Umrah, regarded as the most soul-lifting Sunnah as per the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), is a spiritual act of worship. Every year, millions of pilgrims undertake the spiritual journey to the holy city of Makkah to perform Umrah throughout the year. Those who perform this spiritual ritual with a pious intent get the rewards and benefits of Umrah.
When performing Umrah, it is the hope of those Muslims to seek forgiveness for their sins and pray for the mercy of Allah and for blessings from Him. Embarking on this sacred path with a pure purpose to conduct Umrah brings peace and happiness.
The imam referenced the 158th ayat of Sura Baqara in regard to today’s reminder. It is translated to say:
Indeed, as-Safa and al-Marwah are among the symbols of Allah . So whoever makes Hajj to the House or performs ‘umrah – there is no blame upon him for walking between them. And whoever volunteers good – then indeed, Allah is appreciative and Knowing.
Dear brothers and sisters, we ought to strive to be able to perform this Sunnah. And beyond that there is the extra benefit of performing Umrah during the month of Ramadan. The imam reminded us of the benefit of this through the following hadith which is translated to say:
“Umrah during Ramadan is equivalent to Hajj.”
The benefits of performing Umrah are many but some of them were mentioned in particular during today’s reminder. One of those is removing hardship or poverty. The imam spoke of this hadith which is translated to say:
“Make the hajj and the ‘umra
follow one another closely, for they remove poverty and sins as a blacksmith’s
bellows remove impurities from iron, gold and silver; and a hajja which is
accepted gets no less a reward than paradise.”
Dear brothers and sisters, we are blessed in that we have the ability to travel to places all over the world unlike generations before us. Air travel has made it so that voyages that would have taken weeks or months in the past can be completed in hours and in comfort.
We need to ask ourselves, if the opportunity presents itself, is there any vacation destination more blessed or needed right now than that of the House of Allah SWT?
And so this reminder concludes with 3 reasons why Umrah should be your next travel destination.
- To have Allah SWT as the host. Perhaps the most exciting benefit of Umrah is the blessing of being the guest of the benevolent Allah himself. Pilgrims often speak of a strange calmness that covers them as soon as they step inside Makkah. We know from hadith that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said – “The guests of Allah are three: The Ghazi (i.e. the warrior who fights in Jihad), the Hajj (i.e. the pilgrim who performs Hajj) and the Mu’tamir (i.e. the pilgrim performing Umrah).” And so dear brothers and sisters, we should make the most of the opportunity if it presents itself to be the guests of Allah SWT.
- As mentioned previously, the performing of Umrah cleanses one of their sins. Every prayer, every act of charity or act of worship is magnified in the house of Allah SWT and so it is a great opportunity to give your soul that boost it craves and yearns for.
One point worth mentioning here is that unfortunately some pilgrims risk losing the benefit of this blessed act in that they don’t leave the dunya behind when they visit the house of Allah SWT. More and more so in recent times, the pilgrimage has become an opportunities for selfies, to get likes on Social Media and to broadcast the Umrah online.
Dear brothers and sisters, I remind myself and us all that this pilgrimage is a blessing that is bestowed upon us. There are so many people with the time, energy and money to go to the House of Allah SWT but if He does not will it then nothing will make one visit this blessed place.
We need to be mindful of this fact and use that as a reminder to switch off from the world and focus all our intention on our host when visiting the house of Allah. A practical tip here is to suspend all business for the time you’re there and leave your phone behind or get a basic phone for emergencies only. Thus we can then hope to reap the reward of this blessed invitation.
- And finally the third benefit of performing Umrah is that it boosts one’s imaan. Dear brothers and sisters, in many ways this is the most important point because many of us are feeling a sense of anxiety with what is going on in the world today. Many of us also feel a lack of contentment with where they live. The world is changing and sometimes it can feel strange to us all. However, the feeling of entering the house of Allah SWT, the feeling of being in front of the Kaba and the feeling of walking the same path as the best of all creation SAWS, that brings a level of contentment that is not found anywhere else. Pilgrims often say that after they perform Hajj or Umrah for the first time and return back to their houses, the feeling of home is no longer where they live but it is in a place they’ve just returned from. We need to ask ourselves, is our soul yearning for this feeling and if so, could it be possible that we can perform Umrah to get that boost in imaan we are craving.
Dear brothers and sisters, let’s us not forget this blessed Sunnah and make the most of it if we have the opportunity to perform it. And when we do so, we do it in the best of manners in the hope that we attain the pleasure and mercy of Allah SWT.