Thursday, December 16, 2010
Queen Rania in Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah
DUBAI - Queen Rania of Jordan on Wednesday performed the Umrah pilgrimage to the Saudi holy city of Mecca, recounting her visit on Twitter and sparking an outpouring of support on the microblogging website.
“On the way back from Umrah, Mecca touches your heart and soul, and where you feel comfortable like no other. All praise and thanks for all blessings,” Queen Rania, 40, wrote in an Arabic Twitter post.
“A long, busy, but blessed year. What better way to end it than with a return to one’s center?” she followed up in English.
“Today I feel privileged to be visiting Mecca. For me it’s the ultimate place on earth to feed and recharge spiritually.”
The Umrah pilgrimage, sometimes called the 'lesser pilgrimage', is not compulsory and can be undertaken by Muslims at any time of the year.
The Haj, or 'major' pilgrimage, is one of the five pillars of Islam and is compulsory for every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it to do once in their lifetime.
Queen Rania’s posts were retweeted and commented on by followers around the world.
Many asked for prayers from the queen on issues ranging from the treatment of migrant workers to someone’s exam results.
“Pray on our behalf that "God may give us the wisdom to be more compassionate in the coming year". Will be a better World!” asked @gauravkataria.
While @kepank requested: “Please, stop violence against asian women workers in Arab countries.”
@Zahra_C0ol_kid added: “please make dua for me in Makkah, I will be getting my final exam results, and I'm hoping to do well, insha'allah”
Others praised the queen for performing the pilgrimage.
“How privileged! Mecca! In the presence of "ALLAH", what a blessing! God Bless you and Peace be with you!” @LadyYvonne3817 wrote.
@1Sufi2 added: “Really a good news & absolutely right.Remembering my visit to Mecca. Wholesome,indeed ! Alhamdulillah.”
Queen Rania, who described herself on Twitter as “a mum and a wife with a really cool day job...”, currently has more than 1.4 million followers.
She joined Twitter in May 2009, giving her followers an insight into her public and private life.
The royal used her first posts to say she wants to use Twitter to find out how social media can help the 75 million children presently denied an educatio