Hajj Preparation Checklists: How to be well prepared for Hajj?
1. One should be prepared mentally and spiritually:
- One should be away from shirk before performing Hajj, no matter how good one is and how good their deeds are if one is involved in shirk then the Hajj is not acceptable by ALLAH.
- Ask ALLAH for the guidance to perform hajj in the prescribed process.
- Be grateful and totally devoted to ALLAH.
- Purify your intentions and be good with people around you. Don’t be involved in fights, not even speaking harshly with people.
- Ask for forgiveness from the people you might have or have hurt.
- One should clear all the debts before performing Hajj. If there is any doubt of possessing anything of others, one should return it as soon as possible
- One should be sure that Hajj is being performed with halal money, not even 0.1% should be of haram money.
- Ask for forgiveness from ALLAH to all your minor and major sins and promise not to repeat them again.
- Ask ALLAH to protect you from all the minor and major sins.
2. One should be physically fit:
- One should be physically fit to perform Hajj as the process is long and requires a lot of exertion.
- Under hot weather and in a huge crowd while performing Hajj is physically taxing.
- To complete the process of Tawaf it might take min 200 meters for 7 circles and also might take 2 km per circle, depending on where one is starting and how close one is to the KAABA.
- The process of SA’ I may take up to 3.5 km to complete 7 rounds of mount SAFA and mount MARWAH
- The last four days which are actual Hajj need a lot of patience and energy. On the 8th-day, pilgrims are required to travel from Masjid Al-Haram to Mina. On the 9th day from Mina to Arafat and from Arafat to Muzdalifah. On the 10th day of Hajj, there is a lot to travel from Muzdalifah to Mina, from Mina to Jamarat, from Jamarat to Masjid Al-Haram, and lastly from Masjid Al-Haram to Mina. On the 11th day, pilgrims have to travel from Mina to Jamarat, and then back to Mina. On the 12th day, from Mina to Jamarat, and finally from Jamarat to Masjid Al-Haram.
- All the travel should be covered by walk. The distance covered in the entire walk would approximately be 64kms or 40 miles.
- To travel such a distance takes an immense amount of energy and physical strength.
- One who is not physically fit won’t be able to perform Hajj effectively, but there are also some other options for those who are not physically fit.
- But we can prepare ourselves before we go to Hajj by starting walking and exercise.
Apart from this, there are also other factors that might affect your health while performing Hajj, like:
- Heat Exhaustion: The temperature in the region remains high for most of the time which could affect our body and dehydrate it.
- Respiratory Infections: being in the huge crowd and being so close to people may transfer the viral infections between people.
- Skin Problems: walking on the hard surface for a long time and in the scorching sun can affect your skin.
To avoid all these, take precautions and do check-ups regularly in health camps, avoid peak times, look out for your companions, take care of yourself and your companions, and always wear a face mask when with the crowd.
3. Choose an authentic and best travel agency in town:
- See the reputation and history of the travel agency.
- Look for the best package according to your requirements provided by travel agencies.
- Check if the travel agency is registered and authorized by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj.
- Check if the travel agency is registered to the local regulatory body or protection scheme in its respective country.
- Check if the agency is providing its services under the Islamic scholars and guides for the better and effective performance of Hajj.
- The main thing is to be careful of the Hajj frauds.
- Enquire about the package duration, package dates, airline, type of flight, location of arrival, location of departure, accommodation in Mecca and Madinah, shifting package, accommodation in Mina, Arafat, and Muzdalifah, transportation, cost, and animal sacrifice.
4. One should know about the list of documents required and submit in a proper way:
- Ask your travel agent about the required documents.
- Make a list of it and arrange them in a proper way.
- Make some copies of the documents. You might need them.
- Submit them in a proper way to the authorized person.
I am sharing some useful information about Hajj visa and required documents which may help you:
Only licensed agents can arrange the Hajj visa. They will send your application to the Saudi consulate along with your passport, so don’t panic if they ask you for your passport, but make sure it is a licensed and authentic travel agency before you provide the passport to them.
The application must be filled by a black inked pen and in block letters. Carefully read each and every segment and then sign.
Required Documents for Hajj visa:
- Passport-Sized Photos
- Proof of Vaccination
- Marriage Certificate / Birth Certificate
- Round-Trip Ticket
- Banker’s Draft / Cheque
- Proof of Religion (for Converts)
- Islamic Will (Wasiyyah)
Note: Make sure of this with your travel agent.
5. One should make sure about expenses and banking options available during Hajj:
- Hajj can only be performed by the Halal money if there is even 0.1% of Haram money Hajj is not acceptable by ALLAH.
- If someone is providing a free trip to Hajj as a gift to someone or as a sadqa then the Hajj can be acceptable, but one can’t perform Hajj on the money of loan.
- One should check the currency of Saudi and compare the value with the existing country to take an estimate of expenses.
- Exchange the currency in your home country or after arriving in Saudi but one should know the exchange rates and where it could be best exchanged.
- Expenses are dependent on the people as per their requirements and capacity of spending but the cost that you should know about is the cost of animal sacrifice which might cost from 300 to 600 Saudi Riyals.
- Excluding the visa and travel agent expenses, calculate the carrying amount by keeping into consideration the animal sacrifice cost and general expenses.
- About banking, there are many ATM options available there that accept major international debit and credit cards like Visa, American Express and MasterCard.
6. One should make sure about the vaccinations and get a clearance certificate:
- This is to make sure that one is perfectly fit and doesn’t carry any kind of disease with him/her.
- There are certain tests one needs to clear before going for Hajj.
I am sharing some tests information that is required for pilgrims to qualify before performing Hajj.
a) Meningococcal meningitis: It is a serious infection that affects the brain membrane.
Anyone intending to perform Hajj or Umrah from any part of the world is required to produce a valid certificate of Polysaccharide vaccination and Conjugate vaccine against quadrivalent (A/C/Y/W135) meningococcal meningitis infection.
b) Yellow Fever: Yellow fever is a serious viral infection spread by certain types of mosquito. It’s predominantly found in sub-Saharan Africa, South America, and certain parts of the Caribbean.
All pilgrims from these countries will require a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate administered in the last 10 years, and to be submitted in no less than 10 days prior to arrival in Saudi Arabia.
c) Poliomyelitis (Polio): Proof of receipt of a dose of oral polio vaccine (OPV), or inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) is required by pilgrims arriving from:
- Countries where polio is categorized as endemic (currently Afghanistan and Pakistan).
- Countries with re-established transmission and imported polio cases within the past 12 months (Guinea, Laos People’s Democratic Republic, Madagascar, Myanmar, Nigeria, and Ukraine).
- Countries that remain vulnerable to polio (Iraq, Somalia, Syrian Arab Republic, and Yemen).
Vaccines must be administered within the previous 12 months and at least 4 weeks prior to departure, regardless of age and vaccination status. Pilgrims from these countries will also receive a further single dose of oral lio vaccine (OPV) upon arrival in Saudi Arabia.
7. One should make sure about the Ihram:
Ihram is the state when the pilgrim enters before doing rites for Hajj and Umrah, by purifying the body and wearing the prescribed attire. It is also required to make a Niyyah. This should be done before crossing Miqat.
Ihram for men is of two white, simple pieces of cloth known as the Izar, which wraps around the waist covering the lower body, and the Rida, which is draped over the shoulders covering the upper body like a shawl. Shoes/sandals may be stitched or unstitched, but mustn’t cover the heel and ankle bones.
And for women, it is not required to conform to a specific dress code and there is freedom to wear what they please. Needless to say, clothing should be a normal and modest Islamic dress with a head covering of any color. Socks may be worn but the hands and faces must be uncovered.
8. One should keep the checklist updated and check it before leaving for the Hajj:
Here are some suggestions of what all one should include in the checklist
- Visa Documentation
- Proof of Vaccination
- Passport Sized Photos
- Emergency Contact Numbers
- Valid Tickets
- Full Travel Itinerary
- Pocket Quran
- Dua Book
- Dua List
- Prayer Mat
- Compass for the Qibla
- Ihram x 2
- Safety Pins / Clips for Ihram
- Waist Pouch
- Comfortable, Loose-Fitting Clothes
- Bathroom Slippers
- Sandals x 2
- Toothbrush / Miswaak
- Shampoo (scent-free)
- Bar of Soap (scent-free)
- Hairbrush / Comb
- Required tablets with a prescription and other general tablets.