Ihraam is an immense psychological state. Take it
very seriously and strive to be on your best
behaviour both internally and in your interactions
Let the mental purity of ihraam serve as a glimpse
of the taqwa and clean thoughts that you should
strive for in the rest of your life.
Aside from a money belt, for peace of mind, you
may also wear a normal belt to help hold up the
bottom ihraam sheet.
When tying the top sheet, find a way that works
for you – which you can do alone. Be open to
other people’s advice, but if their ways don’t
work, don’t be afraid to try your own thing. The
most important factors are that you’re
comfortable with it and you can do it yourself.
Madinah to Makkah
If it’s daytime, savour the mountain
scenery. Remember that these strong
mountains will one day float in the sky.
Nothing on earth is permanent, so never
become too attached to dunya.
Stay busy in spiritually-uplifting activities.
Don’t complain about difficulties.
Muhammad [saw] made this journey
without an air-conditioned bus.
Take plastic / paper bags for car-sickness.
Madinah to Makkah
Don’t let the nasty toilets scare you. You’re human – just
like everyone else – so embrace this as a humbling
experience. Allah [swt] is giving you the challenge to build
your character and teach you lessons for Hajj and your life
For toilets, take your own unscented soap, and if you
want, rubber gloves, elastic (to hold up your clothing), and
Before you disembark in Makkah, the authorities will do a
lot of administration. Bear sabr and endure the wait
without complaining. Stretch your body and do something
beneficial to pass the time.
First Sight of the
When you get into Masjid-al Haram, keep
your eyes down to avoid seeing the Kabah
until you’re in a good spot.
Don’t worry if you don’t break into tears upon
seeing the Kabah. The structure has no
special powers, and its beauty is in its
simplicity. It’s not an idol we worship, but
merely a symbol; a representation of unity,
history, and the omnipresence of Allah [swt]
– the only One worthy of our devotions.
Your first sighting is a special, once-in-a-
lifetime moment in which duas are readily
accepted. It’s your own personal treasure, so
plan your dua. Don’t simply parrot a dua from
a book or a group leader. This is yours and
yours alone, so don’t waste it.
Study the rituals properly in advance.
Without knowledge, you may do something
For males, if you’re with your wife, try to
shield her from getting pushed and shoved in
In tawaaf, beware of wheelchair riders. If you
get hit, bear sabr and avoid angry reactions.
There aren’t many prescribed duas and
dhikrs for tawaaf, but if you get irritated by
the loud group recitations, bear patience and
ask Allah [swt] to grant you the best from the
situation. In sha Allah you’ll get your own
private tawaafs in future.
When doing sa’ee, try to
remember the history
behind the act as well as its
essential lesson: Allah [swt]
will provide, but you need to
make the effort first.
For cutting your hair after
umrah, men should aim for
the sunnah (i.e. shave the
head, not just cut three
hairs), and women should
either wait until they get
back to the hotel, or cut in a
way that no males see their
In the Haram
If you touch the Kabah, don’t treat it like an idol. It’s
just a building – a symbol to be honoured and
respected, not to be grabbed emotionally as if it has
It’s often impossible to get to the Black Stone,
Yemeni corner, Kabah door, and hateem area.
Make dua for opportunities, and always retain your
honour – refusing to fight, push, or hurt others,
even if they hurt you.
If you get the chance to pray very close to the
Kabah, people may push you. So try to make your
duas in sujood, since they’re less likely to disturb
When you get time near the Kabah, don’t waste it.
As Hajj approaches, increasing crowds make it
much harder to even see it.
In the Haram
Observe your surroundings and look for
beautiful sights that your heart will remember
for a lifetime after you leave.
When you witness thousands of Muslims
making tawaaf, remember the unity in the
Ummah, despite the differences we so often
hear about in the news.
When you see grown men crying, fellow
pilgrims making desperate duas, remember
your own insignificance, complete
helplessness, and complete need of Allah
[swt] for every single thing.
If you feel emotionally disconnected in
ibadah, don’t get disheartened. We worship
Allah [swt] – not feelings. Make dua for that
spiritual connection to grow.
If you can’t stand the heat, try going to the
airconditioned basement. But there’s not
much to see there, so take your Qur'an, dua
list, or other things to do.
External change requires individual, internal change to adapt. Makkah is different to
Madinah, so adjust your mindset and make the most of the different surroundings.
Appreciate the diversity in the Ummah, and broaden your horizons by speaking to
strangers (of your own gender). Learn about their lives and draw from their wisdom,
while also passing on your own positive messages to them.
Never impose your own cultural standards on others. What you consider rude might
just be a norm in other countries.
If you don’t know Arabic, learn some. It’s the common language between Muslims
from all parts of the world.
Restrain yourself in times of anger. You may need it a lot in Makkah, where there’s
more tension than Madinah. Control your anger and speech at all times.
for Makkah (continued)
If tempers flare, don’t get caught up in the
emotion. If you must be involved, try to be
the peacemaker. (And learn the ‘sabr’ hand
Don’t let the traps of TV, the Internet, and
news catch you. Rest as needed, but don’t
Use your time beneficially, especially the
small moments, like while you’re walking or
waiting in line. Engage in dhikr, dua, good
Your sleep schedule may become erratic, so
always ask Allah [swt] for barakah in your
sleep, no matter how many hours of rest you
Touring in Makkah
Some people will delay the group. Expect
this and don’t complain about them. Have
sabr and use the waiting time beneficially.
Respect the environment and don’t litter –
even if others are doing so. Cleanliness is
half of faith.
Always take a spray bottle and enough water
Salah always comes first, so don’t ever miss
your fardh salah for a tourist attraction. You
may regret missing out in the dunya, but in
the Hereafter your regret will be much
Touring in Makkah
Don’t expect your tour guides to teach or inspire you when visiting historical sites.
Always do your own research and homework beforehand so that you can fully
appreciate the places you visit.
Take lessons from our heritage and let it inspire you to make great contributions in your
own capacity today.
Know your aqeedah well, and learn about what is bi’dah and what is not – particularly
when it comes to visiting ziyarah places. Don’t rely on cultural or historical practices
because you might reinforce the suspicions that the authorities already have about
visitors doing bi’dah.
Don’t waste your time in heated debates about the destruction of historical sites.
Appreciate that you can still visit and take benefit from your visits. If you feel strongly,
make dua for a solution, then make efforts towards helping the situation.
The Cave of Hira
In the cave, make your
fardh salah if it’s time.
Otherwise make dua or
just nafl salaah. There’s
no sunnah salah in the
When you get in, savour
the moment, but don’t
take too long if others are
When you’re done, don’t
rush to get back down.
Spend time above the
cave and take in the
scenery and the
experience. You can’t get
this anywhere else.
Final Days Before Hajj
In your final moments
before leaving for Mina,
reach out to your loved
ones. Take advantage of
the strong emotions in your
heart and convey to them
the beauty of what you feel,
inspiring them to make this
trip, and asking them to
make special duas for you
in the coming days.
For the coming 5 days, try
to remain conscious of Allah
[swt] at all times. Taqwa is
your best provision, and
whatever you’ll experience
now is for Allah [swt].
Tips extracted from the
“Hajj Chronicles” e-book: