs (another word for rounds if you wish) around the Kaa’bah, and then 7 walks to and from Safa to Marwah. I won’t go into the details of how Umrah is performed because it can get really detailed, but I shall definitely link a website below for those who are interested in how to perform Umrah and for those who are interested/want to go to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah. For me, Umrah is one of the most reflective and cleansing things that a Muslim can do in their life. I have not yet experienced Hajj, although I hope that I do one day, however having completed Umrah twice already at the age of 17 years old, I can truly tell you that it has been one of the most greatest things that I have done in my life. It’s better than the feeling of getting good grades, new pairs of trainers, cars or anything materialistic, in my opinion. Umrah is the best thing for you mentally, spiritually and physically. It brings you closer to God and opens your mind up to your surroundings and the world in which you live in so much clearer. I remember after coming back from Saudi, I was more positive towards things in life like exams, school and my social life. Therefore, I honestly recommend that if you’re a Muslim and reading this, you should definitely perform Umrah if you haven’t already done so, and if you have then you should encourage others around you to also embark on this journey.
I’ve uploaded some of my photos from my trip, so please take the time to view them!!
Links as promised:
Thanks for reading!