Umrah 1435: Observations, Thoughts, and Discoveries

Observations

Street Vendors of Madinah:

Thoughts
01. If possible, it would have been better if the government of Saudi Arabia made separate arrangements of tawaf for men and women. Such arrangement would have been purer for hearts.

02. I wish the women pilgrims at haram observed hijab in the proper manner, at least out of respect for the House of Allah.

03. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, especially the streets are way more dirty compared to the streets of Qatar. This has resulted from the culture of irresponsibly disposing wastes almost anywhere without any concern for environment and cleanliness. Majority of the Saudis and expats at KSA do not have the habit of disposing wastes at designated waste bins. That is why you will see polythene bags and plastic bottles even in the middle of deserts. To the locals and residents of KSA: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) has described removing harmful things from the streets as part of eeman. So, how can you so carelessly litter your streets?

04. Before going for umrah, we often harbor dreams like making lots of dua and tawaf and so on. What we forget while dreaming is umrah has been described by the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) as a jihad for the weak. Since it is a jihad, after reaching there, we often do not find the perfect utopian setting of worship we imagine. We discover a place of hardship. Often due to overcrowding, noise level, struggle like lowering the gaze, grasshoppers, and many other factors, we struggle to accomplish what we plan to accomplish. That is why before we go for umrah, or hajj, we have to have a different expectation. Just because we are going to the holiest sites of Islam, we should not expect a utopian setting where we will be able to worship effortlessly. Rather, since umrah has been described as a smaller jihad, we must mentally prepare to struggle and endure a lot of hardship, and only if we prepare with such a mindset, we will able to accomplish our goals while we are there.  Otherwise, umrah will turn like visits to other places, and we will return only with lots of complaints against Saudi government, service providers, and so on, and we will not attain our goals of supererogatory worship at the haram.

Discovery
I was passing by an audio store when the recitation of a Qari captivated me. I came to learn that this was Shaykh Khalid Al-Jaleel.

Verily, have we ever wondered what our life would be without the Quran?

“Praise to Allah , who has guided us to this; and we would never have been guided if Allah had not guided us. Certainly the messengers of our Lord had come with the truth.” [The Noble Quran 7:43]

Here is a clip:

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