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1. Prepare for tawaf (circumambulation of the Ka’aba) by walking 2,000 steps, approximately a mile, a day. When you make this exercise specifically to prepare yourself for your journey, recite some adhkar (a phrase glorifying Allah) with each step.
2. Become conscious of your spending – literally every penny. Consciousness and awareness now will help you keep focus on the spiritual rather than the material during the trip. This is the same thing that as mindfulness. It starts with focus on things as simple as breathing. Breathe deeply and slowly.
3. Focus on what you are feeding your body and try to purify it. This means what you see, what you watch, what you hear, and what you’re feeding yourself. Of course, if you are able, try to fast for a few days leading up to your trip. This naturally helps the purification process. Another method is to try to have your wudhu intact at all times. Every time your wudhu is invalidated, perform a fresh one, and try to be in a state of wudhu when you lie down to sleep at night.
4. Start talking to Allah NOW – strengthen your relationship with your Lord. It’s natural to head into Umrah preparation thinking solely about logistics – visas, passports, immunizations, tickets, packing, luggage, and the list goes on and on – saving the spirituality for the actual trip. However, Umrah is as much about what we do in the days leading up to our journey as it is about the actual journey itself. We get as much out of our Umrah experience as we put into it.
Whether you intend to perform Umrah next week or sometime later, keep making du’a that it happens for you and that your pilgrimage is accepted. This inculcates love towards the Holy Cities and keeps them in your heart.
Hajj and Umrah can be very comfortable and luxurious experiences for some of us. Even for those who have only heard second-hand stories about the air conditioned tents with plush carpets and the breakfast buffets that would put Las Vegas to shame have a difficult time reconciling the austere history with the modern extravagance. But regardless of how much we pay for our package and what accommodations are arranged, we have to treat the opportunity like the blessing it is. Our Lord has given health, wealth and the necessary time to make this pilgrimage. Our bodies, our faith and our finances have been preserved for all our lives until this point. After those lifelong favors, Our Lord issues us an invitation that comes to our hearts in the form of guidance. How do we repay that favor? And after all His mercies that bring us to the Ka’aba, Our Lord rewards us even more for making the journey.
Wherever you are in life, make Umrah and Hajj a destination for yourself. Tell yourself and promise your Lord that you are beginning your pilgrimage today. Start a modest saving plan strictly to visit Makkah, and every moment between now until you are able to drink water from the spring of Zamzam will be rewarded as an effort towards worship. If you already have your tickets, this still applies to you. If you have already completed Hajj and Umrah multiple times, and have the resources to sponsor someone else who has never completed the pilgrimage, then perhaps there is a different project for you to become involved, even if that means pennies at a time.
The invitation comes from Allah but the rites we perform are learned from Our Prophet (SalAllahu ‘Alayhi Wasalam). Of the many authentic narrations that extol the virtues and benefits of good manners, among them is the Messenger (SalAllahu ‘Alayhi Wasalam) saying, “Verily, I have only been sent to perfect good manners.” If we are blessed enough to walk the streets of Makkah, then we have a responsibility to do so in the manner my Prophet (SalAllahu ‘Alayhi Wasalam) would expect a member of his Community to do so. Whether we are just returned from Makkah, or perhaps are uncertain of ever visiting the Holy City, we must embody the perfection of character and display the best of manners wherever we are.
British Haj Travel is providing first-rate Umrah and Haj travel services in the United Kingdom for nearly a decade now along with custom-made tours across the world.