Kaaba in Masjid-al-Haram in Makkah's Grand mosque

Hajj Series: Tiny Tips for Hajj Planning

The last post within the series really just shares a few little tips that don’t fall under any specific category. I may come back and update this as I recall things.

There are so many little tidbits to remember and this is only the PLANNING portion of this series. Still, to come are the actual days of Hajj and how to take on Madina during Hajj time.

Now here are the few things that are useful to know when planning for Hajj:

  • Do not plan to travel outside of the country at least 3-4 months before your departure date as your passport will be unavailable since it will be sent off to get a visa.

 

  • Some groups may provide you with certain things but this can change year-to-year. From our group, we got a full set of luggage with the company’s name and info, a backpack, a string bag (though we found our Nike one to be much stronger and noticed that the one provided by the group had broken for a lot of people), a very, very useful side bag/fanny pack, travel adapters and bags for our shoes as well as our stones that we would collect in Muzdalifah.

 

  • Load the Quran onto your phone. While waiting, traveling and during the days of Hajj, it can be difficult to carry your Quraan safely. This makes it a lot easier to get more reading done and not worry about accidentally taking your bag into the bathroom or placing it on the floor. To make this easier, pack a portable charger as well!

 

  • When leaving to come home, you can get a gift of a new Quraan from the airport. Once you go through security, there is someone sitting on the side handing them out. Pay attention to the version you get so that it is actually legible for you.

 

  • Make Friends! You’re going to need a support system as the days get tougher. You will naturally find people you will get along with who think the same way you do. Be there for others and others will be there for you as well!

 

  • Not everyone will be a happy camper but positively will take you a long way. If something doesn’t work – that’s okay. There are people who are in a much more difficult position than you are in.

 

  • Take care of your health – try to eat well when you can, practice walking before you go and prepare for being very tired – all the time!

 

  • There is lots of food handed out during the Hajj season – the Saudi Government is very generous to Hajj pilgrims. Sometimes, it is a little too much. Keep in mind that there are a lot of people outside that may not have enough money for food. Try sharing first so that there are packaged leftovers to give to those who might need it.

 

  • Shop in Madina – it’s much calmer and this way, it is already taken care of before you get to Makkah

 

  • If you are ordering a large number of dates – you have the option to ship it home. This keeps it safe from going bad but if you don’t have that option, be sure to keep it in an air-conditioned space for the entire time.

Keep in mind, this list will likely be updated every so often so check back closer to when you leave. I actually can’t believe I finished this!

I will be sharing this on my Instagram and on Facebook. Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments below or on either platform. I will try to share direct messages and questions as a highlight on my page as well so that I can share as much info as possible.

Quran on black background

Hajj Series: Research & Study Resources

One thing that really surprised me was how many people I had spoken to who had not studied ahead of time. Once you sign up with your group you are given resources to read and refer to while you are performing your Hajj. Read this in advance and read anything you can get your hands on. This is a big trip and if you were going to any other trip, you would be all over the researching and building an itinerary. The one benefit of going in a group is that you don’t have to plan your transportation accommodation or food so use that to your advantage and study what your steps are for when you are performing the Hajj. You won’t remember everything and though the group leader will have lectures every day on what to expect the next day, it is always beneficial to know what to expect and use these lectures as refreshers. There were many people who were hearing what they would be doing for the very first time during these lectures and simply were not as mentally prepared as those who had done some reading and researching ahead of time. Again, something that I cannot stress enough!

If reading many books isn’t your thing, watch vlogs and YouTube videos. My favourite online hajj resource was recommended by a few of my friends and I would listen to this on my commutes and drives as well. Although you may be listening to many different leaders and reading from a variety of books, keep in mind that everyone’s programs are a little different and that the details will vary from group to group. The main rites are always the same and learning what you will do and why you will do them so will bring much more value and benefit to your Hajj.

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I listened to lectures, watched YouTube videos and did a bit of high-level reading. Below are some resources I found very helpful.

At a minimum – digest these over the next few months as you prepare for your trip. They take time but I tried to listen to the lectures during my commute and watch the videos during Ramadan and the few weeks leading to our departure.

Questions? Ask me below or on my Instagram page! As always, keep up with me on socials via Facebook and Instagram!

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Hajj Series: What to Pack for Hajj

Now there are a ton of lists and YouTube videos out there on what to pack for your trip and what to take with you so I won’t go into too much detail but certainly leave a comment or DM me on Instagram to ask me if you need any help or further suggestions.  

I will share a few things that I found really, really useful:

  • Command Hooks
    • These are really handy for Mina since there isn’t anywhere to put your things. They are also great if you will be moving into an apartment building as they may not have enough hooks. I used this right above my bed to hang my bag as well as my clothing/PJs.
    • Carabiners
      • These were so useful for so many things. We kept them on our water bottles if we didn’t feel like carrying them. If a bag strap broke, it was an easy thing to use to hold it together, etc.
    • Swimming shoes
      • We used these only IN the haram while doing tawaaf. Once we got to the gates, we would pop on our other shoes into our bags and switch into these. Now when in ihram, men cannot use them but once out of ihram, they made it much easier as the floor can get pretty hard to walk on and it also keeps your feet clean!
      • A small note on shoes – I found that waterproof Birkenstock was the best during this trip.
    • Spray water bottle
      • You will find many spray fans and/or bottles with a spray and fan but these are bulky and require a battery for the fan. This is a 2-in-1 and trust me, you want to carry less! I got mine from mountain warehouse and it was a lifesaver!
    • Phone fan
      • I cannot tell you how ideal this little fan was! The fact that it could fit into my pocket and didn’t need any batteries was such a blessing. It is plugged into your phone and doesn’t use much of your battery.
    • Rubber gloves
      • I will go into this a bit further on my next post where I explain what to know for the days of Hajj but this is something I am so happy I took. With millions of people performing their hajj and a few thousand people sharing a few bathrooms in Mina, this made the bathroom experience just a TAD easier. It may seem like a lot but it’s better to have more than less – take my word for it.

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