ziyarat during umrah

What are some of the Umrah ziyarat that I can visit within my limited stay?

Without any doubt, the most remarkable site in Makkah is the Masjid al Haram while that in Madinah is definitely the illustrious Masjid Nabawi. But it may be said to further the interest of the pilgrims that there are secondary sites that form an important part of the Islamic history. By visiting a ziarat, the pilgrim can complete the whole account of an historical event or personality in his mind. This gives pilgrims a sense of closure and ultimate satisfaction. For a more comprehensive pilgrimage, Muslims pay homage to these sites and you too can broaden your horizons.

Get in touch with leading tour operators whose network extends beyond Makkah and Madinah. It’s no longer a consideration to include guide service in your ground arrangements as domestic tour operators and cab drivers are well-acquainted with these points of interest. As to which is the most expedient route to take and what is the best time to travel, they are well aware of that as well. Also, by joining a group you can save money on these visits. Not only can you enjoy a like-minded company on the field but the bus ride will also be an interactive experience. On your return, the bus will pick you from a nearby collection point.

Umrah Ziyarat in Makkah:

The sites closest to the Masjid al Haram will be listed first. These will be followed by those a little further away and that require more time and planning.

Jannatul Mualla:
This graveyard is a ten-minute drive from the Grand Mosque in Makkah. Concentrated as they are, within the vicinity of the distinguished Mosque, some sites become the first priority of visitors. This, together with the Mosque of Jinn, is easily accessible on any schedule howsoever tight. Those near and dear to the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him), namely Hazrat Khadija (May God be pleased with her) and Hazrat Abu Talib, who supported him throughout his life, are buried here. The fact alone is enough to claim our special interest in this site. The graveyard also houses our Prophet’s grandfather Abdul Muttalib and great grandfather Abd Munaaf. Pay your respects to the dwellers of the graveyard.

Masjid Aisha:
The Aisha Mosque occupies a significant position in the architectural landmarks of Saudi Arabia. Along with the Masjid al Haram, this Makkan mosque also became a model for the world of Islam. Furthermore, pilgrims highly regard it because of its particular connection with the wearing of ihram. Hazrat Aisha (may God be pleased with her) entered into the state of ihram at this place. Locals, when they have a mind to perform Umrah, reach this mosque to wear ihram and begin formal proceedings from there. To some extent, it has been modernized to keep up with the global standards as well as to accommodate more worshippers. A little less than 8 kilometres from the Grand Mosque, this is again a nearby ziyarat.

The Cave of Hira:
This is the cave where the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) received the first revelation from Allah the Almighty through Hazrat Jibrail (peace be upon him). This is where the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to retire for meditation and deep thinking. This cave marks the formal beginning of Islam and pilgrims eagerly await its sight. For more information on the Cave of Hira, click here.

The Cave of Thawr: The Prophet (peace be upon him) took refuge in this cave when he was being targeted and chased by the kufaar. Thus he honoured this humble cave by letting it contribute its share into the campaign of Islam. To this very day it holds its special place in the hearts of Muslims and remains to attest both the struggles of the early Muslim Community and the dangers it had to face. Ghar e Thawr has been thoroughly described in its proper place, here.
Jabal Rahmah:
Pilgrims organizing their ziyarat trip cannot overlook this site especially when conducting a landmark tour. Also known as Mount Arafat, this elevation served as a pulpit for the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) when he delivered his last sermon. An annual Hajj congregation takes place at the plain of Arafat just below this rocky height.

Masjid al Jinn:
The incident connected with this site, being of a very supernatural nature, has given to this mosque a peculiar interest. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him), when he recited the Holy Quran to a band of passing Jinns, happened to influence them. It is not surprising that those Jinns felt the grace of those Quranic verses and fell under their charm. The Holy Quran testifies this in Surah Jinn and provides good grounds for believing this incident.

The mosque was erected to celebrate that conversion. Also, it can be considered as one of the representative specimens of mosque architecture that thrive in Makkah. It is frequented by men only. Not because it is a remote location or anything. It is just a 10 minute spin from the Grand Mosque. Women can praise it from afar but cannot enter since the mosque has no proper division of male and female chambers.

Umrah Ziyarat in Madinah:

For a change of scene, and to pay their respects to several other key destinations in Saudi Arabia, pilgrims travel to Madinah.

Masjid Nabawi:
Madinah has this distinction of housing the second most sacred building in the world; a distinction which it will retain till the Day of Judgement. The first one is Kaaba of course. The Prophet (peace be upon him) purchased the land for this mosque from his own resources and even participated in the labours of its building. Offering prayers in this mosque, except for the Grand Mosque in Makkah, is a thousand times more rewarding than any other mosque in the world. More so, as told by Hazrat Abu Hurayra:

Allah's Messenger (p.b.u.h) said, "One prayer in my Mosque is better than one thousand prayers in any other mosque excepting Al-Masjid-AI-Haram."
{Sahih Bukhaari  H # 1190}

The superiority of a single prayer here to a thousand prayers elsewhere is not limited to compulsory prayers. One compulsory prayer (farz) equates to a little more than a thousand compulsory prayers in other mosques and one voluntary prayer (nafal) here outshines a thousand nawaafil performed elsewhere.

Roza e Rusool is part of Masjid Nabawi and the best quarter of it. The tomb of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was built upon the house of Hazrat Aisha (may God be pleased with her), where he passed away. His grave is situated to the south western side of that house while his face is towards the Kaaba. When Hazrat Abu Bakr (may God be pleased with him) passed away, he was buried alongside the Prophet (peace be upon him), close behind his shoulders. Hazrat Umar bin Khattaab (may God be pleased with him) was similarly buried alongside the first Caliph of Islam in a similar manner. Pilgrims are directed to approach the quarter facing the tomb. This is a sign of respect.

Maintain the same respect when entering and while inside the Riyaz ul Jannah. The present pulpit holds no memory of the caresses and grips of the Prophet’s hands. This is a later construction completed by 998 Hijri. The original either weathered away or was caught during the fire. But the pillars are worth seeing. The pillars of this mosque are unique in that each has served a different purpose during the life of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Each pillar is significant in its own way. For instance, Ustuwaanah e Ali (or the pillar of Ali) is where Hazrat Ali (May God be pleased with him) used to stand watch over the mosque. The pillar is famous for its functional attribute whereas the Ustuwaanah e Aisha (or the pillar of Aisha) is famous for its situational attribute, as it marks the best praying spot inside the Mosque. Hazrat Abdullah bin Zubair (may God be pleased with him) insisted on Hazrat Aisha’s (may God be pleased with her) disclosing to him of this secret spot.
There are, in total, eight pillars.

The names of the pillars are:

  • Ustuwaanah e Mukhallak / The Weeping Pillar)
  • Ustuwaanah e Sarir / The Sleeping Pillar)
  • Ustuwaanah e Aisha / The Pillar of Aisha (May God be pleased with her)
  • Ustuwaanah e Taubah / The Pillar of Forgiveness
  • Ustuwaanah e Ali / The Pillar of Ali (May God be pleased with him)
  • Ustuwaanah e Wufud / The Pillar of Delegations
  • Ustuwaanah e Jibrail / The Pillar of Angel Gabriel (May God be pleased with him)
  • Ustuwaanah e Tahujjud / The Pillar of the Nightly Prayers

But no pillar here is a ziarat within a ziarat. The pillars tell, for instance, particular accounts of the history of Islam or mark the boundary of the original Masjid Nabawi. However, these pillars are part of the Masjid and must not be approached as some separate entities.

Masjid e Quba:
When the Prophet (peace be upon him) migrated to Madinah, he entered the city through the village of Quba, four miles to the south of the then Madinah. The Quba Mosque was founded by the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) himself to indicate that Islam had been properly established in Madinah. But it was more than a place of worship. It served as a mosque, a town hall, a madrassa, and a cabinet. Precisely for some of these reasons it has attained a prominent position among the ziyarat of Madinah. A simple two-rakat nafal here is equated to the reward of Umrah.

Hazrat Abdullah bin Umar (may God be pleased with him) observed the Prophet (peace be upon him) offering 2 rakat prayers in this mosque. He reported that every Saturday the Prophet (peace be upon him) would visit this particular mosque; at times mounted, other times not, and pray there. Hazrat Abdullah bin Umar (R.A.) used to do the same. Pilgrims, too, honour the Sunnah every Saturday by performing ablutions at home / hotel room and praying in this mosque. If, however, it cannot be Saturday then there is no problem. So long as you pray from the heart it matters not what day. Besides the 2 rakats of nafal, and the fact that the Prophet (peace be upon him) supervised the construction of the mosque himself, nothing else is mentioned in either the Quran or hadith. Apart from what is mentioned, this mosque has nothing else that distinguishes it from other mosques.

The building supports magnificent globes enhanced by the surrounding minarets. Added up, the mosque exhibits a marvel of Islamic architecture. This mosque is only 15 minutes from the Masjid Nabawi on car.

Jabal Uhud:
The period of early Islam was very challenging for the Muslims. Islam was still in its infancy and its enemies were growing. Muslims fought three battles with the kufaar and the Battle of Uhud has a weight of its own. Mount Uhud is known to have aroused the interest of pilgrims for ages. The plain bordering this mountain served as the battleground. Highlights include the Archers' Mound, the Cave of Uhud and the Graveyard of Martyrs.

Only a select few can manage to hike up and even that because of their own curiosity, motivation and health. Advisable precautions are, in the first place, to pace yourself and stay hydrated. Also do not entrust your goods to other people nor take anything from them. This is the reason why so many pilgrims travel light.
Back in the days, only men were allowed by Sharia’h to visit the graves. Nowadays, the graves are surrounded by an enclosure that allows both men and women to pray from afar. Nobody is allowed to enter the perimeter and pay respects to each grave personally. Keep in mind that there is no specific prayer to be said at this place. Also, it is worth mentioning here that scholars do not approve of praying anymore than what is strictly ceremonial. You are only to pray for their forgiveness and that is it. Your salam would suffice. Pilgrims loving dramatic effect often cross the line drawn by the Sharia’h.

Notable among the martyrs are Hazrat Hamza bin Abdul Muttalib, Hazrat Mussab bin Umair, Hazrat Jabir bin Abdullah, Hazrat Saad bin Rabeeh, Hazrat Khaarijah bin Zayd, Hazrat Nauman bin Malik and Hazrat Abdah bin Hassas (may God be pleased with them). Of all the martyrs who are buried here, only Hazrat Hamza’s grave can be readily identified. It used to be a tomb before. But now it is a plain grave bordered by bricks.

While the iconic Masjid Nabawi holds enough marvels under its own roof, there are certainly other sites that a pilgrim is encouraged to visit for a more detailed Umrah experience. This is one such site.

Masjid e Ghamama:
This is a defunct mosque of old times just neighbouring the Roza-e-Rasool and marks the location where the Prophet (peace be upon him) conducted the Eid prayer. But those Eid prayers were not offered in any proper mosque. Far from it! The mosque that pilgrims see today was constructed later on by the Saudi government. However it is called the Mosque of Ghamama for a different reason. The Prophet (peace be upon him) visited this plain on other occasions as well, besides the Eiden. On one such occasion he had to pray for rain. And since the weather was cloudy when the prophet (peace be upon him) made his prayers there, it inspired the name of the mosque. Ghamama literally translates to clouds.

Other places of interest might be the mosques named after distinguished companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) or sahaaba-e-karaam (may God be pleased with them). These include the Mosque of Abu Bakr, the Mosque of Umar, the Mosque of Ali and the Mosque of Bilal.

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