The Hajj is the landmark event in a Muslim's life which requires great Spiritual, physical, mental and financial planning and preparation.
Firstly, a pilgrim must satisfy a number of conditions to qualify for the Hajj. They must be a sane, adult person who has their parents' permission. They must be be debt-free and ensure their family will be taken care of in Their absence.
Financially, Hajj expenses often spiral into the thousands and must be Acquired through legitimate means. All debts, loans and outstanding Financial obligations must be met and any family remaining back home must be Adequately provided for. One of the main prerequisites of the Hajj also Involves drawing up a will (Wasseeyat) before departure. This ensures that In the unfortunate event of death, clear instructions to distribute assets And property and provide for the bereaved have been made by the deceased.
Physically, the Hajj circuit demands a high level of physical activity and Stamina. Pilgrims walk great distances under the blazing Saudi sun in a Throbbing mass of humanity, hundreds and thousands of pilgrims trying to Perform the same rites in confined spaces and very hot conditions. A gradual Build-up programme a few months prior to the Hajj is recommended - walking And jogging about 20 minutes to 30 minutes three times a week.
Walking through the entrance to Makkah Mukarrama
Spiritually, pilgrims should increase their understanding of Islam before Setting out. They should spend time learning about Islam, the Hajj and be Informed about the divine requirements and symbolism of each rite. They Should memorise Hajj prayers and be able to understand their meaning. A Pilgrim should also understand and be able to speak basic Arabic.
A professional mutawwif might be on hand to guide the pilgrim through the Intricacies of the Hajj but being able to move swiftly around the circuit Equipped with one's own knowledge, may far outweigh the practicalities of Keeping up with a group guide or leader in the huge crowds.
Mentally, the pilgrim must be fit and exercise self-restraint and control in Exchanges with others. All differences and disagreements with others should Also be resolved before departure. The pilgrim should begin behaving in a Courteous and respectful manner at all times in preparation for their divine Appointment with other Muslim brothers and sisters.
Travel arrangements need to be made well in advance especially flights and Accommodation. Hajj visas are issued by the Saudi Arabian Embassy. The pilgrim also must obtain certain vaccinations to acquire a Hajj visa. In Inoculations are required for other illnesses such as typhoid fever, polio Pneumonia, diptheria, tetanus and malaria. Disease and illness spreadRapidly at the Hajj where hundreds of thousands of people move at all times In extremely close proximity. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia requires proof of
Inoculations and a round-trip ticket to home to ensure pilgrims don't linger
Female pilgrims must be accompanied by their husbands or a mahram (a male relative from their immediate family with whom sharia law forbids marriage). A woman over 45 years can travel with a group of pilgrims without a mahram if sponsored by a family within her group. For all pilgrims, regardless of gender, it is a duty for the Muslim pilgrim to be fully prepared to visit the House of God on the Hajj.
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