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Umrah Package Deals Help Muslims Explore Important Places

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By Author: Safeena Rahman
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Umrah is a pilgrimage performed by Muslims across the world by embarking on a journey from their homes to the holy city of Makkah located in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is held in high regard, as it is the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It is often referred to as the 'lesser pilgrimage' or 'minor pilgrimage' as the major pilgrimage is Hajj. Besides being one of the five pillars of Islam, it is an obligation and must be performed by all Muslims who are physically fit and financially capable of undertaking the pilgrimage.
The lesser pilgrimage is not obligatory, but it offers some spiritual rewards for the pilgrims who perform it.

As the journey to Makkah is quite a long one for pilgrims residing in countries that are far from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, it involves a significant amount of cost. However, the Umrah package deals offered on packages provided by the leading tour operators or travel companies have helped pilgrims in reducing their cost of travel to a great extent. Such deals also help Muslims in saving more for their journey to the holy city. The amount saved can be utilised by them to shop for souvenirs or to visit some of the important Islamic sites in and around Makkah.

One of these sites is a mountain in the Hejazi region near Makkah called Jabal al-Noor. The name means 'Mountain of Light' and refers to the event when Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had received his first revelation of the Quran from the Archangel Jibreel (A.S). This event took place in the 'Cave of Hira' located in this mountain, where he had spent a considerable amount of time in deep contemplation. A hike to this cave takes more than 25 minutes and the individuals visiting it have to climb well over a thousand steps. During the Hajj season, this cave is visited by nearly five thousand pilgrims.

Yet another interesting place worth visiting is Masjid al-Jinn, which is considered one of Makkah's oldest and among the most important mosques in the holy city. It has been built at the spot where a group of 'Jinn' or 'genies' had gathered after sunset to listen to Prophet Muhammad's (peace be upon him) recitation of Quran. He later met with the leaders of the jinn, who embraced Islam and took their oath of allegiance to him. This event is mentioned in the Quran's al-Jinn chapter.

Mount Arafat is also one of the most important Islamic sites and is located twenty kilometres east of central Makkah. It is also known as Jabal al-Rahmah, which means 'Mountain of Mercy'. The name refers to the event when Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) was forgiven by Allah for his sin. In recent times, a pillar has also been erected to show the exact spot where this event took place. This mountain is also the place where Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had delivered his famous Farewell Sermon to those who had performed Hajj with him towards the end of his life.

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