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Umrah Packages Help Pilgrims Visit Sites Of Great Importance

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By Author: Safeena Rahman
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Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage often called the 'lesser pilgrimage' in comparison to the major pilgrimage of Hajj. Numerous Muslims living in various corners of the world undertake this pilgrimage every year. Many of them embark on a long journey from their place of residence to the holy city of Makkah located in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in order to accomplish their lesser pilgrimage. It is usually accomplished within a few hours as it involves fewer rituals in contrast to the Hajj. Umrah has a special importance in Islam, as it is the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). 

There was a time when the Muslims residing in countries located far from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had to endure a long journey for fulfilling their dream of Umrah. Not many could afford this journey as it involved a significant amount of cost. Besides, they had far lesser choices in travel agents or tour operators, which made it even more difficult for them to find better options. Today, there are many choices available for Muslims with regards to tour operators or travel companies for fulfilling their dream of performing the lesser pilgrimage. Upon booking Umrah packages with them several months in advance, they would have a significant amount of savings that can be utilised while visiting some important Islamic sites in Makkah.

One of them is Jabal al-Noor, which is a sacred mountain located in Saudi Arabia's Hejazi region near Makkah. The name translates in English as 'Mountain of the Light'. This refers to an event, which took place in the 'Cave of Hira' located in this mountain. In this cave, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to spend a considerable amount of time in deep contemplation and received his first revelation consisting of Surah Al-Alaq's five ayats from the Archangel Jibreel (A.S). Owing to this event, Jabal al-Noor is held in high regard by Muslims worldwide and is visited by numerous pilgrims every year.

Another sacred place worth visiting for pilgrims is Masjid al-Jinn, which is located in the holy city of Makkah near a cemetery to the north of Masjid al-Haram called 'Jannat al-Mu'alla. This mosque has been built at the spot where a group of genies or 'jinn' had gathered after sunset to listen to the recitation of a portion of the Holy Quran by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). After the recitation, the leaders of the group met with him and embraced Islam. This mosque is one of the oldest and one of the most important of all mosques located in the holy city of Makkah.

Mount Arafat, one of the other sacred mountains located in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia can also be visited by the pilgrims. It is situated about 20 kilometres to the east of central part of Makkah and has a height of about 230 feet. This mountain is also known as 'Jabal al-Rahmah', which means 'Mountain of Mercy'. Origin of this name can be traced to an event that occurred at this place, in which, Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) was forgiven by Allah for his sin. In recent times, a pillar has been erected at the exact spot where this event took place.

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