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Thread: Hajj process

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    Odan Ismail Simjee's Avatar
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    Hajj process

    HAJJ AND ITS PROCESS FOR AGENTS

    Hajj and Umra is the portfolio for the Ministry of Haj. The Minister of Haj, however, does not have similar status as the Minister of Interior (Prince Naif and third deputy to King Abdullah) or the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

    The above three ministries come together and, in conjunction with the Governor of Makkah and ministry of health, oversee the affairs pertinent to Umra and Haj.

    The Ministry of Interior:
    Has the remit for immigration, police including the Mutawa (civil/morality police), civil defence (fire department).

    The Foreign Affairs:
    Has the remit for all consular service overseas handling the pilgrims visas.

    Ministry of Health:
    Responsible for all health issues including serious illness, epidemic and hospitalisation. Manages field hospitals during haj for pilgrims.

    Governor of Makkah:
    Responsible, for Civic responsibilities such as health and safety, licensing of buildings, local logistics,
    And Policing.

    Haj Ministry:
    Primarily responsible for all religious affairs linked to pilgrimage and maintenance of Mina, Muzdalifa and Arafat sites and licensing of all transportation for pilgrims, licensing of internal and external agents for umra and haj visits.

    The Process:

    There are different processes for organising Haj licenses whereas the licensing for umra is uniform for pilgrims from all countries in the world including those from Saudi Arabia itself.

    The local Saudis and the expatriates domiciled there are allowed to perform one haj only every five years. They are not barred from performing umra whenever they like.

    The citizens of the GCC countries have far more relaxed rules on entering Saudi Arabia especially for umra but the rule on haj apply to them generally.

    For all Islamic Countries, there is a QUOTA determining how many Hujjajs can perform haj every year. The quota is on a formula based on the total muslim population. Indonesia and Turkey has the highest quota followed by Egypt and Pakistan.

    Each Islamic country has their own rules on granting haj visas. Generally a QURRA system is employed. Each country has appointed agents who handle the process as well as a government appointed quango who also handle the process. For example, in India, the bulk of the haj is handled by the Haj Committee of India.

    For countries that have insignificant muslim population the rules are applied differently and agents are not involved. A pilgrim approaches the local Saudi Embassy for the visa or contacts the nearest Saudi Embassy in another country for their visa. The West Indies is one example where pilgrims apply for their visa from Guyana or even Canada.

    For the western world such as UK , Europe, North America, Australia etc they have different rule for Haj.

    THE ESTABLISHMENT OF FIELD SERVICES FOR EUROPA AUSTRALIA AND TURKIYYA.
    Also known as Moassasa for Europa, America, Australia and Turkey.

    This is the Quango that manage hujjajs from UK and other countries stated above. There is also another quango called “United Agents”.

    United Agents:
    This is the organisation that directly manages all the pilgrims affairs which include the dedicated airport terminals, the organising of the camps in Mina and Arafah, the water supply in Mina, Muzdalifa and Arafah, the contracting of vehicles for all logistics and the finance involved including payments to the Mutawwif for their services.

    WHAT IS INVOLVED:

    There is a quota for all of us. Not all countries in Europe or Canada fill their quota so there is some flexibility in the numbers permitted to perform haj from those countries.

    UK:

    The quota for UK is 21950 every year. In addition, some high profile industrialist and the Royal family have permission to “INVITE” hujjajs from wherever they wish to perform haj as their personal guests.

    That is an open ended permission which bypass the quota system. Generally, this permission is intended as a tool to strengthen the bond between Islam and new reverts or those reverts who are unable to raise sufficient fund to perform their haj.

    Needless to say that such flexibility is open to abuse and becomes a mean to generate money for those thus advantaged.

    Every year, on the year, the rules governing the flow of pilgrims is tightened and restriction put in place both for Umra and Haj trips.

    HAJ LICENSE:

    I will relate to UK only.

    All current licensed holders for Haj has had their license granted several years ago. No new license has been granted since then.

    The Ministry of Haj closely monitor the agents directly themselves and in-directly through the Moassasa’s offices.

    The Europa is further divided into individual countries and license is granted to qualifying Saudis to organise and administer it known as “MUTAWWIF”.

    THE MUTAWWIF: Used to be the good old Muallim but totally commercialised. I remember my hajj in 1961. We were received at the airport by the muallim who had personally visited us in our country (Myanmar) to solicit booking with him. He arranged our transfer from Jedda to Makka and kept us in his house for couple of days as his guest whilst letting us seek accommodation.



    The agent, from UK, must have the following to be registered for this year’s haj:

    Registration with Companies House.
    If his quota is less than 300 he must be ATOL registered.
    If his quota is above 300 he must have an IATA license.
    He must produce a CV showing how and why he is qualified to be a haj agent.
    He must produce a certificate from Inland Revenue showing he has paid his corporation tax.
    He must produce a letter from his licensed accountant certifying him as a tax payer and a registered company.
    He must produce a letter from his Bank showing he has a bank account.
    He must produce a bank statement proving his previous history of financial transactions.
    He must produce a letter authorising him as the main person responsible to organise a tour this year.

    He visits the Moassasa office opened from Mid Shaban till 15 Ramadan to complete his formalities. He presents all the above documents in original form and legalised translation of all of the papers.

    The legalisation process must involve:
    a) Verification by a solicitor/barrister registered with the law society.
    b) Legalisation by the UK Foreign Office.
    c) Verification by the British Chamber of Commerce
    d) Verification by the Arab Chamber of Commerce.
    e) Verification by the Saudi Consulate.

    The Moassasa, once satisfied by the documents issues a “Card Munazzam” to the agent.

    The agent than embarks on a round of bureaucracy in Saudi Arabia.

    He opens a temporary bank account and pays the cost for administration.
    He deposits a sum of money reflecting the number of pilgrims he is permitted to bring. SR50 each which is refundable AFTER pilgrims had returned back home and once the Moassasa is satisfied that the agent did not accrue any objections.
    He deposits a sum of money with the “Sundook” at the Moassasa office. SR22 per hujjaj he is allowed to bring and which is refundable AFTER pilgrims has returned back home. This ensures that any contingency assistance provided by the Moassasa is funded from this deposit.
    He pays an insurance fee per hujjaj in case any damage is done at the Mina or Arafat site by his pilgrim. This is non-refundable even if no damage is done.
    He pays a deposit to “Naqabah” office in Jeddah. Naqabah is the agent responsible for all transportation/logistics on behalf of United Agents. This deposit covers the transportation of pilgrims organised by the Mutawwif.


    He obtains receipts from everyone involved.

    The agent may start looking for appropriate accommodations in Makkah, Madinah and elsewhere
    ( eg.Aziziya) if he had not already done so earlier on in the year.

    Each building or hotel he engages must have the clearance certificate approved by fire department, the municipalities which licenses buildings or Ministry of Tourism which licenses the hotels.

    Each such units have their own booking arrangement. A building owner may require certain deposit in instalments as would a hotel upto 2 star. The booking would often be for the full duration of haj.
    Such units also allow the agent to prepare meals on site and feed his group. However, this is totally forbidden in Madina.

    A hotel from 2 star upward may negotiate the booking for specified periods or full duration of haj allowing the agent to subsequently “rent” it out to others to cover his cost. They may or may not allow on site preparation of meals

    A UK agent normally books the hotel within 15 Zul Qadda to 25 Zul Haj according to the package duration and itinerary in his plan.

    A 4 star hotel and upwards would specify the booking even more narrowly. The booking may be in blocks of days consisting 4 days, six days, 8 days and charge accordingly. The agents will not be allowed to prepare or feed his pilgrims except to “buy” that in from the hotel’s own restaurant. Hence, a UK agent may not offer any meal at all due to the cost involved or may offer only bed and breakfast or breakfast and one other meal known as half board. He has no choice in selecting the menu and pilgrims will consume whatever is on offer. Having said that all 5 star hotels have a wide variety of food to cater for all “universal” taste buds. This is where the popular “DAAL” is missed so much because it is never available and you have to head for the local Islamabad or Faisalabad restaurant if you are literally dying for it.

    Hence, groups like Al Hidaya and Travel Express etc has certain number of days in Makkah and shift you away thereafter.

    The agent returns back to Moassasa office when it re-opens after Ramadan armed with all finalised paperwork and accompanied by the owners or representatives of the accommodation he has booked.

    He makes a binding agreement for the dates of your itinerary and accommodation.

    The Moassasa then takes a 10% of the total hotel/building charge (refundable) from the owners of the accommodation of the total that he has taken from the UK agent. This is to cover any complaint or lack of promised service such as broken loos, no hot water, malfunctioning lifts etc . This, to me is tokenistic, as no action is ever taken against such building/hotel when such failure occurs.

    The agent is then directed to select a “Maktab” or “Mutawwif”. The Mutawwif will offer two types of Campsite to the agent.

    Camp A: A fee is to be paid depending on the level of service from this Mutawwif.
    a) VIP: You get a sofa bed or thick mattresses, pillow and a blanket to sleep on. This guarantees a space for every pilgrim.
    It also includes simple breakfast and two meals. The meals will be basic and you will have to queue for that. If you be late or last you may well go hungry as the meal is in short supply.
    It guarantees early transfer from Mina to Arafat only.
    Your camps are located furthest from the common toilet cushioning you against the noise and smell.
    b) Non-VIP: You get a simple mattress or sleeping bag and one meal in Arafat.

    Camp B: These are newly created site from the removal of mountains and are practically in
    Muzdalifa instead of Mina.
    Your group has NO Guarantee to be in one camp and may well be split. There is also
    extreme tight situation and some may not get any space inside the tent at all and may well
    have to sleep in the corridors or kitchens.
    Some other group, having arrived before you, would be squatting in your allocation and
    there is little, other than a fisticuff (remember you are in Ihram) in persuading them to
    leave. Yes, contrary to what you may expect, no authority would intervene, if you can find
    one that is, to get you a space in such camps. This would mean the likelihood of your group
    leader getting your wrath un-deservedly as, in the end, the service you get is what you paid
    or the result of an economy package.
    You will be the last to be moved to Arafah and the last to be moved to Muzdalifa.
    You will also not get a transport back to Makkah/Aziziya when haj is over on 12/13 Z Hajja.

    Once the Moassasa is satisfied he sends the papers to the Ministry of Haj in Rusaifa or Shisa. The MoH then prints the haj barcodes identifying the agent and his Moassasa.

    The agent receives his bar-codes a few days thereafter and returns back to UK. He then makes an appointment with the Consul at the Saudi Embassy where he takes all his papers, with photo copies, and receive any “wisdom” that the consul may feel obliged to impart to him.

    The agent is either allocated a new set of UserID and Password or allowed to use his previous one which is activated 24/48 hours after his “privileged encounter” with the consul.

    The agent may already have your passports with him or ask you to give them to him along with a completed haj visa application form and four photographs.

    The consulate no longer requires (they dropped that 3 years ago) that your confirmed airline tickets or your medical certificates be produced. So, PLEASE don’t send your medical certs to your agent even if he demands that from you. You will need to have them with you at the time of checking in for your flight for haj.

    The Visa Process:

    The agent prepares a list of his pilgrims with relevant data.

    He also selects two blank facing pages in your passport and adheres the haj bar-code on one corner and puts the visa form in there. The visa form only needs ONE photo.

    The agent uses one of your photo for recording it for the embassy by scanning, reducing its size to under 4kb and saving it in a folder he creates on his system

    The agent than accesses the www.visa.mofa.gov.sa using the allocated password and completes the data upload from your passport.

    He then attaches the scanned picture to this data page and sends it. The system than generates an “E Number” which is noted on the visa form and a page is printed off.

    The printout is attached to the visa form and submitted to the embassy. The embassy issues the haj visa after duly ascertaining that all requirements are met.

    The agent than sends out the passport back to you or keeps it for the seminar day, if he holds one, or gives it to you at the airport when you are flying out.

    ARRIVAL.

    Your agent cannot take you to Madina or Makkah outside of his undertaken dates. If you are flying solo, outside of the group, you cannot arrive BEFORE the expected date nor stay at an address not agreed by the Moassasa. If you do, your agent will be severely penalised.

    The arrival process at Madina airport is swift and before you can literally complete your missed salah the formality is over and you are outside the terminal !!!

    Not so in Jedda, I am afraid. The arrival process within the immigration, united agents, custom and haj draft can take a minimum of two hours if not more.

    It is best that you travel in group and stay in group at this point. Haj terminal is massive and you can easily be confused and get separated from your group.

    You will be escorted to a meeting place where your luggage would be waiting. Your group leader will collect your passports and leave you to sort out your coach for travel to Makkah or Madinah. Depending on the number in your group you may or may not get a bus early.

    Your passport will be taken by the united agent’s officials whilst you board the bus. There will be a wait for the UA officials to complete your bus paperwork. Your luggage will be handled by porters at the airport. If travelling solo you need to ensure where on the roof your bags are placed.

    Once ready, the UA Officials would do a body count and let the bus go. It will then take an hour and half to make to the pilgrim reception centre outside Makkah. Here your passports will be scrutinised again and can take upto an hour to complete before you continue with your journey. An escort will be assigned and he will guide your driver to your “Mutawwif’s” office in Makkah.

    Here, at the mutawwif’s office, your passport will be handed and kept. The mutawwif will issue you temporary ID cards in exchange for the passports and an arm band that you MUST wear at all times. Be careful not to lose it as it will be your pass into the Mina camps.

    You will be taken to your designated accommodation and your agent will than advise you on your rooms, location, hotel card and when or how to begin your umra.

    If you travel to Madina first, by bus, that will take upto 14 hours to complete with same process as for Makkah except that you will go direct to your accommodation from the pilgrim reception centre as there is no “Maktab” in Madina. There is just one common Europa office there for land arrives and one for by air arrives.





    TRANSFER TO MINA-ARAFAT-MUZDALIFA-MINA-MAKKA

    On the 7th zul haj your agent will ask you to be ready for Mina by Asar time. Bear in mind that this is just tentative timing.

    The MoH does not allocate sufficient number of buses to the agents for the sake of traffic congestion and pollution. But that still remain the case.

    For a group of 150 pilgrims just one bus is given. That too, your agent has to go to the depot in Arafat to collect. Again, depending on the type of service he has agreed with the mutawwif, the bus will be given at appropriate time reflecting the service.

    Hence, no service mean you are the last. The bus will have to make the number of shuttles beween where you are located to your mina camps. If you are fortunate to be on the first bus you are first amongst your group into your tents. The last one can arrive as late as Asar time on 8th Zul Haj.

    If you have VIP service you will also get the first buses into Arafah. You will travel together as a group. If you are in no service you will get the buses after everyone else has gone. You can arrive in Arafah after Zohur so be prepared and not blame your agent.

    Likewise, after sunset, you will be transferred accordingly to Muzdalifa. Expect to get there past midnight.

    In the morning, there is everyone for him/herself as no orderly arrangement is possible for transfer from Muzdalifa to Mina. If you are fit, you are better off legging it. But leave Muzdalifa by 0830 you will as the crows start flying in thereafter there being no one to disturb their foraging of the goodies or mess left by fellow hujjajs !!!

    The stay in Mina, thereafter, and the trip to Makkah for Tawaf/Sai Ziarah will be entirely upto your agent and the type of package you got from him.

    On 12 Zul hajj buses will start rolling in around 2 pm imploring you to board them for transfer to Makkah again. Here too, you will be guided by your group leaders on the schedule. Again, on 13 Zul hajj buses will roll again by noon and come Asar time Mina is deserted like it never saw anyone before except the huge mess left behind by us “TAHARA” seeking Muslims.

    If you are to travel to Madina after haj, your agent will organise the transfer for 14 zul haj at the earliest. You cannot go to Madina before this date.

    If you are returning back home after haj, you can do so on 13 zul haj and thereafter as per arrangement made by your agent.

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    Re: Hajj process

    Mashallah another stirling job Br. Ismail.

    Can you also add in how the system for the tents in mina closer to the jamarat works and how a operator gets them?

    My second questions is with regards to the 21950 allocation for the UK, how is this split between groups? Who decides how many people each group can take? What happens if in 2009 a group took 100 people but in 2010 they want to take 200 people?

    Finally, what's the deal with having to leave Madinah by the 5th Dhul Hijah. What's the reason for this?

    Last edited by islam_4eva; 25-08-10 at 02:32 PM.

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    Odan Ismail Simjee's Avatar
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    Re: Hajj process

    Jazakallah Khair Brother. I am sorry it is so long winded but that is as succinct as I could get to squeeze in all the relevant info and still end up missing the bits you are asking.

    The tents near the Jamaraat Bridge are of two types: The absolutely exclusive and the private. The totally exclusive is under the management of Europa. In there are allocated spaces for Al Hidaya, Afta, Nabil, Sharif Enterprise and Educational Haj. This is a highly privilaged site although the facility there is no different from any other camps. The agents negotiate their site renewal annualy and there is no guarantee that they will get renewed. One reason why Al Hidaya were so reluctant to guarantee the camps. Those who have the site are regarded as "permanent" and because the space remain the same size no new allocation can be made to new applicants. It is a highly expensive site and can cost upto SR3000 just for the space alone with other facilities costing more such as bringing your own food, installing food tents and installing private WCs.

    The other private camps are those that are either facing the Jamaraat approach or a few tents inside thereafter. Here, Europa has two campsites #71 and #72. This is allocated to agents who is able to pay high premiums. There are no special facilities in there. You get the space depending on how polished you are and how willing you are to afford whatever is thrown at you officially or under the table. Simple as that. The beauty of these sites are being close to Jamaraat and nothing more.
    In my days of operation I engaged the exclusive site because of the annual fatalities on the bridge. I would be close enough to know when it was safe to allow my pilgrims to do the Rami and back. With the hazard of stampede now removed in total there is no particular reason why we should be in these camps instead of being at Europa, other than to save the mile and quarter trek each way for two days !!!!!!!!!

    The allocation of quota originates back to those days when there was no bar code system or quota per say. The MoH concluded that the agents group size determined his quota. So whoever took 450 or more got 450. Whoever took 50 got 50 and so on. And the year before this system was implemented, those agents who had organised the haj were granted the allocation and those who used to take groups but did not do so that year lost out completely.

    Over the years, since its introduction, group size narrowed with extreme rare case of increment. The reduction in group size was the result of penalty for failing to utilise the full group quota. If an agent is in position to know what his capacity is for this year ( for example if his allocation is 300) and can fill up to 200, he has to go to the Moassasa and to MoH and give the reason for that. If his presentation is acceptable he would be allowed, for that year only, to "freeze" his quota by 100 but will be warned that the reduced size will crystallise for the following year's quota. Hence, the answer to your question that someone takes 100 in 2009 and want to take 200, can do so only if he has 200 in quota in the first place and allowed to freeze.
    This is why the barcodes are premium. Agents who are licensed often "offload" if they are unable to conduct a tour to their full capacity and these are bought by those agent who had lost their license (like me) or those who aspire to organise haj but dont have the quota.
    Lastly, the "leave Madina by 5 Z Hajj" has always been the law except no one paid any attention to it and forcing the MoH to crack down with the threat to blacklist. It is designed to avoid a stampede into Makkah on the second last and the last day before Mina especially as the whole of GCC and Saudi Arabians also head for Makkah creating headache for those managing the highways.
    Last edited by Ismail Simjee; 25-08-10 at 03:33 PM.

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    Re: Hajj process

    jazakhallahu khair brother ismail for that detailed account.

    I have a few questions re. the process of going to mina to start the hajj. if your accomodation is based in aziziyah am i right in assuming you will be able to get to mina quicker? If that is the case how long does it take from aziziyah to mina by coach when the hajj is about to start?

    Also you mentioned if you're fit enough to go by foot from muzdalifah back to mina. Is it easy to find your tent once again or can one easily get lost considering the large crowds? I would like to walk as much as possible because i have been told about the hours it can take on the coaches to move a few miles. But also i don't want to be separated from the rest of the group.

    I have a couple more questions but i don't want to bombard you with them now.

    Abu Maryam

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    Odan Ismail Simjee's Avatar
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    Re: Hajj process

    I strongly advise everyone, if not instructed by your group leaders, to take note of the location of your camps. It is not sufficient to rely on your "Maktab" or Mutawwif number which may be 41, 42 etc. You make special note of the number on the big post. This posts are colour coded to identify particular country/continent etc. The number is in English and Arabic and may be, for example 37/102 or similar.
    This is extremely important for everyone as it is the only mean to locate your mutawwif's campsite.

    See the link below.


    Type in Mina, saudi arabia and click satellite.

    If you are able to access the link above and expand the image you will see Mina in white background. Scrollto your left and up until you see the beginning of Haj Street. A little further top right is Jabal Noor. If you scroll to your right and towards the bottom you will see Aziziya street ending into Muzdalifa.

    This illustrates the length of Aziziya,

    You will aslo note the Haram towards bottom left. If you move on an angle from the haram towards Aziziya, as if the forward stroke /, you will meet with Jamaraat bridge.

    Towards right and north of Jamaraat are the Europa campsites which ends into Muzdalifa.

    This indicate the beginning of Mina with Jamaraat bridge and ending into Muzdalifa towards your right.

    So Mina starts midway of Aziziya and runs parallel whilst Aziziya runs parallel to Makkah.

    You can now see the difficulty I have to answer your question. But I will try.

    Your chance of getting to Jamaraat and into Europa is far better if you are staying at the bottom part of Jamaraat that merge into Aziziya. This area is called Sisa and you can make it to your camps in about half hour of normal pace of your walk if there is not a big or slow moving crowd. If there is slow moving crowd than your time may double.
    You can also reach Haram in around half hour from this spot.

    If, however, you are at the south (jabal noor end) than you will be walking a lot and may well take you around two hours to make to your camp and around an hour at least to make it to haram. If your stay is in north (Muzdalifa end), you can make it to your camp, using King Abdul Aziz Road and tunnels, in half an hour but would take a lot to walk to the haram.

    Walking to your camps from Muzdalifa can be done in two ways. The first one is to stay with your group in Muzdalifa and spend the night there. Just before Fajar begins, walk to the edge of Muzdalifa and Mina border. You cannot go wrong as that is just in one direction, towards the south and you can clearly see the buildings in Mina from Muzdalifa. You wait here until sun-rise before you move as the Mansik of Haj requires your stay in Muzdalifa until sun-rise. You start walking towards Mina and not take any turning into the right until you have passed by the big field service hospital to your right. You are about to enter the Europa site which begins the camps for Turkiyya. You continue forward and take the right turn at a junction one continuing towards jamaraat and the other to the camps.

    You may come across large mapsite/boards. You can compare your noted camp number with the map and continue from there. The trek may be about a mile and a half from the starting point of Muzdalifa to your camps or more.

    The second method is not to enter your group's site in Muzdalifa when alighting from the bus that brought you from Arafat. You simply continue walking towards the edge of Muzdalifa and find a spot to spend the night there. After sun-rise you follow what is stated above.

    InshaAllah, you will be OK as thousands will be legging it like you and hundreds of them would be heading to Europa.

    Now, what are your other questions?

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    Re: Hajj process

    I know this doesn't really concern pilgrims but it's just for information for myself really.....What's the journey of a UK passport once a pilgrim gets to Saudi ie. where are they stored etc?

    When I went for Hajj they were taken off us at the Hajj terminal and we didn't see them again until we were ready to fly back to the UK but I'm pretty sure they were in bags with the coach drivers on certain journeys we made.

    Do the Saudi authorities lose many passports during Hajj?!!
    Last edited by islam_4eva; 26-08-10 at 10:39 AM.

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    Re: Hajj process

    Quote Originally Posted by islam_4eva View Post
    I know this doesn't really concern pilgrims but it's just for information for myself really.....What's the journey of a UK passport once a pilgrim gets to Saudi ie. where are they stored etc?

    When I went for Hajj they were taken off us at the Hajj terminal and we didn't see them again until we were ready to fly back to the UK but I'm pretty sure they were in bags with the coach drivers on certain journeys we made.

    Do the Saudi authorities lose many passports during Hajj?!!
    Very good observation Brother. I always manage to miss something and pleased to see the missed point/s picked up by you and others.

    To start with lost passports.

    The journey to lost passport starts with the Saudi Consulate here in UK. On average they lose around 1% of the total lodged for umra visas alone.

    On my last haj tour that I organised they lost one passport from a total of 230 submitted so do your own arithmatic !!!

    On different haj tours, I organised, they lost one passport which was eventually found being used as a pack to support a wonky table of one of the office staff !!!!!!!

    On another occasion, the passport was there all the time but could not be located "electronically" (they could not be bothered to do a manual search) because they had translated the name in Arabic and used the surname as first name and vise versa. So, in the end with the intervention of the office supervisor and a SR50 note under the table to the staff, it was manually searched and found.

    On another occasion, the passport was made ready for the whole group and bagged beforehand. On the day of transfer to Madina, from Makka, during the final body count of the passengers in the bus, the staff separated the passport because it was Indian origin and the whole group were British !!! He forgot to lodge it back into the bag and we ended up in Madina 50 in the bus and 49 passports in the reception centre's office. Here is the crunch....the Indian pilgrim was classed as a "stowaway" and an illegal immigrant and they tried to take him into custody. I wont state what it did to his wife and children. The whole of my stay in Madina was devoted to running between the ministry, the Mutawwif office, phone calls to Makkah's mutawwif office and the Indian Embassy. Because the fool did not lodge it back on the system, they could not find the passport in Makkah office either.
    Long story that. And we, group leaders, get the blame and the accusation of being sloppy rogue con merchants!!! Could happen to Al Hidaya too this one.

    Yes, to answer your question...

    It is the Foreign Office's requirement that all travel documents are taken into custody by the Mutawwif unless a group is around 5000 pilgrims (Turkey/Egypt/Indonesia) and in which case the group retain the passports.

    So, the passports are in a bag travelling with you from Jeddah to makkah and retained by the particular mutawwif there. They travel with you on the bus in a bag to Madina and retained by the reception centre in Madina for around 48 hours and transferred to the Mutawwif for land routes. They again travel with you in a bag to Jedda airport and handed to the MoH officials who, after signing off the driver, hand the passport back to you.

    This question raises an important point for pilgrims travelling solo.

    You will have to organise your own transfer to Makkah/Madinah from jedda. Being solo, you may well travel with a mixture of other nationalities (in which case there is nightmare) and the reception centre can easily mis-direct your passport to other Mutawwif of the bulk of that group (eg, Nigeria) and you will be found in Makkah without a "patron angel" or Mutawwif. You are in deep trouble then because you will not have a clue nor your group leader as to whose group your passport is kept and which mutawwif's office. Your group leader probably would go to the Haram, stand in front of the Kaba and make an Oath never ever to allow solo pilgrims in his group again.
    If, howver, you board the bus with one large group then your worry will be your luggage as that can easily be taken off by them!!! but your passport will still go to your dedicated mutawwif.

    Group leaders, spend their time in mutawwif offices organising the passports again producing lists for further travel to Madinah or Jeddah etc and getting the passports logged out and bagged in advance of the travel.

    So if you are flying and the rest of the groups are "driven overland" there is nightmare again to sort the passport out.
    If you fly to Madinah, your passport goes to Mutawwif for airline travel whereas the rest of the group's passports are with the mutawwif for overland travel. Another nightmare for your group leader.

    That is why shrewed or once bitten group leaders NEVER encourage solo travels. You now know why.
    Last edited by Ismail Simjee; 26-08-10 at 11:13 AM.

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    Re: Hajj process



    Please explain the Hajj draft and how it works for groups who user government coaches and those who use private coaches?

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    Re: Hajj process

    Awww another missed point !!!!!!! This is painful, knowing you Br Islam4Eva that is. :-(

    Everyone has to provide a haj draft to meet the cost of the campsites, transport, human resources, airport terminal support, payment to mutawwifs and water supply. This is in the remit of the "United Agents".

    This draft or drafts if there are two portions (means the same) is converted in barcoded stickers after you complete your arrival formality and emerge from the customs into the terminal.

    Each sticker (there are up to 6) is taken off by the officials (starting with United agents in Jedda airport or Madinah) as you progress with your logistics. However, if you use private means or fly between Jedda/Madina, then the stickers are not taken out unless otherwise by mistake.

    The amount of such payment vary according to your schedule. The highest payment is if you require to travel exclusively on GMCs instead of the buses between Jedda and Makkah or Jeddah and Madinah or Madinah and Makkah. This exclusive means is not supported by any group from UK.

    The second highest payment is if you travel to Makkah first and than travel to Madinah BEFORE haj and back to Makkah all by land.

    The third highest sum is if you travel to either Makkah or Madinah first and perform your haj and return back to UK.

    The least amount is if you simply go to Makkah and perform haj and return back home without a visit to Madina.

    Should your group organise private transport or you use the airline to travel between the cities ( does not include the Makkah-Mina-Arafat and back) than these stickers remain intact. Each sticker has its face value reflecting the type of use it is designed for.

    On your return back to UK you approach the Ministry of Haj's officials and ask for Naqaba desk. There you produce your passport and they will complete a form and ask you to sign. Then they will take the sticker/s out and issue you a voucher reflecting the value of the stickers taken out. You go to the bank located somewhere at the terminal and exchange the voucher for some "dosh" and you are :-)

    However, please remember a very important point. This haj draft is part of your package cost and actually belong to your group leader. hence, any refund is his and not yours. He is the one who paid for your private transportation and redeems a portion of the cost from these stickers. remember also that the private transport cost almost double the moassas's transportation.

    The only portion of that refund may belong to you if you yourself paid for the airline transfer between Jedda and Madina.

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    Re: Hajj process

    Thank you brother ismail for answering my questions.

    My other questions relate to the facilities available at mina & arafat. Are the toilets in a decent state ie are they cleaned regularly or just left messy? do you have to queue a long time to use them? Are shower facilities available at mina?

    What sort of facilities are available at muzdalifah considering the stay there is short?

    Jazakhallahu khair

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    Re: Hajj process

    These are public W/C cubicles. There are around 8 to 12 in a row on both sides. They serve as a squatting type loo and a shower is above. They are usually in order when you first arrive in Mina but soon, thereafter, it is anything. The hoses come off; the shower head is broken, the door hinges fall loose and the door bolt go missing. There are no cleaners, per sey, for dedicated toilet cleaning but there are cleaners around the camps if you can find one. At the end of the row there is one commode designed for western type but it is without a seat.
    Queues forms generally around salah times and the longest queues are during fajar times. So, you have to manage your digestive system and the need to answer the call of nature accordingly to avoid long queues.

    Same in Muzdalifa and, because of the short stay, queues tend to be over 50 deep for each cubicle.

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    Re: Hajj process

    Br. Ismail,

    Most groups seem to take care of the qurbani for you but what's the deal with qurbani if a person wanted to go to the slaughter house themselves? Is this even possible?

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    Re: Hajj process

    Quote Originally Posted by islam_4eva View Post
    Br. Ismail,

    Most groups seem to take care of the qurbani for you but what's the deal with qurbani if a person wanted to go to the slaughter house themselves? Is this even possible?
    Since writing that article, thanks to your request, I have found some further points that hujjajs should understand clearly and qurbani is one of them.

    I wonder whether to continue here or start another new thread?

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    Re: Hajj process

    Last year when I went there was place behind safa and marwa, but there were like 100 people with 20 containers each so it would mean waiting the whole night to get the water. How does one fill up their zam zam containers during Hajj time? Is there a special place one can go?

    Also are there barbers in Mina to get your head shaved? Does one have take their own blades, is it hygienic?

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    Icon12 Re: Hajj process

    Last Year, I brought my own razor blades and carried it in a small pouch. [thats ust me I guess]

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    Re: Hajj process

    Quote Originally Posted by Ismail Simjee View Post
    Since writing that article, thanks to your request, I have found some further points that hujjajs should understand clearly and qurbani is one of them.

    I wonder whether to continue here or start another new thread?
    Keep it here as it will make it easier to refer back to this one post for future use.

    Jazakallah Khair for your efforts in writing these explanations.

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    Re: Hajj process

    Quote Originally Posted by rockinter View Post
    Last year when I went there was place behind safa and marwa, but there were like 100 people with 20 containers each so it would mean waiting the whole night to get the water. How does one fill up their zam zam containers during Hajj time? Is there a special place one can go?

    Also are there barbers in Mina to get your head shaved? Does one have take their own blades, is it hygienic?
    Take a taxi to their Kudai pumping centre.

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    Re: Hajj process

    Quote Originally Posted by Hajj2009 View Post
    Last Year, I brought my own razor blades and carried it in a small pouch. [thats ust me I guess]
    I suggest an electric razor instead as there are no barbers around the Europa camps. There are licensed barbers around the Jamaraat bridge though but the way the pilgrims get treated is akin to sheeps being shaven by farmers for their wool.

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    Re: Hajj process

    Quote Originally Posted by islam_4eva View Post
    Keep it here as it will make it easier to refer back to this one post for future use.

    Jazakallah Khair for your efforts in writing these explanations.
    QURBANI.

    More and more haj agents are declining the Qurbani for the simple reason that this issue has become notorious, perhaps, on similar basis as who is an honest haj operator and who is a rogue?

    I personally had the experience of being closely questioned by a very few hujjaj on their qurbani whilst the large majority were content with my assurance that it will be, is being, and is done etc.

    Horrorrified hujjajs return back from their haj and pour out their terrible experience and that does have some effect in influencing future hujjajs. Hence, because of suspicions and doubts over the qurbani some agents refuse to do it, period.

    If you have selected reputable operators then I ask you to put your trust about not only your qurbani but the whole of the tour into their hands and leave to Allah-Azza wa Jal- to be The Witness.

    This is what you can do for the Qurbani:

    a) If it is included in your tour and you want to ensure it is done then say so to the group leader from the time you book with him that you will accompany him to the place he goes to do the sacrifices. A credible agent will readily agree. Be prepared, however, to walk long distances to the other end of Makkah. I used the Nuzza area's market which is at least 7 miles from Mina.

    b) If it is not included in the package then you have two options:

    1. Buy a voucher from vendors whose stalls are around the Haram or go to the bank under Hilton Towers and pay for your qurbani.
    Beware, though, that the ticket number will have an "approximate" time printed for the sacrifice and it may be that you may take your ihram off without the qurbani being done by then. There is no guaranteed method to obtaining a precise timing as this method involves thousands of sacrifices being carried out in the slaughter houses sited around Mina. So, it is up to you to determine when to take the ihram off.

    2. Go to the slaughter house yourself.
    The nearest slaughter house to Europa is past the tunnels (the other direction to jamaraat). Go over and pay the qurbani charge. They will issue you a ticket. You cannot select the animal. You will be told to go to the site and look in through the windows and decide that one of the animal is yours and observe its slaughter while you make the niyya. If you wish to have the carcass then you will have to go to the other end and pick up the next available carcass in exchange for the voucher and carry it away, literally, on your shoulders. Alternatively, there will be people around who would take that for their own consumption(Wallah Alam) or may be sell them off. You should be in no position to judge that at all as your mission is over and you leave that matter in His Hands.
    If you know someone in Makkah then accompany him to markets, spattered around Makkah, and buy an animal from vendors. Take the animal to the abbottoir for slaughter and skinning. You will be charged for that. Dispense with the carcass as above.
    Never offer your animal to any man weilding a knife offering to slaughter it for you. They will simply kill the animal and throw it away to rot.

    More info, InshaAllah, on Haj soon.

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    Re: Hajj process

    Is the Kudai pumping station a proper place for filling zamzam water? I mean if i tell the taxi driver will he able to take me there?

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    Re: Hajj process

    A Makkah Taxi will know where it is. You have to distinguish between a Makkah Taxi and a Madinah or Jedda taxi by looking at their sign on the roof.

    The pumping station is dedicated one for extracting and despatching zamzam water to Madinah or for other larger users. Individuals are allowed to fill up their can.

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    Re: Hajj process

    asalamu alaikum

    Inshallah my aunt will be accompanying me for Hajj and she will need a wheel chair for the tawaf and sa'ee as she is in her sixties and suffers from certain physical ailments.

    My question is re. wheel chairs. I would rather have our own and push my aunt, are they easily available and how much do they cost? The other option is to use the guys in the haram but they seem to treat the umrah like a race. If i have to use them how much do they charge?

    Also we are expected to be in makkah on 3rd or 4th of November, will it still be very crowded 10 days before the hajj starts?

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    Re: Hajj process

    Quote Originally Posted by Hajj1431nshalla View Post
    asalamu alaikum

    Inshallah my aunt will be accompanying me for Hajj and she will need a wheel chair for the tawaf and sa'ee as she is in her sixties and suffers from certain physical ailments.

    My question is re. wheel chairs. I would rather have our own and push my aunt, are they easily available and how much do they cost? The other option is to use the guys in the haram but they seem to treat the umrah like a race. If i have to use them how much do they charge?

    Also we are expected to be in makkah on 3rd or 4th of November, will it still be very crowded 10 days before the hajj starts?
    OF WHEELCHAIRS AND BUSES - HAJJ PROCESS

    WHEELCHAIRS.

    Wheelchair users are advised to take their wheelchairs from UK ensuring that they are insured and that you also take with you robust locking chain and padlock. This is because of the real danger of theft.

    Likewise, if you have motorised chairs or scooters, take them with you with the above stated caveat. In addition, also ensure that you have the battery specifications and simple tools such as Allen key etc to attend to "first aid" of the chair if need be.

    Occasional users or those who are infirm but not using them are very likely to require the use of a wheelchair over there.

    There are no free to rent wheelchair facility in Madina unless you are staying in the top upmarket hotels and they have some in stock to let you borrow.

    In Makkah the scenario is like this:

    Unless you are very fit you can forget the idea of performing your tawaf in the mataaf area (ground floor) as the mataaf is never free from 1st Zul Haj until well after the hajj is over.

    Depending on the type of Hajj that you may be intending to perform you WILL be doing the Tawaaf minimum of three times and the Sai likewise. Given your motability in all likelihood you will be doing that upstairs or the roof or in the designated ring setaside for wheelchairs on the first floor if you are a wheelchair user. In all cases, excepting the mataaf, your seven rounds of one tawaaf would be at least 6 miles. Sai itself is just under 4 miles. So the completion of the tawaaf and sai would mean 10 miles.

    It is, therefore, essential that you weigh the situation in reference to your health and endurance and decide whether you would walk the length or choose the wheelchair.

    In addition, all UK hujjajs, excepting those in the private camps, would be walking to the jamaraat from their europa camps three times. Each return trip, if not ventured beyond the jamaraat (going to Aziziya or to haram) would equal to two and half miles. You will need to assess your fitness for walking or using the wheelchair again.

    1. Taking your own wheelchair from UK.
    If you do not use a wheelchair but require it given the above statement you have two choices:
    a) Buy a second hand wheelchair from any motability shops.
    b) Borrow it either from the social services of your local council or from the Red Cross.

    Both Red Cross and the Social Services may provide an easily collapsable/foldable wheelchair in return for a small payment or deposit.
    In both a) and b) instances, mark your wheelchair properly for identification and have that insured against damage or loss. Take a
    chain and padlock with you. The wheelchairs, you will be surprised to find out, develops a tendency to walk away if you are not physically
    sitting on it, so beware.

    2. Rely on the hotels you are staying in to let you borrow their wheelchair.
    This is like relying on the bus you are waiting for to come on time, literally. Dont count on it as such facility is in short supply. Besides, the hotels will
    not allow you to keep the wheelchair with you for the whole duration of stay nor allow you to take it to Mina.

    3. Buy a wheelchair when you arrive in Makkah or Madina.
    All local chemists (pharmacists) sell wheelchairs made in China. At Haj time they may be priced around SR500 = £90 ish. Given the cheapness of
    these ( in UK the cheapest wheelchair costs £500) reflects its quality and, if you use it daily, then it would not remain in shape by the time hajj is
    over and you are on your way back. Nevertheless, it is still good value and it is YOURS which matters most. All you need is someone to wheel you
    around and you look at your companion if one is travelling with you. Otherwise, you will need a "volunteer" to do that for you in return for a generous
    "hadiya" and full support if he is stopped by the police or haram authorities.

    4. Engage the local young lads with their own wheelchairs.
    This is possible only once you access the haram and nowehere else.
    These young lad, most of them are just income seekers whilst a few others may have proper authority to carry you around in their chair. If they are
    not authorised then be prepared to be dumped right in the middle of a tawaaf or a sai by a fast disappearing young man with his chair and your
    money !!!!!
    These lads may either agree to do the tawaaf or the sai or both. Their charges are very high and you may end up paying over £100 per tawaaf and
    sai.
    If you do agree their charge then never pay upfront unless the tawaaf is completed or the sai is completed or both. As stated above, they can
    easily tip you out of the chair and make off and there is nothing you can do about it. Be prepared to be wheeled around at a speed higher than
    allowed on our M1 or M6 and learn to recite your Dhikar as speedily.

    5. Borrow a motorised scooter or manual wheelchair from the haram authority.
    Possible only in Makka. You are not permitted to take them out of Haram. You have to leave a deposit before they lend you a chair. It is pot luck
    as to the quality of the chair you get as a majority of the chairs have had it by the time it is 1st Zul Haj !!!
    The wheelchair unit is on the first floor at Bab as Safa Gate area. You cannot miss it as there is a wooden bridge spanning that area.

    If you have your own wheelchair you will not be allowed entry into the ground floor during hajj. You will HAVE to go to the 1st floor or above. The access to the first floor is through ramps between Bab al Umra to Bab al Fatah, and from Marwa end from Gaza and through a ramp next to the Royal Palace andbetween Bak Malik Aziz gate and Safa.

    There are also lift access outside Bab as Safa gate.

    Be prepared for a lot of pushing/shoving and all forms of argy bargy because not only the wheelchair user behind you would try and cut you out of the queue or press you forward but other perfectly fit men/women would push you out of the way/queue and get into the lifts. These type of queue jumpers are usually Arabs who have no etiquettes or manners or regard for the infirm and disabled.

    When travelling from one point to another in the Muallim supplied buses, try to keep the wheelchair with you next to your seat on board if at all possible. If travelling in one group that should not be a problem. Otherwise your wheelchair will be manhandled onto the roof or into the luggage compartment and may well get damaged.

    BUSES.

    There are two types of government supplied buses.

    a) From airports to your destination and between Makkah and Madinah.
    These are cramped coaches with no facility for W/C on board. They have roof rea dedicated for luggage. If travelling in one group you need to ensure
    only that your luggage is/being loaded without being complacent about that or relying on your group leader to do so. Luggages has been known to
    walk away leaving you to look for emergency supply of change of clothing at best and your medication or other essential possessions at worst. Be
    warned.
    b) For transfer between Makkah/Mina/Arafat.
    These has absolutely no space for luggage. Hence, wheelchairs especially, has to be taken on board. The less you have the better it is for you and
    others.

    Buses are allocated to your group on 7th Zul hajj and the number of buses will reflect the size of your group. On average there is just one bus to be
    shared between 150 hujjajs and each bus can carry just 50 people.
    Your group leader has to travel to Arafah to collect the bus. Unless he is extremely popular with the officials there and has taken care of them he
    would be the first to get the bus and you may well be on your way to Mina by midnight.
    Otherwise, the buses start to roll by midnight. Much will depend on the skill and the persuasive ability of your group leader to manage his 150 hujjajs
    (assuming that to be the group size) for the transfers in an orderly manner with your active understanding, Sabar, and co-operation. Otherwise there
    is chaos and serious arguments and a likelihood of all 150 attempting to board this one bus as if there will be no tomorrow.
    Those who get to Mina first and getting their allocated camps tend to regard the space as their master bedroom and spread out. Unless there are pre-
    allocated sofa-beds or mattresses (which marks your space) you only get a space of your total physical width, period. And it is not your group leader
    who has been miserally in this tight space allocation but rather it is the mutawwif and the MoH.
    Your group leader is expected to use the one bus in shuttle basis transferring you all in three round trips. Be patient and remember that you are in
    Ihram and on your way to Mina to start the Haj process. Don't allow the Shaitan to sabotage your hajj as this is the start of his devious tactics to
    fragment and divide the hujjaj and pit them against their fellow hujjajs, group leaders and the authority.
    The luggage you need to carry is just simple. One towel, one pair of spare ihram, bottle of drinking water, toiletry and a change of clothing when
    coming out of ihram and an umbrella. Perhaps a sleeping bag or mat for muzdalifa.
    The transfer to Arafat will depend on what understanding the many groups from within that Maktab have agreed with their mutawwif. Normally it
    is on a lot drawn and whoever gets the lot in sequential order takes his group out on the shuttles. Likewise is the transfer from Arafah.
    If, however, there is no understanding, than again the Shaitan will have a field day. Hujajs will fill up the corridors and instead of reciting the Talbiyah
    will be using language no normal faithful muslim would resort to. Iron gates will get broken and officials controlling them would be abused or attacked
    and selfish group leaders, trying to impress their flock, would encourage them to get on the street and block traffic just to hijack the next bus and
    board.
    Same chaos will descend in Arafah in the evening and the next day in Muzdalifah.
    Twenty years now since I entered this work and never once have I or any other group leaders have ever left a single hujjaj behind in Mina, Arafah,
    Muzdalifa or at Mina on way back to Makkah. Yet the behaviour is nothing less than an anarchy by muslims against muslims.

    TAWAF/SAI ZEIRA

    Unless a group, in the private camps have made a pre-arrangement, no group to my knowledge have ever committed themselves to providing you
    with the transport from Makkah to Haram to complete these Manaseks. It is simply not possible to do so. Many encourage walking for those fit for
    doing so. Other group leaders would take their group to the main road and flag down passing mini buses, GMCs or even empty buses and barter a deal
    for the group and take them to Haram. This is the easy part. The difficult part is in bringing them back which is absolutely impossible and most of the
    hujjajs are left on their own to return back to their camps.

    HOW TO IDENTIFY YOUR CAMPSITE

    When you arrive at your camps in Mina, you are well advised to mark your tent number and the corridor number that the tent is located on. This is indicated on top of the door flap and at corner of intersecting corridors.

    The next important thing you MUST do is to go outside and look up at the pole in your camp. It is colour coded and have a set of number eg.,
    xxx/yyy. Each consequential pole has similar numbers in chronological order.

    So, your office may be Europa 43 A or B. Your pole number may be 141/225. This is the marking that will be used to identify the location of your particular maktab in Mina.
    Last edited by Ismail Simjee; 01-09-10 at 02:36 PM.

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    Re: Hajj process

    Jazakhallhu khair once again brother ismail for the detailed reply.

    I think maybe this thread should be a sticky as it provides valuable information for those intending to go on Hajj.

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    Re: Hajj process

    I've asked the moderator to make it a sticky.

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    Re: Hajj process

    People who have to do tawaf ziyarat themselves, are minibuses available 24 hours day from mina camp to Makkah? Also if you want to get back to mina from Makkah do you get the buses from the saptco bus stand next to hilton? And where would the bus drop you, would it be mina camp or jamarat?
    Also for people with elderly people what time would you recommend to go and do the rummy, so there is no rush?

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    Odan Ismail Simjee's Avatar
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    Re: Hajj process

    Private minis run around the clock but are at best "jalopys" that would badly fail our MOT if in UK.
    Saptco does run buses to Mina. Drop you well before jamaraat.
    Elderly are best advised to do the RAMI after dusk and into the night.

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    Re: Hajj process

    I just saw that last year there was heavy flooding. What precautions can hajjis take this year if it floods again?

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    Odan Ismail Simjee's Avatar
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    Re: Hajj process

    No, it was heavy downpour rather than flooding. There is nothing you can do as you are in Mina and the responsibility is of the ministry. Pilgrims suffered severe soaking in some camps whilst others were not affected.
    Our camps housing brothers escaped the damage but the sisters, next door, got soaking especially those nearer to the sides of the tents.

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    Odan Ismail Simjee's Avatar
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    Re: Hajj process

    Brother Ismail Simjee

    I am writing from Melbourne, Australia.

    This year my father, mother, wife and I plan to perform Hajj together, Inshallah. My mother, wife & I are living in Melbourne as permanent residents. My father lives in Bangladesh and does not have Australian residency. My father is taking a Hajj package from Bangladesh to obtain Hajj visa only and one package from Australia which will include transportation, hotel & Azizah/Shisha accommodation with meals, Mina and Arafat accommodation with meals and return ticket to Bangladesh. So that he can perform the Hajj together with us under our Melbourne agent’s service provider.

    >>>OK, cool. It will be challenging for your haj operator more than for you.

    My father’s passport will have a bar code representing his agent/Maktab of south Asian Moassasa whereas we will have Maktab belonging to the Australian establishment.

    >>>Yes, correct in your father's case but it will be for "muslims of Europa and Australia" rather than Australia.

    My Mother, wife and I will be meeting my father at Doha and then flying together to Jeddah.

    >>>Very wise decision.

    My father’s flight to Jeddah is 2 days before our Melbourne flight as a result my Mother, wife and I will be traveling to Jeddah from Melbourne 2 days earlier and no-one else from the Melbourne camp will be travelling with us. Our intent is that my father remains under our Maktab care once we arrive at Jeddah and the four of us plan to travel to Makkah together using shared bus transportation with pilgrims from other countries.

    >>>This is where the complications arise and the best way to overcome that is to arrive in Jeddah at more or less same time as the larger group from Australia.

    The difficulty cannot be averted due to regulations over there. Your passports, once processed by the immigration, will be required to be presented to the United Agent's officials BEFORE you collect your luggage and pass through Customs.

    The United Agents will place a colour coded sticker into the passports which would reflect the countries the holder originates/or a national of.

    I have the following questions concerning the Maktab passport ownership/ ID card issue/transportation in terms of the process involved:

    1. Can we transfer the Bangladesh represented Maktab control of my father to the Australian Maktab at the Jeddah airport? If yes, what process we will need to go through to transfer the Maktab ownership?



    >>>This is where the complication is. A group leader is in far better position to do that than an individual pilgrim. However, it is possible. You will need to take all your passports to the Ministry of Haj's office at the airport ONCE your arrival process is completed with the haj draft exchanged for the barcoded vouchers in your passports.

    You show the officials your booking vouchers from your agent in Australia and explain to them how your father has joined you and intend to remain with you as your dependant.

    The MoH will than issue you a printout after they agree to do the changeover from south asia to muslim europa and they will adhere the europa maktab number on everyone's passports.



    2. Can we take a private taxi/Microbus to travel to Makkah from Jeddah rather than travelling with the shared bus transportation to avoid long delay? If so, what process do we need to undertake to arrange one? Will there be a guide with us if we take a private taxi? Will the reception centre for Makkah deal with us if there is no guide with us?



    >>>Unless your group leader has made the necessary arrangement with "Adilla/Naqaba" in Jedda when he has gone there to register his group this year for you to take a private transport, the answer is NO.



    You cannot arbitrally change the mode of transport and will HAVE to accept the general logistics on offer at the airport.



    The added difficulty is the number of passengers with you being just four and the buses are for between 44 to 50 pilgrims.



    You may well be fortunate to board a bus with just one group occupying it meaning they will drop you off at your maktab first or second. However, if it is not just one group that you travel with but a large number of similar pilgrims than you had it. The bus will make multiple calls and stopovers until it drops you unless you are lucky to be dropped off first. You have no say in this.



    There is no such advantage as having "guides". Your guide is your group leader you travel with and you are NOT travelling with your group so no guide.



    3. Can we arrange a private taxi to travel to Madinah from Jeddah and what would it involve arranging one?



    >>>In short a BIG NO. Not allowed. You WILL have to accept the transport arranged by the United Agents at Jedda haj terminal, period.



    4. What issues will we come across if we take shared bus transportation? Will there be a guide with us on the bus?

    >>> See answer in #2 above.

    In addition, as your group is arriving 2 days AFTER you do, your dedicated Maktab Office may not be pleased to see you arrive beforehand.

    You make sure you have the copies of the hotel booking documents with you as that will determine your housing requirement and answer the question as to what you are doing in KSA BEFORE your group has arrived.

    You will also need this as evidence to be shown to the hoteliers when you are sent there by the maktab office in Makkah once you are off-loaded from your bus and sent there in a taxi which you will have to pay.

    Your feedback on the above would be appreciated.

    I am sure you will not mind if I post this correspondence on the forum as it is a relevant bit for my "sticky" on Haj Process.

    Abu Hassan

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    Odan Ismail Simjee's Avatar
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    Re: Hajj process

    The above issue is not as simple as I have made it appear. This is because I have allowed the assumption that this family's request to MoH at Jedda airport "will" be accepted, hence the simplicity explained above.

    Matters can still get complicated for this family, and through them for their agent, should the pilgrim processing point at "Shumaisy" 5 miles before Makkah still separate the passports and divert the "father's Bangladeshi" passport to South Asia.

    In this case, this family will be taken to two different Maktabs, despite the MoH at KSA's Jedda airport approval to stay together under one Muslim Europa Establishment. This is common occurance as the the officials at Pilgrim Reception Points have their own agenda and often ignore the MoH.

    This family will still stay together and travel together but their agent will have nightmares and work cut out because of the bureaucracy involved in reconciling the Australians and the Bangladeshi passports throughout the internal movements including camp allocations whilst the family will not even notice any change.

    That is why I have written above, in my hajj process summary, that an agent, if he ever allows an individual to travel alone, will most likely go to The Kaba and make an Oath Never to do that again....:-) :-).

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    Senior Member obellal's Avatar
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    Re: Hajj process

    I was reading through this thread full of useful info when I was shocked to read this:

    Be prepared for a lot of pushing/shoving and all forms of argy bargy because not only the wheelchair user behind you would try and cut you out of the queue or press you forward but other perfectly fit men/women would push you out of the way/queue and get into the lifts. These type of queue jumpers are usually Arabs who have no etiquettes or manners or regard for the infirm and disabled.

    This is a racist and unIslamic statement. Plus it's not accurate. I have seen rude behaviour from people of different nationalities, even those who have a reputation to be polite.

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    Odan Ismail Simjee's Avatar
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    Re: Hajj process

    Quote Originally Posted by obellal View Post
    I have no intention to drag on this either, but let me make a correction and summarize my point of view.

    BTW, I'm not interested in theoretical definitions of racism and prejudice. Unfortunately racism exists within the Muslim community. That's something I never thought would exist among Muslims until I moved to the West. Every sincere Muslim should do something to fight this disease.

    I have not said that you were racist. I used my words carefully and said that you made a racist statement. There is a difference between the two. I sincerely do not believe that you are racist. It's hard to be a Muslim and racist at the same time. But the blanket statement you made and still insist on repeating about north african Arabs is racist and demeaning. When Abu Dharr insulted Bilal (may Allah be pleased with both of them) the Prophet (pbuh) told him: you are a man in whom there is jahiliyyah. He did not tell him: you are a jahilee; if you see the difference. Abu Dharr's reaction: he cried and asked the Prophet (pbuh) to supplicate for his forgiveness and went to intercept Bilal and put his cheek on the dirt and told him that he is not raising his head until he put his foot on it. He did not say: O Prophet of Allah, I am just calling a spade a spade! (I believe everybody knows the story, but we forget)... Well that's another generation with a completely different standard of morality...

    Political correctness? well, you chose to be politically correct when someone asked you specifically to comment on a particular Hajj agency and declined to comment. That was the right position in my opinion, even though there was a practical benefit in warning the brother from falling victim to a lousy service or even miss on his Hajj. But you decided to be "politically incorrect" and make a blanket derogatory remark about a whole ethnic group, even though there is no practical benefit in doing so in the context of the advice you were giving about the Hajj process. What are your readers supposed to do: go to Hajj and start looking out for those arrogant mean north african Arabs?! To the contrary, good advice to prospective hujjaj should promote compassion, brotherhood and love not division and prejudice.

    I believe that the misguided behaviour seen during the time of Hajj is not restricted to a particular ethnic group. It's related to the nature of the human being, not the "nature of the north african Arabs". My point is that attributing this behaviour to a particular group is nothing but prejudice, because you simply can't tell who is Arab and who is not. Your answer about the Berbers (in which you seem to be able to tell them apart!) actually proves this point because there is simply no way to distinguish a Berber from an Arab (unless you know the local dialects, and even if you do, most Berbers speak perfect Arabic). Even people from those regions can't tell just by the looks if someone is from their country.

    Now, I am going for Hajj and I need to go with a clean heart. I ask for your forgiveness if I offended you in any way. Allah knows that my intention is not to insult anyone but to correct something that I believe was not right, nothing more.

    Salam
    I am going for Haj too, InshaAllah, and for the sake of Allah-Azza wa Jal only - I readily forgive you.

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    Senior Member Sheroo's Avatar
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    Re: Hajj process

    Uncle Simjee and Brother Obellal (I think you're a brother?), perhaps you two might even meet each other and give each other a warm friendly hug?

    If I do encounter you (more chances of encountering Uncle Simjee as I have his Saudi mobile number), I will certainly do so.

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    Odan Ismail Simjee's Avatar
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    Re: Hajj process

    I have no hesitation to offer my contact number to Br Obellal and the opportunity to meet will be more likely if he is in the European camps InshaAllah.
    0500 454962.

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    Re: Hajj process

    Also brother Obellal forgive me also if i have upset you in any way.... inshallah i hope to see you and brother ismail on hajj next month.
    Have Sabr as this life is a big test...it is a prision for the believer and paradise for the unbelievers.....

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    Re: Hajj process

    Brothers Ismail, Sheroo and Al Noor, InshaAllah I will be in the American camp (I'm leaving this Friday), but I don't have a contact number yet. Will be nice if we meet inshaAllah, otherwise please keep me in your du'a, and I will do the same. May Allah bless you all, and may Allah accept our Hajj as a Hajj mabroor. Ameen.

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    Re: Hajj process

    Quote Originally Posted by Ismail Simjee View Post
    I am going for Haj too, InshaAllah, and for the sake of Allah-Azza wa Jal only -
    asSalaamu'alaykum,

    Please give us latest update. This topic is what makes me joined forums to collect usefull information like we have found here.
    I went to hajj in 1426H and saw the barcodes were read in passport checking in Jiddah. I thought it could make the checking process become slowlier even using advanced IT network.
    [B][color=green]022.027 "And proclaim the Pilgrimage among men: they will come to thee on foot and (mounted) on every kind of camel, lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain highways;"[/color]
    ~~~~~~~~~~~
    [URL="http://infohajji.wordpress.com"][COLOR=#006400]MarineLiner[/COLOR][/URL][/B]

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    Senior Member fahim kamran's Avatar
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    Re: Hajj process

    Before the 8th of Dhul-Hijjah, a person who wants to perform pilgrimage (Hajj) pronounces the intention to perform Umrah while approaching the Miqat. A second intention for the actual Hajj is pronounced at a later period. There are several rites to properly complete the Hajj and Umrah.

    The rites of Umrah and Hajj may include but are not limited to:
    Putting Ihram, performing supererogatory (Sunnah) prayers, making several types of Tawaf, reciting Talbiyah, doing Sa’ee between Safa and Marwah, trimming and/or cutting hair, praying and staying in Mina, praying and standing in Arafah, praying and staying in Muzdalifah, throwing pebbles in three Jamrahs, sacrificing an animal, praying behind Maqam Ibrahim, and drinking from the well of ZamZam.

    In the case of Hajj at-Tamattu, after completing the Umrah, the pilgrim trims his/her hair, showers, and changes into everyday clothes. These steps complete the Umrah portion. All restrictions of the Ihram are temporarily lifted. The pilgrim waits until the 8th of Dhul-Hijjah to start the rites of Hajj.

    On the 8th of Dhul-Hijjah, the pilgrim pronounces a new niyyah at the place to perform Hajj. There is no need to go to Miqat for this. The pilgrim changes into Ihram in the prescribed manner and proceeds to Mina soon after the Fajr Prayers.

    Proclaiming the Niyyah for Hajj
    All acts of worship are preceded by an appropriate proclamation of Niyyah.

    Niyyah for Hajj

    O Allah! I intend to perform Hajj. Make it easy for me and accept it from me. I make the niyyah for Hajj and enter into the state of Ihram for the sake of Allah alone, the Most High.

    Puting on Ihram After Fajr
    The distinctive garb of the male pilgrim worn during Hajj or Umrah. It consists of two pieces of white, un-sewn and plain cloth. One of the pieces is wrapped around the midriff to cover his body from just above his navel to his ankles, and the other is draped around his shoulders to cover the upper body. For ladies, their ordinary and unpretentious clothes of everyday wear constitute their Ihram.

    Praying 2 Rak'at Nafl At Miqat
    An imaginary boundary around Makkah. A prospective pilgrim cannot cross this boundary without first changing into Ihram. The pilgrim changes into Ihram at Miqat and pronounces the intention to perform Hajj or Umrah.

    The Miqat boundary is anchored by different townships and locations in different directions around the Kaabah. They are a-Thul-Halaifa in the North, b-Yalamlam in the South-East, c-That ' Irq in the North-East, d-al- Juhfah in the North-West, e-Qarn al-Manazil in the East. For people living inside the Miqat area permanently, their place of residence is their Miqat.

    Making Tawaf
    The devotional act of circumambulating (i.e. walking around) the Ka'bah while reciting prayers and supplications. One complete circuit around the Ka'bah constitutes a shawt (pl. ashwat), and seven ashwat complete one Tawaf.

    During Tawaf (circumambulating), the pilgrim cannot enter the Ka'bah nor stop anywhere around it. He/she must enter into and disappear from the crowd, getting drawn into the roaring river of people who are circumambulating. This is the collective invitation to whoever wants to come to this house. Everyone is dressed in one color and pattern. There is no distinction nor personal promotion: true totality and universality is demonstrated.

    Performing Sa'ee
    The devotional act of walking seven times between the knolls of Safa and Marwah. This act retraces the footsteps of Hajar, wife of Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh), during her desperate search for water for her infant son Ismail (pbuh) after they were left in the desert by Prophet Ibrahim in response to a Divine vision.

    Safa:
    A small knoll approximately 200 yards from the Ka'bah inside the Masjid Al-Haram
    Marwah:
    A small knoll (i.e., hillock) located approximately one hundred and fifty yards from the Ka'bah.

    Reciting Talbiya
    A devotional recital of the following words by the piligrim during Hajj and Umrah

    Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik. Labbaik La Sharika Laka Labbaik. Innal-Hamda, Wan-Ni'mata Laka wal-Mulk. La Sharika Lak.

    Here I am at Thy service O Lord, here I am, Here I am at Thy service and Thou hast no partner. Thine alone is all Praise and All Bounty, and Thine alone is the Sovereignty. Thou hast no partner.

    The Talbiyah is a prayer as well as an assertion of the pilgrim's conviction that he/she intends to perform Hajj only for the glory of Allah. The pilgrim starts the recital upon changing into the Ihram, and continues to recite it frequently throughout Hajj. Male pilgrims are required to recite the Talbiyah loudly whereas female pilgrims are required to recite it in low voice.

    Going to Mina
    The Pilgrim goes to Mina on the 8th of Thul-Hijjah anytime after Fajr prayer but before Zuhr.

    Mina is a desert location approximately three miles from Makkah where several Hajj rites are performed.

    Praying in Mina
    The pilgrim must perform the daily prayers in Mina starting with Zuhur Prayer.

    These rituals are part of the first day of Hajj, also known as the Day of Tarwiyah. The 4 Rak'ahs prayers must be shortened to 2 Rak'ahs but must not be combined together.

    Staying Overnight in Mina
    The pilgrim must stay overnight in Mina, perform the Fajr prayer and leave after sunrise on the 9th of Thul-Hijjah.

    Prayer upon Departing from Mina:

    O Allah! To You I turn, praying to approach Your Bounteous Countenance. Let my sins be forgiven and Hajj be acceptable, and have Mercy on me. Allow me not to be disappointed, for You have power over all things.
    Going to Arafah
    After leaving Mina, the pilgrim heads toward Arafah.

    Arafah is a desert location approximately nine miles from Makkah. Pilgrims don't have to get crowded on the Mount of Rahmah (Mountain of Mercy). They can stay in any place WITHIN the boundaries of Arafah.

    Prayer Upon Entering Arafah

    O Allah! Forgive my sins, help me repent to you, and grant me all that I beseech of You. Whenever I turn, let me see goodness. Allah be praised! All Praise is due to Allah! There is no deity except Allah! And Allah is The Most Great.

    Praying in Arafah
    After settling down in the tents at Arafah, the pilgrim offers the Zuhur and Asr prayers in qasr (shortened) and Jam' (combined) modes, that is, 2 rak'ats each prayer instead of 4 rak'ats, and the two prayers are offered at the same time, with one adhan and two separate Iqamahs, one each for Zuhur and Asr.

    Once in Arafah, the pilgrim should spend as much time in prayer and remembrance of Allah as possible. This is a very special day and the pilgrim may never see it again. Everyone must make the most of out it.

    No Nafl or any other prayers are performed, either before or after the obligatory prayers.

    Staying in Arafah
    The pilgrim stays in Arafah until sunset. It is recommended to spend the entire time reading the Quran, reciting the Talbiyah, offering supplications, and repenting to Allah.

    Standing in Arafah

    In the late afternoon just before sunset, the pilgrims may stand outside the tent facing the Qiblah, and raise their hands supplicating to Allah. There are no prescribed prayers for Wuquf (standing) Arafah. During these sacred moments, the pilgrim is alone with Allah, praying to have his/her sins and lifelong shortcomings get forgiven. Communication with Allah in any language is acceptable.

    Leaving to Muzdalifah
    After sunset, the pilgrim departs for Muzdalifah quietly, always reciting the Talbiyah and other prayers.

    Muzdalifah is a desert location approximately midway between Mina and Arafah. The pilgrim spends the night of the 10th of Thul-Hijjah here.

    Toilets and ablution facilities are available. Naturally, they are very crowded at all times. The pilgrims must be patient, courteous, and understanding to other fellow pilgrims.

    Offering Prayers in Muzdalifah
    The pilgrim offers Maghrib and Isha prayers combining them and shortening the Isha. Thus, after the adhan is called, three rak'ahs of Maghrib are offered following the usual iqamah. Another iqamah (but not adhan) is called and then two rak'ahs of Isha are offered.

    The pilgrim stays under the sky at Muzdalifah. No tents or other lodging facilities are available.

    Collecting Pebbles
    The pilgrim then walks to the foot of nearby hills, and collects about 70 pea-size pebbles for throwing.

    It is a good idea to collect additional pebbles to make up for accidental losses. The pebbles lying around the bathrooms facilities should not be collected. No one should leave Muzdalifah before Fajr without a legitimate excuse: only women, elderly, and weak people can leave after midnight.

    Completion of Second Day
    The pilgrim spends the night at Muzdalifah and offers Fajr there. Before sunrise, the pilgrim leaves for Mina on the morning of the 10th of Thul-Hijjah.

    After Fajr prayer, the pilgrim goes through the al-Mash'ar al-Haram and makes du'a until brightness of the sun is widespread. The pilgrim must speed up the walk when passing by the Muhasir valley.

    Going to Mina
    Due to the large crowd going to Mina, the pilgrim must remain calm, avoid pushing people, and must be respectful to others.

    Weak and sick people can appoint others to throw stones at the Jamrahs in Mina on behalf of them.

    Throwing Pebbles
    The pilgrim stones the Jamrat al-Kubra (Jamrat al-Aqabah) only, preferably before midday. Stoning the pillar symbolizes stoning the devil. the pebbles must touch the inside of the Jamrat's fence.

    The Jamrat al-Kubra is the closest to Makkah. While throwing the stones, the pilgrim recites Bismillah, Allah-u-Akbar with each pebble. The size of the pebbles should not be big: anywhere between 1-1.5 cm. The pilgrim may throw either from under the bridge or from over it.

    Sacrificing an Animal
    A sacrifice is now required for the pilgrim performing Hajj al-Tamattu or Hajj al-Qiran. The choice of the animal is either a sheep, or 1/7th of a cow or a camel shared with other people.

    For the pilgrim performing Hajj al-Ifrad, sacrificing the animal is recommended but not required.

    The pilgrim should always choose the best animal and avoid animals which don't look healthy or have defects. The pilgrim can slaughter him/herself or appoint someone to do it on his/her behalf.

    One third of the meat can be consumed, one third offered as a gift and one third distributed to the poor people. The sacrifice can be performed between the 10th and the 13th of Thul-Hijjah but not after the 13th.

    Cutting Hair
    The pilgrim may now shave/trim the hair, shower, and change into everyday clothes. The hair may be shaved or trimmed for men. It is recommended to start from the right side. For women, trimming only a finger tip's length is required.

    Sacrificing an animal, cutting hair, and performing Tawaf al-Ifadah are alternate rituals. There is no specific order to perform them. All ritual places must be kept clean.

    At this point in time, the regulations for Ihram no longer apply except that the pilgrim can not have conjugal relations with his/her spouse until after Tawaf al-Ifadah and Sa'ee. This is known as at-Tahalul al-Asghar, or a partial ending of the state of Ihram.

    Going to Makkah
    The pilgrim proceeds to al-Masjid al-Haram in Makkah for Tawaf al-Ifadah.

    The pilgrim has the option to postpone Tawaf al-Ifadah to a later time. Menstruating women should not make tawaf until their period stops. If the pilgrim selected Hajj Ifrad or Qiran and has already made Sa'ee with the first Tawaf (the visiting Tawaf), there is no need to make Sa'ee again.

    Performing Tawaf al-Ifadah
    The pilgrim performs the Tawaf al-Ifadah after taking off the Ihram and changing into everyday clothes and before returning to Mina for pebble throwing.

    Ihram, Idtiba and Ramal are not required in this Tawaf. However, Sa'ee is required of a Mutamatti, but is not required for Qarin or a Mufrid.

    Maqam Ibrahim
    The step-stone used by the Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh) during the original construction of the Ka'bah.

    The stone carries the imprints of his feet, and is housed in a glass enclosure on the North side of the Ka'bah.

    After completing the Tawaf, it is good to pray 2 rak'ahs behind Maqam Ibrahim, if possible.

    Prayer at Maqam Ibrahim

    O Allah! You know that which I keep secret and that which I disclose. Grant me Your pardon. You know my needs; grant me my wishes. You know that which is in my breast; forgive me my sins. O Allah! I seek from You a Faith that will saturate my heart, and a true conviction that will make me realize that naught can befall me except what You have decreed for me, and that I may find contentment in whatever You have given me. You are my patron in this world and the Hereafter. Allow me to die in a state of Islam and to be counted among the righteous. O Allah! On this occasion of our presence in this place, let not any of our sins go unforgiven, nor any of our worries undispelled, nor any of our needs unfulfilled or unfacilitated by You. And let all our tasks be made easy, and our minds relieved, and our hearts illuminated and our actions judged as pious. O Allah! Allow us to die as Muslims and to join the ranks of the virtuous without any distress. Amen, O Lord of the Universe.

    Drinking from Zamzam
    After completing the prayer at Maqam Ibrahim, the pilgrim may visit the Zamzam area and drink from the water.

    Prayer at ZamZam

    O Allah! I seek from You profitable knowledge and bounteous sustenance and a cure from all ailments through Your Mercy, O Most Merciful of the mercifuls!

    Performing Sa'ee
    Saee needs to be performed again, this time for hajj.



    Returning to Mina
    The pilgrim returns to Mina and stays there until the 12th or 13th of Thul-Hijjah for throwing the pebbles.

    Performing Prayers in Mina
    Back in Mina, the pilgrim performs all of the daily prayers, shortening the 4 Rak'ats prayers to 2 Rak'ats, but without combinig them.

    The minimum stay in Mina should exceed most of the night. Otherwise, the pilgrim is required to make a sacrifice. This is one of the best opportunities to acquire knowledge from the scholars on duty.

    Stoning the Jamrahs
    The pilgrim stones the The first Jamrah, then the Middle, and finally the Big one in the same consecutive order, after midday on all three days.

    Throwing on the 13th of Thul-Hijjah is optional. The pilgrim may return to Makkah after throwing pebbles on the 12th of Thul-Hijjah to perform Tawaf al-Wada (farewell circumambulation).

    Staying in Mina
    The pilgrim should stay in Mina minimum from Fajr until Midnight.

    Extending the Stay
    For the pilgrims who intend to stay only two days, they must leave before Maghrib.



    Stoning the Jamrahs
    On the 12th of Thul-Hijjah, the same procedures as the 11th take place. The pilgrim stones the The first Jamrah, then the Middle, and finally the Big one in the same consecutive order, after midday on all three days.

    Throwing on the 13th of Thul-Hijjah is optional. The pilgrim may return to Makkah after throwing pebbles on the 12th of Thul-Hijjah to perform Tawaf al-Wada (farewell circumambulation).

    Returning to Makkah
    Pilgrims return to Makkah before Maghrib time after completing the stoning to perform Tawaf al-Wada.

    At this point, the crowd is very large and pilgrims should not push, but instead be courteous and offer help to those who need it.

    Tawaf al-Wada
    This is the farewell Tawaf that a pilgrim performs just before leaving Makkah for other destinations. It is the same as other Tawaf, going in 7 circuits, starting from the black stone line. After completing the Tawaf, it is good but not required to pray 2 Rak'ahs behind Maqam Ibrahim, or, if not possible, to pray any other 2 Rak'ahs facing the Kaabah.

    Though it is neither obligatory nor related to Hajj, it is recommended for a pilgrim to visit Prophet Muhammad's mosque in Madinah. This could be done before or after performing Hajj.

    Departing from Makkah
    This completes the Hajj journey. It is recommended to leave Makkah as soon as the pilgrim completes the pilgrimage. The pilgrim also asks Allah to accept the rituals and promises to abide by the divine commands.

    Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: "Whoever goes to Hajj without obscenity he or she will be forgiven as a new-born."

    Another Hadith states:

    "A Sound Hajj has no reward except Paradise".
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