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Umrah In December Allows Pilgrims To Visit Islamic Sites

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By Author: Safeena Rahman
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Umrah being the great Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is held in high regard by Muslims across the world. It can be performed at any time of the year and is usually accomplished within a few hours. When compared to the major pilgrimage of Hajj, which is an obligation for all the physically and financially capable Muslims, this pilgrimage is often called the 'lesser pilgrimage'. As it is not a compulsory pilgrimage, Muslims who perform Umrah do it as an act of love, devotion, and submission to The Almighty Allah by visiting His house in the holy city of Makkah.

An Umrah in December is greatly favoured by many Muslims, as this is the time when the holy city experiences a pleasant climate. This month falls in the winter season, which is characterised by relatively comfortable daytime temperatures when compared to the extremely hot days during summers. In many of the countries around the world, the educational institutions and offices are closed in the last week of December for Christmas and New Year celebrations. This makes December a great time for Muslims to fulfil their dream of performing Umrah.

If they book a package for accomplishing the lesser pilgrimage in December well in advance, they can save a significant amount that can be utilised during their time in Makkah for visiting the important Islamic sites. Among them are the three sacred mountains explored by millions of pilgrims coming to Makkah every year. One of these mountains is Jabal al-Noor. The name literally translates as 'Mountain of Light' and is located near Makkah in the Hejazi region. It is a mountain of great significance for Muslims around the world, as it is home to the 'Cave of Hira'. In this cave, 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.

Jabal al-Rahmah, also called Mount Arafat, is another sacred mountain located at a distance of about 20 kilometres to the east of central Makkah. The name Jabal al-Rahmah means 'Mountain of Mercy' and this refers to an event mentioned in the Islamic traditions. It is the place where the first prophet Adam (peace be upon him) was forgiven by The Almighty Allah for his sin. Today, a pillar has been erected at the site to show the exact place where this event took place. It is also the place where Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had delivered his famous 'farewell sermon' to those who had accompanied him for Hajj.

The third sacred mountain worth visiting for the pilgrims during their time in Makkah is Abu Qubais, which is located on the eastern frontier of Makkah. It is believed that the place was known as 'Al Amin' during the times when this region was inhabited by pagan Arabs. Another legend states that the mountain was a place where the first of men lived and were buried after their death. The Islamic traditions associate the place with another famous event in the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) when he had shown the miracle of the 'splitting of the moon' to pagans of the region.

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