Umrah Packages Umrah packages from UK Wed, 30 Oct 2019 22:45:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Halq and Taqsir in Hajj and Umrah Thu, 25 Jul 2019 05:52:35 +0000

the hot-streak of weather during summer, the month of Ramadan is
right at the heels of Shaban, and many pilgrims will take this chance
to visit Makkah and Madinah: Umrah is the preferred ritual to amass
blessings in this month.

from all around the world would come to the Holy cities to perform
Umrah, but it’s important that the pilgrims are mindful of the
rituals that precede and follow Umrah.

such rituals are al-Halq and al-Tsqsir; these are compulsory acts
that need to be performed in Hajj and Umrah. Many people are unaware
of their significance in the completion of the Holy Rituals of Hajj
and Umrah; and whilst their details can be a bit sketchy across
various sites and blog-posts, their importance in the completion of
the over-arching rituals is unshakeable.

and Taqsir’s Definitions

an Arabic word, refers to “cutting (or shaving)” of hair. Only
two words in Quran are derived from this root, and both of them
concern Hajj. Taqsir, on the other hand, is derived from “al-Qasr”
that means “to shorten”.

Halq means to shave the entire head with razor, and Taqsir means to
trim the hair. Men should do either Halq or Taqsir.

Appropriate Methodology for Men

Halq is uncomplicated in nature, Taqsir can prove to be troublesome
as most people are unaware as to how much of the hairs need to be cut
to abide by the teachings. Taqsir, in Islamic tradition, implies
cutting the hair of a quarter of the head equal to a finger digit in

err on the side of caution, it’s for the best that the male
pilgrims cut a bit more than this prescribed length to make sure that
the shorter hairs present at the centre of the head are also cut
equal to a finger digit in length.

people believe that if they just cut a couple of strands of hair with
a pair of scissors, their ritual is complete. This is wrong for
Hanafis, and doing so won’t remove the restrictions of Ihram from
the Muhrim; so it’s important to be careful here or else the Muhrim
will have to pay expiations that are bound to put extra burden upon
his limited budget.

Appropriate Methodology for Women

Haram for women to shave off their heads in Islam; so, for women,
Taqsir is the appropriate choice. The ritual’s parameters are far
more flexible for women: they can simply cut the hair from the end of
the plait of hair a little more than the length of a finger digit;
female Muhrims have to be mindful as at least the hair of one quarter
of the head must be cut.


with any Hajj and Umrah ritual, failure to perform the tasks in the
prescribed manner does result in penalties or expiations; hence, men
aren’t allowed to shave or trim the bread less than a fist-length.
Dam is Wajib if the hair of a quarter of head, beard, more than that
is cut; Sadaqah becomes compulsory if hair of less than a quarter are

Woman has to pay Dam if she crops the hair of a quarter of her head
or that of her whole head equal to a finger digit in length. She’ll
have to pay Sadaqah if the length is less than a finger digit.

in order to avoid such mishaps, make sure to read and go prepared
even for the smallest ritual that’s important for the completion of
Umrah and coming out of the state of Ihram.

Makkah hotels suitable for elderly Wed, 13 Mar 2019 06:00:39 +0000 Umrah and Hajj rites occur every year, inviting millions of pilgrims from around the world to the city of Makkah; however, with blessings, come double the responsibilities, especially for the elderly.

During the Umrah and Hajj season, it’s preferable for people who’re travelling with the elderly to stay in the hotels that are close to Masjid al-Haram. Usually, it takes at least 7 minutes to walk from the borders of the mosque to its heart, Kaaba ; and if you’re accompanied by an elderly individual, it makes the rituals quite difficult.

The best course of action in such a situation is to look for the hotels close to the holy mosque, and provide assistance to the elderly. There are very few hotels near the vicinity of the mosque; they’re generally considered luxury hotels that provide good services to the pilgrims.

The rooms in these hotels are priced according to their location in relation to the Kaaba: the rooms that face it are more expensive than others; some of these rooms also provide live audio-feed directly from Haram.

These are a few hotels that provide good services in this regard:

Jabal Omar Marriott Hotel

This five-star hotel’s located at a few minutes’ walk to Haram, Kaaba. It’s close to many holy sites in Makkah. It offers 426 spacious guest rooms including 52 suites, an opulent, and inviting lobby and reception area.

It features restaurants that have views of the city and Haram; in addition to that, it also has Atrium Café that serves pastries and soft drinks, modern business center, and medium size meeting rooms with a large pre-function area. There are facilities to pray privately in the air-conditioned prayer-hall that overlooks the Haram whilst listening to Haram Imam through a good sound-system. Free shuttle services are offered to the elderly and guests with special needs.

Makkah Clock Royal Tower, A Fairmont Hotel

Located in the Makkah Clock Tower building, known as Abraj al-Bait, it’s a 5-star hotel that’s one of the closest hotels near Kaaba. It takes a 5-minute walk from the Kaaba.

The hotel offers rooms with view of the Kaaba and city; the rooms with the Kaaba view, however, are more expensive. It also has a fitness center, gym, hot tub, sauna, and a steam room. 24-hour room service and concierge services are also available.

Al Safwah Royale Orchid Hotel

Another hotel that’s located in the Makkah clock-tower building. The building faces Abdul Aziz gate, and it’s not more than a 6-minute walk from Kaaba. It offers rooms with Kaaba view and 24-hour room service.

Makkah Millennium Hotel

The five-star hotel’s located at a 6-minute walking distance from Kaaba. It offers good, spacious rooms with a Kaaba view and a 24-hour room-service. Special features include baby-sitting services at an extra cost, indoor children’s play area, and airport and city shuttles (additional charges).

Al Marwa Rayhaan

This hotel’s located very close to Majid al-Haram; it takes a 6-minute walk from Kaaba and a 2-minute walk from King Abdul Aziz gate.

It’s got various spacious suits, including ones with the Kaaba view. Additional services include children’s channels in the room and airport and city shuttles (additional charges).

8 Restrictions of Ihram you must know before Umrah Mon, 11 Mar 2019 03:11:24 +0000 The Ihram’s compulsory for various types of Hajj and Umrah. It’s also regarded as the rukn (pillar) of Islam. All schools of thoughts agree that Ihram’s adorned at the predetermined sacred boundaries (Miqaat), depending upon from which direction the pilgrims approach Makkah.

As it’s considered an obligation upon the pilgrims, it requires them to observe certain restrictions, as well. Here are the prominent restrictions imposed upon the wearer of Ihram (muhrim):


Different schools of thoughts have different views on marriage: Imamiyyah, Shafi’i, Maliki, and Hanbali schools don’t permit the muhrim to enter into the contract of marriage for himself or on behalf of another. He also can’t act as an agent to conclude the contract. Imamiyyah forbid the muhrim to act as a witness to such a contract, as well. Abu Hanifah, however, permits the marriage contract and the concluded contract’s considered valid.

In the Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, and Imamiyyah schools, the muhrim can revoke the divorce of his former wife during the period of ‘iddah. Hanbali doesn’t consider it permissible.

According to the Imamiyyah school of thought, if a muhrim enters the marriage contract despite being aware of its prohibition, the woman becomes haram for him for life upon the act of concluding the contract (albeit the marriage hasn’t been consummated).


All schools of thoughts are in agreement that the muhrim’s not permitted to engage in any sexual activity with his wife. If he shares sexual intimacy with his wife before tahlil (relief from the state of Ihram), his Hajj becomes void; he must perform it again next year, without his wife. The ‘seclusion’ is an obligation according to Imamiyyah, Maliki, and Hanbali schools, and voluntary in the Shafi’i and Hanafi. (Furthermore, according to the Imamiyyah, Shafi’i, and Maliki schools, the muhrim must sacrifice a camel in atonement, and in Hanafi school, a sheep.)

All schools of thoughts agree that if the intercourse’s committed after the first tahlil, his Hajj isn’t void; however, he must offer a sacrifice (in accordance with the rules) as an expiation.

If the wife initiates the intercourse, her Hajj, too, becomes void and the sacrifice becomes an obligation upon her; she must also repeat the Hajj next year (if she wasn’t in the state of ihram, then nothing’s required from her); however, if the husband initiated the act, then she isn’t obliged to offer the sacrifice—instead the husband’s required to offer to sacrifices: one on his behalf, and the other on hers.

All schools are in agreement that if the husband kisses his wife, his Hajj isn’t void if ejaculation doesn’t occur. The four Sunni schools, however, state that he’s required to offer a sacrifice. If the ejaculation occurs, then the Hajj becomes void according to the Maliki school, but remains valid according to others; he, however, has to offer sacrifice in expiation.

Use of Perfume

The schools unanimously agree that the muhrim can’t make use of any perfume for smelling, using on the body, or scenting edibles. It also isn’t permitted to wash the body of the muhrim or perform hunut, which is the application of camphor. If the perfume’s used in forgetfulness, then he doesn’t need to make any offerings in the Imamiyyah and Shafi’i schools; however, in Hanafi and Maliki schools, he’s obliged to make a sacrificial offering (fidyah).

If a muhrim uses the perfume intentionally, then according to Imamiyyah school, he must offer a sheep (regardless of its use on the body or as an edible substance). The use of perfume or perfumed substance is allowed if it’s a part of a medicine or medicinal substance.

Use of Kohl

Kohl’s permissibility is covered in the following two traditions:

Al Tadhkirah states: “There is consensus among the Imamiyyah legists on the point that darkening the eyelids with kohl or applying a kohl containing perfume is not permissible for the muhrim, man or woman. Apart from that (i.e. ihram) it is permissible.”

According to the author of al Mughni, “Kohl containing antimony is makruh, and does not require any fidyah. I haven’t come across any different opinion on this topic. However, there is no karahah in use of kohl without antimony, as long as it does not contain any perfume.”

Shortening of Nails and Hair and Cutting of Trees

All five schools of thoughts agree that the muhrim isn’t permitted to shorten the nails and shave or shorten the hairs on the head or body. In case of negligence, a fidyah’s required. It’s also not permissible to cut or uproot anything that grows naturally within the Haram.

Al Shafi’i’ states that there’s no difference between the two in regards to the prohibition, and fidyah is required for both: “cutting of a big tree requires fidyah of a cow, and of other plants, a sheep.” Malik states that the cutting of a tree is a sin; however, nothing is required of the offender, regardless of the fact that it was grown with or without “human mediation”.

Imamiyyah, Hanafi, and Hanbali schools state that cutting anything planted by human hands is allowed and doesn’t require a fidyah; but that that’s grown by Nature, requires one. All schools agree that it’s permissible to cut down a dead or dry tree or to root out dry grass.

Looking into a Mirror

Whilst the muhrim isn’t allowed to look into a mirror, all schools agree that no expiation or fidyah’s required for doing that. It’s permitted to look into the water.

Use of Henna

The muhrim, man or woman, is allowed to dye any part of his body with henna, except the head. Shafi’i school permits it with the exception of hands and feet. Hanafi school forbids it completely. Imamiyyah consider the practice makruh, not haram.

Use of Shade; Covering the Head

A muhrim man isn’t allowed to cover his head. Maliki and Imamiyyah schools state that he isn’t allowed to submerge his head completely underwater; however, all schools except the Shafi’i agree that he can wash his head or pour water over it. No fidyah’s required of him according to the Imamiyyah and Shafi’i schools; but it’s required of him in the Hanafi school.

Save for the Shafi’i school, the muhrim isn’t allowed to shade himself whilst moving. He isn’t permitted to ride an automobile or a plane or anything that’s covered by a roof; however, there isn’t any restriction upon him to pass under a shadow.

Stitched Clothing and Ring

Stitched clothing, one which encircles the body parts, is forbidden. Women are permitted to wear them except for gloves and clothes that are scented with perfume. Imamiyyah school states that if the muhrim wears them in ignorance, he isn’t required to make a sacrifice; however, if he wears them to protect himself from heat or cold, he’s required to make one.

It isn’t permissible for a muhrim, man or woman, to wear jewelry for the sake of adornment.

7 Types of Tawaf Thu, 21 Feb 2019 09:00:34 +0000 Tawaf is “walking round the Ka’abah seven times”. This act of circumambulating begins from Hajr-e-Aswad (the sacred black stone) in an anti-clockwise direction. Each circumambulation’s completed upon returning back to Hajr-e-Aswad. It’s preferable to approach the stone for the purpose of touching or kissing its surface; however, if that isn’t possible, then the individual can point to the stone with his/her right hand.

There are seven types of Tawaf, each coming under the categories of optional, mustahab (duties recommended, but not essential), sunnah, wajib (duty), and fardh (obligatory):


This is performed by outsiders (Aafaaqi) upon reaching Makkah (regardless of their intentions to perform ritualistic duties or not). It’s quite similar to two “raka’at of salat” performed as “tahiyyat almasjid (greeting of the mosque)”, which is why it’s also called “tawaf altahiyyah”.

Aisha (R.A) stated: “The first thing the Prophet (S.A.W) did on reaching Mecca, was the ablution and then he performed Tawaf of the Ka`ba and that was not `Umra (alone), (but Hajj-al-Qiran).”

(Tawaf-ul-Qudoom’s sunnah for an Aafaaqi who’s performing Al-Ifrad or Al-Qiran; however, it isn’t sunnah for the one performing Al-Tamatt’u or Umrah.)


Also referred to as Tawaf-ul-Rukn or Tawaf-ul-Hajj, it’s performed by those who enter Makkah to perform the ritual of Hajj, which makes this an obligation upon the pilgrims. It can be performed after completing the smaller rituals in Mina: jamarat al‘aqabah (throwing of pebbles), dhibh (sacrifice), and halq or taqsir.

It’s performed upon returning to Makkah on the dawn of 10th Zil Hajj to 12th Zil Hajj. It’s often called Tawaf-ul-Ziarah as it’s performed upon the visit (ziyarah) to Ka’bah after leaving Minah; and it’s also called Tawaf-ul-Hajj as it’s a rukn (pillar) of Hajj. Sometimes, it’s also referred to as Tawaf-ul-Ifadah, (ifadah means ‘pouring forth’) as the pilgrims ‘pour forth’ from Mina. (It’s fardh.)

Tawaf-ul-Wada (Tawaf-e-Sadr)

An obligatory (wajib) Tawaf that’s performed as a final ritual of Hajj, before a pilgrim leaves Makkah.  The Prophet (S.A.W) stated: “Let none of you leave Makkah before making a Tawaf around the Ka’abah, as the last of Hajj rites.” (It’s wajib.)


It’s a non-obligatory or optional (nafl) ritual of Tawaf and can be performed at any time. (This Tawaf’s considered better than performing nafl salaat; it’s also optional.)


It’s an integral part of the ritual of Umrah; hence, this Tawaf takes an obligatory status for those who come to Makkah for the intention of performing Umrah. (It’s fardh.)


This Tawaf’s intimately associated with the pledge made before God. If an individual makes a pledge that he’ll perform Tawaf if his desire is fulfilled by God, then he’s obliged to come through and complete the ritual. (It’s fardh.)


This is performed by the individual who enters Haram—the sacred boundary of Makkah. After the completion of this ritual, the individual has to offer two prayers behind Maqam-e-Ibrahim. (It’s mustahab.)

Umrah without mahram Wed, 20 Feb 2019 04:23:35 +0000 It isn’t permissible for a woman to travel for the purpose of Hajj or Umrah without a Mahram. This obligation imposed due to a tradition in al-Bukhaari, narrated by Ibn ’Abbas (R.A). He narrates that he heard the Prophet (S.A.W) state:

“‘No man should be alone with a woman unless her mahram is present, and no woman should travel unless she has a mahram with her.’  A man stood up and said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah, my wife has gone out for Hajj, and I have enlisted for such and such a campaign.’ He said: ‘Go and do Hajj with your wife.’”

Hanafi school of thought doesn’t permit a woman to travel on her own. In regards to distance, a Sahih (authentic) Hadith states the following:

“It is not permissible for a woman to leave the home without the permission of her husband and it is not permissible for a woman to travel the journey of three days (the Safar distance which amounts to 78 kms or more) without being accompanied by a Mahram (as-Sunan al-Kubra by Bayhaqi, Hadith #: 10420, Narrated by Ibn Umar).”

Maalik, al-Shaafa’I, and al-Awzaa’i hold a different opinion: they allow the women to perform Umrah under certain conditions. For instance, if a woman resides in Jeddah, then she can travel to Makkah to perform Umrah with a group of women as the distance between the two cities isn’t long.

Al-Shaafa’i school of thought states that it’s enough for woman to have a mahram with her, a close relative, or two or more women to undertake the pilgrimage for the ritual; hence, it’s important for the women, who desire to perform Umrah, to consult the scholars for a complete opinion on this issue.

So, when can you travel without a Mahram?

Rules as to when one can travel alone without a Mahram are different in different countries. However, certain rules are universal. So, for a lady to travel alone for Umrah from UK (and elsewhere in the world), she need to be at least 45years of age. There is a condition of the lady traveling in an organized group but that is loosely implemented. So, if you are someone wanting to travel without a Mahram, you should ideally wait for the time when you are legally able to go alone.

It can be frustrating and daunting in some cases, where ladies don’t have a Mahram at all or have Mahrams living in another country. The later can be solved easily. You can travel to the country in question and go together from there. This frustration can, however, lead to certain rogue elements suggesting illegal practices. In certain parts of the world, there is an unscrupulous practice of “attaching” ladies with other eligible males in a group as Mahrams. Here it would be suitable to warn our readers against such adventure. For once, you will be bound to enter (if also not exit) Saudi with the “Non Mahram” in question. You will be bound to their schedule and your papers would show them as your Mahram. Why start your holiest journey with a lie in the first place. Please consult us today to see how we can legally help in any such scenarios. Our extensive experience in the Umrah Visa regime makes us one of the best choices when it comes to complicaed itineraries.

Benefits of Umrah Wed, 31 Oct 2018 13:54:09 +0000 Umrah is an ibadah that involves monetary contribution, time and effort on part of a pilgrim. It is a time you spare to go see Allah’s house and pay respects to the Prophet Sallalaho Alayhay Wasallam.

It is these traits, your sacrifice of time, money and bodily resources that makes it so special.

You submit to Allah fully.

Clad in two sets of unstitched cloth, your obedience and humbleness is reaching its peak.

And that is why…

That is Why Umrah is so powerful, so rewarding and so purifying.

When Allah SWT blesses you in return of all these sacrifices, the Barakat are endless.

So, Why Should you perform Umrah? Here are a few reasons.

Expiration of Sins:

Umrah is an expiation for the sins committed between it and another Umrah (Bukhari, Muslim).

Umrah cleanses your soul and purifies it of the rust it gains due to sins and errors. It is a great opportunity to beg forgiveness. Even in worldly matters, if someone comes to our home to say sorry, we accept it, out of respect that they have come to our house to say sorry. Allah SWT definitely observes that to a much higher degree. Forgiveness is a commodity, most likely to be found in Makkah and Medinah.

Reconnection to Allah:


In our busy lives, most of us forget to pray, read Quran-e-Kareem and do our daily tasbeehat. When we go for Umrah, it reconnects us with Allah SWT. When you go for Umrah, you say all five prayers in the most sacred places on earth, you recite Quran-e-Kareem and indulge in Tasbeehat. This reconnects the weakened bond of worship and mends your ways, not possible in routine lives. Many have been seen to pray and read the Quran regularly on return from Umrah.

A holiday of the Soul:

Holiday of the soul


So, you go for holidays around the world and your body and mind gets refreshed. But there is rarely anything for your soul in these holidays. Just like your body, your soul also needs a break. As prone, as we are, to sin, our soul gets rusty and buried under worldly and bodily desires. And which place is better to holiday than the sacred lands of Makkah and Medinah. Your mind and body will still have their break but, so will your soul.

There is something for the body as well:

Muslim Excercise

Not only does the soul get these benefits, don’t think there is nothing in it for the body. Normally when people go for Umrah, they are advised to start walking and exercising if possible, as Umrah is physically demanding as well. Even if you don’t, the more Umrah’s you do, the healthier you become. The Safa Marwa rounds, the Tawaf, the Ziyarah, they all keep you active and encourage more bodily activity.

As you are more focused on Ibadah in your days in Makkah and Medinah, you eat less and intake more Zam Zam and dates. The benefits of these two are immense and have been proven over ages. People who return from Umrah have repeatedly described these silent miracles.

Monetary Benefits:

Conventional wisdom and personal experiences also show that people who spend money on Umrah feel the Barakat in their Amwal for years to come. This is just like spending in Allah’s way and Allah SWT, no doubt return it to the spender many folds. Many have experienced going away of poverty and receiving rizq from places least expected after coming back from Umrah.

Meeting the wider Muslim Community:


There is no way, you can hope to meet so many people with such diverse cultures in one place around the world. Along with other benefits of Umrah, you experience the most inclusive and diverse cultural experience possible. There is no better opportunity to get to know the rest of the Muslim brethren, their ways, customs and the way they practice our sweet religion than, on an Umrah trip.

So, all in all, Umrah is a blessing that has diverse benefits. Not only should you perform Umrah yourself but also encourage others in the family to do the same as well, should you see them worried financially, physically, emotionally or challenged in any other way, recommend them to spend money, time and effort into an Umrah and you will see them Insha Allah come out of it very soon.

Jeddah Stay for Umrah pilgrims Thu, 24 May 2018 07:15:18 +0000

While going for Umrah, everyone focuses on Ibadah and that is what is the main intention of this trip. However, you don’t go out with family as often, especially on foreign trips, so who would lose an opportunity to do some stopovers once they are finished with Umrah.

Most people in this regard try to keep the two countries separate. If you know what I mean. They would like to do Umrah in Saudi and then rush to go to UAE, Turkey or Jordan, lots of options, for a stopover. But hang on. Have you even thought of a gem in Saudi, you are allowed to stay, even on your umrah visa. Yes, you guessed it, Jeddah. So, what exactly is it that you can do in Jeddah?


While everyone can agree that most shopping malls in Makkah and Medinah are “pilgrim focused” and have mostly lower quality of goods for gifts to be taken home, Jeddah has malls that are “citizen-focused” and hence have better quality and variety. So hold on your spending horses and spend the money in Jeddah for more bang for the buck. Some of these malls are Red sea mall, Mall of Arabia and Al Salam Mall, to name a few. Cheaper options are Mojama’a Al Sharg, Mawakeb Al Ajer, Al Sawareekh and Souq Al Shate’e.

If you are looking for Gold shopping, you can try the Gold Souk, where you can buy gold, believe it or not, by weight.


Jeddah’s Al Balad, the old town is its main attraction. Full of Souks(markets), it is the ultimate experience to wander the streets of Al Balad and see people from around the world with their unique cultures. You can also see the Red sea in the boats available for a ride at Obhur North, Marina. If you are a Scuba diving fan, there is a lot for you in the uncorrupted reefs of the Jeddah Corniche. If you venture off about an hour in the red sea, you will find one of the best sites there.

Getting around

Most of the hotels employ what is popularly called “water taxis”. These are the best way to go shopping and sightseeing, as they are locals with knowledge of Jeddah. Most in use in Jeddah, otherwise are the white limousines. Most are Toyota Camry’s, Hyundai Elantras and Hyundai Sonatas. Although, you can also occasionally spot high end “Limos”.

Although meters are installed in taxis, people rarely use them. So, it is best to bargain with the taxi driver to decide a fixed fare they will charge for the trip. It is normally quite cheap to get around in Jeddah, just like elsewhere in the Kingdom. The average is SR10-SR30 per ride. Remember the ones without taxi signs are illegal. So, don’t take the risk of being dropped off midway.

If you are familiar with Jeddah and have been there before, you can also try renting an Avis or Budget cars. As petrol is quite cheap in KSA, this can prove to be more bang for the buck. You may also try Uber, Careem and EasyTaxi, if you have access to the internet.

Buses are not commonly-used, but if you are someone like me, who likes to experience the local culture first hand, there is no better place than to take a bus ride. There are two types, the larger government buses, and the smaller private ones. Private ones are better as they are cleaner and move faster. However much fancy you would take in the bus ride, you obviously don’t want to spend the day in the bus itself.

Eating Out:

Almost every imaginable cuisine is available for you to enjoy in Jeddah. From budget Al Baik to World-class restaurants, you can try almost everything. Again, local cuisine is what you should try. What better than to taste it from local hands. Rest of it all, you can get back home as well.

What Else?

Choose a good reasonable place to stay in Jeddah and enjoy your stay. However, it is recommended that, as you will be in Ihram on your stay in Jeddah and your focus should be on Umrah, you should postpone the trip till you have completed your Umrah.


Medinah hotel tips for ladies Tue, 24 Apr 2018 15:35:29 +0000

Whereas it may sound a little strange to a new person at first, ladies, and hence the whole family can have a much better experience by choosing the right hotels in Medinah. As there are no separate entrances to the haram, defined in Makkah, it does not matter a lot and the preferences, as such may be more family oriented than specific to ladies.

In Medinah however, ladies have separate entrances and gates to enter Masjid Nabwi and the entrance to the Roza Rasool SAW is also segregated. This makes hotels close to these gates much more lucrative a choice for ladies. What’s more, the gates can also be used to access Masjid Nabwi by other (male) members of the family as well. This adds to the comfort of the rest of the family as well, as they don’t have to walk long distances, just to accompany ladies. In certain cases, it becomes so impractical that ladies have to go alone thinking of the trouble they will put the family in. If you are going for a very short stay, that might not sound much problematic. However, for longer durations of stay, it can become really cumbersome to repeat the routine.


First of all lets start with a small list of hotels to the ladies side. The following hotels (although this is not an all-inclusive list) are close to the gates 25 and 26 mostly, that have the best access for ladies:


  1. Elaf Taiba
  2. Anwar al-Medina Movenpick
  3. Al Eiman Al Manar
  4. Medina Hilton
  5. Dar Al Taqwa
  6. Elaf Majeedi Suites
  7. Dar Al Eiman Intercontinental
  8. Shaza Medina
  9. Oberoi Medina
  10. Dalla Taiba
  11. Millenium Al Aqeeq
  12. Grand Mercure Majlis
  13. Al Ansar Golden
  14. Al Eiman Taiba
  15. Saja Medina
  16. Al Eiman Royal
  17. Dar Al Naeem
  18. Zowar International
  19. Dar Al Hijra Intercontinental
  20. Luxurious Al Rawda Suites
  21. Al Haram Hotel
  22. Al Medinah Harmony

So the next time you are looking to book a hotel in Medinah, opt for one of the above and you are sure to save a lot of time and hassle. Please feel free to get in touch with us by asking about any other hotels or if you have been to Medinah, you can also add to the list.

Private Taxi Woes in Saudi Arabia Fri, 18 Aug 2017 11:37:31 +0000

Some pilgrims that actually go to perform Umrah or Hajj usually complain about Saudi private taxis. While we provide the transfers from city to city and from the airport to the city hotel, the company does not offer services that move the pilgrims within the city for private reasons. This is where most of our customers come in contact with Saudi taxis that sometimes, but all the time, cause problems.

English, No English

The first and foremost issue with taxi drivers is that most do not know English, and those that do know, know only a few words of English. Conveying them where to go might be a little easy, all you have to say is the name of the place and they will take you there. But God forbid, if there is an issue and you’d like them to give you their input since they know their country better, then that is not going to be a very tiring or fruitless discussion. Sharpen your Arabic if you have some proficiency in it already, but if you do not, perhaps it’s best to engage the taxi drivers in discussions restricted to the location of your destination and how much would they charge for it.

Pay Later

We have also received a few complaints regarding dishonest taxi drivers or fraudsters. Some pilgrims hire private taxis to go to Zayarats or other places of religious significance and tend to stop at many holy sites in the same trip. They ask how much their trip would cost from the driver and give the money in advance. Some (not all) taxi drivers are in a habit of leaving the pilgrims at the sites with the money for the whole trip, while they are asked to wait outside. Lesson to be learned: Never give the entire money for the journey in advance.

I’ll Huff and I’ll Puff and Zoom you away

With the Hajj or Umrah season at its peak, some drivers come under the added stress of trying to make more money from the religious tourism season. Some (again not all) taxi drivers tend to drive the cars extremely rashly in order to make more rides and are not considerate of speed limits or traffic rules. The Shurtas (Police) though are present to check them and penalize such behaviour but when the coast is clear; the driver tends to put the pedal to the metal. Pilgrims complain that they had bad experiences, as they saw the car barely escaping an accident, and their entire trip was spent holding their breaths, clutching passenger handles and curling their toes anticipating an accident.

Smoke and Taximeter

Furthermore, the taxi drivers sometimes are smoking cigarettes or our chewing tobacco which is, to some of our clients, an irritation. Sometimes, the taximeter is not used, though it is fitted in the car. The driver just simply says that the meter is broken and charges you the money based on his ‘judgment’. Due to security concerns, do not take any private cars for taxis. Some people stop near the pilgrims by the road and ask them where they are headed. If the destinations coincide with theirs, they transport the pilgrims, making them pay for the ride, which is normal and somewhat fair, but best to stick with the registered taxis.

Uber and Careem

If everything fails, use Uber or Careem. Use these applications for transport around the city. Uber has a brand name and the pricing is done by a centralized system. They would also be responsible for your security and penalize the driver if he does not keep to the traffic rules. This way even if you have to use the regular taxis you would know how much a trip should cost.

Going Once, Going Twice, Sold

Always bargain the price. After telling the driver about your intended destination from the window, say “Kaam” which means “how much?” Regular taxi drivers ask for almost double the normal charge at first, so offer 50% of that price or begin to walk away. Just consider the Uber prices to be the benchmark. Check if the car is clean, and does not carry any unpleasant smells. Saudi society dictates that the males are to sit in the front and the accompanying women to sit in the back.

As in all cases, knowing about the issue before hand, and knowing what to expect and anticipate alerts the pilgrims and makes them ready how to handle themselves in a situation. We are sure that using the information provided above, the pilgrim would not face many issues or would be able to handle themselves in case there is one.

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Lessons from the Final Sermon of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) Tue, 15 Aug 2017 08:38:28 +0000

The last sermon of Muhammad (SAW) happened on 9th of Dhul Hajj, 10AH or 6th of March, 632. This Sermon was given to the Muslims that came with him to Makkah to perform Hajj. Throughout the Hajj, the Prophet of Allah (SAW) explained to the people how to perform the Hajj, including all the rites and rituals that we do today. His Last Sermon was a signal to his friends, family, and followers, now that his life’s mission was completed and perfected, that he might not be around anymore. Muhammad (SAW) died three months and two days after this sermon that he gave in the Urunah Valley around Mount Arafat.

Of its all encapsulating, vast meaning the following can be derived from the sermon that has been quoted in the Sahih Bukhari, the Sahih Muslim, and the Sunan-Abi Dawood.

Allah the One

“All praise is Allah’s. We praise Him, seek His help, ask His forgiveness, and we repent unto Him. We seek refuge in Allah from the evils of our selves and our bad actions. Whomever Allah guides none can lead astray, and whomever He leads astray has no one to guide him. I testify that there is no god but Allah alone, without any partner, and I testify that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. I enjoin you, O servants of Allah, to be god-fearing towards Allah, I urge you to obey Him, and I begin with that which is best.”

Our prophet began his final message by declaring his loyalty, his devotion and his love for Allah. He invoked his protection against the evils men possess and carry them their entire lives because of the sin, injustice, and cruelty they had committed. He declared that the light of guidance and the darkness of hypocrisy are both sent by Allah. He asked his followers not to ascribe any partners to Allah and to remain steadfast in His obedience. He feared that after his death, the ignorant would make a god out of him and so he declared himself only as a messenger of Allah, only His servant and nothing more. He asked followers to never falter in their faith in Allah, to obey His commands and to heed the word of Allah.

The seal of the Prophethood

To commence: O people, hear me well: I explain to you. For I do not know; I may well not meet you again in this place where I now stand, after this year of mine.

The Prophet (SAW) suggested in the Final sermon, now that his mission to spread Islam was complete, his time on Earth might be limited. The Prophet died 3 months after giving this sermon. The Finality and seal of prophethood were attested by the last Ayah of the Quran that was revealed just after the sermon had ended. This declaration shows that there would be no other prophet after Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and those who do claim to be one would be false prophets. After the death of the Prophet Muhammad, Abu Bakr (RA) spent a considerable portion of his time as Caliph, chasing down and killing false prophets and prophetesses.

Sacred Lives and Property of Muslims

O people: your lives and your property, until the very day you meet your Lord, are as inviolable to each other as the inviolability of this day you are now in, and the month you are now in. Have I given the message?—O Allah, be my witness. So let whoever has been given something for safe keeping give it back to him who gave him it.

The Month of Dhul Hajj is among the four most sacred months in Islam. The Prophet Muhammad attributed the sacredness of this month, and the Inviolable day of the Hajj to the lives and property of Muslims, one to another. He asked his followers to not only protect their own lives, but the lives of their brethren and their property, and to defend it not only from other enemies but also from themselves.

End of Usury

Truly, the usury of the Era of Ignorance has been laid aside forever, and the first usury I begin with is that which is due to my father’s brother ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib.

Usury is forbidden in Islam. In pre-Islamic times, usury was a way of life. People used to lend money to the unfortunate at unfair rates, then live off on the interests while the debtor used to get crushed under an ever increasing weight of interest. This made the rich, even richer and the poor even poorer and created a rift in the fabric of society. By banning usury, Muhammad (SAW) rescued debtors from the clutches of the elitists and fascists of Makkah and later the whole of the Muslim world.

End of blood vengeance

And truly the blood-vengeance of the Era of Ignorance has been laid aside forever, and the first blood-vengeance we shall start with is that which is due for the blood of [my kinsman] ‘Amir ibn Rabi‘a ibn Harith ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib.

Before pre-Islamic times, the Arab society was a war mongering clan of merchant tribes. It was not uncommon to read about warring tribes, who kept scores and grudges that had decades, even century old rivalries. That was the barbaric traditions of pre-Islamic Quraish. If not the son, then the grandson must avenge the murder of the father, perhaps from the great grandson of the enemy by killing him. These practices created division in the society and destroyed lives, property, and confidence in a people. Muhammad (SAW) stopped this injustice by ending the blood vengeance.

End of Hereditary Distinction

Truly, the hereditary distinctions that were pretensions to respect in the Era of Ignorance have been laid aside forever, except for the custodianship of the Kaaba [by Bani ‘Abd al-Dar] and the giving of drink to pilgrims [by al-‘Abbas].

True to his mission, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) cut the distinct lineage of the elite families of Makah, who for years, kept the city under their thumb purely because they were either the richest, oldest or most influential since of old. Respect and distinction are based on merit, and so when the unworthy lead a people corruption is bound to follow.

Eye for an eye (Not more not less)

A deliberate murder is subject to retaliation in kind. An accidental death from a deliberate injury means a death resulting from [something not usually used or intended as a deadly weapon such as] a stick or a rock, for which the indemnity is one hundred camels: whoever asks for more is a person of the Era of Ignorance.

Murder is the biggest sin in Islam. Islam advises the death penalty for murders. But when people die due to an accident then our Prophet has set expiation for that. Man slaughter is resentful, but it can not be made into a resource for the victim’s family. This disrespects and degrades the value of life.

Satan defeated

O people: the Devil has despaired of ever being worshipped in this land of yours, though he is content to be obeyed in other works of yours, that you deem to be of little importance.

It is said that with the victory at Makkah and the reconciliation that followed, Satan was driven out of the Meeqat, unable to enter again. The Dajjal or false Messiah who will appear near the End of Times would not be able to enter the Haram as well.  Such is the protection and blessing from Allah on the Masjid-e-Haram. However, our Prophet said that Satan would be able to ensnare people in minor domestic issues, so they need to keep up their guard.

The Sacred four months of Islam

O people: postponing the inviolability of a sacred month [claiming to postpone the prohibition of killing in it to a subsequent month, so as to continue warring despite the sacred month’s having arrived] is a surfeit of unbelief, by which those who disbelieve are led astray, making it lawful one year and unlawful in another, in order to match the number [of months] Allah has made inviolable. Time has verily come full turn, to how it was the day Allah created the heavens and the earth. Four months there are which are inviolable, three in a row and forth by itself: Dhul Qa‘da, Dhul Hijja, and Muharram; and Rajab, which lies between Jumada and Sha‘ban. Have I given the message?—O Allah, be my witness.

Allah has declared four months of the Islamic calendar as sacred. They include the months of Dhul Qa‘da, Dhul Hajj, Muharram, and Rajab. In these holy months, Muslims are asked to increase their worship, observe non-obligatory fasts and above all not to initiate or participate in any war. These months were also observed by the Arab pagans traditionally, but most people at the time shifted the months so to better suit their own agendas. Our Prophet (SAW) asked them to either abandon or postpone war, with in these sacred months strictly.

Women Rights

O people: verily you owe your women their rights, and they owe you yours. They may not lay with other men in your beds, let anyone into your houses you do not want without your permission or commit indecency. If they do, Allah has given you leave to debar them, send them from your beds, or [finally] strike them in a way that does no harm. But if they desist, and obey you, then you must provide for them and clothe them fittingly. The women who live with you are like captives, unable to manage for themselves: you took them as a trust from Allah and enjoyed their sex as lawful through a word [legal ruling] from Allah. So fear Allah in respect to women, and concern yourselves with their welfare. Have I given the message?—O Allah, be my witness

The Prophet declared that it is the sole duty of every man to provide for his wife the provisions to maintain her needs. He declared that, though men provide a home for their women, bear their expenses and lead the family, it by no means give them the right to use them, abuse them or degrade their value. They are to be respected by men and men should keep them safe and secure. He also encouraged men to lead their households with modesty and maintain a relationship with pious women.

Unity and Brotherhood

O people, believers are but brothers. No one may take his brother’s property without his full consent. Have I given the message?—O Allah, be my witness. Never go back to being unbelievers, smiting each other’s necks, for verily, I have left among you that which if you take it, you will never stray after me: the Book of Allah. Have I given the message?—O Allah, be my witness.

Our Prophet declared that Muslims do not just share the same faith, they are blood brothers to each other. He warned the Muslims not harm or kill each other after he has gone beyond the mortal life. Muslim brothers should respect and love each other as if they have the same mother and father, they must protect their properties, not to steal each other’s possessions or harm or destroy them out of rage or jealousy.


O people, your Lord is One, and your father is one: all of you are from Adam, and Adam was from the ground. The noblest of you in Allah’s sight is the most godfearing: Arab has no merit over non-Arab other than godfearing-ness. Have I given the message?—O Allah, be my witness. —At this, they said yes.

After declaring every Muslim as brothers, one to another he declared all of the humanity as a vast family. He told the Muslims and the wider world that we must treat each other with love and friendship. He also denounced racism and sectarianism and declared that one person cannot pretend to have a higher rank over the other except by the measure of being God fearing, and only Allah knows how much a man does fear God than the other.

Spread the Word

He said, Then let whoever is present tell whoever is absent.

The Prophet of Allah told those who were present before him attending his final sermon to propagate his message. This is called ‘Tabligh’ in Islam. Teaching others, of something beneficial that is not necessarily related to Islam is a keystone in Islamic philosophy. It is due to this teaching, that within the next fifty years, the Islamic empire grew beyond a few desert cities, galloped across the Northern Africa and into Spain, bringing the rest of Europe out of the dark ages. Islam is part of the human information treasure; all have the right to informed of it, to incorporate it into their lives regardless of religion, caste or creed.

Legal matters and Inheritance

O people, Allah has apportioned to every deserving heir his share of the estate, and no deserving heir may accept a special bequest, and no special bequest may exceed a third of the estate. A child’s lineage is that of the [husband who owns the] bed, and adulterers shall be stoned. Whoever claims to be the son of someone besides his father or a bondsman who claims to belong to other than his masters shall bear the curse of Allah and the angels and all men: no deflecting of it or ransom for it shall be accepted from him.

The Prophet (SAW) taught us not to absconder the rights of the orphaned, and to instruct our relatives to disperse our wealth among our kin after we die, and not to favor any specific person over all others.

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