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DO's & DON'Ts

The DO's:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
The DONT's:
  1. 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.
  2. 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 your support.
  3. DON'T break or try to circumvent Saudi laws and regulations. The rules are clear and rigid, and the authorities are very strict.
  4. 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.

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