A Comprehensive Guide to Hajj and Umrah

Your ultimate guide to Hajj and Umrah: rituals, tips, and packages to help UK Muslims prepare for and complete their spiritual pilgrimage.

As a Muslim, you might know about the significance of Hajj and Umrah. These two pilgrimages are the ultimate source of faith revival for the believers in Islam. Hajj is the mandatory pilgrimage, and Umrah is the voluntary one. If you are a financially and physically capable Muslim, you must perform Hajj at least once. And Umrah can be performed voluntarily. You will need a comprehensive guide to Hajj and Umrah to know about these spiritual retreats

Every Muslim dreams of standing before the Holy Kaaba and pouring their hearts out. Seeing the Kaaba in front of you is undoubtedly an indescribable feeling that makes you feel much closer to the Creator. Therefore, performing Hajj and Umrah gives you a chance to feel the closeness of Allah Almighty and ask for His forgiveness, blessings and guidance. 

If you are a UK citizen headed for any of the two pilgrimages, we are here to guide you through properly. This guide is perfect if you want to know about Hajj and Umrah rituals, how to prepare for the journey, and how to book Hajj and Umrah packages.

Significance of Hajj and Umrah 

Hajj commemorates a prominent historical event featuring Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and his family. It represents their trials and tribulations. Moreover, the Hajj symbolizes the unity of the Muslim nations. As Muslims from around the world gather at the pilgrimage site, wearing the same clothes, it shows that everyone is the same in Allah Almighty’s eyes. No superiority is based on caste, colour, creed, or wealth. 

Muslims also show their submission to Allah Almighty while performing the Hajj rituals, which have countless rewards and blessings. Someone who performs the Hajj rituals perfectly with a pure heart is like a newborn baby, as they get all their sins forgiven. 

Umrah is a minor pilgrimage. Muslims don’t need to perform this pilgrimage. It also has fewer rituals. However, Umrah also yields you countless rewards and blessings. The reward of performing Umrah in Ramadan is equal to performing the Hajj. 

Rituals of Hajj

Here is a step-by-step guide to the Hajj rituals. 

1. Enter the State of Ihram

The State of Ihram is pure. This state requires you to be clean both physically and mentally. To enter the state of Ihram, you must clean yourself properly before dressing up. Men must wrap themselves in two pieces of unstitched clothing. On the other hand, women must wear clothes that cover them properly. You should abide by specific rules when you are in the state of Ihram. Some of these rules include:

  • Men cannot cover their heads.
  • You cannot cut your hair or nails while in the state of Ihram.
  • Men cannot cover socks or shoes that cover their whole feet. 
  • All the pilgrims are required to refrain from physical intimacy.
  • Pilgrims cannot wear any perfume. 
  • It is prohibited to hunt animals in the state of Ihram. 
  • You must refrain from all kinds of haram deeds. 

2. Performing Tawaf

AD 4nXeP3v3jG9yTlWVd1FhRKCNiLOSQwbBwg1cPil5fuSTYekA3mPCFSuDBDYV1V7MLNqgFzP1OlKGlCtsWvfPEXefHB3VpD6q3oyICpi9cpnabpPDbzrmUk3hx IfGXWa0SwagvxyY5YujhQ2VajQLsFJyMHiO?key= QRRJ7Tkwh4wY4KMu3ta8Q

After entering the state of Ihram, you must head towards the Holy Kaabah to perform the Tawaf. Tawaf involves circumambulating the Kaaba seven times. You must perform the Tawaf in a counterclockwise direction. 

3. Performing Sa’i

To perform Sa’i, you must walk between Safa and Marwa seven times. This act of worship symbolizes the hardship of Prophet Ibrahim (AS)’s wife. It teaches Muslims the lesson to put their faith in Allah Almighty no matter what. 

4. Arriving at Mount Arafat

AD 4nXeOkdvWrcZJqM5YGCoQNLv9Wi4nWJgTAxJOXwV6wgKGq zz bUysYeBivsHzV7KiQuACvdL0Iz7r5NFBmuXaqW0ZIAfGi7Xaj7Gemu1r8Hhmjm7u2ANO3wkt2MjOSpaS2jnFfpX3aqEewY GMYDbYlqQ2Ix?key= QRRJ7Tkwh4wY4KMu3ta8Q 

Gathering at the plain of Arafat is another one of the main rituals of Hajj. Pilgrims spend the afternoon here in remembrance of Allah Almighty. You must indulge in intense supplication during this Hajj ritual. 

5. Staying the Night at Muzdalifah

During this Hajj ritual, pilgrims collect pebbles for the devil’s stoning. After collecting the stones, they spend their night under the open sky. 

6. Performing Ramy al-Jamarat or Stoning of the Devil

In this Hajj ritual, the pilgrims throw the collected pebbles at the Devil, represented by the three pillars. 

7. Doing Qurbani

AD 4nXf CJxP6IjpwjeID7iFTLEoM8ycJaiDNg4FblkAMZWLpWmUWUm9un9jAtDi7BAJYqRfijmOSdJndpRrwLl8ztaQNAr1ymJSBPgI uj 9OChVDQVu2qYORUJmK9Y9eUVtaSchBG3FbO9vhxE3AbwYzuuwYjJ?key= QRRJ7Tkwh4wY4KMu3ta8Q

Pilgrims sacrifice an animal in the way of Allah Almighty. This Hajj ritual commemorates the exceptional sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim (SAW) and the miracle of Allah Almighty in return for the sacrifice. 

8. Performing Tawaf al-Ifadah 

This is the last Tawaf that pilgrims perform to complete their Hajj and is often referred to as the goodbye Tawaf. 

9. Performing Halq or Taqsir

The last Hajj ritual involves cutting of hair. Men can either shave their heads or cut their hair equally. Women must also cut a few inches of their hair. This ritual rids the pilgrims of the Ihram rules and marks the end of the pilgrimage. 

Rituals of Umrah

Umrah has fewer rituals. They are similar to the first few Hajj rituals. 

  1. Enter the state of Ihram.
  2. Perform Tawaf around the Holy Kaaba.
  3. Perform Sa’i between Safa and Marwa.
  4. Complete your pilgrimage through Halq or Taqsir. 

Tips to Plan and Prepare for Hajj or Umrah

If this is your first time going to KSA for a pilgrimage, you must know some helpful tips to help you plan and prepare.

1. Book the Right Umrah or Hajj Package

Hajj and Umrah packages offer you a lot of convenience during your pilgrimage. These packages comprise most standard services, including the Hajj or Umrah visa, flight, and accommodation. You can also avail of customized Umrah and Hajj packages with additional services to suit your budget and requirements. 

2. Choose a Reliable Travel Agency 

Choosing an authorized and reliable travel agency will solve most travel planning and booking problems. Even if you know what pilgrimage package you want, you should still browse and compare numerous local Islamic travel agencies. You will indeed be surprised by the varying services and prices. Make sure to read the reviews of the agencies, too, as they will help you decide on the best one. 

3. Select the Ideal Visa Option

All Hajj pilgrims have to avail of the exclusive Hajj visa. But if you are going for an Umrah, you will have two visa options as a UK citizen. One is the Umrah-specific visa, and the second is the tourist visa. Saudi Arabia allows Muslim citizens of some specified countries to perform religious activities through a tourist visa, and the UK is one of them. 

You can only avail of the Umrah visa through an authorised local travel agency. But you can apply for a tourist visa online by yourself. A tourist visa is much more convenient and less time-consuming but doesn’t offer additional pilgrimage perks. 

4. Prepare Yourself Mentally and Physically 

Hajj and Umrah require a lot of physical work, so prepare your body before embarking on the spiritual journey. Take all the medical preventive measures. Moreover, eat healthier and start exercising before you begin the journey to ensure your body is in its healthiest position. 

Moreover, also start preparing your mind for the soul-reviving experience. You should increase your daily supplications and spend more time in the remembrance of Allah Almighty to prepare your mind for the spiritual retreat. Also, ensure you take care of all your worldly tasks before you set on the journey so that you don’t have any distractions while at the pilgrimage sites. 

5. Practice Patience and Culture Sensitivity

Saudi Arabia has a very unique culture. Locals here are very serious about their traditions. So, make sure that you are respectful of the local culture and traditions. Moreover, practice patience as you will face massive crowds of diverse people. The language barrier might make communicating with many pilgrims and locals difficult. So, ensure you are patient with everyone and prepare for all situations. 

What to Pack for a Hajj or Umrah Journey?

Packing is one of the most crucial phases of any journey. But you must be much more vigilant when packing for Hajj or Umrah to avoid inconvenience. Once in the holy cities, you must not have any other worries or distractions. So, it is important to pack wisely. You must pack some things for your Hajj or Umrah journey

1. Light Clothes and Comfortable Slippers

You might already know it can get hot in Saudi Arabia, a desert region. Therefore, you must carry light and breathable clothes with you. Moreover, you must walk a lot so your slippers must be comfortable too. Pack a few slippers and adequate clothing to ensure you don’t have to worry about laundry or any other wardrobe emergency. 

2. Necessary Gadgets

Undoubtedly, we depend on our gadgets for many of our routine tasks. So, make sure that you pack all your necessary gadgets with their chargers for a smoother travel experience. 

3. Toiletry Essentials

We all have our preferences for our toiletry essentials. You must carry your towel, your facewash, and other such essentials with you. It becomes more critical if you have any allergies or particular preferences. 

4. First Aid Box

Even though medical help is readily available at the pilgrimage sites, it is suggested that you carry your first aid box. 

5. Prescribed Medicines

You must also pack all your prescribed medicines, if any. This way, you will always have your hands on the vital medication you might need. 


Preparing and planning for Hajj and Umrah can be daunting, especially for the first-timers. It is crucial because you want to ensure you do everything correctly during this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. So, ensure you book everything and educate yourself properly about the Hajj and Umrah rituals and rules.

Moreover, you must also rid yourself of all the worldly worries and distractions to focus on getting closer to Allah Almighty. Now that you have gone through a comprehensive guide to Hajj and Umrah, you might have a clear idea of the pilgrimage process.


  • Arish Husain

    Assalam Alaikum beautiful people! someone who loves Prophet Muhammad and his family a lot. I like finding new ways to teach important stuff, so everyone can understand what Allah wants from us and His plans. We learn to listen for whispers from Allah, understand big plans, get ready for whatever Allah has for us, and try our best. I hope Allah's blessings guide us on this special journey.Allah hu Akbar!

    View all posts

Salatallayl's Newsletter!

salatallayl logo

Stay connected with us for enriching and insightful information. Join our community today!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Leave a Comment