Tips and advice on how to prepare yourself for the momentous journey of Hajj.
Hajj is an act of worship that is performed in peace, and with single minded devotion. There are a number of simple, yet important things you can do to get in the right frame of mind for this unique experience. Since Hajj is a once in a lifetime experience for most people, the importance of early and adequate preparation cannot be over-emphasised. The following guidelines are intended to get you started in the right direction to prepare you as much as possible for this momentous journey of self discovery, self-appraisal, and spiritual enlightenment. Since individual needs and preferences vary widely you will, in all probability, add to the list as you prepare for the journey.
Prerequisites of Hajj
Your intention must be to perform Hajj solely for the sake of Allah. Considerations of pleasing or impressing others with your show of piety should never be a factor.
All Hajj expenses must be paid out of money obtained through legitimate (Halal) means. Money obtained through illegitimate or doubtful means is not acceptable.
All of your debts and financial obligations must be fully discharged before you start your journey.
You must make an honest effort to resolve your outstanding differences with others and seek forgiveness from those you may have hurt in any way in the past. This is based on specific instructions of the Prophet and must be followed for the Hajj to be meaningful.
Preparation before you travel
Make at least 2 photo copies of all your official documents
Keep Saudi Riyals and your local currency with you
Finding a Hajj group that organizes motivational reminders & guidelines on how to perform the various rituals correctly is beneficial. However it is pivotal that you also educate yourself about every aspect of Hajj, from the day to day rituals and activities to the different Du’as that can be said
Make a planner to remind yourself of day to day activities
Review the Seerah of Prophet Muhammad and Prophet Ibraheem (AS).
Aim to be fit as possible before you go and get into the habit of walking long distances.
This will prepare you for long periods of travelling without transport that you will inevitably endure during your Hajj journey.
General Advice while you are there
Get sufficient sleep to maintain your energy levels
Keep yourself hydrated and drink plenty of water. In the Masjid al Haram there are plenty of Zam Zam reserves
Do no overindulge in food. Eat food that is sufficient to nourish and revitalize you and always keep dates with you.
In Masjid al-Haram
When offering Salah, ensure that you arrive early in order to secure your spot for prayer
The Sa’ee has several floors and the basement is usually cooler and emptier
In Mina, Arafah, and Muzdalifah
Schedule bathroom trips in Makkah, Mina, Arafah, and Muzdalifah between 1.5 to 2 hours before the prayer at which the queues will be the shortest
On the day of Arafah, leave early towards Arafah and travel on foot. When leaving Arafah, leave after the Maghrib adhan and offer your Maghrib and Isha salah in Muzdalifah
When pelting stones at the Jamarat, do so in groups and avoid the ground floor – where stampedes can occur
Toilet and wudu
Toilets around the Hajj sites are mostly squatting toilets, therefore prepare yourselves by wearing appropriate clothing under your outer garments, to enable you to use them without dirtying your clothes
How to make the most of your Hajj spiritually
Keep a notebook to record names of people, their du’as and your own personal du’as. The notebook can also be used as a diary to record your experiences during your Hajj journey
Plan ahead the conversation you will be having with your Lord. Empty your heart and soul to your Lord and weep to your heart’s content
Only keep a phone for emergency use and stay as far away from your life back home as possible. Instead, embrace the opportunity that Allah (SWT) has given you and submit yourself to him and this journey for the sake of him. Always stay conscious of your purpose during Hajj; that you are working for the Akhirah (Hereafter)
Constantly make istighfaar and remind Allah (SWT) of His supremacy
Always aim to go that extra bit further and plan out each day how you could increase your Ibaadah (worship)
Be patient! Hajj is a huge physical, emotional and spiritual test starting from the time one makes their intention until the end. Patience is necessary to pass each stage of the test. There will be several situations which may anger you. In these situations, make Du’a and dhikr and keep asking Allah (SWT) for strength and patience. Anytime you endure hardship, don’t panic, just renew your intention and trust that Allah (SWT) will guide you through it inshAllah.