Pilgrimage Gift Ideas From The Holy Land
Being an ‘honorary guest’ of Allaah when performing hajj and umroh is one of the privileges desired by all Muslims. Unfortunately, not all of us can afford to do so. Therefore, it’s nice to share the pleasure of visiting the Holy land with our friends and family by presenting them with unique souvenirs as gifts. And while you are in the region, you can learn and enjoy the art of price bargaining.
Below are some gift ideas that you can bring home from the Holy land after you finish your hajj/umroh.
- Zam-zam water: The ancient holy water that still runs from its well since the age of Prophet Ismail (PBUH). You can find lots of big 5 liter bottles that are allowed to be transported by air with special packaging. Usually, your travel agent arranges that all pilgrims in its group will receive 1 pack per person. This is the only gift that can only be found at the Holy land and nowhere else.
- Ajwa dates: The special date fruit that is sometimes called the Prophet’s date due to the story behind it. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was said to be fond of this particular black date. In the date market, there are at least 2 sizes of Ajwa dates, the small sized, the medium and sometimes large, all come with a different price tag. Ajwa dates are also known to be cultivated in Madinah only.
- Tasbeeh/rosary/praying beads: prepare to be amazed by the assortment of size, shape, colors, and even the bead count and origins that are offered by sellers. You can find tasbeeh as cheap as 1 SAR (around 30 cent USD) for plastic beads and up to the hundreds in riyal crystal beads. There is also the unique camel bone prayer bead available in many gift shops.
- Abaya: all ladies in Saudi are obligated to wear the traditional abayas. The abaya itself is a long soft coat in black that is used to cover regular clothing. The women usually take off their abaya when they’re inside a room or building, away from men’s eyes, but it doesn’t stop women from sporting elegant and fashionable abayas when they’re in public, especially Jeddawi (Jeddah resident) women. Today, there are many beautiful ornamented abayas in many dark colors such as brown, blue, purple or gray. You can find many of these beautiful abayas from as low as 40SAR in the lower ground of the mall opposite Madinah’s Nabawi Masjid to as high as thousands of riyal in the boutiques of Makkah and Jeddah.
- Thobe: if the ladies have abayas, the men have thobes. This traditional garment for men is a long loose tunic in white color. The prices are varied, from 20sar that can be bought from the many street vendors in front of Madinah’s Nabawi masjid to the thousand riyal and custom-made thobes that can be tailored and easily found everywhere in all cities.
- Oud Perfume: the real oud perfume is usually expensive. It can cost at least 200SAR for a small bottle, but you can buy the replicas that are usually sold in small bottles. Buy them in 1 box of 10 bottles and ask for a lower price. You can use them as a usual perfume or rub them on your praying carpet and feel the air of the holy land when you are back home.
- Praying mats and carpets: praying mats and carpets of all kind of fabrics and designs from many different countries can be found here. From the simple, thin mats to the soft and silky cashmere colorful mats are available at lower prices than in many western countries. There are even some from far eastern countries.
There are also many delicacies that you can bring home such as scarves, souvenirs, chocolate dates, dried fig fruit (tin), fresh unripe dates, dried camel’s heart as a medication and much more. Also, you can buy the gold jewelry that is lined up in shops in front of Masjid Nabawi. The designs are particular to the region so when you buy jewelry from there some adept people will know that it is a gift from your trip as a pilgrim, in syaa Allaah.
So, don’t forget your loved ones back home and enjoy shopping in the Holy land.