Although lesser in importance when compared to the major pilgrimage of Hajj, Umrah has its own spiritual rewards for the pilgrim and is the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It is also called the ‘minor pilgrimage’ or the ‘lesser pilgrimage’, often while comparing it with Hajj, which is one of the five pillars of Islam. Hajj is compulsory for all the able-bodied and financially capable Muslims, while there is no such obligation associated with Umrah. The minor pilgrimage can be performed within a few hours, while the major pilgrimage of Hajj takes more time to accomplish. This is mainly because Hajj involves more rituals than the lesser pilgrimage.
Unlike Hajj, which can be performed only during specific days of a designated month in the Islamic calendar, Umrah can be performed at any time of the year. Many of the Muslims living in the United Kingdom (UK) choose to perform their Umrah in December considering the benefits involved. One of the advantages is the opportunity to get rid of the harsh weather that prevails in the UK during this time of the year. Contrary to the chilly climate of the UK, Makkah experiences a good weather in December and it would be a pleasant experience for UK Muslims to perform their lesser pilgrimage in this month.
In the last week of December, the schools and offices in the UK are closed for the Christmas and New Year celebrations. This gives Muslims living in the country a wonderful chance to embark on a memorable journey to the holy city of Makkah from their place of residence in the UK to fulfil their dream of Umrah. They can save themselves from the disappointment of not getting one of their desired December Umrah packages by booking well in advance. It helps to book such packages months in advance, considering the greater number of bookings that are made in the last month of the year.
The relatively lesser crowds for Umrah December month witnesses in Makkah is another great experience that UK Muslims can have by booking their journey to the holy city during this time of the year. For pilgrims coming from the tropical regions of the world, the weather of Makkah in December can be extremely cold, and this is the reason why many of them prefer other months for their Umrah. As the Muslims residing in the UK are habituated to the extremely cold weather of the winters, they would find the climate in Makkah quite pleasant in December.
Muslims arriving in Makkah from the UK for their lesser pilgrimage would be pleased to visit all the important Islamic sites in the holy city owing to the pleasant weather that prevails in this part of the world in December. They would have absolutely no inconvenience in completing all their rituals of Umrah in the presence of such favourable climatic conditions. During their time spent in Makkah after accomplishing their minor pilgrimage, they would also have greater convenience in visiting the local markets and buying their desired souvenirs.