10 Tips to Prepare for a Productive and Smarter Hajj 2016
Hajj is a religious obligation for any Muslim who can afford it and is in good health. For many of us Muslims, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience as opposed to those well-to-do believers who have been blessed with sufficient resources to perform this sacred ritual multiple times. So, for those faithful who are limited on means, it is always advisable to start planning and preparing well in advance. Here’s a roundup of some simple yet effective tips to help you prepare and plan for a productive and smarter Hajj 2016 without breaking the bank.
1 – Make the Commitment
Bow down before your Mighty Creator (SWT) and beseech him to help you gather resources and the time so that your lifelong dream of performing Pilgrimage is fulfilled.
2 – Check Out Your Schedules
Once you have made up your mind to perform Hajj this year, it is time for you to have a look at your calendars and determine the exact dates of the Hajj. You will require three weeks to a month for Hajj. Schedule your business, job and other obligations accordingly and inform all the relevant personnel.
3 – Start Saving Money
Expenses in the recent years have risen dramatically as one has to pay in the range of $3,000 to $10,000 depending on one’s location from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. So, it’s better to start meeting those who have already performed Hajj and ask them of any reliable travel agents who can offer you attractive Hajj packages. The travel agent, in addition to a realistic package, must be able to guide you with regard to other details such as immigration. If you are from a country that offers Hajj subsidies to the Pilgrims, you might be able to get large discounts on airfares. In other countries, certain other entities such as Islamic charities, mosques, Islamic centres etc. subsidize Pilgrimage.
4 – Get Your Paperwork Ready
If you have already picked up a Hajj package through a travel agent, you do not need to worry about the legal documents. If not, you need to contact the Saudi embassy to get information about all the procedures and documents required. You will require a Visa to ensure entry into the Kingdom and also ensure that your passport has not expired or it has been renewed well in time.
5 – Read Relevant Material on Hajj Rituals
Once all the logistics and the itinerary have been finalized and you are ready to answer Prophet Ibrahim’s call, it’s time for you to get access to relevant guidebooks and other information portals so that you know about each and everything you will be doing on Hajj. Try to get a fair understanding of all the Hajj rituals and the actual objective behind all the actions. You should be well aware of the things to avoid during Pilgrimage and the recommended actions on Hajj.
6 – Streamline Your Resolutions
Hajj provides a brilliant opportunity to the Pilgrim to make an effort to change his/her life. So, you need to look into your life, introspect and decide what changes you want in your life. Your objectives and goals must be tangible and you must shape your life after Hajj based on your resolutions. During Hajj, do not forget to take written or electronic notes of your experiences, thoughts, emotions and sentiments as your undertake the holy sojourn. These notes will help you stay steadfast during times of temptation and destitution in your life to come.
7 – Prepare Yourself Physically
You need to be physically fit in order to walk incessantly on foot in scorching heat during Hajj and that is why Hajj is pillar of Islam which is physically demanding. In order to get yourself prepared physically, you need to start walking (at least half an hour daily) while taking care in what you eat. If possible, do get your medical examination done. Try and invest in a pair of shoes that are comfortable to put on.
8 – Get in Contact with a Person Who Has Performed Hajj
Seek practical advice from a person who has already performed Hajj. You will definitely end up getting effective tips from such a person which may not be available in any other instructional or informational material. Ask him to tell you the inside story of Hajj.
9 – Get Your Shopping Done Beforehand
Make sure that you have all your travel gadgets and essentials packed and ready before your embark on the holy trip. You do not want to be roaming the markets of Makkah and Medina looking for common items of daily use whilst you could be sitting and supplicating to Allah (SWT) in Masjid al-Haram.
10 – Get Ready Spiritually
vWell before Hajj, you need to start living your lives in accordance with the injunctions of Islam. You need to show humility, respect, equality and love for your fellow Muslims and human beings regardless of caste, ethnicity, race or color. Hajj will test your patience in number of ways. So, you must look to control your anger and desires for worldly life. If you have hurt the feelings of others in some way, start asking their forgiveness. Repent of your sins and ask Allah to forgive them. Hajj is an astonishing means to cleanse your soul but for that you will have to start preparing spiritually well in advance.