Educate Yourself on How to Performing Hajj & Umrah
If this is your first trip for Hajj or Umrah, educating yourself on the rituals and steps you must complete for your Hajj or Umrah to be valid is crucial. You can sign up for a course at an Islamic centre, organisation, or mosque where they walk you through how to correctly perform Hajj and Umrah. With the right education you can spiritually and mentally wire your mindset prior to your trip. In addition to the educational course, speak with family and friends who have already completed the pilgrimage to gain some practical insight on what to expect whilst you complete yours.
Double Check Your Menstrual Cycle
For many women, the expected date for menstruation may fall during the time of their Hajj or Umrah travels. Since Hajj can only be performed at a specific time of the year, some women may worry this will invalidate their Hajj or Umrah. If you are aware of your menstrual cycle, you can speak to your doctor who may then prescribe medication to delay your period for a number of days until you are ready to resume your cycle. You must always seek the advice of your doctor to ensure it is safe for you to do so.
Prepare Your List of Duas
Before even arriving to Makkah, make sure to prepare a list of all the Duas you want to make during your trip. Ask your family and friends and you can make Duas on their behalf too. Doing so may help you make the most of seeking the love, blessings and mercy of Allah SWT.
Consider Your Safety and the Safety of Others
For women, safety is another large consideration when travelling. Particularly for Hajj & Umrah, there are hundreds of thousands of people gathered in once place at a time and so it is extremely easy to get lost or lose important belongings. It is advisable to always buy and regularly top up a SIM card whilst you are out there in case of emergencies, especially if you are travelling with other family members such as children and elderly parents/grandparents, making it easier to keep connected. Another useful tip is to always keep a copy of the hotel name, address, and number on yourself in case you or family member gets lost. If anyone finds you or a member of your group, they can help direct you back to hotel where you can all eventually regroup. Generally, hotels already have small cards with these details available for you to take.
Also, always carry a photocopy of your passport or IDs and leave any official documents in a safe at your hotel or another secure place, to avoid losing it in large crowds of people. If you do need to keep your documents and cash on hand, opt for a travel pack that can be fastened securely to your body reducing the likelihood of you losing it.
Finally, despite being at the house of Allah and endeavouring a sacred journey, unfortunately large crowds generated by Hajj and Umrah can often attract predators and thieves. Make sure that you and other female members of your group are constantly alert during the entirety of the trip, stick together, keep your belongings with you and do your best to not travel alone in the surrounding areas.
Pack Practical Clothing & Shoes
During a Hajj or Umrah trip you can expect to move around often and considering the hot climate, packing practical, light and breathable clothing should be a priority. Just as important as comfortable clothing, you should also pack comfortable shoes that you can to travel long distances in and wear for the majority of your day.
Be Wary of Different Mannerisms
Lastly, it is important to note that Muslims from across the globe are coming together to perform Hajj and Umrah. Different societies have different social norms and behaviours that are typical for them but not what you are generally used to. Be wary that not everyone will act, react or behave in the same manner as you would. Always renew your intentions during moments of frustration, exercise patience and ensure you are taking the precautions to keep your self safe whilst also practising and making the most of your spiritual journey.
6 Useful Tips & Advice for Muslim Women Preparing for Hajj & Umrah