With many rules changes in the past several years and the ability to perform Umrah with a Saudi tourist e-visa (if you're from the United States), more and more people are headed for Umrah then ever before, especially during the Thanksgiving, winter and spring break holidays, when kids are off from school.
(Umrah is the lesser pilgrimage to Makkah that can be taken during non-Hajj times and has less rites to perform then the Hajj pilgrimage. It also is not fard, or compulsory, upon Muslims to perform Umrah, whereas Hajj is fard once in every able-bodied Muslim's - who can afford it - life.)
During these times and in Ramadan (also a popular time to go for Umrah), numbers often swell, making it some of the most crowded pilgrimage times of the years. In crowdsourcing and doing some research about what to pack for Umrah, a key advice we received was "pack light."
Okayyyyy. So then, what is essential for Umrah? What should one pack, and why? After interviewing several women who have recently performed Umrah and doing a lot of research, we've come up with a packing list for you. We're dividing it into clothing, miscellaneous and spiritual.
1. Dedicated abayas for ihram: Like when performing Hajj, women must wear an ihram when performing Umrah. So what is an ihram for women? There's no hard and fast rule (like there is for men), but basically women must cover up. So wearing abayas and/or a loose-fitting gown is recommended. Have loose pants and a top or t-shirt to wear inside your abaya. Have a few abayas for yourself.
2. Hijab and underscarf:
Of course you'll need a hijab for Umrah. So your hijab should be what you are most comfortable in and what will sit comfortably on your head. (Check out our "new to hijab
" page for everything you need, whether you're a newbie or a veteran hijabi!) Consider getting yourself one of our Ultimate Underscarves
to make sure your hair is securely tucked away.
3. Shoes and flip flops: Several women who recently went for Umrah suggested everyone bring a pair of good walking shoes, flip flips (or crocs) and sandals. Bring grocery bags in which you can put your flip flops for when you enter the Haram to perform your Umrah, and keep string backpacks in which you can store your flip flops. Another suggestion is to keep some of those "grippy" socks you get at a hospital or airplane to wear when performing sa'ee.
Image source: Pexels; image by Mutahir Jamil.
4. Some sort of crossbody bag or money pouch. And string backpacks! Nearly everyone we spoke with recommended a crossbody bag that you wear inside your abaya because, unfortunately, there are pickpockets even in the most holiest of places. Another friend recommended wearing a money pouch around your neck but tucked into your abaya for safety and easy access. Keep some cash and maybe one credit card and ID, but not a lot of cash, as this was the over all recommendation. Many also recommended keeping a copy of your passport but keeping the original in your hotel room in the safe.
So many Muslimahs recommended keeping those simple string backpacks (for carrying our flip flops and whatever small things) that we've probably all received at some time or another if we ever did a 5K or attended some sort of event.
1. Medicines: Some recommended bringing basic meds, like ibuprofen and acetaminophen, cough drops (you will probably get sick), a course of antibiotics, vitamin C, etc. Others say don't overdo it on the medicine, as there are pharmacies everywhere. Do bring any prescription meds you need to take regularly.
2. Various sundries, like a small pair of scissors (to cut your hair after you complete your Umrah), a nail cutter to trim your nails prior to Umrah, sanitary items in case you get your period or medicine if you are managing your period so you can perform your Umrah. We've also been told those medicines are available to buy in Saudi pharmacies, but can't verify this.
Bring your sunglasses, sunscreen and lip moisturizer. Bring a pocket hand sanitizer, masks and wipes. If you want to wear a mask while performing Umrah (because it will be crowded), check with an Islamic scholar to make sure its allowed. We've heard different opinions on this. Bring an empty water bottle and fill up on that zamzam to drink while you're there!
3. Important papers and other items, like copies of your passport, your cellphone and an international plan for your cellphone. Everyone you are traveling with should have a phone with an international plan in case you are separated. Bring your chargers and a travel adapter power plug (or a few of them.
4. Toiletries: Bring whatever daily toiletries you use, just make sure they are unscented.
1. All the du'as you want to make for yourself and for your loved ones. Write them out or have them printed out (or written out on your phone) so you don't forget. Keep a small notebook handy to jot down more du'as or thoughts.
2. A portable prayer rug for yourself and whomever is performing Umrah with you.
3. A tasbeeh or digital dhikr counter to help you perform dhikr. You can also buy them all over the place in Makkah and Madinah.
4. Be sure to download the Nusuk app to register times before you go for when you'll be doing your Umrah and visiting Rawdah (if you're going to Madinah and Masjid Nabawi, which nearly everyone who goes for Umrah does).
5. The Quran you like to read (we all have a Quran that we like to read), although there will be copies of the Quran EVERYWHERE.
There are numerous comprehensive Umrah packing lists floating out there. We've perused many and spoken with many people to put together the list above. Here's one more
that goes into even more detail.
If you're planning to go for Umrah this month or anytime in the future, we pray it will be a deeply meaningful and wonderful experience. Please keep Haute Hijab in your prayers!
We pray that your prayers are answered in the ways that are best for you. We pray for our ummah, For Palestine, for Sudan, for Uyghur Muslims in China, for Rohingya Muslims, for Muslims in India, for all those who are oppressed and are suffering. We pray for Allah (S) to grant us ease and protect us all.