As we speak, pilgrims around the globe are probably neck-deep in preparation for Hajj 2019. For those who may not be aware, this daunting, yet eagerly anticipated fifth pillar of Islam is a time when Muslims from around the globe — who are able to, both physically and financially — descend upon the holiest cities in Islam, Mecca, and Madinah to perform acts of worship, to seek forgiveness and redemption, and to reconnect with their purpose in this world. It is said that this physically demanding pilgrimage is a chance to wipe one’s slate clean of sins and start afresh.
My own parents undertook Hajj back in 2007, and they often speak about the sense of unity they felt as they witnessed hordes of Muslims clad themselves in white cloth and shed worldly labels and divisions to come together in a herculean, five day ode to what Muslims consider to be a greater purpose.
So, what can you do to ensure that your Hajj is as smooth as possible? Well, for starters, you can make sure that you’re as prepared as you can be! And so, I reached out to my sagely, experienced parents to talk to them about the things they were glad they took, or things they wish they had taken, and luckily for you, we’ve listed them all out here! And so, ladies and gents, here’s a list of what you need to take with you to make your Hajj as smooth and comfortable as possible:
(Please note that most Hajj groups do provide basic necessities, but just to be prepared, it’s best to take your own sometimes.)
1. Light Luggage That You Can Carry Yourself
Keep it light, people!
2. Medicine for a Fever or Upset Stomach
You’re likely to come into contact with a lot of people, so best to be prepared.
3. A Nail Clipper
This one’s pretty self-explanatory and falls under the category of “always be prepared.”
4. Ointment and Bandages for Small Cuts
Life happens, even when you’re on Hajj.
5. Dettol or Some Form of Antiseptic Liquid
Keep those germs at bay!
6. Insect Repellant Cream
Nothing more annoying than an itchy bug. bite, mid-ibaadat.
7. Hand Sanitizer
Germ protection on the go.
8. Anti-Bacterial Wet Wipes to Clean Surfaces
Better safe than sick, am I right?
9. Hand Wash Soap
Most tours provide this, but why not go prepared?
10. Moisturizing Cream
Some worldly comforts are worth taking along.
11. A Small Torch
Again, best of be prepared!
12. An Umbrella
That Saudi heat will really get you, so pack that umbrella!
13. Loose Clothing
Again, the Saudi summer heat demands loose, comfortable clothing!
14. Comfortable Slippers
This one’s pretty self-explanatory, but comfort makes all the difference.
15. Ear Plugs
You’ll thank us for this one when your roommate starts to snore…
16. A Towel
Again, your tour may provide this, but it doesn’t hurt to cover your bases!
Blistering sun, meet sunglasses.
18. A Hat
Temperatures are slated to hit at least 40 degrees Celsius (104 degree Fahrenheit), so you won’t hate yourself for packing a hat of some sort.
19. A Thermos for Water
Every experienced a summer in the Middle East? Take my word for it: you’ll need some water.
20. A Book With Prayers or Write Down ALL Prayers
You see, one tends to forget even one’s deepest desires when in the moment.
21. Three Small Cloth Bags for Stones
One for each shaitaan!
22. A Small Cross-Body Bag/Backpack
This way, you don’t have to hold onto the items you need to carry with you.
23. A Light Sleeping Bag
A set of bed sheets are always provided, but to offer yourself added protection from the AC they may be running in your quarters, a light sleeping bag could come in handy for Mina and/or Arafat!