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HAJJ PRACTICALITIES

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A] "Pedal" (Walking) Hujjaajj

 

From Masjid Mashar al Haram till the Jamaraat is 5.5 km, (about one and a half to two hours walking time).

 

Refreshen yourself on the way with a hearty breakfast bought from street vendors.

 

Locate your tent area which you had occupied on 8th Zil Hajj and leave your entire luggage there.  (Again, it is advisable to do your "pedal" Hajj with someone who has had previous experience in order to locate your tent).

 

Take about 10 pebbles in your pebble bag, (or in a small, empty, drinking-water bottle), and everyone in the group should proceed towards the Jamaraat.  Do not delay, as the crowds will only keep on increasing.  However, people who have been recently for Hajj have found less of a crowd by going to pelt after Zuhr/lunch.  It seems to be a matter of pure luck.  If your camps are near the Jamaraat then it will be easy to monitor the crowds.  Huge screens showing the Jamaraat area have now been put up at strategic locations in order for the Hujjaajj to monitor the density of the crowds at the Jamaraat.

 

As of 2005, the Jamaraat have been modified into the form of a concrete screen, making pelting easier now, with less crowding and less chances of stampedes.  In addition, the whole structure is also rebuilt into a multi-storey-level bridge.

 

 

Also take a small amount of money for an emergency, your ID and your Mina tent card.

 

Ensure you have drinking water on hand individually here - mineral water sold in small plastic bottles is convenient.

 

Do not take umbrellas or spectacles as they will be a hindrance, the former to others and both former and latter, to you.

 

Do not pelt from ground level but proceed to the overhead bridge/ramp, and pelt from there.

 

Before reaching the overhead bridge, secure all your seven pebbles, (and a few extras), in the palm of your left hand and clench the fist tightly.  This is because you will find it cumbersome to remove the stones one by one from the pebble bag, (or bottle), at the actual time of pelting due to the jostling of the crowd and because of the fear of losing all the stones!

 

Distance between 1st and 2nd Jamaraat is about one hundred and fifty meters, and between the 2nd and 3rd Jamaraat is about one hundred and twenty meters.

 

On entering the overhead bridge, stay on the extreme left all the time.  Regroup under the billboard near the Jamaraat and let the more experienced persons in your group take most of you for pelting, while two of you will remain at the designated rendezvous i.e. under the billboard.  When the first group returns, the other two will go for pelting whilst the main group awaits their arrival at the rendezvous.

 

Obey all the directions of the police - do not argue - they are only performing their duty under very difficult conditions.

 

Do not attempt to follow the Masnoon method of pelting by keeping Makkah to your left and Mina to your right as there will be a big crowd in that area.

 

Rather go round the Jamaraat from the left and pelt with Makkah behind you and the Jamaraat and Mina in front of you.  This pelting area seems to have a smaller crowd.

 

If you happen to drop anything, or lose your slipper, DO NOT BEND TO PICK IT UP, as you can easily be trampled to death.

 

Have patience, as it only takes about a minute to pelt at each of the Jamaraats.  There is no need to push or rush.

 

Try to get to the brim of the Jamaraat enclosure BUT DO NOT BEND OVER THIS, as the crowd can easily push you over it.

 

Do not attempt to hit the Jamaraat from far away because not only will you miss it, but you may also harm others in the process.

 

Do not pelt with things other than the pebbles.

 

After you have finished pelting, turn around and lower your head in order to avoid being accidentally hit by a pebble in your face!

 

After performing the pelting, follow the exit route prescribed.  DO NOT GO AGAINST THE FLOW, and do not stampede.

 

Exit together as a group for your tents and appoint two reps. to go for the Qurbaanis, either at the modern slaughterhouses, (if you have made prior payment and arrangement), or to the private abattoirs.  These slaughterhouses are located at the end of the pedestrian tunnel near Muzdalifah. However, most packages today include the Damm-e-Shukhar. This is very convenient because as soon as you have finished pelting, inform your tour operator’s agent either in Mina or Aziziya, (depending what information you were furnished with at the logistics talk given to you by your agent before the 8th of Zil Hajj), that you have pelted. He in turn will liaise with his contact at the slaughter place and inform you in due course about the status of your Damm-e-Shukhar. Most tour operators also offer, at a fee, to do your annual Eid-ul-Adha Qurbaani. Please inform them in advance if you wish to do so.

 

On confirmation of your Damm-e-Shukhar, all of you will proceed to the many barbershops found near the exit side of the Jamaraat Bridge, (near the big Jamaraat), and have your hair trimmed or cut.  Pre-charged electric shaving machine is convenient for "self-service" in your tent.

 

If you are already in Makkah then you could have your trimming/shaving done here but there may be longer queues than in Mina because the government has appointed a number of barbers specifically to be stationed in Mina.

 

Do not have your hair shaven on the streets by the many self-proclaimed barbers as not only are they unhygienic, but are also inexperienced, and you can get injured severely.  In addition, you can easily get infected with the virus of hepatitis or of HIV/AIDS.

 

You are now out of Ihraam, go back to your tents, (if the distance permits), and have a shower, (in the toilets!), or proceed to your apartment in Aziziya for a shower, and put on ordinary clothes and either proceed to Makkah for Tawaaf-e-Ziyyaarat, or stay over in Mina.

 

B] Non-Pedal Hujjaajj

 

Muzdalifah to Mina by bus can be quite long, (4 - 5 hours), because of intense traffic.  Thus ensure you have ample cold drinking water and dry food on the bus from Muzdalifah.

 

The rest is as for "Pedal" Hujjaajj.

 

However, your transport from Mina to Makkah is not guaranteed as you all will probably be making Qurbaanis at different times, depending on when you come back after pelting at the Jamaraat.

 

As a result, you will have to make private arrangements with the many buses and taxis found about 200 metres from the Jamaraat Bridge towards the big Jamaraat, for your return to Makkah on the 10th Zil Hajj for Tawaaf-e-Ziyaarat.  You will be charged a nominal fee for this, (about ten Riyals per person and if the whole taxi is booked, then it may work out less!).

 

Similarly, your return to Mina after Tawaaf-e-Ziyyaarat will be at different times and hence you will have to make private arrangements at a fee.

 

Al-Rajhi Moassim Abattoir

 

The arrangement with the Al - Rajhi Banking Corporation, (through the Islamic Development Bank), is very convenient as you pay them the stipulated price, about 365 Riyals per animal, (sheep or goat only), before the 8th of Zil Hajj, in Makkah.

 

If there are 30 shares or more in your group, then two reps. from your group will be allowed to go and actually witness the Qurbaani at an ultramodern slaughterhouse.

 

Advantage is that if you do not have more than thirty shares in your group, then since the approximate time of your Qurbaani is indicated on the coupon, you can perform the Halq/Qasr, without witnessing the Qurbaani since you have made the bank your “Wakeel” by purchasing the coupon.

 

If your shares are less than 30, then you could also opt for private Qurbaanis in Mina, where slaughtering can be done by yourself.

 

In this private arrangement, the vendors do not include the slaughtering fee / “use of knife” fee in the purchase price.

 

This fee is charged separately, therefore negotiate beforehand!

 

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copyright February 2006 (Muharram 1427)

(updated December 2013 - Safar 1435)

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