Alhumdulillah ! I have returned from my Umrah and ziyarat of Prophet’s Mosque. The reason I am writing this article is to help People like me who are considering for Umrah but are held back because Kids are not allowed inside the haramain.
As you all know that I reside in Saudi Arab alhumdulillah so this post is basically a guide for People residing in Saudi Arab. Umrah from other countries are closed these days and only People within the kingdom are allowed Umrah but we have heard that it shall open for others too very soon In sha Allah.
We were longing for Umrah since days but were unable to go because either we didn’t had vaccination or we were not getting the slots for Umrah. So the first thing you need to ensure is that you are vaccinated by first dose and atleast 14 days have passed so that your tawakkalna app shows “Immune by first dose status”
The next important thing is Slot. You can try to book your slot through “Tawakkalna app ” or “Eatmarna” app. I have heard that slots usually show up at 12. pm every day and sometimes it shows up after every 6 hours. We tried to book our slots but were not having any luck so we went to the bus agent and booked our ticket and they promised us slot. These days Hotels and Umrah agents can get you slots for Umrah.
We have a daughter so we were very concerned and nervous on how would we manage. The Umrah agent got our slot booked at 9.am. Initially we thought that I and my husband could do Umrah one by one but when we read the guidelines of the acess point that you need to be present at access point atleast 15 minutes beforehand, we got nervous all the more.
We talked with some friends and they said to get a hotel booked but as you know that hotels in Makkah have a very strange check in- check-out time. It is from 4.pm to 12.pm and we needed hotel from 8.am. We booked the hotel for that day knowing that we may have to sit somewhere or book another cheap hotel from(8 am to 4 pm). Hotel was very important because you cannot do Umrah with kids and Since Kids are not allowed in haramain you can not leave them anywhere.
So things were confusing and what we held fast to was Dua. “Dua to make our Umrah easy “
Here is how we sorted our things and finally had a wonderful and memorable Umrah experience.
We had booked our slot via an Umrah agent and we chose to travel via bus. For a comfortable journey, I would advise you to pack some Pillow. Because of COVID restrictions, the seat next to you will be empty so you can enjoy a comfortable position. Try to pack your food for the journey. The places where the bus stops are usually crowded. In a limited time you have to freshen up, read your Salah and also get the food. We only lined up for a Coffee and that took most of our time.
As soon we reached Makkah, we went to the Acess point that showed in our app and got both our mobile scanned. They gave us a 2 way ticket- 20 sr each although we had booked a taxi and didn’t needed it. The app said that a Mutamer needs to be before 15 minutes of permit’s starting time so we followed the guideline and went to acess point and scanned both the mobile.
We went to the clock tower where we had booked our hotel. The guards wanted to see your booking receipt before allowing your taxi to enter. So if you are planning a stay in Clock tower, better get your tickets booked beforehand. We chose Clock tower because of the ease of going to perform Umrah one by one. The Check in time was 4.pm and we had arrived at 8 am. Alhumdulillah they allowed us to check in. The name of the hotel was “Pullman Zamzam “. There is not a lot of rush in the hotels so may be it is because of that or may be we were lucky.
I stayed with my daughter until my husband performed Umrah and then I went and Performed my Umrah.
Booking at clock tower has many advantages. You can quickly get down your hotel and read your Salah especially if you are a woman and you don’t like walking long way alone to other hotels. I took this pic to remember the gate. I usually take pics to remember the location or send the location via whats app if the distance is long. Also remember to have an active internet because you need to show your tawakkalna app at the entrance. Once my modem got discharged and the tawakkalna was not opening. I showed them a screenshot of tawakkalna that I had taken before leaving. They allowed me in.
Regarding my experience at Haram Sharif-
Alhumdilillah ! NO pen can write the words of thanks for such a heavenly experience. There was no crowd at all. I was able to sit before Kaaba sharif and satisfy my heart’s longing. I gazed at Kaaba for as long as I wanted. I felt as if I was summoned before Allah. The peace that filled my heart shall remain forever. I thanked Allah for choosing me for this divine experience and prayed to him to built for me a house in Jannah where I could gaze at him the same way I was gazing then.
I made lots of dua. I felt like I was talking to Allah swt. I felt like I was in a totally different world where there was just me and My Rabb.
Although I never take pictures at haramain, I clicked a few clicks to save it in my heart forever. I am sharing these with you here. May Allah call all of us to his house again and again.
So if you are considering Umrah and you are worried about how that can be done with kids, don’t worry book a hotel and you can do Umrah one by one. The permit stays valid for the whole day as long as you have got them scanned. Wear your mask, teach your kids to keep sanitizing their hands and not to touch anything un-necessary and leave them at hotel so that they can get some rest. If the kids are well rested and have lots of food of thier choice, they won’t fuss.
May Allah make it easy for you. Keep in Dua.