The Ultimate Hajj Checklist
Co-authored by Musa Bukhari
And proclaim that the people shall observe Hajj pilgrimage. They will come to you walking or riding on various exhausted (means of transportation). They will come from the farthest locations. (Quran 22:27)
For many Muslims around the world, performing Hajj is not an easy endeavour. This journey of a lifetime often requires years of patience, savings and effort just to arrive in the holy city of Makkah. But this perseverance makes the experience all the more special, inshallah.
Completing this pillar of faith brings immeasurable benefits. It offers spiritual cleansing and rejuvenation. It allows us to reflect on the history and significance of every rite, to strengthen our connection to Allah, and to refocus our goals and aspirations, for this life and the hereafter.
If you’re blessed enough to be going on Hajj this year, you’ll want to be able to focus fully on worship without worry or distraction. To help with this, we’ve compiled a checklist of items that will help to make sure that you’re prepared for each stage of Hajj, inshallah.
Ibn Umar reported that when the Messenger of Allah, (PBUH) would mount his camel for travel, he would exalt Allah three times and then say, “Glory to he who has made this subservient to us, for we have no power over it and to our Lord we shall return. O Allah, we ask you during this journey for righteousness, piety, and deeds which are pleasing to you. O Allah, make this journey easy for us and make the distance short for us. O Allah, you are our companion during the journey and the guardian of the family. O Allah, I seek refuge in you from the difficulty of travelling, ugly scenes, and an evil return to our property and family.”
When the Prophet returned, he would say these words and add to them, “We are those who return, those who repent, and those who worship and who praise our Lord.” (Muslim)
The Hajj Checklist:
1. Main suitcase - Your large suitcase can be kept in the aeroplane hold and should be big enough to contain the majority of what you need on Hajj.
2. Cabin bag - This can be carried with you onto the plane and is also useful for taking extra items when travelling to or from Medina/Makkah.
3. Luggage straps - Pick distinctive colours so your bags stand out. These are great for securing luggage and also for strapping bags and sleeping mats on to your backpack during the long hours walking.
4. Lightweight string gym bag - This will be useful for carrying prayer mats and water bottles to and from the holy masjids.
5. Water container - Choose a large refillable bottle. The Saudi climate is very hot and dry, and it’s essential to stay hydrated to avoid heatstroke.
6. A waist pouch - These lightweight belts are great for securely storing money and important identification and travel documents on you. Keep all your valuables safely within the zipped pouch.
7. Light, cool standard clothing - You’ll need ordinary clothes as well as two sets of your Ihram garments. Remember to choose appropriate items for the hot Saudi weather and local dress code.
8. Prayer mat - Although the insides of the masjids will be carpeted, they are also very crowded. If you bring your own prayer mat, you can pray outside on the marble surfaces. Thinner prayer mats are easier to carry, but thick ones offer more comfort.
9. Sleeping bag and sleeping mat - These will be used during the overnight stopover in Muzdalifah, and in some situations, to improve poor hotel provisions.
10. Sun hat, sunscreen and an umbrella - All of these items should be good quality and able to protect you from the sun’s rays. Hajj can be a very uncomfortable experience if you’re sunburned!
11. Both a face and a body towel
12. A hoodie or jumper for chilly nights
13. Ear plugs and a sleeping mask - These are essential for light sleepers, particularly when sharing spaces in Mina or Muzdalifah.
14. Good quality sandals - Ihram requirements mean that the top part of the feet must be exposed, and a back strap is also recommended to stop your foot slipping out. Some travellers also bring a pair of cheap flipflops specifically for visiting the toilets in hotels and in Mina.
15. Mobile phone, charger, adaptor and power bank - Plenty of locations on the Hajj journey won’t have power sockets where you can charge your phone, so a powerbank is a good idea. Most people use their phones as their alarm clock, so they can stay on a tight schedule and get the most out of their Hajj experience.
16. Unscented soap and shampoo - While in a state of Ihram, it is forbidden to use scented products.
17. Basic first aid equipment - This should include bandages, plasters, antiseptic cream, insect repellent, glucose tablets, painkillers and rehydration salts.
18. Vaseline - The long days of walking can cause chafing for both men and women. Vaseline will provide relief.
19. Hajj guide, du’a book and blank notebook - Your Hajj guide will ensure that you’re doing things correctly and the notebook will be especially useful for jotting down observations during the sacred journey. You will be glad you made notes when you get back home, as these will be beneficial to look over, reflect on your journey or even pass on to others who intend to go Hajj.
20. Money (local and home currency), identification and travel documents - It’s a good idea to make a couple of photocopies of your most valuable documents in case you lose them. A couple of passport-sized photographs are also useful for your group ID.
21. Emergency contact numbers – Including the numbers of your group leader, your country’s consulate, and your close companions on Hajj. Write these down on a piece of paper too, in case you lose your phone.
22. Sandwich bags / Carrier Bags - To carry snacks in Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah.
The Prophet (PBUH) said: “…an accepted Hajj brings no reward but Paradise.” (Bukhari).
We hope this Hajj checklist is of use to you, equipping you with the essentials needed for a spiritually uplifting journey. We pray that your Hajj experience goes smoothly and is full of benefits and beautiful blessings. May Allah accept the efforts of all our fellow pilgrims and return them to us sinless, smiling and content, may He fill their travels filled with ease and success and allow them to learn the lessons that will improve their iman, remembrance and devotion.