Engr. Iqbal Khan Performing Umrah – 2023
Engr. Iqbal Ahmed Khan on the second floor while performing Tawaaf in a wheelchair

The following report was written by Zoya Imran, granddaughter of Engr. Iqbal Ahmed Khan of Karachi, Pakistan.

Engr. Iqbal Ahmed Khan, along with his daughter Erum Imran, his nieces Saira and Anum Aftab Khan, and Anum’s husband Taimur Barlas went to perform Umrah in the month of February 2023.

The plan was quite spontaneous and unplanned. On a normal evening, Iqbal received a phone call from Saira, asking him to accompany her as her mahram on her first Umrah.

The arrangements were made and Iqbal asked his younger daughter, Erum to accompany him as well. Both of them decided to go to the Holy Place a little earlier than the rest of the family. Iqbal and Erum reached Makkah on February 11th and performed their Umrah, Alhamdulillah. Anum, Taimur and Saira, all reside in the USA, so they reached Makkah on the 14th of February and, once again, all of them performed Umrah together.

The Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage to Makkah that can be undertaken at any time of the year, unlike the Ḥajj, which has specific dates according to the Islamic lunar calendar. Umrah is sometimes considered the "lesser pilgrimage".

Engr. Iqbal Khan Performing Umrah – 2023
Engr. Iqbal Ahmed Khan with his daughter Erum Imran at the Karachi Airport ready to leave for Jeddah on February 11, 2023.
Engr. Iqbal Khan Performing Umrah – 2023
A nice sunny view outside the hotel in Madina Munawwara. Sitting: Engr. Iqbal Ahmed Khan. Standing: Dr. Anum Khan, Taimur Barlas, Saira Aftab and Erum Imran.

Umrah requires Muslims to perform two key rituals, Tawaf and Sa'i. Tawaf is a circling round the Kaaba seven times. For men, it is recommended to do the first three circuits in a hurried pace, followed by four rounds of a more leisurely pace. This is followed by Sa'i between Safa and Marwah in the Masjid-al Haram, a walk to commemorate Hazrat Hajra's search for water for her son and God's mercy in answering prayers. Pilgrims conclude the pilgrimage with Halq, a partial or complete shortening of the hair.

After performing Umrah, the family made their way towards the city of the Holy Prophet, Madinah-al-Munwarah on the 17th of February after Zuhr prayer. They had made an appointment to visit the Roza-e-Rusool and offered their Salam at the grave of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

After spending another day in Madinah, the family flew back to Karachi, Pakistan on the night of February 18th, Alhamdulillah.

Saudi Aramco Ex-Employees Association (SAEEA) wish Engr. Iqbal Ahmed Khan, his daughter and his nieces that all their prayers are accepted and fulfilled, Ameen.

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