How to prepare for hajj

How to prepare for hajj

Before leaving for hajj, there are a number of very important things that need to be done.

  • First, you have to decide on your budget and pick out a travel agency to go with. We went with Dar El Salam, and I would say that it is the best agency out there. The planning, the arrangement, the facilities and services are unmatched. It is, however, expensive, so you may want to start saving well in advance like we did, or go with another agency.
  • A will must be made before leaving for hajj. If something happens to you, your children will not automatically go to your next of kin. They will become wards of the state and the matter will be settled in court. In most cases, they will decide on giving them to relatives, but it is not always the case. You don’t want your kids to go through any such trauma, so make sure to make a will, appoint guardians for them and settle all your possessions. You may go through a lawyer but we used the website
  • Try to settle your outstanding debts, or make arrangements for them to be paid in the event of your passing.
  • Once it’s been confirmed that you are going, (the payments have been made, you have the information packet, your passport has arrived or is expected to arrive soon) it’s time to tell your family and friends that you are going. There are two reasons for this:
  • You are going for hajj to shed all your past sins and come out clean and pure. Therefore, before embarking on the journey you have to ask everyone you know for forgiveness so that all previous grievances may be put to rest and you don’t carry them when you start afresh.
  • You are very, very fortunate to be going for hajj and other people may never have this opportunity. Make sure to ask everyone you know if there are any special prayers that they have and note them down in a small notebook. I wrote down pages and pages of duas for people and it took me a few hours every day to go through them. I felt that as I was so fortunate to be there, it was my responsibility to pray on behalf of everyone who couldn’t be. Time was something I had a lot of and I felt it was a very good use of it. Also note down all the things that you would like to pray for. You are so far away from your life and everything associated with it that sometimes you can’t even remember what was so important to you back there. Maybe that’s the point of hajj!
  • Study well and be prepared. Three great resources are:
The mosque is currently undergoing construction and expansion.

The mosque is currently undergoing construction and expansion.

  1. My primary source of information, preparation and repeated reference was Getting the best out of Al-Hajj by Abu Muneer Ismail Davids. It is detailed, easy to read, practical and informative. I highly recommend it.
  2. Another great book is Hajj & ‘Umrah: The Islamic Pilgrimage from A to Z by Dr. Mamdouh N. Mohamed. The great thing about this one is that it is in point form and has a lot of graphics and diagrams.
  3. If you don’t like to read, then Sheikh Muhammad Salah’s Step by Step Guide to Hajj videos are perfect for you. They are detailed, and with pictures and video footage, you will be able to get a pretty clear idea.
  4. Other than that, there are a lot of small guide booklets out there, along with prayer booklets. I did go through a number of those too, but did not manage (or even try) to memorize the prayers. I kept one small booklet with me at all times which had some good prayers, and I would read them from the book when I could. Al-Hajj was still my favorite, and I kept it with me throughout the hajj.