The pilgrimage is no easy task; the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam described it as the jihad of women. That means the entire Hajj experience (before and during it) will be a testing time.
In order to alleviate some of its difficulties, we have listed a number of to-do items ranging from travel precautions to drawing a will. We make mention of food, transport, essential Hajj gear and a whole lot more. Practically preparing for Hajj facilitates a better Hajj experience.
1. Photocopy all official documents. Make extra copies of your passport, leaving a copy behind and taking one with you.
2. Write a will. It will focus your heart on the Hereafter. Some go and never return.
1. Gain familiarity with Hajj. Familiarize yourself with the Hajj itinerary and rituals.
2. Re-learn the basics of Islam. Those travelling for Hajj should ensure that they know how to perform wudu, salah, and also the Funeral Prayer.
3. Read the history. Learn about personalities and events surrounding the Hajj rites.
4. Accompany the People of Knowledge. They can correctly explain the rites. Find a group that organizes daily reminders and provides guidelines on how to perform the Hajj rites.
5. Learn relevant supplications (du’as). There are prescribed supplications at particular points in the pilgrimage.
6. Make du’a from the heart. Do not simply read them from a book.
7. Plan ahead the conversation you will be having with Allah! Be prepared to speak to Him, asking Him to your heart’s content.
8. Pray for people. This includes those that are working during the Hajj for your safety: police, doctors, cleaners and tour guides. Make du’a for the Ummah.
What to Wear
1. Wear good footwear. Ensure they are comfortable and durable.
2. Keep in mind that you may want to put your slippers in a bag when you go to Al-Masjid Al-Haram. The floor of the Haram is granite and may be hard on sensitive feet. Take something that has some padding to ease the hardness of the floor.
What to Carry
3. Stay light. Keep your baggage to the essentials. If necessary, you can buy over there what you can buy here.
4. Keep a prayer mat with you while in Makkah. It can be very uncomfortable praying on the hard floor.
5. Take sunglasses.
6. Take Vaseline. Stop your upper thighs from getting a rash caused by excessive rubbing due to lengthy and plentiful walking.
7. Have some basic medicines on hand for cuts and bruises. Include multi-vitamins just in case.
8. Women pilgrims, please bring a pair of scissors so that it is easy and quick to cut a snippet of your hair at the end of Hajj.
9. Take (perfume-free) liquid soap rather than a bar. The bar is difficult to re-package once wet.
10. Take a small bag containing all your toiletries. It especially helps in Mina.
1. Be fit. There will be occasions where transport is not available for long stretches at a time. Get into the habit of walking a few months before you leave.
2. Drink lots of water.
3. Pack healthy snacks because you will likely end up waiting several hours at the airport.
4. Do not waste food. Eat what will keep your back straight and do not over-indulge.
1. Sympathize with fellow pilgrims.
2. Put their rights before yours. You will not be asked about what the next person did to you, but what you did to/for the next person.
3. Have money available to give to the poor.
4. Try to greet Muslims from other countries; Hajj is the largest meeting of the Ummah.
5. When it is time to collect stones at Muzdalifah, try to collect a few extra. You may come across people who require them. The elderly may require assistance in collecting stones.
1. Many people start forming rows for salah outside the masjid – go further and try to get inside as there will usually be space. Some people like to pray outside because it is easier to get back.
2. Get to the jumu’ah prayer early. Around 10.30am.
3. There are Zamzam reserves everywhere; no need to fight for Zamzam straight after tawaf. Look around for others.
In Mina, ‘Arafah, and Muzdalifah
4. Avoid the rush and save your time by scheduling bathroom trips.
5. When you reach Mina and settle down, take a few friends with you out of the tent and familiarize yourself with the high rise/popular landmarks, and try to reach your tent from those points.
6. Jamrah (pelting stones) after zuhr is a good time because it is not as crowded as other times.
7. Stick together as a group. Make sure you have a fixed meeting place, which everyone knows in case someone gets lost.
Be clean, tidy, and do not litter. This is crucial given the issue of littering and poor hygiene that is faced every single year.
106 Tips for a Productive Hajj by Productive Muslim Community