On 30th May 2011, the whole of my family went to perform umrah at the Holy Lands in Makkah al-Mukarramah and Madinal al-Munawarah, Saudi Arabia. The umrah’s package was a thirteen days trip in which 4 days period was in Madinah and the rest of the days was in Makkah. The package was organized by Andalusia Travel & Tours Sdn Bhd during the mid-term school holidays. Since the umrah trip was the first for all the children, we attended one day course organized by the travel agent before leaving for Saudi Arabia.
The flight from Kuala Lumpur to Madinah took seven hours non-stop journey. Upon arrival at Madinah, we check in at the designated hotel not very far from the Prophet’s Mosque, Masjid Al-Nabawi also known as Grand Mosque in Madinah. All my siblings were very excited to visit and perform our prayers in the beautiful Masjid Al-Nabawi. My parents had performed umrah twice before and it was their third visits to the Holy Lands.
|Safely arrived at Madinah Airport|
In Madinah, we took the opportunity to visit Masjid Al-Nabawi, the Prophet’s and his companions Tombs located in the Al-Nabawi Mosque and other historical places such as Bukit Uhud, Al-Qubah Mosque, Dates’ Factory and other places. The four days period was mostly spent for performing our prayers five times a day at the Grand Mosque, shopping and visiting in and outside Madinah.
|After performing zuhur prayers|
|After performing isya; prayers|
At the end of the fourth day in Madinah, we check out from the hotel and proceeded our journey to perform umrah from Madinah to Makkah. The journey was by bus and took almost 12 hours to reach Makkah. We stopped over at the place named Bir Ali or Zhuhulaifah, not very far from Madinah to pronounce our “niat umrah” and wear the ihram (a special non-stitch two pieces of white garments worn by men).
|My father and brothers wearing ihram|
Makkah al-Mukarramah is a bigger city than Madinah al-Munawarah. Apart from the first umrah, the travel agent also organised three other umrahs to perform for the pilgrims and provided a guide called Mutawif to lead us. The pilgrims can perform the umrah first from Tanaim, second from Jaranah and third from Hudaibiah. We took the opportunity to perform our second to fourth umrahs from all the above places. Although umrah activities are very tiring especially Saie but we were satisfied and thankful when we managed to perform it without any obstacles.
|My family infront of Kaabah|
|Visiting Camel's farm|