The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: 'The guests of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, are three: The warrior, the pilgrim performing Hajj, and the pilgrim performing 'Umrah.'
It may seem a way off, but Hajj season isn’t one to be taken lightly – hence why we’re posting this now! If this is your year, here are some tips we’ve compiled to ensure your Hajj is as smooth and enriching as it can be:
It seems obvious, but with around 2 million of us making the sacred journey each year, booking things as early as possible has never been so important. SubhanAllah, it’s an incredible figure and one to take much pride in – but with the rate of Muslims making their Hajj increasing each year, availability can be scarce closer to the time whether it be for accommodation, transport or otherwise. Make sure you book everything in advance to save disappointment, unnecessary stress and extortionate last-minute booking costs.
This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime trip for you – and many others. Whilst the process of planning can be arduous and stressful, remember the virtues you’ll be receiving in return, why you’re doing it and who for, and exercise patience throughout. You’re one of many and should try to treat every aspect of Hajj with the right mindset – no matter how frustrating the practicalities of it may be from time to time!
We came with Allah's Messenger ﷺ to Mecca and we were saying: 'Labbaika Allahumma Labbaik' for Hajj.
It can be easy to get carried away when planning your pilgrimage; be careful NOT to start focusing more on the details than the overriding reasons for completing it as such. It should be an exciting time, yes, a journey which will change your life forever – but don’t get caught up in the small stuff. Focus on what’s important: performing the rituals with your entire being, giving your mind and body to worship and embracing the spiritual journey. Don’t obsess over the star rating of your hotel on Trip Advisor, where you’ll be able to grab breakfast, or if there’ll be air con… Remember your purpose, and make the most of this special time.
And remember – challenges are a must for us to grow.
To refer to my earlier point, with more than 2 million Muslims in Mecca for Hajj each year, it can make for a tumultuous journey. To say the least: it’s going to be busy. Facilities are going to be limited. You could end up walking up to 20 miles during Hajj! There’ll be pushing, shoving; you might be separated from those you’re travelling with. Things can get hectic with so many people in one place, with one shared purpose; prepare for a fairly rough ride in terms of the physical going about your day. This really is something to think about before making any reservations, and shouldn’t be underestimated.
Tests are sent to us for the good of growth. It will be worth it. But in terms of Hajj, keeping a realistic view of what the experience entails, and how to prepare your body and mind as such, is extremely important.
“And, behold, with every hardship comes ease” (94:5)
Overall, wishing those who are making their journey this year a happy, safe and spiritual Hajj, from all of us here at MBCO.!