Haj Practical tips step by step at Mina Muzdalifa and Arafat

1(This article has been Taken with Thanks from here)
.  Assalam o Alaikum, 
May Allah bless you all Haj e Mabroor.There are certain practical things that can be considered for Haj Journey.

Be Patient on each and every step. Haj is a journey of Sabr and also a test of Sabr....................BE READY FOR IT........

3.  There are nearly hundred gates in Masjid of Kaba Always keep remember the gates of entry in Makkah and Madeenah,if you make exit from a wrong gate you may have to travel 1-2 km extra apart from risk of forgetting exact road leading to your Hotel.
4.  It is reported that at the time of first sight of Kaba whatever dua is made is accepted insha Allah.The best gate for this purpose is 84 and 85, You will be able to see Kaba after coming very close and better prepared for Dua. As for some of the gates like Malik Fahad (79) Kaba is visible even from outside you may not be prepared for dua there.

Red and Green lighting on Gates
5.  On all gates there are Lighting so if it is Green means entry is going on from the gate.If it is red it means that portion is already filled and You shoul chose another gate.If you will not keep in mind this simple fact after much effort you will reach the gate and will find it as no entry permission and while returning you will face another set of people moving towards gate.Really difficult situation.

1.  In Kaba very big big series of lifts are at 3 Places
A.              At Safa entry (Biggest and Lest crowded very near to Gate no 5. Most of the people do not know that entry point.Find always free.)
B.               Near gate No 1 (straight to road coming from Azizia, very busy you have to wait for long)
C.               At Marwa (Very big lifts but at rear side not prominent so many people are not aware)

Wheelchairs/Services for older people.
Following Options are their.
A.  Free wheelchairs are given from Masjid e Haram (Its office is on Marwa sided near the birth place building of beloved Prophet Sallallahu Alahi Wasallam) for Tawaf and Saee on production of ID card.Period closer to Hajj getting may be difficult
B.   Near Safa at first floor very comfortable Motorised Wheelchairs are available for Tawaf for 50 Riyals/tawaf (7 circles).If you have money it is best option. It is very user friendly anyone can drive.
C.   From the Youth Society of Makkah some 50 youth remain available for free service with wheelchairs for Saee only. There office is near Safa at first floor. You have to get a token for this.
D.  Buy your own wheelchairs if some relative is topull it.It is Available in nearly 300 Riyals.You can bring it back home flight without any charge or else may donate to Masjid e Haram.
Last option for wheelchair with caution please
E.    Not a good option is to hire someone for pulling Wheelchairs. There normal charges are 50-100 Riyals for Tawaf and Saee. But most of them exploit Hajis and sometimes near Hajj they may charge upto 500 Riyals.

Mina (8th Zilhijjah 1st day of Haj)
1.  Don’t be haste in catching buses from Makkah to Mina.There are enough buses Just wait patiently last buses have less passengers and jorney will be very smooth. 
2.  Remember Your Kheema No and always keep entry pass for kheema with you, They will check entry passes.On back of pass plz note your Road no and nearest Pole number.
3.  Don’t carry much food items to Mina.Enough food is supplied in Mina kheema by Muallim. In some kheemah full lunch and dinner. In some heavy snacks/Bread items.Apart from this food of your choices are available at slightly higher prices than Makkah.
4.  Keep Jug/Mug with you for Wuzu. At the time of rush you will realise its importance. 

Caution at Mina....................
You may face an unfortunate controversy and discussion their about Rikat of Salat wheather to do Qasar or not.There are two views.My request is that before going to Mina you should ask Alim and do accordingly instead of making unwanted controversy their. This place and time is for dua and making strong connection with Allah and not for these minor issues.
First Opinion: The rikats will depend on wheather the person is Musafir or not if he is Not Musafir he will read full Namaz. If he is Musafir will do qasar (2 rikats for zuhar asar and Isha).
Second Opinion:Irrespective of any thing in Mina you have to do Qasar.Their argument is as prophet SAW in His Haj did Qasar so we will do.

The one group of scholar say that prophet did it because he was Musafir and not only Mina in whole journey he performed Qasar. He started journey on 24th of zeeqadah afer offering 4 rikats Zuhar at Madeena and reached Zulhalaifa by Asar and performed only 2 rikats Asar even in Zulhalaifa,so his Qasar was because he was Musafir throughout journey and not because of Mina.

Arafat(On 9th Zilhijja 2nd day of Hajj)
1.You will be brought from Mina by Muallim.Again not be in haste.Make your bag as light as possible because next morning you are returning Mina kheema and you may have to travel Arafat to Muzdalifah and to Mina on foot.(I don’t know Metro arrangement it is startig this year)
2.Full lunch with snacks/Juices,drinking water will be provided by Muallim. No need to carry on.
3.Jabale Rahmat is very crowdy place that day.Those with family should not try for going there.Return will be difficult.
4. Do dua as much as possible prophet has done dua for nearly 4-5 hours.Utilise maximum this time please remember me also in your dua.

MUZDALIFAH(Night between 9thand 10th )
4.On 9th Zilhijjah After Maghrib time you have to go to Muzdalifah without performing Maghrib.Distance is 6-7 Km.(Metro is expected to run from this year, insha Allah will be an easy affiar. I have no Idea about metro arrangement.)
5.If Metro is not available buses are not a good option for those who can walk 6-7 km.Sometimes buses may not reach even upto Fajir as it becomes complete road block.
6. An special 100-150 meter wide Pedestrian only road is there connecting Arafat to Muzdalifah. It is having enough drinking water and toilets facilities all along.Both free and priced food items are available.So many people will distribute Juice,water,Biryani for free.Stopping in between you will easily reach in 2-3 hours.
7. This road goes upto Makkah passing through Mina. (Portion from Mina to Makkah is shaded also).

Muzdalifah to Mina(After Fajir on 10thZilhijjah)
1. No bus arrangement practically works because of crowd and rush. All the 30-40 lakhs HAJIS are moving towards Mina at the same time. Don’t expect any vehicle.Even if you get it will not be able to reach your kheema b/z of road block. For older people prior arrangement of Wheelchairs should be done. If you remember Mina location by noting
a.   Road Number and Name (eg.Shauqul Arab 62)
b.   Nearest Pole no (eg Pole numbering on road no 62 will be 62/1,62/2,62/3…..suppose you kheema is near pole number 25 it will be written on pole as 62/25)
c.    kheema no
d.   Muallim no (Some Muallim has A and B also)

2. Saudi police/Volunteer does not know English at all not even right/left so even if they try they may not help you. Volunteers from your country may be available at some places. I have personal observation of Indian volunteers their role is superb. So if you get them contact them.They will lead you correctly. 
3. Your kheemah in Minah is Some 3-4 km from Muzdalifah. If you are luccky enough to reach Muzdalifah in time at night may stay at Mina end of Muzdalifah and will be easy to reach camp in Mina.
4. Arafat-Muzdalifah-Mina journey gives some glimpse of sacrifices otherwise Hajj nowadays is very comfortable. So bear the difficulties with Sabr for the sake of Allah. Your patience will be tested here.(Metro is also expected on this year.I have no idea about it.)

FOUR THINGS TO DO ON 10THZilhijjah in this order, Order is very important
1. Stoning of Shaitan
2. Qurbani
3. Shaving of head/cutting nearly 1 inch for ladies
4. Tawaf e Ziyarat at Kaba
JAMARAT (stoning on 10 th zilhijja 3 rd day of Hajj Ist work)
1. Arrangements are very excellent, Insha Allah will be smooth affiars, Avoid going in large groups and avoid coming closer to big groups. 
2. Those who are with women and older people should adjust stoning time carefully. In stoning if center place looks crowdy go to rear end of shaitan pillar 
3.Please don’t break any arrangement there and co operate with police obey their routes and commands.
Qurbani (Sacrifical) 2nd work on 10 zilhijjah
Never give money to untrusted people.There are cheaters/touts are. You May opt any one of the Following options  
1.  Their are Quran Madarsas in Makkah run by Ulemas. Some of them may have connection with your country also like for indian subcontinent Madarsa Saulatia,some other are their, So no language problem. Advantage
A. You may tell your stoning time and they may adjust sacrificial time accordingly. So keeping order of 4 work is easy.
B. Rate will be less, In 2011 Haj it was 330 Riyals
where others rate  upto 450.
2.  You can get coupon in Makkah/Madeena and it will be done by government agency.Big big sacrificial plants are there for this purpose. It is good arrangement but you have to adjust your stoning time,they will give you time of sacrificial their will be no change in it.
3.  Saudi Government has made arrangement that you can buy animal at Mina itself and can sacrifices it at places specified for them, No idea about rates and all obviously a time taking process difficult for those who are with elderly people.
Shaving head(3rd Work)
1. Best option is to have own hair cutter, not only for saving money but on health ground also. It will be utilised for Umrah shaving before and after Hajj.
2. There are officially specified Barbers but not very near. Most of the people get shaved in kheema by untrained people who are actually laborers. Obviously not a good practice.
3. At least insist them to change blade after each shave.

Mina to Makkah for Tawaf e Ziyarat.
1. Those who can walk 6-7 km for them pedestrian tunnel road is best option.
2. Going to Makkah itself may not be a very smooth affairs,have patience. Timing is very important for those who are with older people. Best time is night after Isha.
3. Government Buses are their at low charges only but difficult to get. Private buses will charge 20-30 Riyals.
4. In Tawaf for older people you may utilize wheel chair services as written above.

Returning to Mina after Tawaf e Ziyarat.
 Insha Allah you will get government buses from bus stand. You may visit your Hotel for bathing etc.
11th and 12th zilhijjah
Only work is stoning after Zawal on both day. Timing important for older people.
One Rumour/Misconception about 12 th zilhijja
Among Hajis all here is a misconception that you have to leave Mina on 12th zilhijjah before sunset………….
Aother Rumour that kheemah will be removed, no water supply ……these all are shaitan/Iblees rumour…………
Everything will be there even AL BAKE chicken Broast and Nutgets will be available, At least 1 lakh Haji will be still there in Mina on 12th Night,

Sunnah and Correct position …….
Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam stayed there on 12th and after zawal on 13th zilhijjah he stoned shaitan and then returned to Makkah. This suunah is becoming dead. We should strive to revive this sunnah………………

An exemption has become a Misconception……..
Actually there is an exemption that if you want it is permissible to return from Mina after stoning of 12th zilhizzah…….this is not rule/sunnah but a exemption…… but in that case you have to leave Mina boundary before sunset…….. If you crossed sunset time and still in Mina boundary now it will become obligatory to stay night and to stone after zawal on 13th ………………………….This has been wrongly projected/Rumoured that you have to leave Mina on 12th before sunset…….. I have personally seen people running in hurry/fear to be out from Mina boundary like Jungle fire is chasing them on 12th evening…..

Advantage of staying on 12th Night and 13th stoning.
1. You are not only doing a sunnah but also reviving a sunnah that is becoming dead, so will get Reward equal to 100 Shaheed .
2. If you are returning on 12th ,stoning will be after zawal your turn may come even at 2-3 P.M, so much rush will be there, very difficult journey from Mina to makkah. People will tell you their stories of difficulty after reaching Hotel. Most of them do not get any vehicle.
3. If you will go on 13th Muallim buses will be there at your kheema doorstep. Very smooth Journey.
4. You have gone for Hajj why you will leave a Sunnah, you are totally free,no work even at Hotel,so why you are leaving it.

General Instruction
At Hotel
Alhamdulillah arrangements by Haj committee is very good. For any difficulty at hotel please report to nearest Haj office.Indian Haj Mission office are  vey responsive. But very few go to report them. So instead of criticisig Haj committee and making gossip in hotel please report them. They have good mechanism for redressal of your problems. I have personal experience.Even vicecounsel Haj gave personal visiting card and eagerly welcomed any suggestion/complains.So report properly instead of criticising them.

Be careful about your money but situation is not as grave as being projected by some people. Have hidden pockets in cloths.Keep rest money in Hotel room locked. Some locker facilities are also avalaible enquire about them at Haj mission office.

Genuine/Fake presenting as Hajis,asking help
If you find anyone presenting himself as Haji and telling that his money has been stolen and asking for help,Allah knows he is genuine or fake so, if you want you can help him even if he is fake,You will get reward for your Niyah.
Otherwise Refer him to Haj mission.I don’t know about other countries but Indian Haj mission has special fund for this purpose. After due investigation if case is genuine they will give some emergency relief and finally may give compensation also.
Similarly if you luggage got misplaced your airlines is responsible for compensation.These detail you can see from Haj committee instructions.

Criticism/Backbutting of Haj committees and authorities.
1.  Inspite of very good arrangement of Saudi Government and Haj committes of different countries there are something beyond control. Specially crowds in Tawaf and Just after prayers apart from Mina Muzdalifah and Arafat.
2.  Bear difficulty with patience,Don’t do backbitting,abusig  authorities/Haj committees. You are the guest of Allah, ask Allah for any difficulty.
3.  Kindly requesting for dua in your prayers specially in your Haj journey. 

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