It is the dream of numerous Muslims around the world to visit the holy city of Makkah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to perform their Umrah. This Islamic pilgrimage is also known among many of them as the ‘minor pilgrimage’ or the ‘lesser pilgrimage’ as the major pilgrimage is the Hajj. It is one of Islam’s five pillars and an obligation for all those Muslims who are healthy and financially capable of undertaking the journey. Umrah is not obligatory, but it is considered important as it is the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
The chances for Umrah January offer for Muslims residing in the United Kingdom are utilised by many of them to make their journey to Makkah for performing the lesser pilgrimage. One of the best aspects of this month is that while it is extremely cold in the UK during this time of the year, January is very pleasant in Makkah for Muslims coming for their minor pilgrimage from countries of northern Europe. This gives them the opportunity to complete all the rituals associated with Umrah in a pleasant environment. During their time spent in the holy city during this month, they can also get the chance to visit some of the important Islamic sites in and around Makkah.
One of them is Masjid-e-Taneem, which is a mosque located near Makkah at a distance of about 5 miles from the Masjid al-Haram. This mosque is also called Masjid-e-Ayesha, as it is the place where Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her), Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) wife, had entered the state of ‘ihram’. The January Umrah packages would give Muslims of the UK the chance to visit this mosque, which is quite spacious with facilities available for taking baths, performing ablutions, and changing clothes. Not only the pilgrims but also the ones coming for regular prayers can avail these facilities.
An Umrah in January would also enable pilgrims from the UK to visit Mount Arafat, located at a distance of about 20 kilometres to the southeast of Makkah. It has an overall height of about 70 metres and is also known as Jabal al-Rahmah, which literally means ‘Mount of Mercy’. This place has been named so because of an event associated with it. It is the same place where the first prophet, Adam (peace be upon him) was forgiven by The Almighty Allah for his sin. This is also the place where Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had given the ‘farewell sermon’ towards the end of his life to the ones who had accompanied him for Hajj.
Jabal-al-Noor is another important site worth visiting for the pilgrims arriving in the holy city from the UK. It is a mountain in the Hejazi region near Makkah and houses the ‘Cave of Hira’, where Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had spent a considerable amount of time in deep contemplation and received his first revelation of the Holy Quran. It takes about two hours of hike to reach the Hira Cave in this mountain.
You can find some important details about the various Umrah packages here.