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How to Perform Umrah on your own with Transit Visa

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Umrah is an act of worshipping Allah – the almighty in Islam. During an Umrah, you enter in the state of Ihram , circumnavigate Kaba, run between the Safa and Marwa mountains and trim or shave your head.

Everyone in Islam dreams of performing the Umrah, which is a significant pilgrimage. Due to the reliance on travel firms and exorbitant expenditures, performing Umrah can, however, occasionally prove challenging. You now have a fantastic opportunity to conduct Umrah on your own thanks to recent revisions in Saudi Arabia’s government regulations. You can get a 96-hour transit visa in Saudi Arabia if you are taking a flight with a layover to any country in the world. It would provide you with plenty of chances to perform Umrah on your own. This is your ultimate guide on how to do a DIY Umrah Hajj on your own without any help from travel agents.

How can you obtain a Saudi transit visa on your own?

Saudi Transit Visa of a Bangladeshi Citizen
This was my Saudi transit visa, which I obtained by Umrah

The process is simple and is available to people of all nationalities worldwide. I am a citizen of Bangladesh who recently obtained a transit visa to Saudi Arabia. You only need to buy a ticket from Saudia, the country’s flag carrier, or Flynas, a budget airline, to travel. But you cannot go to Saudi Arabia as your final destination; you must go somewhere else. I bought a ticket for myself from Dhaka to Istanbul with a layover in Jeddah. When you buy your ticket, you will have the option to apply for an e-visa. You must upload a photo and enter some information. There is no price if you apply through Saudi Arabian Airlines; if you use Flynas, there is a fee of about 10 SAR.

The visa will be approved in a matter of minutes and will be good for three months with a 96-hour stay permit. It’s important to note that the Saudia package includes a complimentary one-night stay in Mecca. I chose not to utilize it, though, because you have to reserve at least two days in advance, and even with the free night from the airlines, the second night at that hotel is more expensive than their standard rate.

Preparation for Umrah

Now that we have our tickets and visas in hand, let’s go over the Umrah procedure. You should first trim your nails and shave your pubic and underarm hair. They are not repeatable prior to the conclusion of your Umrah.

Wearing Ihram Clothes

When undertaking Umrah, you must wear Ihram attire, which is a type of garment. This is just two pieces of unstitched white cloth. One part is for covering the upper body, while the other is for covering the lower body. Furthermore, you must wear a sandal that does not cover the top of your foot. Women are not required to wear Ihram clothing.

Where to wear Ihram Clothes

The term “Miqat” refers to a number of locations in Saudi Arabia. Before crossing one of the places, you must be dressed in Ihram. Before landing at Jeddah Airport, you will undoubtedly cross one of those points since you will be flying. This is something Saudia says as she approaches a Miqat. If you cross the Miqat without donning Ihram clothing, you must return to the Miqat point and do so once more. I put on the Ihram clothing before boarding the plane since I intended to perform the Umrah once I arrived in Jeddah that day. For me, the flight lasted six hours, and I found it to be fairly comfortable.

The intention of making Umrah

Many people mistakenly believe that putting on Ihram signifies that you have begun your Umrah; however, this is not totally accurate. An article of clothing is all that Ihram attire is. When you intend to perform Umrah, you will enter the state of Umrah. You declare this intention after donning Ihram clothing and before crossing the Miqat (which will be announced by the airlines).

Labbayka Allahumma Umratan.

Here I am, O Allah for making Umrah, so make it easy for me and accept it from me.

You ought to repeat it both aloud and silently.

Talbiyyah

You should recite Talbiyyah after declaring your intention to perform Umrah.

Labbayek, Allahumma Labbayek. Labbayek La Sharikala Laka Labbayek. Innal hamda, wan-ni’amata, laka wal Mul. La sharika Lak.

At Your service, Allah, at Your service. You have no partner, at your service. Truly all praise, favour and sovereignty is Yours. You have no partner.

At this point, one will have entered Haram State. Prior to doing your umrah, you are not permitted to:

  • Covering head for men and the face for women
  • Using perfume
  • Clipping nails or cutting hairs
  • Wearing any stitched clothes
  • Putting on gloves
  • Intercourse
  • hunting or killing something
  • fighting anyone at all

How was the flight between Dhaka and Jedda?

Food in Saudi Arabian Airlines
The food in Saudia was not that good compared to similar classes of flights.

The flight was unpleasant for me. It was a sizable fleet with a high load factor. However, I thought the number of cabin attendants was insufficient. Even after requesting, I didn’t obtain any water until they served. The food was also unappealing.

Immigration in Jeddah Airport

The landing at Jeddah Airport went without a hitch. We entered through a boarding bridge and didn’t have to walk far to get to passport control. Immigration at Jeddah Airport was also simple. There wasn’t much of a throng; we had to wait 10 to 15 minutes in line. Before admitting me through, the visa officer just requested to see my onward ticket.

How to go to Mecca from Jeddah Airport

Bus

Bus to Mecca
These buses will take you to Mecca from Jeddah Airport

There are visible signs directing you to exit the airport and take public transport. You must follow the sign and exit the airport. Some of the large buses will be waiting outside. You must go there and bargain with the person there. It will only set you back SAR 50.

Taxi

You can make a cab reservation at the airport. Your ability to negotiate will determine the price, but aim to keep it below SAR 150. From outside the airport, it is preferable to take a taxi. If you want to do it from inside, it is typically more expensive.

Train

The Haramain High Speed Railway operates a number of fast trains between the airports in Jeddah and Mecca. From here, you may order tickets. Mecca can be reached from the Jeddah Airport in just 55 minutes. However, the distance from Haram Sharif via train is roughly 7 kilometers. If you’re traveling alone and don’t have a lot of luggage, this is a great alternative.

As it only takes 2 hours and 25 minutes to go between Mecca and Medinah, taking the Haramain high-speed railway is an excellent option if you wanna visit Medinah as well.

Tawaf

Tawaf in Mecca
Tawaf is an important part of performing Umrah

Tawaf means “going round and round.” Tawaf is required before undertaking Umrah. You must circumnavigate the Holy Kaba seven times in an anti-clockwise direction.

Check into your hotel, leave your luggage, and take a shower when you get at Mecca. To do Umrah, you must first conduct ablution (Udhu). You cannot conduct Umrah if you are a female and are menstruating. When you’re ready, proceed to Haram Sharif. I’ll recommend some hotels at the end of this article; if you book one of them, you’ll be able to stroll to the Haram Sharif without taking any car.

Light inside Kaba
On your way to Kaba to perform Tawaf, you will see these lights!

Because you are wearing Ihram, you will be permitted to visit the Tawaf location from the ground floor. This is significant because if you get to the first or second floor, you will need a long time to perform Tawaf and will have difficulty entering the section where you must run between Saafa and Marwa Hills.

The location of the black stone marks the beginning of Tawaf. It is known as Hazre Aswad. If you are a guy, you must uncover your right shoulder and place the dress behind your right armpit before beginning Tawaf. Show your hand to the black stone and say,

Allahu Akbar

Allah is great

Then, begin walking with the Kaaba to your left. One thing to keep in mind is that everytime you pass this black stone in following spins, point your finger and exclaim Allahu Akbar.

You should recite the following between the Yemeni corner and Hajre Ashwad:

Rabbana Atina Fid Dunya Hasanah, wa fil akhirati hasanah, wa qina Azab an nar.

O Lord, grant us the best of this world and the best of the next, and keep us safe from the torment of hellfire.

During the remaining time, recite any verses from the Quran or Hadith and perform the Jikr. When you’ve completed seven rounds, you should come to a halt at the black stone.

Makam E Ibrahim

After seven times around, return to the door from which you arrived and face the Kaaba. You will notice that people are praying there, facing Kaba. There, offer two rakats of prayer.

Drink Water from Zamzam

Drink a glass of water from Zamzam standing after offering the prayer, and pour some into your head. Don’t be concerned about finding them; they are strategically positioned and well marked. There are also plastic glasses available.

Sai between Saafa and Marwa Hills

Safa Mountain in Mecca
A part of the Safa Mountain in Mecca

You must now travel to the Saafa Mountains and walk seven times between the Saafa and Marwa Mountains. You should repeat the following on your journey to Saafa Mountain:

Innas safa wa marwata min sha’a’iri llah. 

Safa and Marwa are from the Signs of Allah indeed.
Kaba seen from Safa Mountain

When you reach the top of the Saafa mountain, you will be able to see the Kaaba Sharif. In front of the Kaaba Sharif, recite the following:

Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, Allahu Akbar, wa lillahi l-hamd.

Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest, and all praise be to Allah
Green light of Sai
You need to start running from here until the green light ends

Now is the time to make your way to Marwah Hill. When you see the beginning of a green bar above your head, you should begin running or walking faster. When the bar is not visible above your head, you can return to your normal pace.

You will have completed one lap after you arrive in Marwa from Safa. Return to Safa, which will mark the start of the second lap. Repeat this process until you have completed seven laps. If you complete everything correctly, your final lap will end on Marwah Hill. You’re done with Sai at this time.

Cutting Your Hair

Ouside of Kaba

The final stage in Umrah is to cut your hair. It is acceptable for females to cut an inch of hair. Many folks carry a little scissor and cut it themselves.

For the boys, you either shave your head or trim it so that it is quite small. If you exit the gate near Marwa, turn right, and keep walking, you will come across people offering to take you to a salon. Simply follow them. It will cost approximately SAR 10. After completing this ritual, you leave the state of Haram and conclude your Umrah.

Best Places to Stay in Mecca

When selecting a hotel, I prioritized hotels that are readily walkable from the Masjid ul Haraam.

  1. Yasmin Al Majd – I stayed with them because they provide the finest value for money. The haraam sharif is only approximately 800 meters away from this hotel. There are various fast food restaurants serving excellent delicacies such as wrapped chicken, wrapped fish, chicken fries, and so on. This hotel is a terrific spot to stay because it is directly across the street from a convenience store.
  2. Emaar Al Khlil – This one is likewise fairly priced and conveniently located near the Haraam Sharif.
  3. Emar Al Manar – With a comparable price range to the two described above, this one is also a good buy in the same location.
  4. Swisshotel Makkah – If you are willing to pay money, there are just a few better options than Swisshotel Makkah. This is a short distance distant and gives a view of Kaba.
  5. ZamZam Pullman Makkah Hotel – This is most likely the most affordable hotel in the clock tower. It indicates you’re only 100 metres from the Kaba and have a good view of it.

Frequently Asked Question about Umrah

Which airport is the closest to Mecca?

King Fahad International Airport in Jeddah (JED)

How long does it take to go to Mecca from Jeddah Airport?

About 2 hours.

Do women need to wear Ihraam during Umrah?

No, while men are required to wear Ihraam, ladies are only required to wear ordinary clothing.

Should women cover their faces while performing Umrah?

No, women need to keep their faces open while performing Umrah.

Can women perform Umrah during menstruation?

No, one can’t.

Do I need to register in the Nusuk app for Umrah?

Yes, technically. You should download the Nusum app and schedule an Umrah appointment. But, in my experience, no one checks it.

What can I keep with me during Umrah?

Umrah is performed with bear feet.You should bring a compact daypack in which to store your shoe and a water bottle.

Do I need to bring water during Umrah?

Most areas have water refill stations, and the majority of them are Jamjam-branded. As a result, you should keep a bottle on hand to replenish it.

How long is the transit visa for Saudi Arabia valid?

It’s a 3-month visa with a 96-hour stay permit.

Can I perform Umrah with a Saudi Arabian transit visa?

Yes, absolutely.

How long will it take to perform Umrah?

It all depends on your health and how fast you want to go. Even if you go at a leisurely pace, it should not take more than 3 hours.

Can I land in any airport with my transit visa from KSA?

There are no airport restrictions; you can land at any airport.

Am I allowed to enter Saudi Arabia if I am a girl traveling solo?

Yes, anyone above the age of 18 can go to Saudi Arabia, regardless of gender.

Can I perform the tawaaf without performing Umrah?

Yes, you can. However, you can’t do it from the ground floor, where the Kaaba is. You need to do it from the 1st or 2nd floor, and it will take a lot of time to finish.

Fuad Omar

Fuad loves to travel! A lot! Carrying a Bangladeshi passport means he needs a prior visa for visiting most of the countries. He got detained in many borders because of his nationality but; he didn’t give up - he set his foot to 40 countries. He believes, if he could travel the world despite all the odds, you can, too. Fuad is a Computer Engineer by profession, and author of a travelogue in Bangla. He currently lives in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

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