After Hajj, Umrah is another important thing for devout Muslims. If you want to go for Umrah from Bangladesh, either you can process yourself or process through a travel agency. Various travel agencies in Bangladesh offer all packages for performing Umrah. But the price of these packages is relatively high. So, if you can do all the processings of Umrah yourself, then you can reduce the cost. However, you cannot apply for a visa by yourself, and you need to contact government-approved agencies to apply for an Umrah visa. Stay with us to know the procedure of performing Umrah from Bangladesh.
Who Is Eligible to Go for Umrah?
It is obligatory for financially capable Muslims to perform Hajj once in a lifetime. Capable Muslims should also perform Umrah. However, apart from financial capability, there are a few basic conditions a Muslim should fulfill before performing Umrah and Hajj.
The first condition is that the person must be a Muslim and a believer. If a person does not have faith and Islam in his heart and if he has not become a Muslim and is hypocritical about Islam, then Hajj is not obligatory on him. If such a person performs Hajj, then his Hajj may not be granted by almighty.
Another condition is that the person should be an adult, but you can take your child with you. In Islam being an adult means that a person can understand the difference between two things. Although there is a dilemma on this point. According to a hadith of Hazrat Abu Dawood (RA) the age of an adult person is 10 years. If a person is promoted to this age, then he can perform Hajj, then his Hajj will be acceptable.
The Season of Umrah
The literal meaning of Umrah is religious deeds, worship, pleasure, service, pilgrimage, and desire. The person who performs Umrah is called Mutamir. The specific activities of Umrah are Ihram, Tawaf, Sai, Halak, Qasr, etc. Umrah is performed in Kaaba Sharif mainly. It is Sunnah for the Afaqi, that is, the one who comes from far places to perform Umrah, to visit the Rawza Sharif of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in Madinah.
There is no specific time for performing Umrah. Anyone can perform Umrah all year round. However, it is not obligatory to perform Umrah at the specified time of Hajj (5 days from 8 Zilhaj to 12 Zilhaj). Umrah can be performed at any time of the year except these five days.
As we have mentioned earlier, Bangladeshi citizens can go for Umrah by themselves or through an agency. If you don’t have time to do all the processes by yourself, you can take Umrah packages from different agencies. However, make sure you contact the government-approved agencies. There are many agencies that are not approved by the Bangladesh government.
Usually, travel agencies may charge you BDT 1 lakh to BDT 1.5 lakh, depending on the season. But, you can reduce the cost by doing everything yourself. But you must contact an agency for the visa. Depending on the situation and season, agencies may take BDT 15,000 to 20,000.
The required documents for an umrah visa are,
- Valid Bangladeshi passport (must have 6 months validity)
- One passport size photograph less than six months old with white background (one copy).
Going with groups or if you can go with your family or friends will help you to reduce the cost. After getting the visa, you will need to make the tour plan by booking hotels, airline tickets, and more.
Umrah visas are usually issued for 14 days, 21 days, 30 days, and 45 days. However, it does not actually take more than 2 to 3 days to perform Umrah. So, you can plan according to your budget and visas.
For example, if you plan for 10 days, you can first go to Medina for 4 nights and then to Makkah for 6 nights. And, accordingly, make hotel bookings in Medina and Mecca. More than one person can stay in one room in the hotel. Most of the rooms have 5 to 6 beds.
So, if you go in groups, the hotel cost will be 70-80 Saudi Riyal. And same goes for the plane tickets too. The return plane fare will be around BDT 60,000. However, if you buy a group ticket, this could be reduced to BDT 50,000 or less.
For the food, there are many hotels where you can do breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 25-30 Saudi Riyal per person.
You can also visit Islamic landmarks (called Ziara) in Medina and Makkah. For this, you can take a reserve car in Madinah for 150-200 Saudi Riyals so that 6 people can go, and you can take a taxi microbus in Makkah, which will take 100-120 Saudi Riyals. Using these vehicles, you can see all the sights.
According to this tour plan, if you stay there for 4 nights in Medina and 6 nights in Makkah for a total of 10 nights, you will get two Juma prayers and participate in one Medina and another in Mecca. These 10 days, tour plans will cost you around BDT 80,000-90,000.
However, this cost may vary depending on the seasons. For example, the cost during Ramadan is a bit higher.
Beware of Scammers
There are also serious allegations that many travels and Hajj agencies have been cheating travelers in the name of helping them perform Umrah. In particular, the Muslims are deceived by the glamorous advertisements of taking responsibility for all matters of performing Umrah for very little money.
These attractive advertisements are advertised in newspapers or through social media. As per the advertisement, they are supposed to provide services like three-star hotels, guides, transportation, etc., in Saudi Arabia. But in reality, travelers do not get any of them. In addition, some of these agencies may charge more money in the name tax and surcharges.
Moreover, brokers are also active in Saudi Arabia. They extort large sums of money from tourists in the name of various services or sightseeing. So beware of them.
Performing Umrah is an important sunnah that applies to both men and women. There is no provision that Hajj becomes obligatory after doing Umrah. If you want to do Urah from Bangladesh, this guideline will surely help you out. And if you want to go through an agency, make sure you choose a reupdated one.
Source: United News of Bangladesh