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jannah
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« on: Oct 27, 2008 05:29 AM »


Hajj Tips: For Those Intending to Make the Journey, by Allah's Permission

Intellectual Preparation:


Know your fiqh! The greatest cause of confusion, argument, and mistakes I saw in people on hajj was a lack of knowing the fiqh of hajj. Alhamdulillah, Sh. Ramzy had prepared us extraordinarily well, but other groups we met were often quite confused.



    * Read up! Get a good, reliable book(s) of one madhab.
    * Ideally, go with a group that knows what they're doing. Traditionally trained scholars as leaders are indispensible.
    * Whatever madhab you follow, Imam al-Ghazali's book on pilgrimage is worthwhile in pointing out points of adab that could make a big difference on your hajj experience.


Spiritual Preparation:


Try and spend time with your group and group leader – build bonds with them. Talk to people who have gone recently – everyone who goes, longs to go again and their longing will, insha’Allah, increase yours and raise your excitement about going. Take the books that speak to your heart and those that are super mubarak. My favourites:



    * Qur’an – Arabic and a good translation like Arberry
    * Prayers for Forgiveness
    * Dalail Khayrat
    * Salat and Salam
    * A Sira book

Listening to Shaykh Hamza Yusuf’s lessons on the Life of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) are a good way to increase in one’s love for him (Allah bless him and give him peace) before visiting Madinah. Remember to make as much salawat as possible, going to, and staying in Madinah, and remember to take advantage of the barakah and purity of the masjid.



    * Take a nice misbaha with you, since you are visiting the most Mubarak sites on the planet. There you can make du’a on them, and get the tabarruk of the kaba and the rawdah.
    * Make a lot of istighfar from the heart. Salat al-tawbah. Prayers for Forgiveness helps with tawbah, too.
    * Make du’a that Allah make your hajj Mubarak and accepted.
    * Send salawat in abundance in preparation for your visit to Madinah.
    * Read the accounts of others who have gone, like Malcolm X. There are some such books. Additionally, there is our own account.


Physical Preparation:


Exercise. In the weeks leading up to hajj, try and start walking and doing some exercise to strengthen your body.

What to pack? Pack Light! I definitely over-packed when we went...I’m quite particular about my “needs” and quite sensitive on the whole...so sisters out there who are like me, rest-assured.



    * A nice warm shawl, sweater, or poncho. Makkah is hot. Mina is hot, the tents are AC’d. Madinah is hot in the days, very nice at night. All you need by way of keeping warm in terms of clothing is a nice warm shawl or sweater.
    * A good sleeping bag. I get cold very easily so I took a nice insulated Columbia sleeping bag with me – because I’m sensitive to hotel detergents, etc. I actually used to lay this out even in the hotels...it became my means of comfort...I could sleep anywhere so long as I had this sleeping bag! In Mina we were give a mattress, sheet, pillow, and blanket – again, I just put my sleeping bag on top! In the tents at Mina I’d often bury my face in it to avoid the AC and various coughs that rang around me.
    * Three Abayas or Thawbs will suffice. And some shalwar kameez or pajamas to wear underneath. Laundry is very easy and quick to get done!
    * A Small Bag. I took a Mountain Co-op shoulder strap bag with me. It was just big enough to put my sandals in, along with hotel cards, etc.
    * Money Belt. No need to worry about your passport (since the Saudis hold it), but for credit/debit cards and cash, it’s useful. Better, in my opinion for a woman to wear it underneath the layers of clothes. Men, for whom it’s easier for pick-pockets to get to, might also want to keep their valueables out of sight. Stashed money in a pant pocket that can be buttoned, is pretty safe if kept under a thobe. Take a few hundred dollars in cash, and if you need more you can take it out using the ATM (call your bank/credit card company ahead of time and let them know you'll be travelling). One finds not much cash is needed since most meals are covered by the group.
    * Cell Phone. Our group provided us with SIM cards, so all we did is take our SIM compatible cell phones with us and we could all stay in touch with local Saudi numbers. Very useful in case of separation, but be prepared to deal with poor signal reception.
    * Cameras. The guards are quite strict about cameras. In Madinah you and your bag are searched thoroughly and even cell phones with cameras are not permitted. In Makkah things are a little less tight, but guards do still search. My camera broke the day we began hajj and I think it was for the best because it prevented me from getting distracted.
    * MP3 Player. Nice to listen to Qur’an, hadras, dhikrs, qasidas, and lessons on hajj from the Shuyukh. I also used mine to record the adhan and recitation in the haramayn. Men should be careful about headphones during ihram.
    * Undergarments. So I must say, I personally believe that in all the hustle and bustle of hajj, one should not be worrying about washing undergarments. Taking enough old ones to have one for each day, or purchasing enough from a dollar store so that you can simply dispose of them as you go is a really good idea!
    * Seal Skin Socks or Khuffs. Very useful, especially during the days of hajj so you can just wipe in public washrooms.
    * Comfy Sandals. This depends on you, but it’s rather warm so I preferred sandals (the kind you can wear with Seal Skins on) and even outside of the days of hajj, I like to be able to make wudu and put on my sandals without having to deal with socks). Having something with a heel strap might be more secure.
    * Unscented Soap. A few bars worth – something for Mina, as well as to keep with you when you’re moving around during the days of Hajj. Natural Health stores carry them.
    * Unscented Deodorant. Really important, especially at Mina since showering isn't always easy, especially since you don't want hair falling out.
    * Hand-Sanitizer. For use outside of the days of Hajj.
    * Medical Kit. Very important. I packed:

   1. Vitamin C. Start taking this way before you leave and continue daily!
   2. Birth Control: For the ladies, as much as I dislike these, it’s a good way to be able to make all the rights of hajj with one’s group. But see your doctor!
   3. Glucose pills: for when you feel dehydrated, but don’t want to drink a tonne of water).
   4. Tylenol: good for when you start feeling flu symptoms, are fatigued or feverish.
   5. Advil: for any other pains, inflammations, etc.
   6. PeptoBismol: For those times that the food just doesn’t sit too well.
   7. Tums. Heartburn, indigestion, and the like.
   8. Gravol: When you really feel like the food didn’t sit well!
   9. Cough Drops: Whichever ones you like. My preference is Ricola and cough drop-centred Halls.
  10. Vicks Vapo-Rub: This is good for if/when you do get sick. When I couldn’t stop coughing at night in Makkah, my dear friend and roommate with mommy experience, taught me a great trick so I’ll share it here. Rub Vicks on your neck/chest and then wrap a towel around it...helps the cough go away at nights so you can sleep.
  11. Band-Aids, alcohol wipes.


Madinah:




    * Adab! You are in the city of the Chosen One (Allah bless him and give him peace) – show adab to the ground, to the people, and most of all, to him and Allah. Make ghusl and go to visit him as soon as you can. Thank him for allowing to come to his city, Allah bless him and give him peace, and thank Allah for His Mercy upon you.
    * Visiting the Rawdah. From what I know, the Rawdah is always open to brothers. It opens to sisters after fajr until 10am, after dhuhr for one hour, and from 8pm to midnight. The morning and night are the best times to visit since the hour in the afternoon is a short time and most who try to go, don’t get in. If you use that time to eat lunch and rest, you have more energy to go at night. Go early and wait for the gates to open. The guards try to divide you by country of origin – speaking English only helps because they give up on you. Don’t push! Be patient when pushed! Allah will reward your good adab.
    * Salah. One’s prayers have 1000 times the reward if prayed at the haram. Unless there is a serious reason one cannot go, one should try to make each prayer in congregation at the masjid of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). Most hotels are within a five or ten minute walking distance.of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). Most hotels are within a five or ten minute walking distance.
    * Walks. Some of the most peaceful moments I had in Madinah were each night after midnight when the Rawdah closed. I would walk once in the courtyard around the entire masjid, alone – take your misbaha and just make dhikr. One never feels alone or frightened in and around the masjid.
    * Ziyarah. Your group will likely plan the ziyarah to key sites for you. Places such as Masjid Qiblatayn, Masjid Quba, Jannat-ul-Baqi’, Uhud, Khunduq, and the well of ‘Uthman ibn Affan.


Mina:


Dhikr and Suhba. Mina is a good time to talk to one another about things that are of benefit. Do private dhikr, little mawlids, etc. This is where one really develops a bond with brothers and sisters. We had a yummy doughnut stand outside our tents and chicken nuggest place, too!


Arafat/Muzdalifah/Jamarat:



    * Dhikr, Istighfar, Du’a. This is the best day of the year and the best place. Make use of it with earnest du’a for forgiveness and salvation. Bust out your awrad books. Remember Allah. Pray.
    * Jabl Rahmah. Try to get to Jabl Rahmah – the place where our Master Adam (peace be upon him) made tawbah, and where the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) gave his final blessed sermon.
    * Walk to Muzdalifah! I say this with complete sincerity and seriousness. Walking from Arafat to Muzdalifah is generally not something on the itinerary of one’s group. The scholars always mention its merit, and for us, by Allah’s Mercy, a group of us became separated from the rest and ended up having to walk. Alhamdulillah, that we did because it was by far, the best day of my life! One really feels that they’ve left the world behind and are marching for Allah Ta’Ala. Nothing is sweeter than the sounds of every tongue shouting “Labayk, Allahuma Labayk!” (At Your Service, O Allah, at Your Service!), on foot, in and on buses. The truth is that on a bus one generally falls asleep or feels separated from the blessed earth and the other hujaj, but on foot one feels connected to the earth, the sky, and the people, and experiences what the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) did. The himmah comes from another realm and one doesn't even become fatigued!
    * Sleep at Muzdalifah. Even if it’s for an hour, this sleep is unlike any other.
    * Jamarat. Be aware of your surroundings. It’s quite safe now. Once you’ve stoned, just be careful not to run into the crowd head-on, lest you be hit by a stone!



Makkah:


Salah. One’s prayers have 1000 times the reward if prayed at the haram -- you can also fast a day or two if you feel up to it. Unless there is a serious reason one cannot go, one should try to make each prayer in congregation at the haram -- and remember there is more than one floor! Go about three hours eary for Jumuah. Praying Fajr/Maghrib on the roof is stunningly beautiful...with the sun coming up or setting, the melodious voice of the imam seems as if it is coming straight from the heavens and into your heart. Subhan'Allah.


General Tips/Advice:




    * Don’t waste too much time shopping. Set aside one or two trips to the market, but that’s it. One doesn’t know when and if they’ll ever return to these Mubarak lands. Markets and items can be found everywhere – there aren’t any “great deals” during hajj and they’re not worth giving up “eternal deals” for, anyways.
    * Be patient! Know that everyone is coming from different places with different social norms. They are guests of Allah as much as you are, so show them love and respect even if they do not. They love Allah.
    * Smile! Really!
    * Have something to do during delays which can happen anywhere at any time. Shaykh Faisal once suggested that if one has a goal to read the entire Qur’an, one welcomes delays! Listening to the khayr on your MP3 or better yet getting everyone to sing together is another great idea.
    * Know that you will get to where Allah wants you to be and has destined you to be. You may have plans, but Allah’s plans are better.
    * Keep us in your prayers.

If you're making the journey, and have questions, please feel free to email me or post them here. Also, if you're going please email me Smiley

I pray insha'Allah, that these were of benefit. Please remember Salik and I in your du'as. That Allah allow us to really know Him in this world and the next, grant us salvation, a high station in Paradise with the Prophet (Allah bless him and give peace), bless our parents, families, and loved ones, and give us good health, happiness, and tawfiq. And du'a that He answers our prayers.
May Allah accept your hajj, Hajj Mabrur, insha'Allah. Ameen.


Source: salikah.blogspot.com/2008/10/hajj-tips-for-those-intending.html
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jannah
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« Reply #1 on: Dec 09, 2008 11:53 AM »

From the Saudi Gazette:

 Haj tips for pilgrims
Always have drinking water as you may become dehydrated.

Use your time wisely – be busy with Dhikr, Du’a, and recitation of the Qur’an.

Wear comfortable, ‘broken-in’ footwear.

Be very careful to stay within the specific boundaries during the days of Haj, especially in Arafat - overstepping them may affect the correctness of your Haj.

If you wear spectacles, secure them with a spectacle cord.

Take some rest in the night of Muzdalifah because the following day is full of activity and requires energy.

Observe landmarks when going out so you can find your way back.

Arrange a meeting place with your group in case you get lost.

Keep the phone number of your hotel/flat and the group leader with you whenever you go out.

Don’t go out alone on the days of Haj as it is very easy to get lost.

Always inform someone in the group when you go out and when you are expected to return.

Have some cash with you when you go out, incase you get lost.

Bathrooms are aplenty at Haj sites, select one which is clean.
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umm ibraheem
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« Reply #2 on: Nov 05, 2009 05:15 AM »

Asalaamu alaikum,

Here are my tips (others please feel free to add):

*Watch Abu Muneer Ismal David's lectures on Hajj here: http://www.islamictube.net/watch/480792498/Hajj-seminar-part-1,-by-Abu-Muneer-Ismail-Davids       
Parts 2-4 can also be found there.

* Take a pocket hajj guide with you, can be found on the internet.

* Have lots of patience Smiley If they say your bus will leave at 8am, think to your self + 5 or more hours. With the amount of people there someone is bound to be late.

* If your bus stops and isn't moving for a few hours, get off and walk. We were on the bus from Arafah to Muzdalifah for 12 hours,  we didn't actually get off the bus in Muzdalifah since we were stuck in the middle of the road. But after that we learned to get off the bus whenever we were stuck in traffic because everything is fairly close together. Mina border to Haram takes about 1/2 hour brisk walk.

* Don't eat alot! #1 were not there to eat alot, and #2 line ups for bathrooms can take awhile! and toilets break easily.

* Take a over the door hook with you for the bathroom. There are no hooks in the bathroom stalls for you to hang your clothes when you shower (oh and showers and toilets are in the same small stall so everything is always wet). And don't forget to take the hook out of the bathroom with you when you leave or it will end up in another person's hands (as I sadly found out).

* Take toilet paper and unscented soap. The bathrooms sometimes have soap, but sometimes its scented so you can't use it until your out of ihram. And break your soap up into tiny pieces so you can take one piece out each time you go to the bathroom.

* If bathroom wars breakout (after your out of ihram everyone is showering and all stalls are taken up by people who want to shower), write on some doors toilet only, and on others showers only.

* Hike up your abaya on escalators, there were some problems with them getting caught last year.

* Again have patience! There are all types of people there with all types of mannerisms, what we perceive as rude, others might not.

* During hajj, don't copy someone. My SIL told me of a story of her friend who waved to someone during tawaf, and sure enough a whole group of people waved after her. During my tawaf, we saw people waving to the cameras recording for TV, and this little old lady copied them thinking it was an act of hajj, her son had to point out to her that they are waving to the cameras.

* Agreed with Br. Khalid, make a list of duas, you don't want to end up forgetting something important.

* On Arafah day, rest until dhuhr and then focus on your dhikr/dua, don't tire yourself out before then.

* Meet with the people in your tent, but watch what you talk about. I found that before and during Arafah people were fairly focused, reading quran, discussing hajj topics, but once we were out of Ihram,  everyone relaxed and started chit chatting about other things. And also the complaining started (about people, food, etc), so not necessary and beneficial.

* Again, make lots of dua.

Insha-allah i'll try to think of more...
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JustOne
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« Reply #3 on: Nov 12, 2009 08:39 AM »

Assalaamu alaikum...

Thanks for the tips...     

I read the book by Abu Muneer Ismail Davids and am going through the Hajj Coach link that sr. Shahida put up (both are excellent resources...)

I'm starting to get nervous!!!

Btw... did you guys actually make a will beforehand??  I want to, although I feel weird doing it... my husband is sort of against it for whatever reason. 

I have noted the duaas that people sent me...but I have limited access to the internet... so please don't feel bad if I am unable to reply.  And of course...you may send more Smiley

Wasalaam.
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Fozia
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« Reply #4 on: Nov 12, 2009 09:24 AM »

salam

Why's your husband against making a will?

You should have a will in place, in the UK if you die intestate it's pretty grim for the people you leave behind, infact it goes completely crazy if your assets are over £125,000 (quite possible if you own a house).

It's nice and tidy to have a will, and everything in order, even if you're not going on hajj tbh.

Everyone should have a will.



Wassalaam
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And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186

umm ibraheem
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« Reply #5 on: Nov 13, 2009 02:11 AM »

Asalaamu alaikum,

Yes we made a will before, actually made it the year before when my husband went for hajj by himself. Actually should have made it before then!

Of course it feels strange to make a will but is definetly needed. And obviously having a will doesn't change when/how we die, it just makes things alot easier when it happens, especially in regards to who takes care of your children, etc.

And don't be nervous, insha-allah all will go very well!
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jannah
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« Reply #6 on: Nov 14, 2009 06:56 AM »

This is a current tip list posted by someone at Muslimatters. Also, check out our old list of tips and stuff compiled at jannah.org/hajj !!

=============================================================

Ever wonder what to pack, how to keep safe, how to manage stress, and how to manage your time?  This is a shorter version of a much more comprehensive "Practical Guide to Hajj & Umrah" I prepared years ago, meant for those about to leave this week for hajj.
I. Packing Tips:

A) BUY A  DIGITAL LUGGAGE SCALE

balanzzaThis device really comes in handy when traveling.  No more worrying about overweight luggage.  Also, during hajj you might end up buying a lot of items and are not sure how that will affect your luggage weight; this will surely help.

The one in the picture sells on Amazon.com for $17.

B) PACK MULTIPLE IHRAM CLOTHES

Bring at least two extra ihram clothes.  Better yet, buy them even cheaper once you land in Saudi.

You will probably want to change your clothes as they get dirty, sweaty, etc. -- and laundromats are not easy to find while doing your manasik (at Mina, Muzdalifa, or Arafat).    Also, on the cold nights you can bundle up with layers to keep yourself warm.

C) MISC. THINGS TO BRING

    * Power Bars -- So you don't have to worry about food.
    * Cantine --  So you don't have to leave your spot to get water (or make wudu).
    * Electrical Adapter -- from 110 to 220.

D) HOW TO PACK YOUR ZAMZAM

People steal your zamzam if they see it on the luggage conveyor belt (this happened to me several times).  Even once I told the guy next to me "I think someone stole my zamzam", to which he replied:  "Oh, just take someone else's, that's what I do."

So put your zamzam in a bookbag or duffel bag, something inconspicuous.  Just make sure it does not look like a container of zamzam.
II. Safety Advice:

A) BRING AN UNLOCKED GSM PHONE WITH YOU

You can buy a phone line in Mecca or Medina for about 100 riyals and use it on your cell phone.  This will come very handy in case of emergencies, or if family back home wants to contact you.  Outgoing calls to America are four riyals per minute, and Incoming calls are free (so if you're family wants to call you anytime they can).

B) MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ALL YOUR PRESCRIPTION MEDS.

You can easily find pharmacies throughout Mecca & Medina, but sometimes it's a hassle to get the exact kind you want and not a generic.

C) MAKE YOUR OWN I.D., AND KEEP IT ON YOU AT ALL TIMES

Remember, your group guide has your passport with him.  So you need some sort of identification on you in case:

a. You pass out or fall unconscious (I've seen this happen)

b.  You get lost and cannot find your hotel (I've seen and heard of  this happening too).

Commonly, why people get lost is that after getting off the bus in Mecca,  you go to the haram right away and make umrah.  When you finish, you forget where your hotel was, or you get confused because some hotels have the same name, so you get lost.  How to prevent this from happening:

    * As soon as you get to the hotel, take their business card.
    * Get an index card and write your name, passport number, contact info in Mecca, Medina, and US, and your group leader's contact info.  Keep this on you at all times, whether around your neck or somewhere is it can't fall off.

D) WATCH OUT FOR PICK-POCKETERS & THIEVES

Pickpockets: You will find a lot of pickpockets in Mecca, especially in the tawaf area.   Make sure your money is

Pacsafe Travel Safe 100

somwhere they cannot get to.

Thieves: Whether the hotel cleaning people, or just at your tent in mina, make sure you keep your personal belongings safe.   A  portable safe like the one on the right goes for around $35.

E) TAWAF ON THE 2ND FLOOR IS SAFER

Although it will take you longer to make tawaf on the 2nd floor,  if you fear for your safety or for your family member this is the better alternative as it is less crowded.  The 2nd floor tawaf is also wheelchair accessible.

E) IF YOU'RE OVERHEATING, HEAD FOR THE KING FAHD GATE.

The entire King Fahd gate area of the Haaram is air conditioned, while other areas just have fans.  I would recommend this area for Jumu'a especially, or in the middle of the day when the sun is burning hot.
III. Stress Management

A) CHANGING YOUR PERSPECTIVE

The two biggest complaints everyone has is:

1) How crowded it is:

A simple change of thought helped me to to turn the crowds into pleasure.  How?

    Instead of saying : "Oh my gosh, it's so crowded,  I can barely breath, these people are coughing in my face and stepping on my feet, etc".

Say:  "Alhamdullilah, all of these people came to this place just to worship Allah.  You know what, it should be more crowded, and there should be more people.  This coughing and spitting on my face is the cough of my brother, the stepping on my feet is the stepping of my brother, Almahdulliah."

2) How disorganized, uncomfortable, and tough it is:

Hajj is not a vacation,  but it is and should be a way of you seeing what is going on in the world. Growing up in the west has left a lot of people spoiled, if you don't mind me being blunt.   I would recommend when you see your own minor hardships, just look at the millions of other people outside of your bubble who walked to Hajj or came by bus, who live in their own cloth tents instead of the big hotels we are in, who are dirt poor and trying to eat some scraps while we are complaining the biryani is not spicy enough.

B) STAY AWAY FROM FRIENDS OR FAMILY WHO GET UNDER YOUR SKIN

Even if you are patient enough to handle the annoyances of crowds and strangers, you may not be able to control yourself with someone you know who can really get under your skin.  Remember, you can't argue or yell at anyone during hajj, so your best bet is to avoid anyone who will get under your skin.  You don't want to regret later on how you managed to stay patient through all the hardships but ended up arguing with someone you know over petty issues.
IV  Time Management

A) LEAVE YOUR WATCH AT HOME

Time is irrelevant during hajj; what would normally take minutes takes hours, what normally takes hours takes days.   Staying 36 hours and sleeping at the airport to get home  is common (happened to me).   Waiting on a bus or walking for hours on end is normal too. Just throw away the watch, it will only frustrate you.

B) LEAVE YOU LAPTOP, iPHONE, ETC AT HOME

On the first day at Mina, I saw a pickup truck pulling up and four guys hauling in a 52" big-screen tv into someone's tent.

I see so many people so unable to disattach themselves from the world, and they will come back without any spiritual  or mental relief.   Take a mental & spiritual vacation and relax; you can check your email when you get back.

C) GET TO KNOW PEOPLE

One very good advice I got from someone who makes hajj every year, is that one of the only things you will remember and take back with you is the brotherhood you developed during hajj.  Spending days upon days with the same people, getting to know their personal lives, eating and sleeping together, really helps develop good bonds.  To this day, when I see the people I went to hajj with at conferences or other events, we just hug each other, laugh and chat  just like old friends.

D) DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME IN ARAFAT SLEEPING, ETC

I have personally seen people spend a lot of their time at Arafat sleeping. Even worse, I saw many others wasting time on camel rides, shopping in the market, etc.

You will be very tired on the whole trip, so just drink lots of instant coffee, eat less, and remind yourself you have just  one day to seek forgiveness from Allah for the entirety of your sins since you were born (which is probably more than you can even remember).

E) WALKING MIGHT BE FASTER THAN TAKING A BUS

I spent nearly 9 hours on a bus once going to Muzdalifa, when I could have just walked for an hour or so.   If you feel you have the ability to walk, know the way or will go with someone who does, and suspect the bus might take forever, ask your group leader if you can just walk.  If you have a cell phone, you can always use that in case of emergencies or to find your group if you are lost.
V. Other Tips

A) GET A GOOD HAJJ/UMRAH BOOK

Click to enlarge

This book is vailable for $25 at islamicbookstore.com

    Mammoth guide to Hajj and Umrah, produced in very high quality typeset and finish with numerous charts, tables, maps and what have you.

(Thanks to ayesha)

B) HOW TO SHAVE YOUR HEAD

At Mina you will find professional barbers and copycats with razors who will leave your head bloody.  Needless to say, try to find the professional ones.  The professional ones use disposable barber blades  that have a plastic safety cover which breaks off when used and cannot be put back (he will break it in front of you, so that you know it's new).

Also, you can buy your own clippers and razor and bring it with you.  You will need the power adapter though, and a very good razor (like mach 3 by gilette).

(Thanks to Umm Ibraheem)

C) PACK SOME TAQWA, IT'S THE BEST PROVISION

(Thanks to Amatullah)
VI. Conclusion

This guide is just a small piece of advice.  If anyone else would like to contribute more practical tips, please feel free to comment and let others benefit from your experience.
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doninapond
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« Reply #7 on: Nov 16, 2009 02:12 PM »

Don't eat at McD's and don't drink tap water, they make you ill.
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Fozia
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« Reply #8 on: Nov 16, 2009 03:52 PM »

salam


Don't eat at McD's and don't drink tap water, they make you ill.


You get MaccyD's in Makkah and Madina Shocked Shocked Shocked



Wassalaam
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And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186

Barr
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« Reply #9 on: Nov 18, 2009 03:56 AM »

Assalamualaikum

I hope this is not too late, coz I know many hujjaj from N America has left.

1. Tawaf - We used to go for tawaf at 11pm, or 2am. Usually, there'll be a group of men who would be cleaning the tawaf area (main floor) at that time. Since we were not in a hurry, we would just walk behind them. It was rare that we were pushed etc then since in front of us would be the moving barrier where the men would push their mops and clean the courtyard, so, people can't move past us to get in front, they would need to walk around the moving barrier. It was just a nice paced walk (dare I say, "leisurely-zikry" too). But it gets harder as the days get closer to hajj days, as the crowd increases.

2. Have good thoughts about everyone. They are all Allah's guests.
 If we think the space is too tight, with lots of nudges, bumps, pushes. It could be...
                    a) something that they are accustomed to. Sheikh Muhammad Al-Shareef gave good advice to us last year. He said that North AMericans are so used to bigger houses, bigger cars and bigger space, yet, some other Muslims from some other parts of the world, queue chest to back for their daily bread.
                    b) with the amount of people, sometimes, there is really no place to avoid a nudge.
                   c) More often than not, people are not pushing. Its usually a reaction from being in a large crowd. And many times, done accidentally.  For the person behind was being "pushed".
                   d) Most people go there to do ibadah in the best way that they know how, eventhough sometimes, it is not the way that we think is best.
                   e) Many people are nervous and may even feel scared for it could be their first time in a foreign land and do not know a common language. Their fear of being lost and seperated from the group, may make them act more aggresive.

3. Less talk, more zikr
Moist our tongue with zikr and more zikr. Talk only when you need to. And when you have fulfilled your need, keep saying the talbiyah or other zikr or read Qur'an. Get ear plugs or plug your ears with Quran CD/MP3/iPod, so that one would not hear others' complains/ frivolous talk.

4. Set targets
                   - How much Qur'an one would want to read/ memorise during your journey.
                   - How much zikr one would want to do each day
                  - How many du'as one would want to make each day
                 -  How many solah one would want to make each day
                  - How much sawm during the journer?
When you set targets, you'll be happy when you're "delayed" and keeps us busy from other human interactions.

5. Keep a du'a book.
              - write pages and pages of du'a (like not less than 10 pages) from A-Z for yourself and whosoever you like. Read it and ask from Allah especially during Arafah.

6. Don't complain
Everytime you think of complaining. Bite your tongue - literally.

7. Building beautiful memories
What sticks to a person's head would usually be things that make a deep impression to him/ her. So, don't sweat the small stuff. If you see or think you will see something ugly, turn away or make good out of it. Don't think much about it, and concentrate on what is good and beautiful. It helps the heart.

Will add more if I think of more, inshaAllah.
 Sorry for the late post. Hope it is beneficial, inshaAllah.
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Sr.Kathy
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« Reply #10 on: Nov 18, 2009 02:01 PM »

Keep posting... they are a benefit for those of us who yearn to go....
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"Allah surely knows the warmth of every teardrop... " Jaihoon

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I heart the Madina


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« Reply #11 on: Nov 23, 2009 07:42 AM »

Don't get sucked into all the beautiful stores and malls. There are so many lovely and amazing things to buy there. Especially Islamic things you can't buy anywhere else. But try to minimize as best you can and make a list of the things you want to buy/for who. Every moment there is precious!! One time I asked a sister how her trip was and she said "Sorry, I don't remember much I was shopping so much"...... she was regretful but it's too late then. So just be careful inshaAllah!
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