This post is a continuation of Important Tips on Preparation for Hajj part 1. The earlier part emphasized on the importance of hajj in light of Quran teachings, and tips pertaining to general preparation as well as critical tips.
The lines below cover the rest of the tips pertaining to preparation for hajj. The tips emphasis on preparing for Jamarat, and the things those need to be taken on the trip.
Pertaining to arriving at Jamarat, the pilgrims go there after spending the night at Muzdalifah. The first day will not be crowded, as people tend to leave at different times from Mudalifah. However, the rest of the two days will never be the same as the first one, and the following things should be remembered pertaining to those two days:
- The first thing to remember is that the casting of stones is after Fajr for the first day, but it is not the case for the remaining two days. Rather for the remaining days, the time for casting of stones is after adhan of Dhuhr. Therefore, no stone would be valid before that no matter whatever your travel agents says.
- Secondly, the travel agents in order to get rid of you as quickly as possible would tell you that some anonymous scholar has approved the casting of stones before Duhr. It will be plainly wrong. The only time the casting of stones is legitimate for the last two days of Jamarat is after Duhr. Therefore, never hurry, instead utilize your time saying Nawafil and read Quran.
- Thirdly, as people know that adhan of Dhuhr is the signal for casting stones on the second and third day. Therefore, a huge crowd of people would be waiting for Adhan to be called out and then would rush to cast stones. This is the time when most of the pilgrims are stampeded. Therefore, the wise thing to do would be to wait until the crowd is a little less, but never wait for it to finish as it never finishes.
- Fourthly, a pilgrim can break Ihram after first day at Jamarat. There is no compulsion on what to wear on the later two days. Thus wear whatever you feel comfortable in, however, when it comes to shoes, lose the flip-flops and wear long tennis shoes. Wearing harder shoes might harm other pilgrims, while going barefooted might harm your own feet due to the rocky terrain.
- Fifthly, it is preferable that women throw their stones themselves. However, scholars agree that a man can also do it on behalf of the woman. Therefore, if a woman is afraid of crowd or the crowd is too frenzy, then the man can cast the stones on behalf of woman.
- Sixthly, pertaining to the entrance to Jamarat, due to the obviousness of upper entrance, most of the crowd will enter through their which is a single passage. The rush can be avoided by opting for the lower entrance that looks like a garage.
Things to Take Along:
Regardless of its spiritual and religious importance, hajj is a journey and therefore, requires preparations to be made. Some of the things that a pilgrim needs to take on hajj and that can come in handy are discussed below.
- Take Vaseline or any other fragrance-free ointment with you. If you plan to walk from Arafat to Muzdalifah, then you might face problem of rash among thighs. In such situation, rubbing Vaseline can help you keep the surface smoother and avoid irritation during the performing of different activities.
- Alum or Shabbah in Arabic is the crystal you need to have before starting pilgrimage if you any sweating or odor problem.
- Flip-flops are a must for men in Ihram, and are also necessary for daily coming and going from and to the masjid. Sandals are also acceptable in view of scholars, as long as the heel is not stitched from behind.
- Tennis shoes can come in handy on the later two days of Jamarat.
- Take a photocopy of all your documents, tickets, and passport with you.
- There is no need for taking any exchange currency, as it is easily available in the markets of Saudi Arabia.
In short, like any other foreign journey, hajj also requires preparation. However, the importance of its preparation increases significantly, as millions of people perform hajj. Thus, the crowd and rush needs to be anticipated and necessary preparations should be made and respective measures taken before leaving for pilgrimage.