A billion or so Hajj Tips and Tricks PART TWO

Salaamz dear Hajjis–to-be–who–will-make-dua-for-me!
I hope you enjoyed Part One of the Billion (or so) Hajj Tips and Tricks series. I’m back this week with many more tips about Good deeds, Tawaf ,the Stinkies, Hajj book and Duas.

Our going for Hajj in 2012 was almost a miracle. I can’t explain what happened exactly but around October 2011 something sparked inside me: I wanted to go for Hajj. As a Muslim, I always wanted to go for Hajj but this sudden yearning or powerful desire was different. I wanted to go SO badly that it was frightening.

What if I wasn’t able to go? Would I be patient enough to understand that in Allahs wisdom it was better for me to go later? What if I took it personally? What if I interpreted it to mean that Allah did not want to invite me to His home? Would I be able to recover from the hurt and rejection?
With every month that passed, the desire to go turned into an intense need and the fear of not being able to go multiplied.
Even as the plans for going for Hajj started to fall into place my husband and I were reluctant to celebrate or even accept it. We were content when we made our final payment, we were relieved when we got our Visas, we were excited when we buckled ourselves in our seats in the airplane. Still we wouldn’t believe it.

Our worst fear was that something might stop us from performing Hajj. Ironically, the seat next to my husband on the airplane was empty! What could have happened to this person? Did he die? He must have been so excited to go, collected thousands of dollars, made all sorts of preparations; yet isn’t here now.  That could have been us!

We didn’t ‘believe it’ yet until we finally laid our eyes on the Ka’bah.

Image from www.healinghearts.blog.com

Image from http://www.healinghearts.blog.com The glorious Ka’bah

That was the moment when we believed.
Allah had blessed us. Allah had invited us to His home. We had no idea what we did to deserve this- maybe we didn’t deserve it- maybe we were here out of His mercy. Regardless, we were here and we were going to make the best of it!

Good deeds:

Especially while at Hajj, I understood the importance of keeping good company. Subhan Allah you can learn so much from your peers. My husband and I were blessed with going to Hajj with dear friends who also happen to be our neighbours, ‘Mr & Mrs. Faryeem’. This husband and wife is a super power couple Masha’Allah. I am so grateful that we went for Hajj with them- we learned so much. I honestly think they made us better people. Most of the good deeds we did was because we joined in with what they were doing. Fareheen would always carry her family friends stool whenever we had to walk anywhere. Why didn’t I think of that? So I adopted an aunty of my own and would carry her stool around too!
Since performing Hajj is such a feat in itself, people often forget that it’s actually an excellent opportunity to accumulate as many good deeds as possible! Many people focus on preserving their energy by staying as inactive as possible – don’t make that mistake! Every good (and bad deed) is multiplied by 100, 000!!!

Examples of good deeds:

Image from www.ennharaonline.com

Image from http://www.ennharaonline.com Many people save up their whole lives for Hajj

• Many older people or those who have trouble standing for long periods of time will bring stools or fold up chairs with them. Whenever you see them carrying it, either to Masjid or in between Hajj points, offer to carry it for them.
• Bring goodies and tiny trinkets for the kids you will run into. Think Hajj is hard? Imagine how it must be for the kids that are there.
• Share your medicine.
• You can purchase Quran’s outside of the Masjid as donation to be placed in the book shelves. They will stamp ‘WAQF’ on it. Insha’Allah you will receive good deeds every time someone reads it.
• Share everything you have with those around you: snacks, hand sanitizer, wipes.
• Give charity to the cleaners (they don’t get paid a lot).
• Give medication to people who are sick.
• Check up on sick people, visit them in their rooms.
• Push people on wheelchairs –it  takes a lot of effort, and usually there are people paid to do this, or people have family members already.
• Pray every salaah in the Haaram.
• Even looking at Ka’bah is worship
• Be kind to others, smile.
• Have patience, and not fight back with others, keep your cool.

One of the final steps of completing tawaf is to drink Zam Zam, so naturally there’s always a huge crowd outside of that section in the Haaram. Since we are taught not to push and shove, it’s challenging to get water. I remember one time I waited for what seemed like 20 minutes to get a chance to drink Zam Zam but my turn never came because people kept pushing their way ahead of me. Allhumdullillah a man noticed me standing there forever; he went back into the swarm of people and brought me the water. I still make dua for him.

 

Tawaf:

Allhumdullillah our Hajj leaders did a superb job of keeping everyone together and not losing any of us during Tawaf (when you walk around the Ka’Bah seven times). Unfortunately many people aren’t so lucky and are left to figure everything out for themselves. One of the ways they ensured that we would be together was forming a large human V.

Hajj-group-V-during-tawaf

Hajj-group-V-during-tawaf

The men formed a large V around the females and stayed in this stance throughout the entire tawaf. No one got lost and we were all able to clearly hear our hajj leader as he made duas.
• Don’t be a Renegade Hajji. Follow the rules. Yes, it may be faster to do tawaf by yourself but if you came with a group, stay part of the group- unless you discussed with the leader that you will be splitting up. Otherwise you will cost the rest of your group members and leaders unnecessary stress and precious time.

Couple-tawaf-stance Zombie

Couple-tawaf-stance a.k.a the Zombie stance. Believe it or not this drawing took me HOURS to make!

Zombie tawaf stance : they taught us to make a Zombie tawaf stance when we were doing tawaf ON THE FIRST FLOOR without the group. In this stance the husband stands with his arms straight in front of him and the wife stands in between his arms. The point of this stance is for the wife to be sheltered by the husband from the constant banging and slamming of the crowd. I weigh approximately three times as much as my husband (give or take a few pounds!) so I thought that his Zombie stance wasn’t doing much for me as I was still being rocked and jerked around by the crowd. HOW WRONG I WAS! I thought I could complete the tawaf faster if I went on my own- its so much easier for one person squeeze through the crowds than it is for two- especially while in Zombie stance. So I suggested we meet back at the hotel and go our separate ways. I regretted that decision so much! As ‘not so big’ as my husband is, he was still protecting me from so many hits and blows from the crowd. I felt like I was going to get a concussion! I was being thrown around in the throngs of people until an older woman grabbed me , put her arm around my shoulder and brought me part of her group with her husband. Through some miracle I saw my husband half hour later and screamed for his attention. Needless to say I never went separately on the first floor again!
• Do tawaf on the second floor in peace. It might take longer but it certainly is more peaceful. I did tawaf here by myself and absolutely loved it!
• You can do nawafil (extra) tawafs on behalf of people. My husband has two siblings so he did tawaf on behalf of his parents and two siblings. I have five siblings…so I didn’t. I did tawaf on behalf of my parents and my paternal grandparents who had passed away decades ago.

Beware of the Stinkies

Soap on a rope from www.pinterest.com

soap on a rope from http://www.pinterest.com*

Many people incorrectly believe that you cannot shower or wash your ihram during the state of ihram. So they proceed to become one of the Stinkies.
Being 5’3 I am at perfect armpit height of most men. I can’t explain how terrible, terrible the smell was. I wish someone had warned me. The stench was enough to make me gag. I don’t want to go into anymore details than that.

Solution:

• Hold an orange peel under your nose during tawaf. It will mask the smell.
• Put a dallop of scent-free Vicks under your nostrils; it should over power the body odour.
• Stare at the Ka’bah. Honestly it’s so majestic and breathtaking that it will completely distract you. Make duah that Allah protects you from them.
• Don’t be a stinkie. Shower. Wear scent free deodorant. Wash your clothes.

Hajj Book:

 

Leather notebook for Hajj

Leather notebook for Hajj

On the Eid ul Fitr prior to going for Hajj, my Eid gift to my husband was a leather bound notebook. I had his name and Hajj 2012 engraved on it. I got myself a book as well but didn’t bother with the engraving.
I highly recommend every Hajji has a Hajj Book. I used it for:
• Notes from our Hajj workshop/seminars
• Notes from my own personal research
• My duas
• Duas that others asked me to make for them
• Hajj diary (I should have written in it everyday but I usually ended up writing in it every few days)
Every Ramadan I pull out my Hajj book because it is the most comprehensive list of duas I have.

One of the most awesome feelings is ticking off duas that came true!

 

 

 

Duas:

According to Hajj coach, your duas should be 16 pages MINIMUM! You should brainstorm duas according to the following topics:

Eeman
Health & energy
Hereafter
Family
Finances
Spouse
Emotions
Children
Business/career
Education
Community
Ummah
Sahar (can’t blame a girl for trying!)
 

Making dua at Hajj

Making dua at Hajj

I made a mistake before leaving for Hajj. I sent out the customary e-mail to everyone I know, informing them that I was going for Hajj, asking them if I owed them anything and asking for their forgiveness. The mistake I made was asking them if they had any duas they wanted me to make. My brother had set up a Google document for me so that all I had to do was send them the link and they could type in all of their duas. The problem is that I shouldn’t have solicited duas. IF someone asked me to make dua for them, then I should have given them the link to my Duas Google document.
Some people filled out about 10 pages worth of duas- I am not exaggerating at all! I am so grateful for the opportunity to make duas for people because some of them made the most intelligent, beautiful and amazing duas. I kept saying “and for me too” for these super duas that I would never have thought of myself. Don’t forget to refer to my post on making duas that Insha’Allah get accepted.
I wasn’t sure when to make duas. I knew the day of Arafah was special and while making tawaf- when else?
What I ended up doing was aiming to complete making dua for my entire list by the end of each day. I divided up the duas into five sections and would try to read one section after every fard salah (one of the times duas are accepted). It gets tricky because there are Janazah salaahs after every single prayer so you have to wait until that’s over before you pull out your list.

That’s all the tips for this post. I had to force myself to not write more because it was getting too long!

Stay tuned for the third cup of Hajj chai!

For the rest of the Billion Hajj Tips and Trick series:

Part One http://chaiwithsahar.com/a-billion-or-so-hajj-tips-and-tricks/
Part Two http://chaiwithsahar.com/a-billion-or-so-hajj-tips-and-tricks-2/
Part Three http://chaiwithsahar.com/hajj-tips-shaikhs-shopping-and-shifaa/
Part Four http://chaiwithsahar.com/hajj-tips-part-four-two-types-of-people-at-hajj/
Part Five http://chaiwithsahar.com/hajj-tips-step-by-step-hajj-guide/

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26 Comments on A billion or so Hajj Tips and Tricks PART TWO

  1. Hanane
    August 14, 2015 at 10:30 am (2 years ago)

    Salam aleykoum sister
    Indeed, we need to remember this tips because they are needy.
    Barakalahou fik for the time you are taking to remind us all.
    I am looking forward to going there Inch’Allah.

    Reply
    • Sahar
      August 23, 2015 at 8:43 am (2 years ago)

      Wa’Alaikum assalam Hanane,
      welcome to my blog 🙂
      Are you going this year?
      Insha’Allah you will have an amazing experience and a hajj mabroor

      Reply
  2. Kulz
    August 14, 2015 at 1:22 pm (2 years ago)

    Asslamualaikum sahar! Absolutely love this post, it’s quite a slice of life in ur hajj experience! I gotta say that that many dua lists makes me nervous!

    May Allah swt bless that woman and man who helped you during your hajj and you for adopting that aunty!

    Reply
    • Sahar
      August 23, 2015 at 8:42 am (2 years ago)

      WA’Alaikum Assalam Kulz
      aww thanx 🙂
      Once you start writing the list and think ‘what if this was my chance to ask Allah for anything for now and forever?’- the duas will keep coming. Think big- think about your future generations, being a mother to teenage children, that your progeny remains steadfast on the straight path etc…
      Ameen!

      Reply
  3. Sadaf Afshan
    August 15, 2015 at 5:03 pm (2 years ago)

    Assalamaleikum Sahar, JazakAllah Khair for sharing these wonderful tips. My husband and I got a last minute opportunity to go for Hajj this year and while we are still waiting for our visas I am trying to read up as much as I can to undertake this journey of a lifetime. Can’t wait to read the next post in this series. Please keep me and my husband in your duas. You definitely will be in my mine, InshaAllah.

    Reply
    • Sahar
      August 23, 2015 at 8:38 am (2 years ago)

      Wa’Alaikum Assalam
      how exciting?! Did you get your Visas yet?
      You’re most welcome, I’m so happy you’re finding them useful.
      I just made duah for you- it means so much that I’ll be in yours!!! Thank youuuu.

      Reply
  4. Shadaan
    August 17, 2015 at 2:54 am (2 years ago)

    Salaamz sister. I discovered your blog while searching for Hajj tips and tricks! I like your blogs a lot; keep up the good work. Inshallah I have plans for Hajj this year. So thanks for these invaluable tips and looking forward to more!

    Reply
    • Sahar
      August 23, 2015 at 8:36 am (2 years ago)

      Wa’Salam Shadaan
      Welcome to my blog. Aww Jazak’Allahu khairun for the kind words 🙂
      I hope you have an amazing Hajj experience- please keep me (and my blog) in your duas!

      Reply
  5. Jameela
    August 18, 2015 at 7:58 am (2 years ago)

    There’s nothing quite like the moment when you first see the Ka’bah. You are absolutely right when you say that THAt is the moment when it becomes real. That you’re finally there at the house of Allah. How great is that subhanallah. Btw love your advice about the zombie stance and the stinkie solutions!

    Reply
    • Sahar
      August 23, 2015 at 8:31 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you Jameela the Zombie stance and stinkie solutions were things I wish I knew of before going- insha’Allah my dear readers will benefit from it when they go.
      Everytime I think of the first time I lay eyes on the Ka’bah my heart skips a beat

      Reply
  6. random bytes
    August 18, 2015 at 8:41 am (2 years ago)

    These are really some useful and practical tips that you have mentioned here Sahar! I have been to Hajj too and I can relate to all of them :):)

    Reply
    • Sahar
      August 23, 2015 at 8:32 am (2 years ago)

      Masha’Allah, how long ago did you go?
      I feel like a Hajji’s approval on my tips really means a lot 🙂 Thank you

      Reply
  7. Umm Safia
    August 18, 2015 at 4:49 pm (2 years ago)

    Inshallah my turn will come too. Please make dual for me and my family that Allah call us there

    Reply
    • Sahar
      August 23, 2015 at 8:26 am (2 years ago)

      I made duah for you and will continue to do so. Insha’Allah He will call you there soon!

      Reply
  8. ChristalBlogs
    August 20, 2015 at 4:28 am (2 years ago)

    MashaAllah this post was great! I actually laughed out loud at the arm pit height bit! May Allah swt make it easy for us all to do Hajj atleast once in our lifetimes. Ameen

    Reply
    • Sahar
      August 23, 2015 at 8:18 am (2 years ago)

      ameen.
      Thank you! lol..I wonder if I would have handled it better if I knew to expect it

      Reply
  9. umm asiya
    August 21, 2015 at 10:40 pm (2 years ago)

    Mashaa Allah sis makes me want to go back and perform hajj again, for some reason I think I could have done better qadarallah. Patience is a virtue when doing hajj.

    Reply
    • Sahar
      August 23, 2015 at 8:17 am (2 years ago)

      i know what you mean, no matter what you always wish you had done more. insha’Allah Allah will take us back soon

      Reply
  10. Muslimah92
    August 22, 2015 at 12:44 am (2 years ago)

    Mashallah. This is great. If I ever go, I know what guide I will be turning too.

    Reply
    • Sahar
      August 23, 2015 at 8:16 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you! Awww I would love that 🙂

      Reply
  11. Ummbilal01
    August 23, 2015 at 9:08 am (2 years ago)

    What does Sahar mean. Also jazakillahu khayr. Good timing too.

    Reply
    • Sahar
      September 5, 2015 at 8:59 am (2 years ago)

      Sahar means Dawn. I was born at dawn,,my grandfather thought it was a fitting name 🙂

      Reply
  12. Foz
    August 24, 2015 at 3:38 pm (2 years ago)

    JazakAllah khair for sharing your experience and tips! Will have to keep this guide in mind for when I do go…in sha Allah

    Reply
    • Sahar
      September 5, 2015 at 8:57 am (2 years ago)

      Salaamz Foz,
      Wa Iyyakki.
      Insha’Allah you’ll get to go soon and have an accepted Hajj. Ameen

      Reply
  13. Sameera
    August 31, 2015 at 12:05 pm (2 years ago)

    Salams – thanks so much for doing this series on hajj! Love it!
    I have one question – iA my husband and I are going for hajj this year and are leaving our two kids with my mom. Now I want to be able to text and call them atleast once daily – and we are thinking of getting the T-Mobile plan for a month.
    Does anyone know of data coverage in Mina etc? I would much rather get the plan from here instead of Saudi so I can call them at different airports and stuff as well.
    Jazakallah!
    Sameera

    Reply
    • Sahar
      September 5, 2015 at 8:53 am (2 years ago)

      Wasalam Sameera, I’m so happy you’re enjoying the posts. 🙂
      Congratulations on going for Hajj! Masha’Allah! So excited for you!
      From what I remember, people were Skyping their families from our tents at Mina..but I myself didn’t actually do it.
      Here’s a link to an article talking about the internet situation at Hajj this year http://www.wi-fiplanet.com/news/article.php/3718071
      Hope it helps.

      Reply

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