What is the best time for Umrah?
If you are planning to perform the holy pilgrimage of Umrah and wondering the best time for it, here are all the details you need to know:
The best time to perform Umrah to gain maximum rewards is in Ramadan. This is, therefore, the most crowded and the most expensive time also. At times, few activities can become difficult or inconvenient because of the large crowds.
If you had rather want to do Umrah peacefully and easily (with the least amount of crowd) then you can choose to perform Umrah a couple of weeks after Haj has finished. This is the time when the crowd and fares are substantially reduced.
Disclaimer: You might find this post slightly skewed towards performing Umrah in Ramadan for the reasons listed below. Even I had the good fortune of performing my first umrah in Ramadan and I really cherish that experience. However, this post deals with ALL the other factors you may want to take into consideration as well.
If you are a healthy person and would want to make the most out of the opportunity of visiting Makkah then it is highly recommended to perform Umrah during Ramadan.
According to the following narration performing Umrah during Ramadan is equivalent to performing Hajj with the holy Prophet (peace be upon him):
Ibn ‘Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to a woman from among the Ansaar – Ibn ‘Abbaas mentioned her name but I forgot it – “What kept you from performing Hajj with us?” She said: We only have two camels and the father of her son and her son had gone for Hajj on one camel, and he left us the other camel so that we could carry water on it.
He said: “When Ramadaan comes, go for ‘Umrah, for ‘Umrah in (that month) is equivalent to Hajj.”Al-Bukhaari (1782) and Muslim (1256)
You can find a detailed explanation of this Hadith here.
Another important aspect to consider is that during Ramadan each good deed is rewarded multifold. And hence, it is a great opportunity to score a lot of good deeds.
However, there are a couple of factors you may wish to consider based on your personal situation and preference:
Three things to consider when planning for the best time for Umrah
- Health– All of us can get excited about the amazing rewards of performing Umrah and spending the blessed days of Ramadan in Makkah and Madina but it is also important to be mindful of your health condition and the fact that you would be fasting the entire day and would be offering Taraweeh in the night.
It can take approximately 10 km(6mi) of walking to complete one Umrah during Ramadan. It is important to prepare your body and mind for some rewarding but strenuous Ibadat. Having said that Allah in his extreme Mercy bestows a great deal of excitement, energy, and strength to the people who wholeheartedly and sincerely wish to reap the maximum rewards of this blessed opportunity.
- Cost– Cost of an Umrah shoots up considerably during ramadan due to the increased demand. The cost of airfares and accommodation go up and Umrah packages can be priced as high as double the usual rate.
And on the contrary, the prices reduce when the Umrah season is just opening up after Haj has ended. While the rates definitely may not slash down by half, but if you are on a budget, you may want to check with the local packages available in your area to understand the drop in prices.
- Weather– Depending on where you are coming from you may want to understand the weather conditions of Makkah and Madina. While most places are air-conditioned or cover your head to protect from the scorching sun, being a desert you can expect Makkah and Madina to pose some challenges depending on which month you choose to go. Most of the rituals are performed in the outdoors and therefore you may want to understand and prepare appropriately for your visit
Weather in Makkah and Madina
Range from May to September
Average high temperature: around 43°C (109.4 °F )
Average low temperature: around 29°C (84 °F )
Warmest month: June
Temperatures can even rise as high as 55°C (130°F) frequently.
Range from December to February
Average high temperature: around 31.4 °C (88.5 °F )
Average low temperature: around 19.4 °C (67 °F )
Coolest month: January
Umrah is not permitted before Haj
For the preparation Haj, the Saudi authorities stop granting the Umrah visa a couple of months before the beginning of the Haj season. Some time ago the Saudi government would not allow Umrah during the following Islamic months:
- Dhul Qadah
- Dhul Hajj
However, this is not usually the case now-a-days. Over time this duration has shortened considerably. It is best to check with your local travel operator about this current year.
Ramadan and Haj dates for the next 10 years
Here are the estimated dates around Ramadan and Haj to help you plan based on your preference.
|Year||Start of Ramadan||End of Ramadan|
|End of Haj|
|2020||April 24||May 24||August 02|
|2021||April 13||May 13||July 22|
|2022||April 03||May 03||July 12|
|2023||March 23||April 22||July 01|
|2024||March 11||April 10||June 19|
|2025||March 01||March 31||June 09|
|2026||February 18||March 20||May 29|
|2027||February 08||March 10||May 19|
|2028||January 28||February 27||May 07|
|2029||January 16||February 15||April 26|
|2030||January 06||February 05||April 16|
4 Tips to schedule and plan your Umrah trip
- If you are a rather busy person and rarely get a few days off for such a pilgrimage, then the best time for you perhaps is the earliest convenience. We do not want to postpone the Umrah for the winters or ramadan and end up NOT being able to plan it at that time! That would be so counter-intuitive.
- Regardless of your preference of the month, you might want to ensure that you avoid any travel on a Friday (to Makkah, or Madina, or back home). When discussing an Umrah package, insist that you are particular about this so that your tour operator can try to accommodate that request. This is just to ensure that you get the entire day of Friday reserved for uninterrupted ibadah.
- When you’ve reached Makkah for performing Umrah, it is important to start slow and not stress your body too much in the beginning days out of excitement. There is no benefit in exhausting yourself so much that you end up falling sick in the initial days and hence are rendered incapable of doing all the things you planned to do. Give your body some time to acclimatize and adjust to the new routine, gradually, start increasing your activities and ibadah so that you don’t miss even a single day.
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