While many Muslims aspire to perform Hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam, the journey to fulfill this sacred duty is not always immediate or straightforward. Circumstances such as financial constraints, health issues, limitations due to travel quotas, or simply awaiting the right time may hinder the opportunity to embark on this profound pilgrimage. 

While I have been fortunate to undertake Umrah, I understand that it is not nearly the same as performing Hajj. Waiting for the right time to go on Hajj is an exercise in patience and trust. Remember that Allah’s timing is perfect, and He knows what is best for you. While awaiting your turn, there are many meaningful activities you can engage in to prepare yourself spiritually and mentally. 

Here are some things you can do to stay connected to your faith and get ready for the day when you will, insha’Allah, be called to Hajj.

1. Register Your Interest For Hajj

Certain countries have travel limits or quotas for Hajj due to logistical and safety considerations. Hajj is one of the largest annual gatherings in the world, with millions of pilgrims converging on Makkah and its surrounding areas during a relatively short period. For example, in Singapore, you need to register your interest to perform Hajj with the Islamic body before you can get the opportunity to go. It’s not as easy as simply purchasing a ticket; if your country has a similar system in place, it’s wise to register your interest early. You never know when Allah will grant you the invitation to perform Hajj.

These travel quotas are based on various factors, including the infrastructure and resources available in Makkah and the surrounding areas to accommodate pilgrims, as well as considerations for crowd control and safety measures during the pilgrimage. By regulating the number of pilgrims from each country, the Saudi authorities aim to prevent overcrowding, minimize the risk of accidents and stampedes, and ensure that all pilgrims have access to essential services and facilities.

Additionally, quotas help to distribute the logistical burden of organizing Hajj among participating countries more evenly, allowing for a smoother and more organized pilgrimage experience for all. While these quotas may sometimes lead to disappointment for those unable to secure a spot for Hajj in a given year, they are ultimately put in place to safeguard the well-being of pilgrims and ensure the smooth functioning of this sacred and monumental gathering.

2. Practice Patience and Trust in Allah’s Plan

Even if your country does not have a waiting list for Hajj, sometimes you may not have enough funds to go. That is absolutely fine. Allah wills it, and He knows what is best for each of us. Trust in Allah’s plan and remember that everything happens in its own time. As the Quran says, 

Surah At-Talaq Verse 2-3

“And whosoever fears Allah…He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine” – Surah At-Talaq Verse 2-3

This verse reassures us that Allah will always provide for those who trust in Him, even in times of financial hardship. Use this period to prepare and strengthen your faith, knowing that your sincere intentions are valued by Allah. 

3. Set Aside a Hajj Fund

The reality is that Hajj is not cheap. Setting aside a dedicated Hajj fund can help you manage the financial aspect of the pilgrimage. Save regularly and plan your finances well so that when the opportunity arises, you are financially prepared to undertake this sacred journey. The total cost of Hajj can vary depending on various factors such as the country of departure, the type of accommodation chosen, and additional services provided.

On average, the cost of a Hajj package can range from $5,000 to $10,000 or more per person. However, this amount does not cover all expenses associated with Hajj. Additional costs to consider include transportation to and from the departure city, visa fees, vaccinations, travel insurance, additional meals and snacks, personal expenses, and any optional activities or excursions. It’s important to budget carefully and account for these additional expenses when planning your Hajj fund. By saving diligently and estimating the total cost of the pilgrimage, you can ensure that you are financially prepared to embark on this sacred journey when the opportunity arises.

4. Learn About Hajj Through Resources

While you wait, immerse yourself in learning everything you can about Hajj. The Muslim Pro app offers a wealth of resources, including guides, articles, and videos that cover every aspect of the pilgrimage. Understanding the rituals, the significance of Makkah and Madinah, and the history behind Hajj can deepen your appreciation for this sacred duty and prepare you for the experience.

Additionally, there are meticulously crafted guides outlining the fundamental steps of Hajj and Umrah, ensuring that you are well-versed in the rites and rituals before you embark on your pilgrimage. Through these resources, you can enrich your understanding, enhance your spiritual preparedness, and eagerly anticipate the day when you will, by the grace of Allah, embark on this profound journey of faith.

5. Watch Educational Content Related to Hajj

Qalbox, a streaming service within the Muslim Pro app, provides a variety of shows and documentaries that bring the stories of our faith to life. By watching these shows, you can learn about the prophets, their struggles, and the lessons they imparted. These stories can inspire and strengthen your faith, helping you feel more connected to Islam and better prepared for Hajj.

Shows such as Days of Hajj, The Siege of Mecca or Al-Hajj Rituals & Rites. This show provides great visual representation of what you can expect and experience, while on your own journey one day.

6. Perform Acts of Charity and Good Deeds

Engaging in acts of charity and good deeds is a powerful way to earn rewards while waiting for Hajj. Do it so often that it becomes second nature to you. Donate to those in need, volunteer your time, and help your community in any way you can. These acts of kindness and generosity will not only benefit others but also bring you closer to Allah and prepare your heart for the spiritual journey of Hajj.

Surah Hud: 114

Surely good deeds wipe out evil deeds. (Surah Hud: 114) 

 

7. Strengthen Your Understanding of Islam

Use this time to deepen your knowledge of Islam. Read the Quran regularly, study Hadiths, and attend Islamic lectures or study groups. The more you understand your faith, the more meaningful your Hajj experience will be when the time comes. 

Make prayer and reflection a regular part of your daily routine. Performing Salah with intention and mindfulness can help you develop a closer relationship with Allah. Additionally, take time to reflect on your faith, your goals, and how you can improve as a Muslim. Never underestimate the power of dua. Regularly ask Allah to grant you the opportunity to perform Hajj. Express your sincere desire and trust that He will answer your prayers when the time is right.

8. Connect with Other Muslims

Building a strong connection with your community can be incredibly enriching. Engage with other Muslims, share your knowledge, and learn from their experiences. Joining a study group or attending community events can provide support and encouragement as you prepare for Hajj.

Reading or listening to the stories of those who have already performed Hajj can be inspiring and informative. Their experiences, challenges, and spiritual growth can provide valuable insights and motivate you as you prepare for your own journey.

9. Stay Physically and Mentally Prepared

Hajj is not only a spiritual journey, but also a physically demanding one. The pilgrimage involves long hours of walking, standing, and performing rituals under the scorching sun, often in crowded conditions. To ensure you can endure the physical demands of Hajj, it’s crucial to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Being physically and mentally fit will help you handle the rigors of the pilgrimage when your time comes. Maintain a healthy lifestyle, exercise regularly, and take care of your mental well-being.Our beloved Prophet ﷺ said: “The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, while there is good in both” [Muslim].

In addition to physical fitness, it’s essential to prioritize your mental well-being. Hajj can be emotionally and mentally taxing, with pilgrims often facing crowded spaces, long waits, and unfamiliar surroundings. Practicing mindfulness, meditation, or relaxation techniques can help alleviate stress and anxiety, allowing you to approach the pilgrimage with a calm and focused mind. Surround yourself with a supportive community of fellow believers, engage in spiritual practices that bring you peace, and take breaks when needed to rest and recharge. By staying physically and mentally prepared, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the rigors of Hajj and fully immerse yourself in this profound spiritual journey.