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Packages That Allow Pilgrims To Perform Umrah With Ease

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By Author: Safeena Rahman
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The major pilgrimage in Islam is Hajj, which is an obligation for all Muslims who are physically and financially capable of performing it. For performing this pilgrimage, they have to embark on a journey from their place of residence to the 'Kaabah' or the 'House of Allah'. This pilgrimage is one of Islam's five pillars and is performed in the month of Dhu al-Hijjah, which is the last month according to the Islamic calendar. Every year, more than two million pilgrims visit the Kaabah located at the centre of Masjid al-Haram in Makkah to perform this pilgrimage.

Another pilgrimage performed by millions of Muslims across the world is Umrah, which is also called the 'lesser pilgrimage'.
This pilgrimage is also performed by visiting the Kaabah, but it involves a lesser number of rituals when compared to Hajj and is generally accomplished within a few hours. The lesser pilgrimage is not compulsory, but it is highly recommended in Islam as it brings some spiritual benefits to the pilgrim who performs it. It is also the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and this is one of the major reasons why many Muslims dream of performing it by visiting Makkah from their place of residence.

There are three main rituals involved in the lesser pilgrimage. One is Tawaf, which involves going around the Kaabah in a hurried pace during the first three rounds and in a leisurely pace during the next four rounds. Another ritual is Sa'i, pronounced as 'Saee', which is performed by walking seven times back and forth rapidly between the Safa and Marwah hills. This ritual is performed to commemorate Hajar's (may Allah be pleased with her) frantic search for water when her son, the infant Prophet Ishmael (peace be upon him), was thirsty. Pilgrims conclude their lesser pilgrimage by performing 'Halq' or 'Taqsir'. Taqsir is performed on female pilgrims by cutting one inch or more of their hair, while Halq is performed on men by a complete shave of their heads.

With a stay close to the Masjid al-Haram, the pilgrims can have greater convenience in getting to the holy mosque and performing all the rituals of Umrah without any hassles. However, the hotels that are located close to this mosque are all 5-star hotels and the accommodations in them come at a greater cost. Pilgrims who are not concerned so much about costs and wish to stay closer to the holy mosque can book their accommodation in any of these hotels.

For those who want to book their stays in such hotels, the tour operators specialising in the Islamic religious tours provide five-star packages. These packages have accommodations for pilgrims provided in the five-star hotels located very close to Masjid al-Haram. Upon booking any of these packages, the pilgrims can not only have greater convenience in visiting the holy mosque and performing their rituals with complete peace of mind but would also have access to the excellent facilities offered by the hotel. This would make their stay in the holy city truly pleasant and memorable.

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