I refuse to have a bad Umrah when I can have an amazing Umrah in a good hotel!
There is this misconception that performing Umrah should be as cheap and as uncomfortable as possible in order for it to be valid.
This is not the first time I hear the notion that “Oh, we are going for Umrah why do we need to have a five-star hotel, a basic clean property is all you need. You must concentrate on ibadah (worship)”. This is a paraphrase of the million (ok maybe hundreds) of times I have heard this when it comes to Umrah or Hajj.
My recent article on the investment opportunities in Makkah brought the topic back again. There is a big demand for four and five-star properties in the area you see. It reminded me I wanted to write an article on this for quite some time.
Well more like a rant…
So what is that notion that in order for your Umrah to be accepted or for you to feel better about yourself you have to go and stay in a bad-ish property, far away and all that? Where did this notion of basic came to existence in Islam? The principle of being poor or struggle etc… in order to portray piety.
I read on the topic a bit because when I converted to Islam I had the same thought. I can’t be rich, I can have nice things because then I am not pious. This concept is mostly portrait in other religious than Islam. – I in no way want to go to a debate about this so please don’t.
However Islam doesn’t say anything like this and we shouldn’t fall into this notion either. A large proportion of this blog talks about how to perform Umrah in the luxury properties around the Masjid Al Haram. Why? Because it makes Umrah more enjoyable, because God doesn’t want us to struggle in any way!
Islam is a religion of mercy, peace and love, contrary to what a tiny minority wants us to believe. We as Muslims know better!
There is nothing wrong with the demand for four or five-star properties in Makkah. We should be excited they are raising the standard of their hotels for our benefit.
Here is why I love my hotels close to the Kabah:
- Makes Umrah more enjoyable
- There is nothing better than popping into your hotel room to make wudhu (ablution) before prayer instead of having to wait 1 hr in a queue.
- There is nothing better than the ability to walk out of your hotel room and be 5 min before prayer in the mosque.
- There is nothing better than the opportunity to relax after the many tawafs. It is what most people walk in their entire year just in one week combined.
- There is nothing better than the opportunity to be away from pressure of millions of people cluttering the roads and stressing me out. When THE only thing I am meant to be doing is devoting myself to worship. Living in bad hotel, with noise, dirty rooms, 30min away only add to this stress and anxiety.
- There is nothing better to keep a standard. If you are used to go on holidays in good hotels why would you change this when you are going for the MOST important holiday of your year or life?
- There is nothing better than being able to hear the athan and pray even in your room yet feeling you are in the courtyard.
There is nothing bad with any of the above concepts, they don’t show piety for me they show self-destruction especially if you can afford the properties closer. There is no burden upon a Muslim on so many levels, from shortening prayers, not praying when sick and so much more.
Islam teaches us to want more, to be good to ourselves and others, to be successful, to be rich. The more money we have the more charity we pay… even just by this principle I want to be rich!
Why do we put limitations to ourselves when the religion doesn’t. Sleeping in properties far away is not bad but when you do it only because you feel your “Umrah is better this way” then you should look at your actions more closely. They matter more than the property where you sleep.
I see the demand for new hotels in Makkah definitely. Many Muslims around the world have the disposable income, the opportunity and the willingness to pay. So they should have the options. Instead of trying to make a point for just a clean basic room why don’t we all raise the standard for the betterment of all.
Plus if you read this blog often you will know there away sooo many cheap ways to perform Umrah without breaking the bank -in the nice hotels.
I know for many people some of the properties further away or not as luxurious is the only thing they can afford and this is OK. I have nothing against it and I totally understand it. My hope is that the new developments will bring more competition and lower prices so everyone wins. The post is mostly for those who can afford the properties but chose not to out of piety.
p.s. This is my opinion I am happy to post yours however please be respectful. I also want to point out that I might not agree with the extortionate prices for some of these properties especially during Ramadan, however this is for another post.