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Umrah In December Helps Uk Muslims Explore Sacred Mountains

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By Author: Safeena Rahman
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December is the month when the United Kingdom celebrates Christmas and New Year's Eve along with many other countries of the world and almost all the offices and educational institutions in the country are closed for the entire festive period. This is a wonderful opportunity for Muslims living in the UK, especially those belonging to the working class, to embark on a journey to the holy city of Makkah to perform their Umrah. They can also take other members in the family along with them, especially their young children, as they can be introduced to Umrah and its rituals at an early age.

Many tour operators in the UK that specialise in the Islamic religious tours provide attractive discounts for those intending to perform their Umrah in December and willing to book their package in advance. This would significantly reduce the cost of travel involved in making the journey from their place of residence to Makkah for the pilgrims. They can utilise the amount saved while booking the packages during their time spent in Makkah for buying souvenirs or visiting some of the important Islamic sites located in and around the holy city.

Among these places are three sacred mountains visited by plenty of pilgrims coming from different parts of the world for their Hajj or Umrah. One of the mountains is Jabal al-Noor, which is situated in the Hejazi region near Makkah. It is renowned across the world and revered by Muslims for the 'Cave of Hira', which is housed in the mountain. This is the cave where Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had spent a considerable amount of time in deep contemplation. It is also the place where he received his first revelation from the angel Jibreel (A.S), which comprised first five ayats of 'Surah al-Alaq'. It takes between one to two hours of hike in order to reach the Cave of Hira.

Mount Arafat is explored by plenty of pilgrims as a part of their Hajj and can also be explored by Muslims arriving in the holy city for their Umrah. It is also known as 'Jabal al-Rahmah' which means 'Mountain of Mercy'. The name refers to an event in the life of Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) when he was forgiven for his sin. Today, the place where this event took place has been marked by a pillar erected for the purpose. This mountain is located in the plain of Arafat, which is about 20 kilometres east of the central part of Makkah.

Yet another sacred mountain that the pilgrims can explore during their time spent in the holy city is Mount Abu Qubais, which is located on Makkah's eastern frontier. The origin of the name of this mountain is still unknown. According to the popular legends, it was called al-Amin when pagan Arabs resided in the region. It is also believed to be the place where the first of men lived and died. The mountain is also significant owing to an event in the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). According to the event mentioned in the Islamic tradition, this is the place where he had shown the miracle of the splitting of the moon to the pagans.

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