Also known as Burma, this South-East Asian country, with a population of around 60 million individuals, with an incredibly small Shia minority of approximately 20,000, is an emerging hub for Islamic Education.
The time between the moment you decide to go to Hajj and the day you actually leave requires a lot of planning and preparation. There are visa applications, vaccinations, choosing the right group to go with, saving up and so many more things to get in order before you leave. However, Hajj preparation requires a lot more than just these logistical steps. It is testing on physical, emotional and spiritual levels.
Hajj requires a lot of physical stamina! Although many people say they don’t feel the strain until afterwards, it’s advised that participants are in good physical shape and familiar with regular exercise. Some people recommend going for long walks or jogs prior to the trip so your body is conditioned to the physical aspects of Hajj.
Hajj is a time of self-reflection and purification and can be fairly emotionally draining for some. It is advised that people resolve conflicts and seek forgiveness from everyone before they go so they can begin the journey with no hard feelings or bad thoughts. People are encouraged to focus on their sole intentions for performing Hajj to ensure they reap the maximum benefits.
‘Take provisions with you for the journey, but the best of provisions is God-consciousness’ (2:197).
To ensure you get the most you can out of your Hajj journey, it is important to fully understand what you are about to do and what the significance of all the different steps is. There are many books, which goes into this in depth, which you can take with you and read as you go along. We have a large selection of such material on The WF Shop (link to lnk.wf/WFShopHajj). Most groups organised through jamaats & regional federations hold seminars and workshops to provide such information. It is also a good idea to ask religious leaders such as a resident alim, or by using our Ask An Alim service (link).
Although it is a unique experience for each individual, some people also say they found it helpful to talk to friends or family members who had been not long before. This allows for people to get a rough idea of what to expect from first hand sources.
What to Pack:
It is recommended that you pack lightly for your trip to make transportation easier but here are a few necessities you shouldn’t leave out:
Waist pouch – Always keep your money and other valuables close to you! It may be the Holiest place in the world but there are often people with less than pure intentions unfortunately.
Clothes suitable for heat – It’s hot almost all year round in Saudi Arabia so avoid clothes made from heavy fabrics and opt for more lightweight and free flowing clothes to keep you cool.
Snacks (granola bars, dates etc.) – Bus journeys are long and tiring so keep things with you that can give you an energy boost when you need it and keep you full for long, so you don’t need to carry masses of foods to keep you going.
Bottled Water – You don’t need to take this with you, since you can buy it anywhere there but it’s important to remember that this, and Zam Zam water, is the ONLY water you should be drinking! You don’t want to ruin your Hajj because you’ve eaten or drunk something that makes you ill.
Energy drinks – Some days are very hot, very tiring and very long so it’s important to stay hydrated and to keep your energy up. You can buy glucose powder or tablets to put into any drink to give you a boost during that mid afternoon slump.
For those of you who are unable to go this year, The World Federation are launching #MyHajj2015, which will feature one participant’s pictures, videos and diary entries. These will be featured on our website, with more regular updates on our Facebook (link), Twitter (link) & Instagram (link) pages! If you are going to Hajj and want to send in your reflections, however long or short you like, please do send them in to us at [email protected] and tag #MyHajj2015 in your pictures and videos on social media!
As part of The World Federation External Tableegh agenda in remote countries of the West, the department hosted a series of lectures during the month of Muharram 1441/2019 in Bosnia in order to generate interest and awareness in the lives of the 14 Masoomeens (as) and to eradicate doubts and discrepancies with regard to the Shia faith. Click here to read more.
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