MASSACHUSETTS – During a reflection event on Saturday evening, February 23, Muslim students at Harvard University in Massachusetts looked back on their journey — both spiritual and physical — to Saudi Arabia for inaugural Umrah trip, The Crimson reported.
“The evening and dinner were meant for sharing, exploration, and reminiscence about the journey students took last month for the first time in their lives,” said the event’s organizer Khalil Abdur-Rashid, Harvard’s first full-time Muslim chaplain.
He and his wife, Ustadha Samia Omar, led the group of 30 students where they split the eight-day trip between the cities of Makkah and Al-Madinah.
Nearly all of them were fully funded by community organizations and anonymous alumni donors to participate in the trip.
Umrah is considered the ‘minor pilgrimage’ in Islam in contrast with Hajj, which is the major pilgrimage and falls on specific dates each year according to the Hijri lunar calendar.
“The rites and duties performed during each are similar, but Umrah can be performed anytime during the year and is typically simpler and shorter,” Abdur-Rashid explained.