Preparation for the Hajj Journey
The splendid journey of Hajj undertaken for the pleasure of the Glorious Lord is to purify one’s soul and the anticipation of blessings and reward from Him in this world and in the hereafter. Our beloved Prophet (PBUH) perfected the practices of Islam in harmony with the commandments from Allah and now it has been more than 1400 years since the Muslims from all over the world have been traveling to the Holy city of Makkah for the execution of the fifth pillar of Islam.
The expedition of Hajj is grueling not just in the spiritual realm but it convolves with it the mental, financial and physical requisitions, and the planning and preparation for it must encompass these spheres. To somewhat alleviate the challenges of Hajj, we have recapitulated a few points that will assist you by the Grace of Allah SWT.
- Of paramount magnitude is the creed or belief. Believing wholeheartedly in the oneness of Allah and seeking His forgiveness for any big or small sins you committed intentionally or unintentionally. Hoping for Allah’s forgiveness is an undeniable ingredient of faith and it would invoke His wrath if you get down in disappointment and seize to hope in His mercy.
Allah says in the Holy Quran:
“Say: “O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
Thus, having firm faith in oneness of Allah and His final Messenger, sincere repentance and the amendment of conduct ought to be the leading step in the preparation of Hajj.
- Then there is the purity and transparency of intention. Your aim of Hajj should be the pleasure from Allah SWT, with no material benefit connected to it. The piety of the believer will call for the acceptance of Hajj and reward from Almighty Allah.
- Go through the religious literature, Hadith and the Quranic narrations that call attention to the rituals of Hajj. Well before the season of Hajj, seminars and the training sessions on Hajj are held throughout, so the intended pilgrims go to the House of Allah well-prepared. You are strongly recommended to attend these preparation classes.
- The Messenger (PBUH) said:
“Allah is pure and He does not accept but pure only.” (Sahih Muslim)
This Hadith aims to point out the financial and material means to support your journey that are supposed to be Halaal for acceptance in the eyes of Allah. The money you use for Hajj travel and throughout your stay there must be earned by lawful means. Carry with you enough money to provide for you and your family during your stay for the days of Hajj.
- Go through a medical examination and take all the vaccines that are a requirement for Saudi Arabia. List down any medications that you take on regular basis and pack them for Hajj along with the other travel essentials.
- Physical preparation is equally important along with the spiritual purity and clean intention. The weather of Saudi Arabia is hot and the desert winds make it harsher. Prepare yourself mentally to face this intense temperature, waiting in queues and other physical exertions that the rites of Hajj demand. Start a walking routine at least 2 months before your departure as this will build up your stamina to cope up with the physical struggle during Hajj.
- Start practicing the basic moral values like guarding your tongue from backbiting and speaking any evil. Amend the habit of arguing and complaining. Keep the righteous company of knowledgeable Muslims to help you get closer to Allah fulfilling His commands. This approach will support you being virtuous and God-fearing during Hajj and the time after it.
The following Ayah will justly conclude this theme:
“For Hajj are the months well-known, if anyone undertakes that duty therein, let there be no obscenity nor wickedness, nor wrangling in the Hajj. And whatever good ye do, (be sure) Allah knoweth it. And take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best of provisions is right conduct. So fear Me, o ye that are wise!” (Al-Baqarah 2:197)