Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. The word ‘Umrah’ means a visit to a place. Performing Umrah is one of the most important religious obligations for Muslims, undertaken during the holy month of Ramadan or any other time throughout the year. Umrah has been described as being spiritually rewarding and can be performed at any time of the year.
The journey starts in Mecca with Tawaf, circling the Kaabah, followed by Sa’i, walking between Safa and Marwa seven times. Pilgrims traditionally wear special attire called Ihram, two white sheets covering body and soul. Afterward, in Mina, they perform prayers and rituals before heading home, concluding their Umrah journey.
Pakistanis’ Passion Towards Performing Umrah
Pakistanis have an enormous passion for Umrah, the lesser pilgrimage to Mecca. This holy journey has been a part of their culture for centuries, and many people make this journey every year to fulfill the fifth pillar of Islam.
Pakistani culture is deeply rooted in a strong spiritual bond, exemplified by their unwavering commitment to performing Umrah. Annually, Pakistanis put forth tremendous efforts to secure the necessary funds and travel visas, planning every detail with great enthusiasm. Their anticipation builds as they prepare to visit revered sites. These include the Masjid al-Haram in Makkah and the Masjid e-Nabawi in Madinah. This spiritual journey holds a special place in their hearts, reflecting the profound significance of Umrah in their lives.
A majority of Pakistanis believe that Umrah not only cleanses them spiritually. But it also brings them closer to Allah Almighty through prayer and sacrifice.
Pakistanis Performing Umrah – Statistics
Pakistanis are known for their religious devotion, and this is reflected in the recent statistics regarding Umrah. The number of Pakistanis who traveled to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah has seen a significant increase over the last few years. According to figures from Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Statistics, more than 1.2 million Pakistanis visited between April 2018 and March 2019. This shows an 18% rise from the year before.
Pakistan Ranks Second Highest in Terms of Umrah Pilgrims
Pakistan ranked the second highest for the number of Umrah pilgrims to Saudi Arabia in 2022, with 370,083 out of 1.964 million pilgrims worldwide. Indonesia ranked first with 551,000 Umrah Pilgrims, meanwhile, India and Egypt followed with 230,000 and 100,000 pilgrims respectively.
The increase in Umrah pilgrims from Pakistan can be attributed to various factors. Affordable airfares and discounted pilgrimage packages have made the journey more accessible. The availability of direct flights from major Pakistani cities has also significantly shortened travel times. Improved Hajj services and added convenience for travelers from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia have played a role in this growth. Additionally, certain financial incentives have further incentivized people to embark on this spiritual journey. Furthermore, government initiatives that promote religious tourism have made Umrah more affordable for a larger portion of the population. This is further contributing to the rising numbers of pilgrims.
The remarkable rise in Pakistani Umrah pilgrim numbers underscores the enduring connection between the two nations. It shows their unwavering commitment to making religious pilgrimages accessible to individuals from across the globe. This substantial increase is a testament to the strong bond and reinforces their steadfast dedication to pilgrims worldwide.
Umrah Guide for Pakistanis
After a successful Hajj season, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia officially resumed Umrah visa registrations. Applicants for the Umrah are accepted from Pakistan and all across the globe.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has permitted women between the ages of 18 and 65 to perform Umrah. They don’t need a male guardian or “mahram,” as long as they travel in a group. They must also be clear of any diseases and have had one dose of vaccination (a partial vaccination).
The charge of Umrah insurance has reportedly been reduced by 63 percent by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. So, from SAR 235 to SAR 87, the cost of Umrah health insurance has decreased. Additionally, Saudi Arabia established a minimum age limit for Umrah pilgrims. Now, kids aged 5 and older can apply for an official admission permit to perform Umrah. For entry into the Grand Mosque, parents must accompany the kids. They must also present evidence that they haven’t been exposed to COVID-19 or aren’t infected.
Requirements for Umrah
To ensure a safe and meaningful pilgrimage, there are certain requirements all pilgrims must fulfill before embarking on their journey.
All individuals who wish to travel to Saudi Arabia must have an up-to-date passport valid for at least six months beyond their scheduled return date. Furthermore, two blank pages are needed within the passport. This is so that entry and exit stamps may be added when traveling through immigration checkpoints. It’s also essential for travelers to have a photo ID that should match the details stated in their passport. A driving license or National ID card can work. Without this, travelers may face delays or even denial from entering the country.
The second requirement is an Umrah visa. It must be obtained from either a Saudi Arabian embassy or consulate in your home country.
The validity of the Umrah visa has just been increased in Saudi Arabia from 30 to 90 days. With this new policy, pilgrims are free to travel wherever they like within Saudi Arabia. The completion of the Umrah and timely exit from Saudi Arabia are requirements for anyone having an Umrah visa.
The following are the prerequisites for an umrah visa:
- A fully filled-out original Umrah visa application. You can get this paperwork by sending a sizable, self-addressed envelope to the Saudi consulate that is closest to you. To make sure the registration goes successfully, it is advised to employ the aid of a licensed travel agency.
- One recent color photo that is passport-sized and has a white backdrop. The applicant’s face must be fully visible and facing the camera at all times. Angled or side views are not acceptable.
- A passport that is at least valid for 6 months from the application date.
- A reserved flight ticket that cannot be changed. If the individual is not a citizen of the country from which he or she is applying.
- A valid residence permit permit must be provided. If the applicant is from a high country.
- A vaccination certificate for meningococcal meningitis, yellow fever, and polio should also be appended. Departure from Saudi Arabia must take place within two weeks of the date of entry. A minimum of ten days before the entrance and no more than three years ago, the immunization certificate must have been issued. When entering Saudi Arabia, the pilgrim must have their immunization records with them.
Once you have secured your visa, travelers need to obtain an Umrah permit from their local travel agency or airline office before departing for Saudi Arabia. The permit will then need to be presented when entering through immigration in Jeddah or Madinah airport.
You are strongly advised to apply for your Umrah visa through a licensed travel agency listed on the official page of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah after assembling all the necessary documentation.
The Eatmarna app has reportedly been replaced, according to the most recent release from the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, by the Nusuk app, which is compatible with iPhone, Android, and Huawei devices. With the use of this app, users will be able to acquire permits for Umrah, Rawdah As Sheerafah, Umrah plans, tourism destinations in the Kingdom, and a variety of other services.
Apart from this, all prospective pilgrims must have valid identification documents to gain entry into Saudi Arabia. Additionally, participants should be in good physical health so as not to become overwhelmed by exhaustion or illness during their travels. Pilgrims should also familiarize themselves with the rituals associated with this religious journey so they can perform each step properly while in Mecca.
Umrah Experiences of Pakistanis
Traveling to Makkah for Umrah is a rewarding experience for Pakistani Muslims. From the moment of stepping foot in the sacred city, pilgrims are surrounded by beauty and holiness. The spiritual journey of performing Umrah has attracted millions of people from all around the world including Pakistanis.
Pakistan is home to some 200 million Muslims and it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis travel to Makkah annually for religious purposes such as Hajj and Umrah. For these pilgrims, traveling long distances on planes or buses can be tiring but it is also an exciting adventure filled with anticipation and joyous moments shared with family and friends when they finally reach their destination – The Holy City of Makkah.
For many Pakistanis, an Umrah pilgrimage can be a life-changing experience. The journey to Makkah and Medinah is filled with spiritual joy and reflection, allowing for pilgrims to connect with their faith on a deeper level. Throughout the ritualistic process of Umrah, Pakistanis can explore the holiest sites in Islam and gain insight into their religion’s rich history.
The experience of traveling to Makkah and Medinah is often surreal for those undertaking the pilgrimage. From the moment they arrive, pilgrims are surrounded by the hustle and bustle of fellow travelers who have come from all over the world to perform Umrah rituals. Despite being physically exhausting at times, this journey provides Pakistani pilgrims with a unique opportunity to meet people from diverse backgrounds while simultaneously engaging with Islamic practices.
Advice From Pakistanis Based on Their Experiences
However, during their visits, they often experience a variety of difficulties which can prove challenging. Pakistani pilgrims have shared several tips and advice on how best to navigate through any issues that may arise during this spiritual journey.
For those planning an Umrah trip from Pakistan, it’s essential to remember that medicines and painkillers are very expensive in Saudi Arabia, so make sure you take enough with you for the duration of your stay. It’s very normal to get sick there. It is essential to have a basic first aid box with items for allergies, pain relief, anti-diarrhea, and digestive issues, as well as anything else that may be necessary depending on the health condition of each traveler.
It’s also important to know the medical facilities in Saudi Arabia before going there for Umrah so that any medical emergency can be dealt with efficiently in case of an accident or illness.
Be sure to keep snacks with you during your travels. The rituals can be quite long and tiring; having snacks will help keep you energized during your travel. You will barely find any snacks nearby if you haven’t packed for yourself. The shops are also outside the Holy sites, and surely you won’t be able to put that much effort into just getting yourself some snacks.
Additionally, take along food that is light and easy to digest as well as hydrating drinks like water or juices. Pack plenty of water bottles so that you don’t get dehydrated while traveling in the hot desert climate — something that could easily happen when performing Umrah rituals outdoors without much shade!
Remember to pack supplies such as unscented soaps, moisturizers, and wet tissues; these will come in handy during the pilgrimage. It is also important to bring a portable fan as temperatures can be high during certain times of the year. A charger and international power adapter are also essential items to bring with you, so you can charge your phone or laptop while away from home.
The most difficult part of packing for Umrah from Pakistan is deciding what to leave out due to limited space and resources. However, with some careful consideration, it’s possible to ensure that all essential items fit into a suitcase without overburdening yourself.
In conclusion, performing Umrah is a spiritual and beautiful journey that can be shared with others, regardless of background or religion. Pakistani experiences show how fulfilling the dream of this pilgrimage is and how it is an event that will remain in their minds forever. It has been shown through various sources that the experience of performing Umrah can have a profound impact and bring about inner peace to those who embark on the journey.
The experience of performing Umrah is one that many Pakistanis will never forget and it can be incredibly fulfilling. Fulfilling a dream of visiting Makkah is an incredible achievement for any Muslim, regardless of their nationality.