Are There Any Pagan Origins to Islamic Beliefs?

26 June 2024

Muslims living in the UK or Europe tend to plan their vacations or Umrah around Christian holidays. It is common for Muslims there to plan their Umrah around Easter and for travel agencies to offer Umrah packages for the Easter month. Since Easter has its origin in Paganism, it is natural to question if there are any pagan origins in Islam. This article will detail what Paganism is and answer if there are any Pagan origins to Muslim beliefs.

What is Paganism?

It is a Christian term used to describe any religion that worships anyone other than the God of Abraham. It includes all the old religions from Europe, North Africa, and West Asia that went extinct with the spread of Christianity. Modern pagans are inspired by these extinct religions. While Easter is a Christian holiday that marks the resurrection of Jesus, it has its origins in Paganism. The spring equinox, the egg, and the bunny are remains of the old Pagan customs that honour the fertility goddess Astarte. The focus of this ancient religious festival was the death and rebirth of gods.

Do Islamic Beliefs Have Pagan Origins?

By definition, Pagans worship gods other than the God of Abraham, which is central not only to Christianity but also to Judaism and Islam. So, no Islamic beliefs don’t have pagan origins. Before Islam, the people of the Hijaz region worshipped idols and were pagans. During this time, the Holy Kaaba was used for Pagan worship. With the coming of Islam, the idols were destroyed, and paganism went extinct.

Because the pre-Islamic Arabians were pagans, it is sometimes debated whether there are pagan origins to Islamic beliefs. This can’t be further from the truth. True Islamic beliefs have no pagan origins. However, Islam was not confined to Arabia; it spread across the world to new cultures. As the religion spread, some of the local customs were appropriated for Islam by the locals. Muslim scholars all over the world have maintained that such customs are not part of Islam.

As stated, Muslims in the UK often plan their Umrah in the Easter month, but the pilgrimage has nothing to do with the season or Pagans. The reason is very simple: during Easter, they get holidays that they think are best spent by visiting Kaaba.Since there is demand for Umrah during the Easter season, travel agencies in the UK offer travel deals around it. While Muslims can perform the pilgrimage privately, these Easter Umrah packages save money and have benefits that pilgrims can’t avail of privately.

Benefits of Umrah In Easter Month

Travel agencies offer personalised deals to pilgrims based on their budget and the services they require. This is something one can’t expect when performing Umrah on their own. Here are some benefits that pilgrims can avail of with Easter Umrah deals:

1-      Extended Holidays

The world moves fast, and people can barely make time for themselves. It is hard for working-class Muslims in the UK to take time off and perform Umrah. But, with Umrah packages for Easter, they can easily perform the holy pilgrimage and can even extend the holidays by combining their annual leave. They can get more time to spend in the holy city of Makkah and bask in the glory of Allah. With more days available to pilgrims, they can stay focused on their spiritual journey in peace.

2-      Favorable Weather

Saudi Arabia’s weather is hot for most of the year, so pilgrims have to be very patient and calm while performing Umrah. In a sense, it is a test of one’s patience as they perform the ritual worship in harsh weather.
Easter is celebrated in the spring of every year. The weather in Makkah reaches almost 34 degrees during the day, while the nights are generally cool as the temperature drops to 21 degrees. In short, the weather during the spring is bearable for most pilgrims, as they can perform Umrah without drenching in sweat.

3-      Affordable

Not everyone can afford to perform Umrah privately, and this is where these packages help. Umrah deals are very cost-effective, and there are reasons for that. First, the packages cater to people who want to perform Umrah on a budget. These travel deals can be customised based on the budget and services the pilgrims require. This ensures the pilgrims get the most out of it without compromising the journey or breaking the bank.

Another reason these packages are affordable is that the travel agency is in contact with hotels and airlines and can negotiate better deals. Privately, a hotel stay and airline ticket will cost more. Furthermore, since the travel agencies have booked most rooms located near Haram, it is difficult for private pilgrims to get a room there. They might end up in a hotel far away from Haram or have to pay extra to get a room in a hotel close to the Holy Haram. This is another way, these Umrah deals save money.

Pilgrims can further lower the cost of their Umrah by opting for a group Easter deal. Since the cost of the entire journey is divided among all the members of the group, it lowers the cost for individual members.

4-      Hassle-Free Journey

When pilgrims go on the holy pilgrimage on their own, they have to plan every detail of the journey themselves. With an Umrah package, the travel agency plans everything for the pilgrims, so they can focus on their spiritual journey. The agency takes care of everything, from airline tickets to ground transfers to and from the hotel and more.

Tips to Choose the Right Umrah Package

Before booking an Umrah package for Easter, there are some tips that pilgrims must keep in mind to ensure they get the best possible deal and the most value for their money.

Thoroughly Research Packages

Compare travel packages from multiple travel agencies. This way, pilgrims will get a better idea of what services they can get for their budget. Some travel agencies offer the same services for a lower premium.
But, it is not always wise to go for a cheap travel deal. The agency offering the deal at a low price might not be reputable, which could result in a bad experience. Pay a little extra if you must to ensure travel with an experienced agency to ensure you don’t face any problems during the pilgrimage.

Check for Hidden Costs

Ask for a complete price breakdown of the Umrah package. Ensure that there are no hidden costs that pilgrims have to pay during the pilgrimage. Thoroughly read the payment and cancellation policies; they will come in handy in case of an emergency. An esteemed travel agency will provide a complete cost breakdown for the pilgrimage.

Request Special Accommodations Ahead of Time

Often, pilgrims or their partners have special needs that require certain accommodations. Negotiate its inclusion in the package before booking to avoid disputes during the pilgrimage.

Types of Umrah Packages

Travel agencies offer different tiers of Umrah deals that vary in services and cost. There are three tiers of packages offered: 3-star, 4-star, and 5-star. Here is what you get with each tier of the Easter Umrah deal:

  • 3-star Umrah package: This is the most budget-friendly package that has all the necessary services, including a stay in a 3-star hotel, a return flight, and ground transfers.
  • 4-star Umrah package: This travel deal offers the most value for money with a 4-star hotel stay, direct flights, guided tours, and ground transfers. The hotel is usually close to the Holy Haram, and pilgrims don’t have to commute long distances to get to the Kaaba.
  • 5-star Umrah package: The most opulent package money can buy. A 5-star hotel stay, direct flights, transportation, and guided tours are included in the package. Pilgrims also get support from on-ground staff in case of emergency.

To Wrap Up

Easter has its origins in Paganism, but Islamic beliefs don’t. The only reason Muslims in the UK and Europe tend to plan their Umrah pilgrimage around it is that they get extended holidays that they think are best spent in the house of Allah. This is why travel agencies tend to offer special Easter Umrah packages. Muslims Holy Travel offers customisable Umrah deals with all the services at a reasonable price. Visit our website and get a quote for your ideal Umrah package.

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