On Thursday, 14th September 2017, I had another opportunity to relive the journey I had enjoyed just less than a month before. My colleagues had teased me about how I was cheating and going on a second hajj in the same year LOL.Hajj; A Journey Of Lessons, Plus Tips Click To Tweet
In the school where I work, we always have the annual Hajj event which is a simulation of Hajj for the children. We try to help the children understand and feel every part of the hajj rites. It is always a spiritual rejuvenation for the adults as well. As I went with the children around the ‘kaabah’ memories flooded me and I yearned to go back to the House of Allah even though I had only just returned.
My Hajj last year was the most dramatic. I can’t explain it all. I had made dua last Ramadan to go on Hajj but it didn’t happen. This year I made the same dua. I was fixated on the idea of going with my ‘husband’ as my mahram. I prayed so hard to get married. Finally, at the end of Ramadan, I mentally ended the engagement I had thought would lead to marriage. It took a lot from me. But I let go of that fixation. I have a brother! Why must I only go with my husband which I didn’t have when I had a brother. This became the new line of my dua.
I knew I couldn’t afford it but I wanted to go anyway. I continued to make dua. I began to realise that it was something both my brother and I needed. I had mentioned this to my mum. I continued to make my dua and one day my mum called me that she thought we should go. My mum usually gets these intuitions, she calls it “Allah talking to her”. She had that moment and it was that we should go. We started making arrangements.
If you know anyone who went to Hajj last year with private organizers you will know it was the most chaotic. Visas were delayed, some people missed their flights and needed to get new tickets. It was very dramatic! The group my brother and I went with got visas in two batches. My brother didn’t get his until the night before our trip. We actually picked our passports and tickets at the airport!
May Allah bless my friend who had encouraged me to get the book ‘Getting the best out of Hajj’ by Abu Muneer Ismail Davids. This is the best thing that has happened to me! I can’t recommend this book enough. I wish I had read this book twice. He covered not only fiqh related issues but also regular issues. The best advice he gave which I tried to implement was to go with LOADS OF PATIENCE more than anything else.May Allah bless my friend who had encouraged me to get the book 'Getting the best out of Hajj' by Abu Muneer Ismail Davids. Click To Tweet
In addition to some things, I got from the book I will tell you other things I wish he had included in his book.
Take more of cash ($) don’t depend on your credit or debit cards! It so happened that I couldn’t make withdrawals with my Gtbank Naira card! I was stranded and had to borrow money from my family friend until it I was able to get money from another source. I wasn’t able to buy anything except dates in Madinah (we went there first).
Buy as much as you can in Madinah. It is definitely cheaper and the people are warmer and nicer. This isn’t to say you won’t get other things in Makkah. Makkah has more variety. Buy as much as you can in Madinah if you are going there first.
Buy your ajwa dates at Uhud that is where the battle of Uhud was fought. It is the only place with the cheapest dates! My mum gave me this information and it helped me.
For your unscented deodorant (for ihram) Bin Dawood has some nice ones at just R10. I had bought the expensive brand at The Body Shop but returned it when I found the Bin Dawood ones except you are really about names.
If Allah(S) has blessed you with wealth choose hotels very close to the Haram especially if you go during the summer like we did. My hotel was about 15/20mins walk, I didn’t mind the walk but when the sun is so hot, you want to conserve your energy for ibadah (definitely have a STRAW HAT if you go in the summer). Reminds me of what the Ameer of our group said during a lecture that was organised before our departure if you can’t spend the wealth Allah has given you to worship Him more, then what will you spend on?Buy your ajwa dates at Uhud Click To Tweet
Make sure you find out from your agent which tent you will be in Mina. If you can afford Tent A please go for it. There’s a whole lot of difference!
He mentioned this in his book but I will include it as a point of emphasis. Make sure you take all your medication with a doctor’s report if possible because there was so much talk about how you can get in trouble with some medications so I left my migraine medication behind. I needed it at Mina and ended up using Ibuprofen which I got from someone, it triggered my ulcer, I had to go to the clinic in the end. Take malaria medications with you. You must take TCP with you. You will thank me later. I didn’t come back with the usual hajj cough although I had a nasty cold.
Always take your little bag or anything you take with you to the Haraam everywhere you go. The day we arrived in Makkah, I had gone to the Haram with my roommates for the tawaf and sae. After both rites, I needed to use the restroom before Fajr so I left my bag with them, which turned out to be the biggest mistake! Upon my return I wasn’t allowed to go in through the door I had left. It was a few hours from my arrival after a very long journey from Madinah so I hadn’t noted the numbers of the doors. The only thing that saved me was my green wristband (the one given on arrival at Makkah). Even at that I walked and walked and walked.Always take your little bag or anything you take with you to the Haraam everywhere you go. Click To Tweet
My walk was longer than the total of my tawaf and sae combined or at least that was how it felt in my legs! I thought my legs would give way. Some policemen were nice and helpful and some were not. After missing my way a number of times I finally got back to my hotel. I collapsed on my bed and slept. If I had had my bag which had the group ID that bore my hotel information or the hotel’s card, I would have saved myself all the stress.
To end this, I will emphasise again what Brother Ismail emphasised in his book ‘go with loads of patience and constantly remind yourself you have come to serve Allah alone.’ Don’t let people get to you. Alhamdulillah, I continued to remind myself of his words whenever there was a difficulty or someone tried to get me upset and it helped me tremendously. Even when people offended me I thanked them politely. As human beings, we are all work in progress and must continue to strive.'Go with loads of patience and constantly remind yourself you have come to serve Allah alone.' Don’t let people get to you. Click To Tweet
May Allah answer the duas of those yearning to go, and those wanting to renew. It was truly a blessing to be called again. I cried one night so much during Maghrib while Sudais led the Sallah. I couldn’t believe I was right there in Makkah being led in salat by Sudais, something I only watched on TV. Alhamdulillah for the wonderful experience. May Allah accept the Hajj of those who have gone. Aameen.
Oyindamola Bamgbose is a Muslimah who describes herself as constantly struggling to battle her nafs and please Allah (S).
She is a trained lawyer who is currently teaching due to her very unique circumstances and she is trying to be very good at it. She is also a single mum of two children. She loves to swim (when she’s able to find an ideal one for Muslimahs) and travelling (whenever Allah provides the means for her). Her ultimate dream is to run a shelter for victims of domestic violence. Sometimes she tries to write but she’s usually unsure of herself. This is one of such attempts.