14 Tips to Get Prepared for Hajj

Another year has come around and another Hajj (holy pilgrimage) period has started for Muslims from all around the world. Those who have decided to take part in this year’s Hajj may have already made some preparations for this holy journey or are in the process of gathering their stuff and making arrangements. But even when we think we are more than ready, we find ourselves saying: “Oh, I forgot that!” right on the way to the airport!

 


Here we have 14 tips for you to get ready for the best journey of your life and never feel unprepared.

 


Before You Decide

 

Hajj is a journey that every Muslim is required to participate and loves to do so. However, according to Islamic principles, before deciding to take part in this occasion, you should ask yourself these three questions:


1. Can you afford Hajj financially? [i] (This includes buying tickets, hotel expenses, and your expenses during your stay in Mecca and Medina, etc.)


2. Are you physically able to perform Hajj rituals? [ii]


3. Is the route to Mecca and Medina (to which I recommend you to travel and have a plan for it) safe and open? [iii]

 

If you are positive about all the above questions, you are considered to be Mustati (i.e., obliged to take part in Hajj) [1]. Then you can start preparing yourself for this journey. If not, don’t get disappointed. Pray to Allah to give you the necessary abilities for participating in the next year Hajj.

 

 

Let’s Get Ready

 

1. Know your Intention

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Hajj is first and foremost a spiritual journey. A journey to the depth of your soul. If you don’t know why you are taking all these difficulties, then your effort will lose its meaning. Like any other action in Islam, you should perform Hajj with the intention of Allah’s satisfaction and surrendering to His will.

 

 

2. Find a Reliable Travel Agency

 

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Search for a travel agency which offers various Hajj packages and consult with them about the necessary documents you need in order to ask for visa from Saudi Arabia. You can also visit the website of Saudi Arabia‘s Ministry of Hajj for more information.

 


You can also ask your friends or acquaintances who have taken this journey before about the best travel agency for Hajj. Or you can visit the nearest mosque or Islamic center in your city, and ask the Muslims there about travel agencies.

 


Either way, make sure you know about the date, duration, accommodation, your representative there, and the type of transportation your agency offers within Mecca and to Medina. You can find some useful questions to ask from travel agencies on this website.  

 

 
3. Get Some Maps and Information about Mecca and Medina

 

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The best way is to google it. Try to have a clear view of all the places you will visit during Hajj such as Mina, Arafat, etc. You can download a map and see the locations. Also make sure you check the weather, to know which clothing best suits you. Typically Saudi Arabia is hot during Hajj rituals so be ready for a hot and sunny journey!

 


4.Visit a Doctor and Get Necessary Medicines

 

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Since Hajj rituals take much energy and need a healthy body to complete the tasks before everything visit your doctor and have a check-up. If there are any medicines that you should use during your journey, make sure you get the prescription from the doctor and buy the medicines beforehandedly.

 


5. Go Shopping!


Hajj is a one-month journey, so you will need many things during this time. Here is a list of some necessary or useful things to pack in your baggage for Hajj:

 

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Clothing and Accessories:

 

 

  • Ihram [iv]
  • An extra set of clothing (white underwear, trousers, hijab, white socks, etc.)
  • Waist Pouch (Fanny Pouch)
  • slippers (flip-flops, thongs), sneakers
  • towels (2 large, 2 small)
  • Suitcase
  • elastic eye-glass holder
  • sunglasses (or clip-on sunshades)
  • travel alarm clock


Toiletries / Hygiene:

 

 

  • Medication [v]
  • A scent-free lotion or Vaseline
  • A scent-free sun protection free
  • A medical face mask
  • toothbrush and toothpaste
  • scent-free soaps
  • disposable razors
  • toilet paper
  • shaving cream
  • small mirror
  • comb
  • napkins
  • small shampoo bottle
  • deodorant
  • some plastic bags
  • nail clipper
  • small scissors
  • a sheet
  • inflatable pillow


 Documents and Money:

 

 

  • Saudi Arabia’s Money (Rials)
  • Passport
  • Ticket
  • Guidelines for Hajj
  • pen, pencil, notebook

 

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Religious stuff:

 

 

  • A praying mat
  • A small copy of Quran, prayer and Dua books, Tasbeeh

 

Food:

 

 

  • Foods/Snacks/Water (some light food, like biscuits, cereals, nuts, dried fruits, etc.)[vi]  
  • can opener

 

6. Stay in Shape

 

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During Hajj rituals you will walk a lot. You should walk around Kaaba, walk the distance between Safa and Marva, etc. So, it’s important to have enough strength and be physically in good condition to be able to keep up with this endeavor.

 


Try to do some exercises and eat healthier food sometime before embarking on your journey to Mecca.

 


7. Write your Will

 

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Yes, you need to write a will! Even if you are 25! But don’t worry it doesn’t mean that you won’t come back home. It’s just a way to make sure you have arranged all your worldly concerns properly, and you can start a spiritual journey with light and free soul. Make sure you consult with your lawyer after writing your will and legalize it.

 


8. Find a Proper Way of Communication with Your Family Back Home

 

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You remember what happened at Mina two years ago, right? Many families were worried about their children, husbands, wives, etc. but they couldn’t reach out to them. So, it is very important to predict a proper way of communication with your hometown. This can be a Saudi Arabia SIM card or even any other SIM Cards that work abroad. You can also ask the hotel staff for their WIFI information.

 


9. Know What You Want to Do and Why

 

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Have an idea of the actions you need to perform during Hajj. Salam Islam has a complete guide to these rituals: Hajj, The Holy Pilgrimage. You can also buy a booklet or download an ebook about these rituals to have it with you during the journey. Then, understand the reason behind those actions. You can read our Philosophy of Hajj Rituals, to get a better grasp of the reason behind these rituals. This way, you will remember them more easily.

 


10. Work on Your Time Management

 

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Most of the rituals during Hajj are time-bound. For example, you have only a few hours to perform stoning Jamarat. Also, the process of Ihram and actions in the Arafat need to be done during a certain time. So, you need to work on your time management so that you won’t lose any of those actions.

 


11. Work on Your Patience

 

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Hajj is not an easy journey. It is not a summer vacation. It is an Islamic obligation and a life-changing journey. During this time, you will face many difficulties, and sometimes you may find yourself overwhelmed by the amount of interesting yet difficult physical activities or prayers you are required to do.

 

However, think of it as a chance to be purified and as an opportunity to strengthen your patience. For, every precious reward comes after consistency and patience.

 


12. Respect the Differences

 

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As you are well aware, Muslims are not just of a certain nationality or country. In every country and with every nationality, you can find people who believe in Islam. Hajj is a chance for this huge community to gather together and be unified despite their differences.

 

So, during your journey, you may encounter people with different colors, languages, outfits, etc. Try to be respectful and modest toward everyone, no matter where they come from or how they look.

 


13. Learn Group work

 

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During Hajj you might have to join a group. And you will be with them every day of this one month period. You will accompany them in every ritual and action. So, try to prepare yourself for more cooperation and sacrifice. Sometimes you may need your roommate’s help, and in return, he/she may need yours. Try to be nice and generous.

 


14. Try to Be Better than Before

 

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After all, you want to participate in Hajj for a good reason: Self-awareness. This is a journey to find out who we are and why we are here. So, practice on the good in you and try to improve them. Be the best you can be. And prove that you deserve Allah’s invitation.

 

 

Notes:

 

[i] One of the requirements for Hajj to be obligatory for a Muslim is financial ability – i.e., you have enough money to support yourself and your family on your journey [1].

[ii] Another requirement for performing Hajj is physical ability- i.e., Hajj is not obligatory for the sick, the old or those who are either unable or would face severe hardship [1].

[iii] Another requirement for obligatory Hajj is Sirbi ability - i.e., the route is open and safe [1].

[iv] To buy Ihram you can follow these links:

https://www.amazon.com/Ahram-Ihram-Towels-Hajj-Umrah/dp/B005IHH2VK

https://www.amazon.com/Ihram-Thick-Towels-44x90-Inches/dp/B009HEPVCC

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-Piece-Ihram-Ehram-Ahram-White-Towel-Adult-Size-Cloth-Waist-Belt-Hajj-Umrah-/121445719313

https://www.amazon.com/Hajj-Ihram-Women-Size-XL/dp/B0108VELQ4

[v] Make sure about the kinds of medications you are allowed to have with you according to Saudi Arabia’s airport costume.

[vi] Make sure about the rules of Saudi Arabia with regard to carrying food in your packages at the airport.

 

References:

[1] Hajj, The Holy Pilgrimage, https://www.salamislam.com/content/hajj-holy-pilgrimage/6