This is one person’s description of their recent Umra trip that was sent in using the “write for us” page. Enjoy.
I received my invitation to Umra December 2015, the saying is you must be invited, this cannot be true enough. I booked this trip almost one year ago, I tried to cancel and postpone it many times, telling myself I was not ready to take this step but I was invited and had to go. As the time approached, I felt nervous but excited at the same time. I was lost and I needed direction. I needed to make some changes, I wanted to find peace within myself.
As I approached the Kaaba to perform the first part of the ritual, it was the most overwhelming feeling I have ever experienced. I started to cry as I walked around the Kaaba, I cried for letting myself get lost in this world, i cried for contentment and peace. After performing the rituals, I felt calm and at ease.
My next overwhelming experience was Salah, how we take it for granted, find excuses to delay or even miss it. In Mecca, Salah is the most important part of life, everything resolved around Salah. My day use to start at tajweed, millions of people setting off to perform Salah. Seen and experiencing this has made me appreciate the importance of salah.
I stayed at Mecca for 8 days, explored all the amazing places. One place I visited was the cemetery where Khadija ( our prophets first wife) was buried, there was four burials going on at that time, I was blown away. I have never seen a burial before, I stood there and watched, it was the strangest emotion as all I kept thinking was that is our final destination ( our grave),nothing else matters but our deens. Mecca is the most beautiful city in the world, a city that never sleeps.
I moved on to Medina, 5 hour car journey. I stayed at Medina for 5 days, compared to Mecca, Medina was calm. I was surprised by how calm and relaxed the city was. When I visited our prophets grave, Passed my salaams to our beloved. I felt overwhelmed. I was lucky to explore all the beautiful parts of Medina with the help from a friend who is studying at Medina university. He showed and coached me on all the history, it was an honor to be toured by someone with so much knowledge. My time from visiting the holy cities came to an end, it was the most amazing experience and I have learned so much about our religion. I have found the direction I have been seeking for so long. I found peace.
It was mentally and physically exhausting but the most beautiful experience to date.
I look forward to my next invitation…