The season for Hajj is coming up and many of you would be planning to go for this journey of a lifetime this year round so I thought I should share a few things from my experience with you people that you might find helpful.
1. If you are going with your family, its better to leave the real young ones back at home. Hajj is not farz for them, they would have to perform their Hajj once they would grow up. They would only be making things a lil more complicated.
2. This is the time to be caring towards everyone, especially your family. Hold your spouse’s hand wherever you can. Its just so crowded, you really dont want to lose each other there. Avoid heavy crowds as much as you can. You dont want to get be a part of an accident here, trust me.
3. Go as early as you can for Jumma prayers. Learn to pray Namaz-e-Janaza. You would be doing that after nearly every namaz.
4. Do not expect everything to be really simple and easy just coz you have bought the most expensive package. You will have to go through a lot of the things just as everyone else. You must be prepared for a lot of anger, anguish and pain. Dont complain, take it as a ‘patience’ test from Allah (SWT).
5. If you are planning to go as part of a private group, look for one which is run by Maulanas and knowledgable people rather than ones who are simply doing this commercially. You are going for Hajj to become a better Muslim not to discuss movies.
6. Walk as much as you can to strengthen yourself. You would need to walk a lot there, especially during the 5 days of Hajj. If you are young then prepare yourself for a ‘walking’ hajj. Its more satisfying.
7. In Mina and Arafat, you will be living in tents. Try to identify the number and the direction of tents so that you can make it back without a lot of trouble. This is very important to do because tents and streets look identical and people can easily get lost. Keep maps with you all the time.
8. Start studying from now. DO NOT expect people to guide you. You will have to do everything yourself there.
9. It is very important to know which parts of Hajj are sunnah and which are farz. Staying at Mina is not farz, its a sunnah. Your stay at Arafat is farz and makes up your Hajj basically. If your group leader wants to leave the night before for Arafat, its very important for you to know that the facilities at Arafat are targetted towards stay during the day and thus there wouldnt be a single light bulb in your tent and you should be prepared to tolerate the mosquitos. Remember, you can neither use a mosquito repellent nor you can kill any living thing while in ehram. The best time to leave for Arafat is right after Tahajjud and reach there a little before Fajr.
10. Females must always be in a groups or be accomapanied with their mehrams. As bad as it may sound, but you may face serious harrasment otherwise.