Hajj Series: Immigration, Madina, Makkah, Ziyarah
Unfortunately these are brief summarized posts to give our readers some indication of what to expect and what to pack for their trips. Should you feel the need to engage with us email us on hasina[at]muslimahlifestyle[dot]com
Its safe to assume that you have consolidated your affairs and are on route to your point of departure.
It is not necessary for you to exchange your money in South Africa, when you reach Makkah/Madina the money exchange is readily available to change your currency. Adhere to the airline requirements of liquids. They allow you medication in your hand luggage as long as it is clearly labelled and in a resealable bag.
The flight should be fairly straight forward and easy to follow through. Before you arrive in Madina/Jeddah/the hajj terminal be sure to go to the restroom. Its a better option to use the toilet on the plane as when you disembark you will wait at immigration. The toilets at immigration aren’t always in the best of conditions and this is where you might encounter an eastern toilet for the first time on your trip. Next you will go thru the process of Identification, vaccine checks, fingerprint taking and this is the last time you will see your passport for the duration of your hajj. Wet wipes are a good idea to clean up your hands because immigration has ALOT of people passing through it.
Madina is very peaceful. People are without hurry. You will find that there is alot of Barakah in your money. It is one of the places where shopping is an ibaadah:)
Inside the madina Haram the marble gets very cold, you might want to wear socks coz after awhile your feet ache from the cold marble. I always wore socks inside the haram. Keep your shoe bag on you to avoid losing your shoes. No cameras allowed at the womens section. And if you do carry a bag you will go thru the necessary searches by the guards. Carry a thicker musallah for the madina haram. The marble is COLD! i gave out gifts in the haram Tasbeehs that you can pick up at the 2 riyaal stores as well as pocket musallahs. You run out of carpet space for salah and sometimes end up making salah on the marble outside. The person next to you seldom has a musallah so lend it to them, share your musallah with them, or give them a pocket musallah as a gift. Hadiya.
Raudah / Riyaadul Jannah
There are specific times when the women are allowed on the rawdatul jannah – so be sure to ask the cleaners. Say Ziyarah Rasool? and someone should give you the times. I went at night as the crowd was less hectic. the 20 -30 mins before they end the ziyarah times is best as you get to perform more salah there. The guards are very strict about time. (I ask you to keep my family and I in your special duas to be amongst the righteous on the day of reckoning)
There are many sites of islamic importance and history that you will encounter. Make the best of it
When you don your ihraam, remember your sunblock, deo, roll on, before making your 2 rakah salah and intention before heading to makkah
Before leaving home ensure that you have packed a small umrah bag containing:
Shoe bag, tawaaf counter, and scissor to trim your hair when exiting ihraam. I cannot stress how important this is. It may/will slip your mind, and you really want to avoid fumbling when you reach makkah in ihraam and proceed to do your umrah.
As the days come up to hajj, maximise your ibadah, keep your energy up. There is a section in the makkah haram that is fully airconditioned, so look for it. During the day perform tawaaf on the first floor instead of on the mataaf as the heat might be too intense for you. I wore bedroom slippers for tawaaf, the ones that look like socks with a padding on the underneath. This cushions your step. Even the brushed sports socks are a great idea.
Your feet are going to pain, your legs will hurt, you will be tired… its a given. To make it easy on yourself take a panado or painkiller of choice and your vitamins respectively, before you leave for tawaaf. You might make tawaaf late at night, after fajr, or whenever’s best suited for you. Most hotel rooms have TV’s with the haram broadcasted live. I would watch for when the crowd was dying down before heading to the haram.
Sports socks, knee guards and ankle guards are a good idea to pack. You should be able to pick up the ankle guards for about 5 Saudi Riyaals. Also be sure to wear a nice fit bra when making tawaaf. The action of your arms rubbing against your breasts may cause sensitivity and discomfort. Cotton face pads might soothe sore nipples as those too rub against your clothes. Avoid wearing bright colors during tawaaf and always set a place to meet your family should anyone lose their way.
For the makkah haram carry light shoes for tawaaf so they don’t weigh you down. ensure your abaya is above your shoes so you don’t trip or fall. Often we wear jeans under our abayas… don’t! its too hot and you don’t want to boil. Satin pants are awesome and cotton knit also for absorbency. Temperatures are high. 4 bands of elastic will hold up your pants and sleeves when making whudu or using the public bathrooms. There is water all over the floors because people take whudu. The toilets are washed down with running water and there’s water on the floor so you’ll want to avoid getting your clothes wet. An elastic band around the waist is a great help too.
Again i gave out tasbeeh’s and musallahs in the haram saying ‘hadiyah’ When the poorer african countries come in to makkah, you’ll find that some people have never even owned a tasbeeh. Acts of sadaqatul jaariyah will be a great reward for you 🙂
Don’t drink tap water, it is distilled seawater and will make you ill. Drinking water is clearly marked, so pay attention as some of the signs are in arabic and pictures only. Take hairconditioner as its difficult to find hair conditioner there and your hair feels like straw after a week. Labello for lips and vicks inhaler or similar as your nostrils will bother you.
Hygiene facemasks are available and 2 for 1 riyaal. buy those closer to hajj time. Wear it when the crowds get thicker.Keep your belongings close to you and avoid carrying alot of money in the haram as people do get pickpocketed.
Next posts covers Azizya, Mina, Arafah, Muzdalifa, Jeddah, Shopping, Food, Salah, Ibadah