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Hajj 2018 1439ah

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  • #16
    Assalamu Alaikum Brothers and Sisters,

    My wife and I intend to go to Hajj in 2018 inshal'Allah and I've got a few questions I'm hoping someone would be kind enough to answer. I hoping this is the right thread for it.

    My first question is about stay in Azizah, Rusaifah or Shisha. I'm aware that shifting deals exist mainly to reduce the overall cost of the packages. But realistically speaking how many days I'm I expected to have to stay in the these Apartments? There seems to be a lot of variation in the length of stay in Azizah between different tour operator packages. It seems it can be anything between 4 days and 8 days in total (pre and post Hajj). I'm concerned that I'm away from the Haram Sharif for too long of a time which I want to avoid.

    I've been told by one tour operator that on a shifting deal we need to vacate the hotel near the Haram Sharif and transfer to Azizah by the 4th of Dhul Hajjah at the latest. Is that correct?

    Also, realistically how easy would it be to travel between Azizah, Rusaifah or Shisha and the Haram Sharif on a daily basis during the Hajj period in a taxi, if I chose to do so.

    I've got a few other question but I'll leave it here for now.

    Jzk in advance

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    • #17
      Wa Alaikum Salam WR.

      May Allah Accept your intention and Bless you with a trip of the lifetime and fulfill your duty..Aameen.

      There is no hard and fast answer to your question simply because shifting packages are organised by specific agents as per their comfort zone and financial budget.

      I can say that you will be required to spend minimum of 5 days physically at the location of your haj company be that Aziziya, Rusaifa or any other surrounding localities of Makka. Aziziya, itself, is vast and runs parallel to Makka from the north near Jabal Nur all the way down to Muzdalifa and you can be located anywhere in there. Similarly, Rusaifa is to the west of Makka and very large.

      Taxi to Haram will not be that difficult to get but will be expensive as the Haj and Ramadan period are the "earning" season for taxis. So bear in mind hefty cost of daily transfers and you definitely wont be able to commute for all 5 times congregational prayers.

      Its the return from Haram that will be most testing and costly for you because everyone, leaving haram, is seeking to hail a taxi and you could spend hours getting one.

      Sifting is, in majority of the case, offered by those organising 5 star tours. 5 star hotels are allocated in blocks of 2/4/6 or 8 days and the more your agent holds the higher the cost.

      I trust this answers your question.

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      • #18
        Jazāk Allāhu Khayran Br Ismail for your very quick response.

        It certainly has given me a clearer idea of what to expect if I was to choose a package which shifts me to Azizah. On a side note a few of the travel operator are trying to show the Azizah or Rusaifa apartment in a positive light in that we can have access to them during our Mina days (on the permissible times) and use the w/c or showers. Admittedly that would be quite helpful but from what I gather the distance between the Mina tents and the actual apartment could well be a good few miles and hence too far in practice. Am I right in thinking that?

        I did have another question if that's ok. I've read the "sticky" Hajj guide but I'm still a bit confused about the provision of the Mina tent / accommodation. I believe there are European Tents and VIP tents (and these are only for a select few travel agents and packages who pay high premiums). I've seen a lot of packages online where they advertise VIP tent but I'm a bit sceptical if they actually are given the exclusivity of them. Could it be that these "VIP" tents are actually European Tent but have a few extras e.g. Sofa Beds or extra air conditioning??

        I ask because I worry I'm going to have to grill every travel agents about every single aspect of their packages to get to the bottom of things; something which I don't look forward to!

        Again thank you and may Allah reward you for the all the support you provide to people like me

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        • #19
          Wa Iyyakum. If any of my contributions, on here, is helpful to those needing such guidance than I consider that as time well spent and hope for that effort to be accepted by Allah Azza wa Jal.

          You are raising right questions and your concern (at this juncture) is very understandable before that turns into worry. So ask questions until you are totally satisfied before you make commitment.

          I am in this umra and haj business to make a living. So do all other agents. Sadly, a majority of them are not transparent or sincere and will go to any length to tie a deal. Some of my fellow travel agents will tell lies without any fear of its ramifications. So, beware.

          There are, basically, four areas outside of Haram where pilgrims are accommodates in a shifting package. These are Azizia, Rusaifa, Dwara Kudai and Al Kakia and al jarwal and Nuzha.

          For the duration of stay in camps, Azizia is most convinient as long as the dwelling is anywhere in central aziziya or Shisha as you can physically walk over from the tents and spend time to relax, shower or eat etc and it is also convinient when going to Haram for tawaf and Sai of Ifada after haj whilst in mina camps.

          Other than that convinience, there is nothing else about these locations to write home about or send a "wish you were here card". Access to haram from Azizia, in particular, is most difficult as it involves using tunnels which are regularly closed to prevent congestion and contamination from vehicular fumes. Unless, of course, you leg it both ways.

          Other than three UK agents, all other Haj agents accommodate their pilgrims in Muslim Europa campsite which is roughly a mile and quarter away from jamaraat. The other three pay high premiums to secure camps in the privately available space next to jamaraat. The tents are uniform and common and so are the toilet facilities except the one provided by Al Hidaya of Birmingham who have exclusive mobile shower and loos and offer buffet style meal in the camps with waiter service. Hence the cost is high. These three agents will arrange your transfers to Arafah and back on thye al mashaer trains.

          The rest of us, from UK, are in muslim europa site which houses pilgrims from the whole of europe, North americas, Australia, New Zealand and the surrounding island countries as well as Turkey. The camps are air conditioned.

          All of us have to engage a muallim service also known as Mutawwif. Each mutawwif serves around 3500 to 6000 hujjajs. Each mutawwif, under muslim europa, offer different types of service and facility as follows:

          1) Simple space in the tent. You bring your own bedding. A basic space in Arafah. Mutawwif is not obliged to ensure evryone has some sleeping space. So you may not have a space under the cover of the tent.
          2) Sleeping bags in the tent only. 90% chance of sleeping space and basic space in Arafah.
          3) Sleeping space with meal in mina and arafah.
          4) Mattresses in mina with meal in mina and arafah.
          5) Sofabeds in mina with meal also in Arafah.
          6) VIP service 1 in mina with sofabeds, gypsom plasterboarded tents in mina with A/C in Arafah.
          7) VIP service in mina withy gypsom plasterboarded tents and extra A/C in Mina, full board with refreshments and A/C tents in Arafah with sofa beds.

          There you have it.

          I suggest you send me an email on this address giving the group's name you are interested in to book your haj and I will give you a reply in private InshaAllah. [email protected]

          Comment


          • #20
            Wa Alaikum Salam Brother Ismail,

            What can I say apart from Jazāk Allāhu Khayran for your very detailed reply which was way above and beyond my expectations. Again may Allah reward you for all your assistance

            Thanks to your insight I now have a much better understanding what to expect and questions to ask with regards to the stay in Mina and Arafat. I'm now clearer on what kind of package I would like and now its just the small matter of trying to find it!!

            Once I've found something that is suitable I'll be in touch on the address you've provided.

            I've personally never been to Umrah but have decided to complete my Fard obligation first and that's the reason for so many questions.

            I'm much obliged

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