Hajj is one of the important pillars of Islam. It is mandatory for every person who is capable to arrange the means for it. Millions of Muslims across the globe perform this ritual every year. Among Muslim it is considered as one of the most honored and holier ritual.
Hajj is not a ritual, which is subjected to the will of a person. Rather, for an able person hajj is a duty, which a person with resources must perform at least once a year. There are several mentions of performing of hajj and the blessing it brings in the Holy Qur’an. This post is the first part of the tips for Muslims who are preparing to perform hajj in the coming days. The general preparation and critical tips for hajj are discussed below.
General Preparation Tips:
Some general tips pertaining to the preparation for performing hajj are:
- The wise choice for men would be to wear Ihram in their homes before leaving for hajj, as they are not accustomed to wearing it and find it difficult and attention diverting during performing hajj. As far as the wearing of Ihram is concerned, wrap it like a towel around your body, and instead of using belts, and pins, roll the top edge of Ihram over the initial wrap three to four times. This way the base wrap will stick to the body firmly.
- The Ihram clothes must be void of any scent or perfume. Therefore, they must be washed in an unscented detergent and kept aside from other clothes that contain fragrance.
- Before wearing Ihram, the Sunnah way is to take bath and say two Rakats prayer.
- Use of any scented deodorant in case of sweating is prohibited. You can use the unscented crystal called “alum” for such purposes. The crystal is called “Shabbah” in Arabic and is easily available in the spice markets of Saudi Arabia and Gulf.
- For women it is not allowed to clip nails, remove hairs etc, while wearing Ihram. Therefore, women must try to practice (before leaving for hajj) binding hairs in such a way that it does not require brushing for a few days.
- While flying to Saudi Arabia, when during the flight the captain announces approaching “Meeqat”, it is the signal that you must know set intentions (NIYYAH) for your hajj.
- When you arrive at Jeddah airport, you need to be cautious about your prayers timings, as the Adhan is not called at the airport on loudspeakers.
Although hajj is a religious ritual, where the pilgrim performs religious activities, like saying prayers, the running between saffa-marwah, indulging in noble Quran recitation and so on, however, there some behavioral and critical factors that a person has to consider, as during hajj millions of people are also there besides you. Some critical tips pertaining to hajj are given below:
- The slippers must be kept besides you, as leaving them in the shoe racks comes with the chances of them being misplaced, as numerous other slippers can resemble yours.
- Never lose your temper. Seeing such a crowd of people may look frantic to you, therefore, always remain calm and don’t get irritated.
- Do not search for Baab as-Salaam (The entry door through which Prophet (PBUH) used to enter Ka’ba) as it is closed due to the rush. There is an alternate stairs route a few steps away from it, that takes you to Safa and Marwa.
- For women it is advised to take some ‘mahram’ with them during the hajj. There are conditions when women may require a mahram, such as at night in Muzdalifah, and at Jamarat. Therefore, women must try to have a mahram companion with them for hajj.
- Never, ever leave your belongings on any bus. During the hajj time, there is abundance of buses and transport, leaving your belongings on a bus, which you won’t be able to find again might result in permanently losing the belongings.
- After the day of Arafat, you will need to spend the night at Muzdalifah. It is about six miles from Arafat. Sunnah is to leave Arafat right after maghrib and take a walk to Muzdalifah. Therefore, you must prefer walking to Muzdalifah unless you have some physical problem, in which case you can take bus, but it takes a lot of time.
- When in Muzdalifah, you must collect extra stones for the Jamarat. It is probable that some of the stones may miss the mark; therefore, carrying extra stones always comes in handy. You can carry the stones in some empty bottle and carry it with you.
This is the first part of the Important Tips on Preparation for Hajj. The post continues and the next part will discuss important tips related to Jamarat and what a pilgrim needs to take with him or her on Hajj.