Find out what people have to say about Dar El Salam
2016 – Wonderful Umrah Experience!!!
As-Salaam-Alaikum, wa-Rahmatullahi, wa-Barakatahu:
Dear Sister Nahid Quereshi;
We returned from home from Ummrah on Saturday evening November 26, 2016. We would like to thank you and the Dar El Salaam, staff for making our journey enlightening as well as enjoyable. The lectures and tours were extraordinary. Our guides were knowledgeable as well as compassionate.
We would like to thank you all for the beautiful gifts presented to us, the Ihram, prayer rug and Zamzam water !!!
Our accommodations were wonderful.
Thank you for your well thought out program, we would recommend Dar El Salaam, to anyone who would want security and peace of mind.
Khalil & Najla
Salaam Sisters Rahima and Ibtissam –
Just wanted to let you know that returned from our Morocco Trip yesterday. Masha allah, and Alhamdulillah, one of our most memorable trips thus far.
My family and I would like to personally thank you for putting this trip together. My kids have become a big fan of your organization since Hajj, and you have lived upto and exceeded their expectations with this trip as well. It was amazing, and we had the most wonderful time. I want to send a note to Hajji Mustafa and your supervisors about the excellent work you do. I remember the supervisor’s name being Mohammad – if you could please share his email address, I would appreciate it. Many thanks.
جزاك اللهُ خيرًا,
Aslaaam o Alaikum Brother Syed,
JazakAllah. Hope you and your family are doing well too by the grace of Allah! I am providing my feedback below as per your request:
-Service provided by Houston Office was excellent, very personalized.
-Hotel arrangements were excellent and very convenient, both in Medina and Makkah.
-Representative in Medina was excellent, very friendly and accommodating. And in Makkah was good.
-Visiting Mazaarat was very informative and properly arranged. The guide at both places were good.
Overall, allhumdolilah, it was a pleasurable experience through Dar El Salam and we will definitely recommend DES for the future.
JazakAllah again for all your help. Take care. Allah Hafiz.
Dear sister Sahar:
It was a pleasure to have your assistance in doing all the reservation for my Umra trip last month. It was wonderful, and I wish we repeat it annually Inshaa Allah. All the flight reservations were perfect. You were very helpful and fast of responding to my massages and even fast of getting the Visa as well.
In Saudi Arabia the staff were very very helpful in Mecca , Madina and Jeddah, specially Br. Mohammad Shahada in Mecca was very nice and helpful in resolving my accommodation problem in Mecca, and he did the best effort to make me comfortable with my stay there. In Madina we visited Mazarat with a group and was OK. I skipped the Mazarat in Mecca due to time issue.
I really thank you from my heart to you and Mr. Mustafa for all you have done to me.
I will consider Inshaa Allah to do future trip with your help.
Alhamdulillah this Umrah trip through Darelsalam was as gr8 as was my Hajj trip back in 2008 with Darelsalam. Brother Mohamed taufeek in Madinah and Brother kamal in Makkah were really nice and helpful. I would definitely recommend Darelsalam to my friends like I have been doing it since my Hajj trip. Last but not least u have been really really helpful during the process specially u went above and beyond to create this customized package for us. May Allah reward u for the effort JazakAllah khairan. We were provided taxi for trip between Jeddah madinah and madinah-Makkah. Both drivers ver courteous. I skipped mazaraat so I cannot comment on it. Hotel accommodations were gr8……………….
Here is my quick, but sincere response to your questions:
• The service you received from our Staff in Saudi Arabia (Jeddah, Madinah and Makkah): It was excellent; they were there from beginning up to the end.
• Courteous, available and helpful: I did not have any problem, but I could see that they helped anyone who neede help.
• The hotel accommodations in both Madinah and Makkah: Very good for the package cost.
• The transportation arrangements from Jeddah, Madinah and Makkah: Great and very comfortable.
• The Mazaraat in Madinah and Makkah: Sufficiently great and comprehensive.
I must also to add my deep appreciation to the professional leadership of both Imams: Khalid Latif and Omar Bajwa. May God be with them always.
AA Sr Sahar,
Our Umraah trip was wonderful. The service in USA, all the folks in Makkah, Madinah and Mazarat were very good. The hotels were very nice and the transportation was on time and comfortable. Overall,we had a good experience and will travel again with Dar el salam and I have recommended you to my family and friends. Jazakallah for all your help and caring.
ASAK SR SAHAR/DAR EL SALAM
My husband and I were well taken care by your Houston office in connection with our UMRAH arrangements. At this point we like to inform you and company sister Sahar has been exceptional friendly and very patient with our requests and demands. I must say that she is great asset to your organization since through her all travelers make travel plans and she does such a great professional job and this reflect good relationship with your company.
We were well taken care with your staff at Medina by Br. Tawfeeq who helped us beyond his duties to make sure we are registered at the hotel and prompt transfer of our baggages to our rooms. Subsequently he made a point to see us daily to see how we are doing.
Hotels accommodations in both Madinah and Makkah were excellent and likable and had good room services.
Our helper at Makkah was Br Mohamed and did good to make we were comfortable.
Your associates in Jeddah(Mr. Khan and co) were very helpful in checking in our baggages.
In summary we both are very happy to have make connection with you company and our firm resolution is to plan to go through your company for any future travel and we have passed on our good impression to our family and friends
Alhamdullilah our trip was very good. May Allah accept our Umrah and ibadah!
The service we received in the US office was good, no complaints. The Dar el Salam representatives in Jeddah, Makkah and Madina were also very helpful. We loved the Movenpick in Madinah. Transportation arrangement was fine, and the Imam/guide in Madinah and Makkah were very knowledgable.
All in all, we were very satisfied with the arrangements and treatment we received from your agency. Insha Allah, I am hoping and praying Allah invites me again for Umrah and Hajj with my family. I will again contact you, Sahar, for my travel arrangements! I have told everyone what good service Dar el Salam provides.
I took my parents to umrah trip on Jan 28th 2013 for 8 days and we booked our package of 5 travelers with Darussalam. Alhamdulillah it was the best trip ever. Last year, I went to Umrah with a different agent and I had some difficulties but this trip was so smooth when it comes to accommodations, services both in Makkah and Medina, transportation. I am so glad I choose Darussalam as my travel agent for this spiritual trip. Sister Rahima was so helpful and she gave us a good package.
We are planning our hajj trip 2013 and inshallah we will go with Darussalam.
I am back from my spiritually rewarding experience of Umrah trip from Saudia. May Allah accept my Umrah. Ameen!!!
Below is my assessment of the services I received from the Dar El Salam’s USA Office and also from the staff in Jaddah, Madinah and Makkah.
The services provided were very courteous, professional and highly organized. The arrangements for Mazarats and transportation were very conveninetly scheduled.
I am very satisfied undertaking my Umrah trip with DAR EL SALAM. I will highly recommend Dar El Salam for Hajj/Umrah trip.
Thanks. God Bless Dar Al Sam and the Staff.
Yes our trip and Umrah went well and may Allah accept our Umrah and Duaa and all the efforts that Khalid Sahib and you did. He took care of things right away.
The services we got from your office were excellent.
Medina services were EXCELLENT. Everyone was very nice, professional and helpful.
Hotel accommodations were excellent in both Makkah and Medina
Transport from Jeddah and Madinah were excellent.The Mazaraat tour in Madinah was very good and the guide was excellent. He did a good job. The staff did a good job and arrangemet was good.
SALIM SAHIB WAS VERY PROFESSIONAL IN JEDDAH ON MY RETURN AND MAY ALLAH BLESS HIM AND YOU ALL FOR ALL YOU EFFORTS.
Thank you very much for your mail. Alhamduallah, so far it was the best trip in my life. Successful and enjoyable trip, all together It was really awesome. Now, you request me to say something about your service. When I plan for Umrah, I checked with some of my friends & all of them refer to Dar El Salam and I found Dar El Salam is the best. The service I get from your USA office was excellent, The staff you have in Saudi Arabia, they are really very helpful, specially in Madinah. Hotel accommodations in both places are wonderful. Transportation arrangements are good. The driver who drove us from Madinah to Makkah was a wonderful guy. Finally, Mazaraat in Madinah & Makkah was awesome. Overall your service was excellent.
Thanks & regards,
Elhamdullah I am back safely. It was really good el hamdullah and I enjoyed it so much. Madinah hotel was great and close to Haram, Makkah one was good hotel. I really appreciate the efforts of your crew on site, but especially Ahmed Jameel in Makkah is truly dedicated and super helpful.
At the end, I am really considering going to Haj with Dar El Salam — May be not this year but next year, my wife and I. I will InshaaAlah contact you when we decide.
Jazzak Allah Kheir for all the help, effort and the fast acting to get me in there so quickly.
Hamdulillha I returned yesterday from an amazing Umra trip.
I would like to thank you and the entire team at Dar El Salam. The team in KSA provided an above and beyond service.
I did remember you in my Dua when I was circling Kaaba.
Thank you again for an excellent service, I will definitely recommend and use your company for my future Haj plans Insha’Allah.
First, let me say that we are thankful to Allah (swt) for the blessings HE bestowed upon us for inviting us to HIS house to perform Umrah.
Our trip was a complete success right from the moment when we called Dar El Salam. When I spoke to you, I failed to recognize how exceptionally well-trained and experienced you are in the facilitating of the trip details to even minor details. Your responsive approach made us very comfortable with the plans and even managing a very tight (and demanding) schedule.
Then, the Dar el Salam staff at the Jeddah airport was so courteous, it took all our jet-lag away when in no time, we were made ready for the local flight to Medina. Your staff welcomed us and took care of all the details, which otherwise would have caused us some pains.
The Dar el Salam staff at Medina airport quickly and comfortably put us very good ride to the airport.
The Dar el Salam staff at the hotel in Medina located us even though we failed to wear our name tags. Kamal was very polite, well dressed and ready to check us in the hotel. He took care of all the matters while we settled in soft chairs in he waiting area. He then gave us summary of details and accompanied us to the room, where he posted all important information at a visible place. Before he left us, he asked “if we were comfortable and with the accommodation”. Well, there was nothing to even think of complaining with such great welcome. The trip to important places was great and well coordinated. Kamal constantly checked on us at least once a day and made sure that not only we were happy but also ready for our next segment of the trip. The ride to the airport was very generously comfortable as Kamal made sure that we get to the airport in time for flight back to Jeddah. If and when we go back for another Umrah or Hajj, we will definitely request him for our trip handling.
At the Jeddah airport we were welcomed with the same smiling faces of Dar el Salam and were swiftly and smoothly placed in very comfortable ride to Makkah.
At the hotel reception, we were greeted by a very young, energetic and intelligent person and we were checked in after a brief wait at the reception. The arrangement was exceptionally well arranged and administered by the Dar el Salam staff.
To cut the long story short, my family and I are very pleased with the way Dar el Salam arranged and delivered this Umrah trip.
By far this trip was the best and we were given MORE for our money.
thanks for a wonderful trip. may Allah reward you for helping ppl complete their umrah and hajj.
all the best
Jazakillah Khair for providing our family with a wonderful and memorable umrah experience. The staff in USA office and in Saudia Arabia were all very helpful and the service was excellent.
Hotel accomodations were very good, both hotels were close to haram and gave us a comfortable stay. Transportation and mazaraat were also good masha’Allah. Overall it was a wonderful experience.
Alhamdulillah we had an unforgettable experience and we want to thank everyone at Dar el Salam who made that possible.
Again, jazakillah for everything, and we will definitely consider taking another trip with Dar el Salam in the future, Allah willing.
Thank you for ur help in arranging everything necessary for my trip. Overall I had very good experience with dar el salam. The service of the Makkah office was good and madinah office was a touch better. The Jeddah office especially Mr M Shamim and Mr Ahsan khan really did a wonderful job in finding me a hotel and provided excellent support all over.
I really do not know how to start thanking you and your team for all the support and hospitality that every one provided throughout our trip.
Right from your services in the USA where you made sure that all our reservations best suited our needs. It was a pleasure to have you so connected to us and even contact us before our flight to make sure we were okay and boarding our flights.
In Jeddah we received a warm welcome from Br. Saleem who made sure we reached Makkah, and the transportation provided was very comfortable.
In Makkah Br. Muhammad Shetata was amazingly helpful , provided us with cell phone and our tour guide Br. Jamil was also very understanding and helpful.
In Makkah we found ourselves very fortunate that Br. Mustafa himself was present to greet us and made sure that someone helped us through out our Umrah process. He even had our room upgraded (complimentary) to the Haram View. In Madina Br. Tawfik was very helpful as well and made sure our trip from and to the airport was comfortable.
We enjoyed the Mazaarat and the guide was friendly and helpful.
Overall , this has been an amazing trip and the the step by step support that Dar El Salam provided us through out our journey was a huge help especially since my husband was not well and on a wheel chair.
I think because of the good work that your team does , Allah will always continue to give Dar el salam all the success it deserves.
I personally wanted thank Br. Mustafa for his generosity and hospitality , however I do not have his email . I would greatly appreciate if you could pass on my message to him. May Allah give you, Br. Mustafa and your entire team Ajar for taking care of so many muslims. I will always refer your services to anyone who is planning to travel for Umrah or Hajj.
Thanks again for all you help
You are the best of the best, and Darelsalam team did a great jobs. I would like to thank you and your team. I am marketing Darel Salam to everyone I am coming across. Keep it up!. I wish I had met Br. Mustafa to communicate to him what an outstanding job you are doing. Maybe I will meet him on another trip. Inshallah.
Made me look at my life differently. May Allah bless you and your family in this world and the next insha’Allah.
Thank you so much sister Syeeda! the trip was amazing thanks to you all.
I will definitely be looking for another trip with Dar El Salam, such a great agency MashaAllah!
Thank you for your email and for your dua’h. May Allah be pleased with you, always. Ameen
Thank you personally, and the Dar El Salaam team collectively, kindly for all your continued excellent help related to this trip – you made things smooth and easy for us at every step – and it has been a pleasure working with you throughout.
May allah reward you for all your kindness and good works – manyfolds – Ameen!
Peace, Grace & Blessings
Very professional and organized. They delivered what they promised. I was stunned when I saw mena and Arafat comparing to the other companies. Accommodations in makkah were superb and madinah was great. The group leaders were very kind to us and always keep us informed with everything.
It was great. When we got to makkah our rooms were ready at the Zamzamn hotel. It was very organized. Madinah was beautiful and liked the Hilton hotel very much. Menah and Arafat was way beyond my expectations, I was surprised how they furnished it. We heard about dar el salam through a family friend and im glad we listened to them. May Allah reward you guys for the hard work you have done to make our trip very smooth and convenient. The group leaders and imams were terrific and experienced.
Assalamalykum Sister Dalia:
I just came back from my trip on Saturday. It was very pleasant experience. Thanks for all your help and may Allah reward you for all your help and patience.
Insha Allah, I will select your service in future and recommend to friends.
Jazak Allah Khair.
Reference to our previous telephon calls to your office, we like to furnish our best regards, full of thanks and full
of joys, that we do appreciate the BEST SERVICES & COOPERATION of Dar El Salam Groups during our Umra Trip
to Saudi-Arabia, and we came back home with alot of good and valuable memories from your best services and
best cooperation for all of us during our trips in Madina, Makka , Jeddah , and realy we love your company and do
respect all of you very much.
It was not our first trip with you, but we had about 6 or 7 more trips with you before, and your services and cooperation
with your nice crews are better and better , that we do appreciate all of you and thank you for all of you. and Please let
us pray that we should have trips to Haramain Sharifain again and again and should enjoy from your nice services again
Dear Brother Ahmed
I just want to thank you for the great service you provided me with for my Umrah trip.. I truly felt that you offered an excellent personal service, and you paid attention to all details.
Asalam O Alikum
I appreciate the efforts and arrangement of unforgettable Umra package. Every person was feeling that he/she is a VIP during the Umra starting from JFK and Ending at JFK.
I do not have word to thank you and your whole team. God will give you Ajar.
Thanks and Regards
Dr. Muhammad Younus
THis is the most rewarding spiritual boot camp I ever did, the team of Dar El Salam were all fabulous, kind and generous, they my Haj truly enjoyable, I will go with them again and recommend highly them.
Assalamo Alikum, Allhamdullah we had a wonderful Hajj in 2013. I just want to thank you for all your good services during our Hajj trip. That helped us to concentrate on ibada (worship) rather than on the logistics during the hajj. Jazakallah
I hope all is well with you and your family.
We had a great experience at our most recent Umrah trip —–Dar -El-Salaam
staff was very pleasant,courteous,helpful and clearly took care of all of
us in all aspects: whether it was our luggage,getting to the hotel rooms or
during the Mazarat : we have utmost respect for all of you !
We cannot thank enough for all your efforts,this just adds to our trust in
Dar El Salaam–we had good experience in Hajj 2011 trip and now Umrah in
Insha Allah we look forward to take more trips through Dar El Salaam and we
tell all our friends to do the same.
Please convey our thanks to all the members of the Dar El Salaam team :
Omar,Ahmed, Imam AbdulHakeem to name a few.You were all in our Duas.
May Allah accept our Umrah and Duas,(Ameen)
Jazak Allah Kharain,
Just returned back from Umrah.
Earlier, when I was shopping for reasonably priced packages, most people recommended Dar El-Salam, although it was on the pricier edge. Others who recommended different travel agencies did not have a prior experience with Dar El-Salam. So, I made my reservations and hoped that people’s standards and expectations are at at least equal to mine. Well, the experience was beyond expectations. In fact, the term “beyond expectations” is not good enough. The entire crew, with no exception, made these few days a long lasting memorable experience for my son and myself. We enjoyed every second of it. This is definitely my choice for future travels. I appreciate all the efforts and dedications that every single person puts towards the success of the trip. I would like to specially thank few names, but I’m afraid this may diminish or devalue the commitments and devotion of others.
May Allah Bless you all
I hope this email finds you in good health. My wife and I have returned from our Umrah trip and I wanted to take a moment to thank Dar El Salam for the excellent service and accommodations on our trip. We enjoyed our trip very much and are looking forward to traveling with Dar El Salam again in the future. Please forward this email to Haji Mustafa and everyone else at the travel agency to let them know how much we appreciate all that was done on our trip.
Thank you so much for making this umrah possible for me and my son. It was a beautiful experience and the accommodations were spectacular. The Dar El Salam team was professional and courteous and really showed that they cared about our well-being. We would like to plan for hajj next. I will be in touch to get the ball rolling for that soon. Thanks again.
I just want to take this opportunity to thank you and the whole dar-el-salam team to make this trip so smooth and comfortable for my family including my two small children and my mother-in-law. We had the greatest experience of our lives. Dar-el-salam guides, imams and scholars were with us on every step whenever we needed. We loved the accommodations, different lectures, the handling of our luggage’s and most importantly the help we received from dar-el-salam in spiritual preparation for umrah.
Alhamdulliah all my family members were in good health and great spirit. Insallah, we will perform the Hajj as soon as almighty Allah provides us the earliest opportunity and you and Dar-el-salam will be our travel agency.
Thank you so much once again. Please forward our regards to Dar-el-salam team.
I got back last night. Masha Allah it was a good trip, may Allah accepts all our prayers, Ameen. your USa office was very helpful, hotel accommodations in both places were very good, the trip between Makkah & Medina & mazaraat was good too.
Thanks for asking; We really had a great time with Dar el salam, in this 2nd trip. we did haj with them few years ago. Please convey my regards to mr Mustapha and the staff our sincere thanks.
Personal thanks to you Nahid for handling our paper works here in NY.
Have a great 2014.
JAK for all your efforts.
All services we received were great, excellent staff, very helpful and always were available, Hotels are great.
Overall Dar El Salam service rating is 5 stars.
We just came back.it was wonderful experience and service.
We enjoyed it very much,i happen to meet Br Mustafa in Mecca,he and the dar el Salam staff were very curtious and pleasant to work with and were very helpful.
Keep up the good work,we are already recommending friends to Travel With Dar El Salam.
My wife and I had a great Umrah trip. Air Jordan provided very good accomodation during connecting flights. Our hotels were 5 stars,close to both Harams. The PHD professor from Canada, I think brother Hakim, was great, we learn a lot. The dinner he araanged as a suprised at mount Arafat was a great experience. We enjoyed Turkey very much also. Over all our trip was a 10 out 10, thanks to Dar El Salam services. We would use your servcie again, and we have already told our family and friends about the great service you all provice, by the Grace of Allah.
Every pilgrim who embarks on the journey for Hajj has a unique experience. People come from all over the world with hopes, dreams and wishes to talk to the Almighty directly. Most of of them are silent in prayers while others openly communicate with clear voices. I had this opportunity in 2012 and would like to share my experiences.
People going for Hajj can select the arrival destination in Saudi Arabia as either Makka or Medina. I start my journey on October 15, 2012 with a direct flight to Medina from Washington DC Dulles airport.
After about twelve hours, the aircraft is approaching Medina. I look out at the landscape. It is dotted with small hills without any trees or grass. These hills look vulnerable due to their clay and stone make up. Continuing on to the center of the city I see date palm trees along the road.
The customs and immigrations in Medina is a smooth operation as the travel agency collected our passports. The authorities checked the inoculation for meningitis. Without a certificate people are not allowed in Saudi Arabia. The travel agent Dar El Salam (DST) did good work and we were on the buses in an hour. Each person was given an identity tag with bus number and passport information.
October 16,’12 is a bright sunny day and the temperature is over 80 degrees Fahrenheit. After settling in the hotel, I see Masjid Nabawi right in front of me. Even the windows are facing toward Khana Kaaba. I can see people walking around in the shade provided by huge canopies. These canopies open as soon as the sun rises and close down after sunset. Masjid Nabawi now occupies a huge area. Hotels are lined up on three sides while one side has an educational institution.
I come out of the hotel and see a lineup of small and big shops. Business is in full swing. There are four major types of shops. Shops that sell gift items like prayer rugs, tasbeeh, perfume, dates/sweets and of course jewelry of all kinds.
Each entrance to Masjid Nabawi is named, such as, Bab Baqee and Bab Jabreel. Wash stations in the outer corridors are numbered. All one has to do is to remember the wash station number close to the point of entrance.
I walk around in the afternoon in the bazaars of Medina. People are very cheerful. Everyone is ready to help. At the same time one must be very careful in keeping limited amount of money in pocket. Even more important is a large presence of professionals who narrate stories of misery or having lost money and want fare from Medina to Makka. These people are well dressed with beard and a tasbeeh in hand. Several people approach me in a very polite manner and ask for help. Many of these people will tell you that they are from Kashmir or Pakistan and invariably trap people inside Masjid Nabawi where people are full of religious sentiments.
I place my shoes in a backpack wrapped in a plastic bag and head for the Masjid. This is a huge place with arches and pillars. People are busy in the recitation of Qur’an or are praying. After Iqama the people start to move forward. However, after the prayer starts there are many unfilled spaces inside the Masjid.
As soon as the prayer starts I hear the people coughing all around me. Perhaps this is the major cause of transmission of various viruses. About 10% of the people wear surgical masks for protection while others bring their own prayer mats. It is a good idea to safeguard against infection. The Masjid is kept thoroughly clean at all times but the carpets cannot be sterilized after each prayer. Zamzam water is available to all people at all times in Masjid Nabawi.
The stay in Medina has been very pleasant. I took a guided tour on October 18, 2012 to visit Masjid Quba, Masjid Qiblatain and the battlefield of Uhad. This battle in Uhad was a life-and-death struggle for the newly formed Muslim community. Large number of people visit the site. The people and the government of Saudi Arabia are oblivious of the erosion of the small hill where the Prophet had posted a contingent to offset any attack from behind. At the same time, the Saudi Government is very concerned about the contamination of Islamic faith with false objects of worship. So they have not preserved any home or monument of historical value. The place where the battle of Khandaq took place there is a freeway running without any historical markers. The knowledgeable people do point out various areas but visitors simply do not get any guidance.
People may object when I say the Prophet making great efforts and sacrifices for everything he achieved. This is in contrast with millions of people praying for everything while they never made any effort for them. It amazes me to see the people in prayer asking for fruits while they never planted or nurtured any tree.
After four days of stay in Medina, I took a Saudi Airline flight at 5 PM to Jeddah on October 20, ’12. The group leader advised us to put on Ihram and declare the intention for Umrah before the flight.
Our bus took about three hours to reach the hotel in Makka. It passed through crowded bazaar with large number of people in South Asian dresses. It seems like a Lahore bazaar in Pakistan instead of Saudi Arabia with small shops and throngs of people walking in all directions.
As the sun went down our group leader told us to relax and gather in the hotel lobby for Umrah at 1:30 AM in the morning. His observation was right. The number of people after the Isha prayers gradually decline and we complete Umrah before the Fajar prayer.
Tawaf and Saee between Safa and Marva is very easy these days due to four levels. The people in the main area of Khana Kaaba were not pushing and shoving as during the day. The Tawaf took us about fifty minutes in the inner courtyard. By the time we finished Umrah it was already 4 AM. We went to the top level of Safa/Marva platform in the open sky. The weather had cooled down and after a brief passage of time the Azan was called. After completing Umrah we headed back to the hotel that was marked by the clock tower.
After my first visit to Khana Kaaba it was difficult to get lost. However ,I saw many Pakistani and Indian people asking for directions. Luckily, the people are very helpful during the Hajj season. While thousands get lost there are many who are ready to help. I am amazed at the zeal of old people running between Safa and Marva while I feel tired and need rest.
It seems like everything is within a human being. If there is nothing inside then everything outside becomes a meaningless exercise. Many people from Third World countries come with their lifetime savings and they are the ones who benefit the most from this pilgrimage.
The Hajj marathon starts with arrival in Mena camp. It is a bright sunny morning on October 24, 2012. Our group leader has already asked us to get ready with Ihram for the Hajj. We take the bus at 11 AM and start towards Mena camp. Makka has rolling hills with hotels all over in the vicinity of Khana Kaaba. The bus moves out slowly toward Mena. There are about four tunnels and dry stone hills in the distance. Even in early morning the weather is warm and touching 80 degrees F. We pass through the Azizia suburb where there are many apartment buildings This area is surrounded by the hills and there are many date palm trees. The buses pass over a bridge where there are flags of Turkey, Pakistan, India and many other countries.
Mena is a large tent city spread over miles. This is the area where people get lost because all tents look the same. We reach our Mena camp site in about two hours. Here the travel agent (DST) assigned the tents to a group of about twenty people. Chair beds are lined along the sides of the room. After rolling out the beds there is hardly any space left. These tents are air-conditioned but the air moves out only in one direction. While one side is feeling cold the other side is sweating it out.
Perhaps the stay in Mena is the hardest part of Hajj rituals. Walking outside the camp you can see a sea of people with many occupying the sidewalks without any protection from the sun or rain. Right in front of our camp we can see the building where the escalators take you to Jamaraats area. Even in the presence of clear signs people get lost and spend hours looking in all directions. The patience of Saudi police and volunteers is commendable. Although they never provide any guidance they are not angry with the people going in all directions. This is the day to get orientation as the Hajj is going to start on October 25, ’12. The main problem here seems to be inadequate washroom facilities. People have to stand in line.
On October 25 we start our journey towards Arafat. From our camp in Mena, the train station is about one mile away. After a good walk, we arrive at the train station. This train is called Al- Mashaer. The train waiting period is one hour while it is only a 15-minute ride to Arafat. The passengers are packed like sardines but thankfully the uncomfortable travel period is short.
We arrive at Arafat around noon on October 25, 2012. The place is huge. You can see distant hills in the background of the vast valley of Arafat. Very few people dare to go to these hills because it is very easy to get lost. The presence of people within the area of Arafat between noon and sunset is the main requirement for Hajj. Hajj cannot be performed without this presence.
I stay around the camp and listen to a lecture by a scholar arranged by the travel agent (DST). Lunch is provided, however it is a good idea to eat less and drink more water. I cannot listen to the sermon from a distant masjid. We have our own arrangement for the prayers inside the tent.
As the sun is about to go down behind the distant hills of Arafat we head for the train station to take us to Muzdalifa. In Muzdalifa there is a carpeted area for our group while a huge crowd is spreading out on the open ground. Here people have to collect small pebbles and stones. There are no pebbles to be found. There are big stones that can easily hurt people but no small stones. I walk around the ground and stop at a fenced area. I see small fragments of stones in a fenced area with a police man. I use sign language to request the policeman to give a handful of the small stones. He is very kind to give a good supply and I return back to my area. Here again we have our own Imam for the prayers. A lady is trying to separate women from men of their family. Some people move but majority just ignore her heartfelt pleas. Here we talk with fellow pilgrims till midnight.
In October the weather is pleasant in Muzdalifa. There is no need for a blanket. I use my backpack as a pillow and lie down to get few hours of rest. Early morning at 4 AM Azan is called for Tahhajad. Some people pray all night while others are in deep sleep. Many people are coughing due to some virus that affects the vocal chords and causes shivering fever.
Some people leave at midnight while I decide to stay because my wife Raheela has changed her mind. After Fajar prayer we start back towards Mena camp. Here on our way we have our first encounter with Jamaraats. Early morning on October 26,’12 we go to Jamaraats.
In the evening we head towards Makka to perform Tawaf Al- Efada. The DST has arranged buses to drop us at a hotel. We reach the hotel in the evening and head towards Khana Kaaba. This place is very crowded. The first level around Kaaba is jam-packed. We start our Tawaf El Efada around midnight. Even at night it is warm without any breeze. It takes us more than one hour to finish the Tawaf and we move towards Safa and Marva. There is a top level open to the sky approachable with escalators and stairs.
I lie down in the open to rest for a while. There are many people performing Saee between Safa and Marva. I see old people running with religious fervor while I feel very tired. On October 27 morning we head back to the buses parked at Al Shuhda Hotel. We reach Mena camp and have the second go at Jamaraats. This time we hit at all three Jamaraats. After this encounter the Hajj ritual is essentially over and people are lining up for a haircut. There is a long line even with five barbers.
People are thankful and praying for successful pilgrimage. Since our return flight is on 29th October we have to head back to Makka to perform Tawaf Al Wada on October 28, ’12. Early morning we go for third round of Jamaraats and board the bus to Makka.
Now we are experienced travelers and know our way around. On October 28, ’12 we reach the same hotel and freshen up with breakfast and head towards Khana e Kaaba. Around 10 AM the place is packed with a bright sun hitting the pilgrims with full force. I decide to perform Tawaf in the covered corridor where the distance becomes about three times. This Tawaf takes about 1 ½ hours.
The pilgrimage is over and we head towards Jeddah. There is nothing eventful except the the news that super storm Sandy is hitting the east coast of the USA. Washington DC Dulles and New York area airports are shut down. We stay in Jeddah for two more nights. .
There are a few lessons learned from my observations and direct experience. I hope future pilgrims to Saudi Arabia can benefit from them. Here are the lessons:
Selection of Travel Agency
Perhaps this is the most important decision you make. An honest and experienced travel agency will impact everything in Saudi Arabia. You are at the mercy of these people for visa, airline flights, ground transportation and location of your camp in Mena, Arafat, Muzdalifa and Jamarrats.
My friend Mr. Fasihud Din Toor selected the wrong travel agency and everything was messed up. He walked for miles from Mena camp to Makka for Tawaf. The agent did not provide the hotels, food or ground transportation promised in the correspondence. Many times he had to pay for taxi and buses. His location in Mena camp also required hours of walk to Jamaraats area.
So the best thing is to talk to at least three people with experience. Ask questions about the distance from Masjid Nabawi and Khana Kaaba. The distance of Mena camp from Jamaraats is also important. Some people have to walk for more than one hour to reach Jamaraats.
Review the Health Requirements
Salaams Beloved Sister-
You guys are the best!! I can’t tell you how thankful I am for all of the work you , and Dar El Salam did to make our Umrah successful. To be able to focus on Ebadat and know that all of the logistics were taken care of was a profound blessing.
I look forward to next year, insha’Allah with my family.
I’m already missing Medina, Mecca and my ICNYU family. But I also know that hearts connected cannot be separated by time, space or circumstance.
May Allah increase you all with an overflowing of good in this world and in the hereafter.
Your brother in Islam, Iman and Ihsan
AS SALAM ALAIKUM.
WE GOT BACK THIS MORNING. IT WAS A GREAT TRIP. NO PROBLEMS AT ALL.
THANK YOU SO MUCH TO THE BOTH OF YOU AND ALL OTHER PERSONS INVOLVED
AT YOUR AGENCY. MAY ALLAH SWT POUR HIS MERCY AND BLESSINGS IN ALL
OF YOUR LIVES AND ALL OF YOUR FAMILIES’ LIVES.
My name is Hajia Lola Mustapha. I’m originally from Nigeria but I now live in New York.
My 1st Hajj was in 1981 and I have made about 25 plus Hajj & Umrah combined. I go to Hajj almost every year even in 2013.
Just last month, I went to umrah with the ICNYU-UMRAH-2014 GROUP.
I just wanted you to know that from the beginning of the trip to end with the wonderful dinner at Mt. Arafat has been an amazing experience with spiritual uplifting that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Alhamdulillai.
The accommodations, both Medina and Mecca was fantastic. Both accommodations were the closest you can get to both Holy Houses. The buses that took us from one place to another were fantastic, nicer and cleaner than most buses you travel on in the US.
With my 25 plus times that I have perform both Hajj and Umrah, this is the most complete and satisfying trip of all my trips combine.
Your staffs at Jeddah – Mohammed Salim, – Medina – Oh I forgot his name. (He wears eye glass) and the – Mecca – Mohammed Fatty and his partners are all God sent and the best you could ever asked for.
They were very professional, patience, respectful, wonderful and amazing group of people. They were always there when you need them. They respond very quickly to your needs and your wants any time of the day you call them with a smile even when they are tried. I once or twice asked if they ever sleep. They all welcome us with open arms and saw us at the airport with gratitude. May Allah Ta’ala Bless, Guide and Protect them and their family.
I want you to know that Dar-El-Salam is just the best Travel Agent ever and in my opinion Allah put them here to help all Muslims to achieve their goals whenever they made this spiritual trip to Mecca and Medina and will recommend Dar-El-Salam to everybody/anybody that I know
I want to take this opportunity to thank everybody that make this trip such an unforgettable blessed one for me at Dar El Salam.
May Allah Ta’ala forgive us our sins and purity us a purification that only He can provide and we ask him to grant this for us through the love that He has for His beloved messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace)
Wa Alaykum Salam,
By far the best Umrah trip ever. Started with the Inaugural flight of Saudia Airlines from Los Angeles LAX Airport directly to Jeddah and from there 10+ stars all the way. Travel agent Susan Mustafa was extremely helpful in planning our Umrah trip. We will definitely be calling Dar El Salam for ALL our future trips. Highly recommended.
I thought the service in your USA office was fantastic mainly Susan Mustafa. She was very helpful and clear with the plan of our trip. When we arrived in Jeddah. The driver was very kind and we had a great time talking to him throughout our trip. When we arrived at the hotel, we were immediately accompanied by Dar El Salam representative waiting for us. He took our luggage, checked us in, and walked us to the hotel room. The faculty were very nice and helpful and I thought the service was superb. The service continued to be consistent and smooth and did not give us any stress at all. Our trip to Medinah went by smoothly with another great driver as well as the return to Jeddah. The driver in Medinah that was part of the mazarat was very informative, kind and patient in the trip. I would like to thank Dar El Salam for everything they have done for my family, for their kindness and their patience.
Couldn’t be better! From reservation to the farewell at Jeddah, the sweetest experience my 8 years old son and I could’ve had. They have their office in Manhattan. Mr. Najam handled our trip in an excellent way. The moment you enter, the most pleasant personality at the receptions greets you. She is Miss Saeeda with a never ending smile and her ubiquitous readiness to help. My little girl was with me when we went to the office to finalize the trip; Miss Saeeda gave her a big hug that kept my daughter happy for the rest of the day. May Allah SWT bless her with the best of the both worlds, ameen. Mr. Salim welcomed us at the Jeddah airport with an infectious smile. He’s a very nice gentleman and very polite. May Allah SWT bless him, ameen. Bus took an hour and half or more to get moving. We’ve no idea why the driver waited that long. Maybe the check in at Medinah hotel had something to do with it. It should have been scheduled in a way as not to waste our precious time. We could’ve spent some more time at The Mosque if he moved in time. We got to Madinah late. Our trip was supposed to be a 6-night trip but later we realized that the management took away our one night and asked us to check out at 6PM on the 6th night! We were not happy campers and so was the case with many of our group mates. I expressed my concern to Mr. Taufiq and let him know I wasn’t too happy about it. Mr. Taufiq said he had a surprise dinner for us that’ll make us happy. Well, I thought, no food on earth would make up the time lost here! We had very limited time in Makkah; two nights only! Well, we boarded the bus from Makkah to Jeddah via our “special dinner” spot. On our way, we came to know we were going to the “Jabal-e-Rehmah” at Arafat! That’s when my heart started jumping. Oh yes, we were going to Arafat. Last time on Hajj my wife and I with our group were miles away from the Mt. Arafat. I told my little boy we were going to Jabal e Rehmah and explained the importance of it. He was very excited. Even with my severely bad back and other maladies, my son managed to coerce me into climbing up the mount. In the middle of the hike, halfway from the top I gave up and so did he. Then I said, “Son, I might not be able to come here again, so let’s go to the top”. My 8yrs. old suddenly became a grown up and said, “Let’s go dad”. We climbed all the way up! Alhamdolillah! Once we were on top of the Jabal e Rehmah, a prayer poured out my heart for Dar El Salam organizers who thought of this event. May Allah Bless you guys, Ameen. What you did for us is something never to forget. Whether I’m around or not, this trip will never be forgotten by my 8yrs. old and that was the purpose of bringing him along. Mr. Salim was there for us again at Jeddah airport at departure. Same beautiful smile and an eagerness to help! He helped me with ZamZam packing and helped with check in. He guided at every step. You guys are great! My 7yrs old daughter is very upset for not being able to go with us. Every time she sees the pictures, she becomes sad. Allah willing, when He makes it happen, we’ll certainly go with you again and with confidence. I would recommend you to my friends as well. Jazak Allah Khair. Malik Awan.
I have to show various appreciation to this critic simply for rescuing me from this type of challenge. Because of exploring all through the world wide web in addition to getting basics that were not productive, I was thinking my life was done. Being alive without the approaches to the difficulties you’ve sorted out all through your main short post is a serious case, as well as ones that might have negatively affected my entire career if I hadn’t seen your web site. Your own competence as well as kindness in playing with all the things was valuable. I’m not sure what I would have done if I hadn’t come across such a point like this. I’m able to now look ahead to my future. Thanks for your time so much for your professional and sensible help. I will not be reluctant to advise your web web site to some individual who wants and needs support concerning this topic.
Assalamouaikum, Thank to Dar El Salam for helping me for my first Umrah trip on May 8-17 for the year 2014. I made a phone from Philadelphia to Dar El Salam Travel in New York Office to book my trip. I received my package with my visa, books of Umrah, Duah’s, name tag, schedule of my trip and much more at home. The staffs from the New York office were very friendly, helpful and nice in offering me many options and deals for my Umrah but my choice went for the mother’s day package. I was offered to stay at the five stars hotel in Madina and in Makkah. The breakfast was included in the package. I arrived at Jeddah airport many staffs from Dar El salam came to assist me for a transit to another flight to Al Madina. When I arrived at Al Madina, Once again, the staffs from Dar El Salam took care of my luggage. I was welcome with amenities into the bus. The bus driver, tour agent and other staffs were very kind with me. I received my room keys in the bus as an express check-in. Once I reached my room, there was a second amenity into my room in Al Madina. In Al Madina, I attended a few lecturers about the Umrah by the staff of Dar El Salam. The hotel in Madina was located near Al Masjid Nawabi. I had the opportunity to pray at Al Rawdah for me, my family and friends. I also went on a tour trip with Dar El Salam staffs to visit an exhibit of the Prophet (SAW), the Mount Uhud, Quba Masjid, Qiblatain Masjid and other historical sites. The staffs were guiding me step by step and I did not feel that I was alone. I had a wonderful time in Al Madina. Arriving in Makkah, I performed my Umrah properly. I also prayed the Jummah Salaat and make many duah’s in front of the Kaaba. May Allah Accepts all my duah’s. The hotel was located in the Al Haram. I visited Jabal Thawr, Arafat, Muzdalifah, Mina Jab/ Al Nur (Cave Nur). I had an express check out back to Jeddah airport for my departure. The bus was on time. Dar el Salam staffs were present at the airport for help and offered me zamzam water. All the services were great and excellent. Thank to Dar El salam in offering free diner at Al Madina and in Makkah. The foods and drinks were delicious and abundance. In the morning, the breakfast buffet stations were full with hot food and cold food. The chefs were also cooking on the site. The restaurant staffs were very nice. In general, in Al Medina and Makah I did not had any problems. The staffs of the hotels were very kind and generous. The lecturer from the sister and brothers from Dar El Salam Travel had made my Umrah an easy one. I did not expect that, I will learn so much about my trip than expected. Finally, without Dar El Salaam, I would never have such a nice trip to the holy places. I could not forget my Umrah trip. It’s a memorable one. Thank to Dar El salam. Jazakallah. Allah Hafiz. By: Rookshana Moosuddee from Philadelphia, USA on June 9, 2014
Please accept our heartfelt thanks and appreciation for the most outstanding services provided by one and all at each and every point. We are obliged and Thank ALLAH SWT for the presence of Dar El Salam. The staff here in NY and in Saudi are most professional, compassionate and so very eager to help. Many a times each one is willing and does go out of the way to help. The truly over extend themselves and with a smile. ALLAH SWT Bless you and Grant you all continued success and well being.
Thanks for your best wishes and dua, indeed we had wonderful time in Madina al Munwara and Makkah. I sincerely appreciate your efforts in making our stay in Madina al Munwara so comfortable and very enjoyable all the way Alhumdulillah.
Dar el Salam has the highest standards and their staff is responsive and made sure all the guest are well taken care of…my sincere appreciation for entire staff of Dar el Salam and may Allah SWT reward them in multiples Ameen
The service received in USA was cooperative, supportive and above all very prompt. I had become nervous as it was my first time, and the fact that I received the passport just a few days before the travel date made me tense. However, it appears that this is a normal procedure and I had nothing to be alarmed about. Most importantly, the people in the Houston office were always polite and helpful. You specifically demonstrated great patience with me and my unending inquiries.
All staff in Jeddah, Madinah and Makkah were good. But I must commend your staff in Jeddah at the time of departure. As the luggage of some of us came after our arrival at the airport, the staff there was very helpful. What was amazing was that they had carts ready for us and helped us load our luggage. The case of Zamzam was also there. The young man on the plane from Istanbul to Madinah was very helpful.
The hotel accommodations were comfortable. The close proximity to the mosques was a great help. The Hilton was excellent! The choices at breakfast were just great. Fairmont was good too. Although the wait at the elevators was daunting. But otherwise it was good.
Dar El Salam has to be commended for excellent arrangements and always keeping the people’s comfort and needs in mind. The dinner at the foothill of Jable Rehmah came as a pleasant surprise. The food was worthy of royalty. I really felt special.
Thank you for everything Dar El Salam. I am so glad I made the choice to select you for the best journey of my life!
Thanks for your kind remarks. I just returned with my son after performing Umrah with Dar el Salam and have absolutely no complaints. I found both NY staff and local staff at Madinah ,Makkah and Jeddah very professional and helpful. They tried their best despite this being the heaviest travel season. I would like to convey especial gratitude to NY staff in US and Hassan in Saudi Arabia who received us in Madinah and made sure everything went smoothly related to our departure from Jeddah. Special thanks to our group Imam, sister Rahima bessam in Madinah and Makkah staff including tour guide.
I am glad that I chose Dar El Salam and would recommend it to anyone thinking about Umrah or Hajj.
Jazakommulah Khair for everything.
We thoroughly enjoyed our Umrah trip and thank you guys for making it possible.
Everything was very good and we did not face any major issues throughout the trip.
Hotel arrangements at both places were very good.
Wswrwb jzk khair, Nahid it was great trip Alhamdullilah May Allah SWT give reward here and hereafter to you and everyone who took part in this trip ameen
We enjoyed a lot, and kids were happy too.
Alhamdulillah may Allah SWT give us chance again and again to go with this kind of spiritual trips ameen
Wa Alaikum Assalam Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatahu
First, I want to thank you Dar El Salamfor enabling us to perform Umrah.We pray that Allah (SWT) reward theentire organization for their efforts.I am humbled at the opportunity toprovide feedback on the recent Umrah trip. The support from staff based in NY wasvery good.The staff provided timely responses to any questions andfollowed-up
Gazacom Allah Kher sister Rahima. We have had outstanding experience withDar El Salam and we are already passing our recommendations left and right.
JazakommulahKhair for everything.We thoroughlyenjoyed our Umrah trip and thank you guys for making it possible.Everythingwas very good and we did not face any major issues throughout the trip.Hotelarrangements at both places were very good.Thanks again.
Sr Rahima is with Dar El Salam Travel, and we have used their services for 13+ years for various Hajj and Umrah packages.Alhamdulillah, their service has been excellent, and they always deliver whatthey commit to or more. We used them most recently for our Umrah trip this past December-January.
As salaam alaikum Sister Sahar,We are back in Michigan aftera wonderful Umrah pilgrimage. Everything worked out like a well oiled machine except for a minor incident upon arrival at Madina airport. The staff in all places including brothers Jamal, Bassam, Hussain and their assistants in all the cities were exceedingly helpful.Sara and I are
AA sister sahar. Alhumdulillah we had a wonderful trip. Thanks for all the wonderful arrangements made by Dar El Salam. Sister Hana is excellent and sheikh Jameel too. We met our expectations. Lectures were helpfultoo. I have a request u should add the ziyarah of battle of badar , in your next visit in Madina.We had a greatgroup as well. It felt like family. Jazakallah sister sahar for the arrangements u had done for make our umra comfortable. May Allah reward each and every person that works so hard to make it easy for the hajjis.
Assalam Alaikum Nahid,I just would like to express my appreciation for your excellent arrangements and above all, the impressive personal attention that you have put into making our journey stress free right from the start.Jazakallah khair for all that you have done. My parents have been singing your praises to one and all:)