Performing Umrah with Kids
One of the biggest concerns for parents remains handling their kids when they take them along for Umrah. It is easier to manage the entire Umrah trip if the kids are above 5 years of age but if they are younger it becomes difficult deal with them. Certain factors and precautionary measures are to be taken in order to take proper care of them and avoid any sort of inconvenience during Umrah.
The very first consideration is to avoid taking more than 1 child (Under 5 years) with you on Umrah. Taking more children along is not a good idea as it may create a lot of trouble for you such as taking care and keeping an eye on them will become difficult, they might wander around and get misplaced. If you have your spouse along, if will become easier for you to handle the child.
Travel agents generally have traveling discounts offer for children. Do ask your agent to provide you with concessions for kids that are accompanying you on Umrah. The travel agencies also device certain Umrah Packages which offer discounts when you travel for Umrah with family and/ or kids.
Tips for Performing Umrah with Kids
The following tips will assist you in performing Umrah with kids successfully.
Tips for the visit to Madinah:
Ask your travel agent to accommodate your family near Masjid-Al-Haram.
At all times, ensure that you and your family, especially kids under 5 wear and ID card with all the information listed on it such as Name, Parents’ Name, Passport Number, Saudi Contact Details, US Contact Details, Name of the Hotel, etc.
God forbid, if your kids get lost in Madinah, they are usually found by the security personnel of the Mosque. In case such an event happens, contact them.
Keeping an eye on kids is vital while praying, in case they run away from you.
It is not mandatory for the kids to wear Ihram, unless they attain the age of puberty. However, if you decide to make them wear it, tell them about the restrictions of Ihram. There is no penalty on the child or parents, in case if they violate any rule. If you decide to go otherwise and dress them in regular attire, ensure that you do not make them wear anything flashy or too attractive. The simpler the dress is, the better it is.
Always Carry a Baby Bag
To avoid running around here and there for water, food etc, keep a baby a baby bag with you. Put all the necessary stuff in the bad such as bottles, diapers, powdered milk etc. Ensure to keep plenty of water in case if you are performing Umrah with kids in hot weather.
Best Time for Performing Umrah with Kids
During summers, the weather of Makkah and Madinah is extremely hot and kids tend to get irritated in extreme conditions. Hence, when aiming to perform Umrah with kids, plan it for October, November, December or January because the weather is comparatively pleasant in these months. The interior section of both Masjid-al-Haram and Masjid-un-Nabwi are fully air-conditioned.
The prayer areas for both women and men are separate and children usually accompany their mothers. If you are traveling with your spouse or any female member of the family, it is highly advised to take children in the prayer area for women. It is easier to handle kids there because there are several other kids there as well.
Performing Tawaf and Sa’yi with Kids:
One of the most important rituals of Umrah is performing Tawaf and Sa’yi. Sa’yi is referred as to run around Mount Safaa and Marwa. If you are performing Umrah with a toddler, then carrying him/her while performing Tawaf is not going to be an issue. If you prefer, you can perform Tawaf of the second level as it is less crowded. If your child is unable to walk or run, him/herself, you can put them in the wheel chair.
Note: There are no daycare centers in Makkah for children, so you will have to watch them out on your own.
Many people are reluctant in performing Umrah with kids, but taking them along can prove to be a very wise decision. This will bring them closer to Allah and Islam and will be add numerous advantages to their future life. If handled and guided properly, performing Umrah with children can prove to be a wonderful experience.