I was searching everywhere for information about what I needed for umrah, it was the practical things I needed to know and from someone who had already been. So from only returning from my pilgrimage a month ago, I think I am in a good position to be guiding all you first timers about what you really need to take with you.
Remember there is ample amount of walking and you tend not to feel the strain on your feet until the next day. That’s why the next thing I share with you will be the most important item on your shopping list for umrah.
I hand picked the ugliest pair of sandals you can think off, the Crocs sandals were the best thing I ever got. The women that convinced me to purchase the Athens sandals has my up most respect because she instantly knew what I was looking for.
My criteria was that they needed be comfortable and be able to relieve the pressure off my feet since I was going to be waking on marble for the most of the day.
These sandals are made of rubber and have small raised rubber spots on the sole of the sandals to help with foot circulations. This is going to be one of the best pair of sandals you will own because they are excellent for what you are about to embark on.
Socks: You’re wondering why sock it’s a clean place, yes it’s clean but there will be thousands of people walking on the same floor who may potentially have some kind of foot infection that you may catch. Therefore, I advise you to take a dens’ pair of socks you can find. Try and take at least 2-3 pairs of socks for each day you are there.
Light bag: You will also need to take a really light bag with you to keep your sandals in. Do not leave your them lying around outside the mosque. I repeat do not leave your footwear outside the mosque because you will not find them again someone will take them. I took a small shoe string dust bag that’s light and easy to pop your sandals into.
Travel size pray mat: You will need this because even though the carpets are clean you’re still placing your forehead on the floor but image how many people pray in the same spot. For hygiene reasons it’s better to have your own clean mat to pray on and also which marks your territory because women tend to squeeze into the smallest place and push you to the side just so that they have a good spot.
After Isha I managed to find a spot right in front of the Kabba I sat there for at least 4 hours until Fajr. Space began to fill up quite quickly. A few women tried to push me out of my space. The reason they do this is because they come late and do not want to sit at the back of the mosque. The audacity of them to ask me to move when they can clearly see there is no space. I lost my patience and refused to move at one point. A lot of women are outright ill-mannered and just do not know how to conduct themselves. They have no concept of walking in an orderly manner they push pass you. I found myself continuously saying “Sabr sabr” It was worse when I visited the prophet’s grave in Madina.
Therefore, please try and be as patient as you can because it can be very testing at times and you don’t want to be angry and aggressive because it will defeat the whole reason you are there.
Madina have not managed the way in which they organise the public to visit the grave. Friday and Saturday are the busiest days to go because the locals attend, so try and go any other days. Fajr and Isha are the times they open the gates, so stay late after the pray have finished. However they do not tell you what gate to go to until the last minute. We were taken to gate number one, the Indians and Pakistani were hurled to one section and then they began to section of people by nationality.
You go through one gate then take a seat then go through another gate to help reduce congestion. My sisters and I were part of the crowd control because the women that work there just couldn’t manage controlling the crowd. The women are literally like animal and I felt like a sheep dog herding the sheep. The women have no respect for where they are they push and lie to make there way through, it was disgraceful.
Twarf beads: Make yourself a little keyring that’s going to help you remember the number of times you have walked around the Kabba and not loose count of the number of twarfs you have done. If you would like me to send you this then please leave a comment below with your details.
Act of charity:
You can always do this in Mecca or Madina. Purchase a Quran, wheel chair or stools for people to make free use off. Make sure if you purchase any of the above, have this stamped showing they are the property of Mecca or Madina depending on where you are. The locals re sell the items to people because they have not been stamped or signed to be the property of Mecca or Madina. You can purchase these items from the local shops the Quran is about 20 riyal.
Another charitable act you can do is buy a pack of tissues or dates and hand these out to the people that are completing their twarf. You can also hand out cups of water too.
It saddens me to say this but please be aware of pickpockets it happened to us and there are people who really do not have any sense of fear out there.
Climbing the mountain: Be prepared to test your fitness, bring your trainers as the mountain climb can take about an hour and a bit, if you’re quite active it will take you less time to reach the top, may be about 45 minutes. Also note that there are drinks at the top of the mountain so take some cash with you to buy drinks and to hand out to the guys who help maintain the cave too. One most important factor you should be aware of is when you reach the top of the mountain there is a constricted section you have to pass in order to see the cave you have to walk sideways because that’s how tight it is. So anyone who is on the larger side of life just be prepared to squeeze like an orange.
I hope my post has enlighten you on what you need on your journey. Please comment on my post below and let me know what else you are packing and let me know how your journey went.
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