Posts Tagged ‘Hajj’

A parent’s guide to Hajj without children



First of all congratulations!!! May Allah SWT accept your Hajj and make you spiritually productive every moment you are there. Ameen.

In case you haven’t checked out my other posts on Hajj please check out the links here:


Hajj Without Children

If you’re nervous or even on the brink of panic attacks when you think of how you’re going to leave your child. Just relax, it’s perfectly normal. You’re going to be okay. Your child will be okay. Millions of parents perform Hajj without children and they don’t ever regret going. This is going to be an amazing experience Insha’Allah. Hopefully this post will help your time away from your child a little easier.

Our Story

Though going for Hajj was a dream come true, my husband and I tried to book the 1 week express Hajj package. Like most parents going for Hajj, we wanted to leave our only child (four years old then) for the least amount of time possible. To our disappointment, the  ‘One week Express’ package was sold out (fun fact: it costs the same as the 3-week package!). Our Hajj agent strongly recommended going for at least three weeks if one  hasn’t gone for Hajj/Umrah before. At the time we didn’t believe him. But he was so right. Three weeks didn’t feel like enough time.


Alhamdulillah we had tons of family to look after him, yet we were still super apprehensive about leaving him for 3 weeks. Since I’m a stay at home mom, he was used to always having a parent around and had never been away from me for longer than twelve hours . So first off, we practiced by having sleepovers at his cousins and grandparents homes. This could backfire if your child has a horrible sleepover experience. He will obviously assume that while you’re away ,it will be just as bad. Try to make these trial runs as fun and trauma free as possible. Our son spent the weekdays at my parents’ home (it was closest to his  school) and the weekends at home with my husband’s parents.

Books about Hajj for children

Books about Hajj for children (Image from

We tried to mentally prepare him for our trip by showing him pictures of Hajj and reading books. We explained how excited we were for this trip. We let him know that once he was older he would get to go too. It was hard for him to digest that we would be apart for almost and entire month but he eventually came around. We made him feel like he was allowing us to complete this super important pillar of Islam and he would be rewarded immensely.  Eventually, it was as if he allowed us to go because he wanted us to go to Jannah! When he felt like he made the decision, the separation was less traumatic. He was involved in our Hajj experience this way.

Happy and Distracted

We believed that as long as our son was happy and distracted he wouldn’t have time or reason to miss us.

Since night-time is the hardest, we planned activities to keep him so busy and tired that he would fall asleep from exhaustion. It took a lot of help from our family and friends to make this possible. I pray that Allah  SWT grants them the absolute best in this life and even better in the Hereafter. Ameen. I prayed for each and every single one of them whole heartedly and still do. I pray that they know how much we appreciate every moment of their help. Since he was in Junior Kindergarten, we didn’t have to worry about homework after school. Every weeknight there was an activity planned. Example:On Day 4  Mamu will take him to Playdium from 5pm-7pm. On Day 5 Chachu will take him swimming from 5pm-7pm.

Make sure you set up a calendar of events to remind them even after you’re gone. I hung printed copies of the schedule on both grandparents’ fridges and gave everyone involved a physical copy.

Chai Tip: set up electronic Calendar alerts so that you don’t have to worry about reminding anyone while you’re on the journey of a life time.

A Present A Day

Hajj without children

A present a day while parents are away at Hajj

Every kid likes presents!

I bought and wrapped twenty-one gifts for him so he could open one per day. I mainly shopped at Dollarama- hey,I’m not made of money! I distributed the gifts to both sets of grandparents for them to give him one every day.

He loved it! However he didn’t understand that the gifts were from me. When we got back from Hajj, he showed me all the gifts that so and so got him. Umm no honey. Mama bought them for you! Whatever. As long as they served their purpose which was to make him happy.

Chai tip: let your child see the wrapped gifts, it will get him excited and give him something to look forward to.

Your Child 101

In order to make the experience as smooth as possible for your child and his caregivers, make sure you leave instructions and tips in WRITING. We created a 6 page document ‘Beta101’*. We included all sorts of information we thought would be useful for his caregivers to know, especially strange things that are important to him or can set him off. Example: he likes to eat cereal with a really big spoon. Please don’t try to make him use one that’s more size appropriate.

Obviously leave all the important health and general care information such as allergies, bed time/morning routines but also information that you might think they already know. Include information about favourite foods, favourite shows, things he/she finds frightening etc.


May Allah SWT immensely reward whoever is looking after your child while you’re away. It’s not easy looking after a child that misses his/her parents. It’s easy to overlook the sacrifices and hardships they’re going through when all you can think of is how you’re going to leave your baby for a few weeks. Make it as easy on them by providing them with as much information –not instructions– as possible.

Examples of information to include:

  •  his likes/dislikes
  • discipline methods he responds to
  • favourite topic of conversation
  • comfort food
  • leave a list of your child’s neighbours or friends and their numbers so the caregivers can arrange for playdates.

If your child goes to school, let his/her teachers know that you will be leaving him/her for a few weeks and that they may have to deal with unusual behaviours. The fact that I cried while speaking to his Junior kindergarten teacher, probably set the stage for what she could expect from him!

Staying in Touch

My son's journal while we were away at Hajj

My son’s journal while we were away at Hajj

As much as you want to know every detail of how your child is without you, resist the urge to call him often. Call your child’s caregivers for updates. I found directly speaking to my son always led to a sob fest on both ends. If I had to do it again, I would barely call him.

We left  behind a journal and asked his caregivers to write in it as often as they could (preferably everyday) so we wouldn’t completely miss out on three weeks of his life. It was asking a lot from them as they already had their hands full but it made a world of a difference for us! Subhan Allah it was so helpful and precious to read about how he spent his time without us. Sometimes he would ask them to leave us little messages or he would draw in it. It’s definitely a keepsake item!

Saying goodbye

Don’t bring the kids to the airport. Just don’t. Say your goodbyes at home or at the caregivers home but not minutes before you board your flight at an airport where hundreds of people are sobbing , hugging, begging for forgiveness and saying goodbyes as if it may be forever. Yes, a truly intense and emotional atmosphere. The kids are better off playing at a friend’s house or at the park while you make your dramatic Hajji exit.

Remember they will feed off of your emotions, so take deep breaths, smile, casually say Salam and calmly make an exit while they’re having fun. Feel free to sob the whole way to the airport, but don’t let them see you cry.

Chai tip: I highly recommend mentally rehearsing how you’re going to say bye. What will you say? What activity will you quickly distract them in case they get upset? What’s your game plan in case you get all teary?


Trust Al-Muhaymin

Parents make dua for children while at Hajj

Make dua for your child everytime you miss them.
(Image from

Leaving our son taught me that we are not his sole care takers. We are tools or vessels from which his True Guardian cares for him. As much as we may pride ourselves on our parenting skills, it is Allah who is watching over our children, providing for them, protecting them. Whether we are with them or not, it will always be Allah truly taking care of them.

Start making dua from now that Allah SWT keeps you and your child calm during your Hajj trip. I was so worried about how my son would handle our separation that I forgot to make dua for myself. I think I cried more than he did. Alhamdulillah, through Allah’s infinite mercy he fared a lot better than we could have hoped! People will tell you that you won’t even think about your child until Hajj is over. That’s not exactly true. You will miss your baby and probably shed a few tears.Every time that happens you will make so much dua for him that he will Insha’Allah be enveloped in blessings!  During the actual days of Hajj, what they say is true; you will be too distracted to miss your child.


You are strong. Allah is the ultimate Guardian, Protector and Provider. You get to go on this incredible journey that millions are longing for. Make the most of it!  Every time you will miss your child, you will make beautiful duas for him in the holiest of places. Every hardship associated with your Hajj experience will be rewarded. You’re leaving your child behind to complete a pillar of Islam. How can you not know that everything is going to be all right?

You got this!

Chai later,



*names have been changed because of a certain paranoid and over protective father.











































LiebsterAward-2 (image from

The Liebster Award

Salaamz dear readers!

How have you guys been?

Some of the Hajji’s are starting to return from Hajj Masha’Allah. May Allah SWT accept their Hajj and duas. Ameen. I’ve been doing a lot of crying lately as I receive messages from Hajjis who found my Hajj tips valuable and made dua for me while on their trip. THANK YOU! To have someone remember you and make duah for you at the most holiest of places (especially someone you’ve never met), is such a beautiful feeling. May Allah SWT bless them with the absolute best in this life and the absolute best in the Hereafter.Ameen.

Subhan Allah, this Hajj season has been so trying and tragic. Well tragic for the families and loved ones of those that died in the crane incident or during the stampede; however,those who passed away are truly lucky. May Allah SWT grant them a place in Jannat-il-Firdous.Ameen. Death is one of the only truths everyone agrees on. Near death experiences are often instrumental catalysts to changing ones life. For the Hajji’s that survived both incidents, their Hajj and worship must have been exponentially more sincere and heartfelt.

While the memories are still fresh, I would love to hear more about your trip. Please drop me a line or two or several hundred at


Liebster Award

BLACK1A few months ago I had posted that I was nominated for The Most Inspirational Blog Award and I had asked for you guys to vote for me. Jazak Allahu Khairun for all of those that voted for me – but I didn’t win.

I came in third place though!

Many people asked me if I would get a prize or money for winning; there’s no physical prize but I still wanted to win darn it! (more…)

Hajj like experience: 3 steps to a brand new you

arafat:( image from

arafat:( image from

2 million Muslims get to go for Hajj each year. Leaving one billion five hundred sixty-eight million Muslims behind wishing they could be a tiny speck in those breathtaking pictures. Especially on a day like today, the day of Arafah, many Muslims hearts ache a bit wishing they were lucky enough to be of those Allah SWT is proud of:

“There is no day on which Allah frees servants of His from Fire more than [those freed on] the Day of `Arafat. And, verily, He draws near and then proudly speaks about them [i.e. the pilgrims] before the angels, saying, ‘What do these seek?'” (Muslim)
Some of you may feel left out as you’ve never been invited, others may be longing to go back.
Either way I’ve got a surprise for you.
What if I shared an activity or experience with you that had a Hajj like transformation? (more…)

My Hajj in Pictures


I want to apologize to my non-Hajji readers. I don’t mean to alienate you with all these posts on Hajj. Insha’Allah your turn will come soon enough and you’ll turn here to find more information.

As for the Hajji’s, thank you for letting me be a part of your Hajj experience. You probably won’t understand now, but next year at this time you will have the strangest feeling. It’s a mix of sadness and joy laced with covetousness . You’ll be so excited for the Hajji’s and your eyes will light up whenever you’re given a chance to discuss your trip but you’ll be sad that others get to visit that which you love, while you can’t. By writing these posts, I feel like I’m vicariously re-living the Hajj experience through you guys.

May Allah SWT accept your Hajj. May He SWT, keep you healthy, happy and safe. May you return a better person. May the ‘Hajj -Effect’ never wear off. This is my last post in the Billion or so Hajj Tips & Tricks series.

I’m a visual learner, so seeing pictures really helps me understand . As I mentioned earlier, when a family friend was kind enough to share her Hajj Book with me, I instantly felt so much more prepared for Hajj. Seeing her pictures helped make those strange words make sense: “Meeqaat”, “Jamarah” , “Rami”. (more…)

Hajj Tips: Step by Step Hajj Guide


Yes, yes, believe your eyes it is two posts in two days. As I mentioned in my last post I was not planning on writing a post on the spiritual or ‘religious’ aspect of Hajj because I didn’t want to teach anything wrong (or get into fiqh issues). Sadly, many people messaged me about having no direction  when it comes to what to actually do at Hajj. So, Bismillah, I am compiling information from reputable Shaikhs that follow the Qu’ran and authentic Sunnah. Here’s my step by step Hajj guide with a billion or so tips of course!

I’ve referred to Muhammad Al-Shareef’s Hajj Coach site several times – I found it very practical and useful. What I noticed is that many of the links no longer work! Actually today the site seems to be down. Insha’Allah it will be fixed ASAP.

Here’s Video 9 of the Hajj Coach series.

Allhumdullillah he has created a fantastic Hajj and Umrah guide. Print it out and glue the sheets together. Insha’Allah it will be all you need. (more…)

hajj tips part 4

Hajj Tips Part Four: Two types of people at Hajj

Disney World (Image from

Disney World
(Image from

I just came back from a trip to Disney World yesterday. Allhumdullillah it was tons of fun! Maybe it was the fact that I kept thinking about how to organize my final Hajj tips posts  while waiting in line, but the similarities between a trip to Disney World and Hajj were striking. Hear me out before you accuse me of being sacrilegious!

Though Hajj is a religious ritual (my husband argues that Disney World trip is too for many),it is also a once in a  lifetime ‘thing to do’, many people spend life savings on their trip (the die-hard- 15 day- trip- fans) and most importantly, people come with enormous expectations of how they imagine this experience to be. Also the heat, the huge crowds and the amount of walking are kinda similar to the pilgrimage experience. Anyhow, what I found most similar is the type of people we become under such situations. I saw the same two groups of people at Hajj and at Disney World. (more…)

Hajj Tips: Shaikhs, Shopping and Shifaa

Salaamz dear readers!

Hajj is a few weeks away!! How are you guys feeling? How’s your preparations coming along?

Though my following post is full of practical Hajj tips, I wanted to prepare you for something that I never read about during my research and wasn’t expecting. I’m going to assume we are kinda similar (there must be a reason you are reading my blog after all 🙂 ). Here goes:

Masjid al Nabawi

Masjid al Nabawi

Our Hajj trip was three weeks long, the first week was in Madinah, the second week was Hajj and the final week we spent in Mecca. From the moment I saw the aerial view of Madinah from the airplane (make sure you sit on the left side of the plane if you’re flying directly to Madinah; trust  me its breathtaking!), I started crying. I would seriously walk around the streets of Madinah crying .The current Masjid Al-Nabawi is the size of the city of Madinah during the Prophet PBUH’s time! I would wonder if the Prophet PBUH ever stood where I was standing, did he PBUH see the same mountains I was looking at? I was just in awe of everything, being in the city of the Prophet PBUH, the history and significance that existed everywhere. (more…)

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. (more…)

A billion (or so) Hajj Tips and Tricks

Congratulations!!! You have been blessed with the opportunity to visit the house of Allah the Most Loving, the Most Merciful, the Most Magnificent. I’m super excited for you and kinda jealous but in a Masha’Allah way. Insha’Allah this is going to be the most amazing experience of your life! May Allah SWT accept your Hajj and  make this a means of coming closer to Him. Ameen.

The Kabah

The Kabah

Allhumdullillah I had the opportunity to go for Hajj 3 years ago. I still can’t believe I went! Sometimes when I see pictures of the Ka’bah it literally takes my breath away. Something about that simple black box, so still and grand while surrounded by billions of lovers and worshipers clamoring all over it for attention and salvation.

It’s a juxtaposition of serenity and whirling commotion.

I still can’t believe I was there.

This year four of my cousins from around the globe will be going for Hajj Insha’Allah. Like most topics, I have way too much information to share than can be contained in a single conversation or post.

My plan Insha’Allah is to do a series of posts about the practical day-to-day side of Hajj. Like the title suggests- I have about a billion tips and tricks to share!  I’m going to assume your hajj group will be educating you on the spiritual aspect of Hajj, I will supplement a little on that aspect but mainly focus on the practical side of Hajj. (more…)