DO's & DON'Ts
DO wash all fruits in clean water
before consumption. Stick to fruits that have to be peeled before use.
Avoid pre-cut fruits, salads, and food handled in an insanitary fashion.
Avoid all food exposed to the elements. Fast food is available at some
places but tends to be of somewhat lower quality than its American counterpart.
It is, however, safe and sanitary.
DO keep the name, address and the
telephone number of your muallim as well as of your place of residence
with you at all times. DO wear the bracelet issued by the muallim
and DO carry your picture ID card at all times. They will prove
to be invaluable should something happen to you or if you get lost.
DO be aware of the heat and the
problems it can cause (e.g., dehydration, heat stroke). Drink plenty of
water (bottled water only), soft drinks, and fruit juices. Stay
in the shade when possible and use an umbrella and
sunglasses to protect yourself from the harsh sun.
DO pace yourself in everything,
including acts of worship. Know your physical limits and stay well within
them. It is only too easy to get caught up in the emotion of the moment
and exceed the boundaries of your strength and stamina. Pilgrims often
try to spend every spare moment of their time in prayers and devotionals
in Haram ash Shareef and often become sick. It is very painful and frustrating
to get sick in a foreign country and an illness during Haj is even worse
as it defeats the purpose of your visit.
DO spend some time in studying
and memorizing the layout and the location of your tent at Mina and Arafat,
and your place of temporary stay in Muzdalifah with respect, possibly,
to a nearby permanent landmark. All tents and pilgrims look alike. Should
you get lost or confused, you will be faced with an extremely difficult,
even an impossible, task of getting back to your base.
DO be patient, understanding, caring
and compassionate. The hot weather, the tremendous crush of the pilgrims,
and the considerable physical demands of Haj tend to make people irritable
and short of temper. You can avoid potentially awkward situations and unnecessary
arguments by remaining focussed on your mission of Haj, and by maintaining
a positive and caring attitude towards others.
DO try to be responsive to others
in need of guidance or help. Realize that your physical stamina and mental
toughness will be repeatedly tried during Haj.
DON'T ever leave money or other
valuables (eg. papers, jewelry etc.) in your room. Always carry them with
you on your person or deposit with Muallim and ask a receipt and be aware
of people around you. Unfortunately, there
are pickpockets and thieves in and around the Haram ash Shareef. Keep your
fanny pouch covered by the top part of your
Ihram in order to avoid drawing unwanted attention.
DON'T expect Haj to be a pleasure
trip. Try to take your frustrations, hardships, and disappointments (and
there will definitely be many!) in stride as a part of the sacrifice expected
of you. See if you can ease someone else's burden a little by offering
DON'T break or try to circumvent
Saudi laws and regulations. The rules are clear and rigid, and the authorities
are very strict.
DON'T get involved in unnecessary
religious discussions with anyone. You will see slight variations in religious
and Haj practices among different people. Someone may even point out to
you the "wrongness" of your ways. Be patient and walk away from a difficult
situation. Patience and understanding go a long way towards making your
Haj more meaningful and enjoyable.