“The pilgrims and those who are performing Umrah are the guest of Allah. If they ask HIM for something HE would respond, and if they ask HIM for forgiveness HE will forgive them.”
When travelling abroad we’re often faced with the dilemma of ‘What to pack?’. A less pressing question when you’re simply packing for a long weekend away, or a local holiday away. Personally, I pack the night before for a local trip, or sometimes post – fajr. Initially I was a rather heavy packer, I think I feared the possibility of not going without having something to wear more than my luggage going missing.
With time though, I learned the absurdity of this, and that clothes can be bought almost anywhere. Essentials needed to be given consideration before all else and with that I became a skilful packer (if that is even a thing).
According to transitionsabroad.com the measure of a good traveller is in how light he/she packs.
Haj, is a journey of a lifetime. Generally first time Hajee’s are concerned about whether they’ve either under/over packed and whether they have the necessities. I have pre-travel nightmares about not having packed something I presume essential so for those going for Haj or even intending to do here’s the basics of how and what you’ll need to pack.
1. Pack lightly
Any person who has been to Makkah and Madina before would be able to tell you that almost EVERYTHING that you will need can be purchased there.
Rick Steves, Author of ‘Pack light and travel happy’ says that when packing think in terms of what you can do without—not what will be handy on your trip. Don’t pack for the worse scenario. If you aren’t a light packer spread out everything you intend to take with on the floor and scrutinize the necessity of each item being packed.
2. Minimize your clothes
The bulk of our luggage is clothing. Shahjehan Naicker commented on the Cii facebook page saying that men should take a minimum of three kurta’s and three salaah pants.
Minimize by taking less and washing more often.
3. Spray bottle
With the amount of people performing Haj the bathrooms on route are often flooded and unclean. Sumayyah Mulla suggested keeping a spray bottle on hand saying that it was easier to use for ablution and istinjaa purposes.
It can be useful for cooling oneself down during the Haj making it multi-functional
4. Comfortable shoes
Haj involves a lot of walking. Though, unlike the comrades, it doesn’t require months’ worth of training prior to departure. Regular runners might be at an advantage but there are people who consider the word ‘exercise’ a profanity of sorts (I know of) who’ve performed the walking Haj without any complaint.
It’s a miracle in itself how regardless of their fitness levels, everyone seems to perform the obligatory act, sometimes without even knowing ‘how they did it.’
That said, it is important to ensure you have a proper walking shoe. Uncomfortable shoes would only make the walk unbearable. Saffiya Kapade suggested keeping a non-fragrant Vaseline on hand as the walking can cause your feet to become quite dry.
5. (Bags filled with) Sabr
Whilst there are bound to be some hiccups and difficult encounters along your journey it is important to reconnect with your intention on a regular basis. Remind yourself of the reason for your journey. As with every aspect in the life of a believer, we will be tested and our ability to withstand these hardships with patience will increase the degree of our reward.
“He who performs Hajj and does not commit any indecent acts and evil deeds, he will come back as clear of sins as if he had just been born.” [Bukhari & Muslim]