Muslims await the arrival of the holy month of Ramadan 2023 or Ramadan 1444 Hijriyah. This month, Muslims worldwide will perform mandatory fasting for a month.
Ramadan is a holy month full of blessings and various virtues. All good deeds are multiplied, and all sunnah practices are likened to obligatory worship in other months.
In addition to fasting, Muslims also look forward to performing Umrah during the holy month of Ramadan. Umrah in the month of Ramadan is considered more important than Umrah in other months as it is done in a month full of blessings.
The reward of performing Umrah in Ramadan is even equated with the reward of completing the annual Hajj rituals. (Muslim No. 1256). Therefore, it is unsurprising that many Muslims who cannot physically and financially afford the annual Hajj rituals choose to flock to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah during Ramadan.
Indeed, it is not new that bookings to perform Umrah during the holy month of Ramadan increase dramatically every year. Even reservations to perform Umrah or a minor pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia for the first 13 days of Ramadan are reported to be fully booked.
According to the Saudi Okaz newspaper, an increase in reservations to perform Umrah in the month of Ramadan at the Masjid al-Haeam, Makkah is being made by many prospective Umrah pilgrims via Nusuk.
The details of orders through the Nusuk platform show that most reservations are fully booked in the first 13 days of the holy month, including the last ten days of Ramadan. The same newspaper added that increased demand for performing Umrah was also noted on the other six days of the holy month.
Saudi Arabia, which anticipates the arrival of around 3 million Umrah pilgrims during Ramadan, said that Umrah permits during Ramadan would begin next week for both domestic and foreign pilgrims Nusuk.
In recent months, Saudi Arabia has been known to have launched various facilities for Muslims who come to the country to perform Umrah. One is releasing a program entitled “from arrival to access,” which focuses on the pilgrims’ journey. From the moment pilgrims arrive at the outer courtyards of the two Holy Mosques, they get access to services around the Kaaba at Masjid al-Haram and walk between the Safa and Marwa hills.
The Saudi government also ensures the best service for pilgrims to places of prayer and Itikaf. The scheme is designed to facilitate the implementation of tahajud around the holy Kaaba for around 107,000 Umrah pilgrims per hour.
The Saudi authorities also allow Muslims holding various entry visas such as personal, visit, and tourism visas to perform Umrah and visit Al Rawda Al Sharifa, the tomb of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, located in Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina.
The Saudi authorities have also extended the Umrah Visa from 30 days to 90 days, allowing the holder to enter the Kingdom via all land and sea transportation and depart from any airport.