#JOM! GO: 5 spiritual sites to enrich your umrah experience
THE Umrah season is back! Muslims from around the world have already started making or planning their pilgrimage journey to Makkah, one of the holy lands located in Saudi Arabia.
Once you've completed the required steps of Umrah, the historic city and the Kingdom's two other important cities - Madinah and Jeddah - have much to offer to enrich the spiritual journey.
Here's a list of top five spiritual places that you may want to include in your Umrah itinerary.
Makkah has a host of fascinating museums that shed light on the city's history as the birthplace of Islam.
The Exhibition of the Two Holy Mosques is a cultural experience, guiding visitors through the history of the Masjid Al Haram in Makkah as well as the Masjid An Nabawi in Madinah. Spending some times between the prayers at this museum, browsing intricate marble arches and reclaimed wooden doors, which are saved and restored from previous iterations of the
If you still have time, head next door to the Kiswah Museum to see where the Kiswah, the 670-
kg black silk cloth that drapes on the Kaaba, is made by hand and woven with calligraphic inscriptions done in threads made from real gold and silver.
At the Makkah Museum, set in the opulent Al Zahir Palace, you can learn about the region's pre-Islamic history, dating back to ancient rock art.
You will also see some early-Islamic coins from Byzantine, Abbasid and Umayyad dynasties as well as rare copies of centuries-old Qurans and other important texts.
JABAL AL-NOUR, MAKKAH
Makkah is home to several historical landmarks in Islamic culture. Jabal Al-Nour, or Mountain of Light, is famous for the Cave of Hira - the cave where the Holy Quran was first revealed to
Prophet Muhammad by the Angel Gabriel.
For those who want to follow in the Prophet's footsteps, there are stairs to help with the climb. Its significance in Islamic history, along with rising views of Makkah and the Grand Mosque from its summit, makes Jabal Al-Nour a renowned tourist spot among pilgrims and Umrah pilgrims across the world.
QUBA MOSQUE, MADINAH
On the migration from Makkah to Madinah, the Prophet Muhammad and his followers stopped in the village of Quba and put down the foundation stone of the world's first mosque.
Ever since, worshippers have gathered here and once outside the boundaries of Madinah, the mosque and surrounding area have been fully absorbed by the city.
Nearby the mosque, Quba City Market sells dates, perfumes, and other local specialities.
MOUNT UHUD, MADINAH
Located northeast of Madinah's city center, Mount Uhud is the place where Muslim forces led by the Prophet Muhammad battled troops from Makkah.
A major pilgrimage site, the mountain rises about 3,500 feet (1,077 meters) and can be climbed to better observe the battlefield.
Nearby is the Uhud Martyrs Cemetery, where 85 of the fallen Muslim soldiers are buried.
AL RAHMA MOSQUE, JEDDAH
Jeddah remains the gateway to the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah. A local landmark, Al Rahma Mosque, can be visited at the northern tip of Jeddah's waterfront.
Affectionately known as the 'floating mosque' for the white stilts that suspend it above the water's edge, the turquoise domed structure is built out across the Red Sea and anchored to the shore by a low-walled walkway.
Over time, it has been a popular stop among Hajj and Umrah pilgrims who come to wander the mosque's open courtyard and admire its marbled elegance.
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