From Madinatul Munawwarah to Makkahtul Mukarramah by Road
Your travel agent's representative will prepare your passports at the Muassassas office in batch form so that you are ready for departure to Makkah. This will either be by bus or by air; in the latter case you will land in Jeddah and then be transported by road to Makkah.
This is where you can use the Muassassas bus coupon. Your agent's representative will advise you a day or two before your departure for Makkah what time to be ready so that you can be transferred to the bus terminal. He will also arrange for your passport to be given to the Ministry of Hajj official aboard your bus.
On your exit from Madinah for Makkah, approximately 15 minutes later, (about 5-10 km), is Bier Ali, (Zul-Hulaifah), where one can have a bath, put on one’s Ihraam and pray 2 Rakaats Sunnatul Ihraam. However, this area tends to be congested and not so clean, so it is better to have the ghusl at your hotel in Madinah before departure.
In addition, put on your Ihraam in Madinah, keeping the head covered, but do not pray the 2 Rakaats Sunnatul Ihraam, nor say the Niyyat or Talbiyyah. (You are not yet a Muhrim).
At Bier Ali is a large Masjid where you will renew your Wudhu, (if need be), pray the 2 Rakaats Sunnatul Ihraam, (if it is not a Makrooh time), and say the Niyyat and Talbiyyah. You are now a Muhrim.
BEWARE; people we have known from back home have lost both valuables and petty items from the ablution block and from the shelves outside this Masjid.
Because of the above, take only what is essential into the Masjid, i.e. your documents and money, but leave your hand luggage in your bus when disembarking at Bier Ali. Make arrangements among yourselves for someone to stay by the bus for security reasons. Also make a written note of the bus registration number as all the buses look alike.
Once you are a Muhrim, refreshen yourself by the bus park, where snacks, drinks and fruits are sold. This is because you have a long journey with maybe one stop, (Fajr), and then approximately a 2-3 hour delay at the Makkah checkpoint, which is about 10 km outside Makkah. This is called the “Pilgrims Grouping Centre”.
Madinatul Munawwarah to Jeddah by Air, (En-Route to Makkahtul Mukarramah)
Please make bookings early for your return to Jeddah. (There are no direct flights to Makkah!). It is advisable that as soon as you have settled in Madinah, purchase your one-way ticket to Jeddah. There is no need for reconfirmation once the ticket is purchased. The Saudi Arabian Airlines office can be quite congested.
One of the agent's representatives will prepare the necessary permission letter to leave Madinah a day or two before departure. Arrangements will be made for your passports to be at Madinah Airport on the day of your departure. This permission letter must be handed over to the Ministry of Hajj official at Madinah Airport who will then in turn directly transfer your passports to the Makkah Muassassas office - hence do not worry about your passports.
Please ensure that you are at Madinah Airport at least three hours before departure.
Ensure that you wear your Ihraam from your hotel as there seems not to be an area designated for donning the Ihraam at Madinah Airport.
Upon arrival at the Saudia domestic terminal, (South Terminal), all you need to do is collect your baggage and immediately exit the terminal, find a Government Taxi, (and not a private one as the latter will cause you problems at road blocks), at your cost and leave for Makkah. Do not waste time at this terminal as there is a slim possibility that the Hajj Ministry officials may transfer you to the Hajj Terminal from where it will take you a long time to get to Makkah. Do not worry about your passport.
Please ensure that the ID card issued to you by your travel agent is on you at ALL TIMES from here on. This ID card has a copy of you passport on one side and a copy of your visa on the the other side. Please also keep additional copies of your passport and visa as this ID is your ONLY FORM OF IDENTITY. This ID card will definitely be needed at the various road blocks between Jeddah and Makkah so ensure that you have this ON YOU AND NOT IN THE OVERHEAD LUGGAGE.
Your passports will be handed to the United Agents’ officer who will in turn hand them to the respective driver taking you to Makkahtul Mukarramaah. Before reaching the city you will be halted at the Makkah checkpoint, also called the “Pilgrims Grouping Centre”.
Jeddah Airport to Makkah is about one and a half hour’s driving time but because of Hajj traffic congestion, can be much longer. You may have other nationalities in your bus and upon reaching Makkah; they may be dropped off first depending on whose Muassassas’ office comes first en-route. This will delay you reaching your destination even more.
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copyright February 2006 (Muharram 1427)
(updated December 2013 - Safar 1435)