In a hadith, it is narrated that the Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) referred to pilgrims who go for hajj or umra as the guests of Allah. “He called them and they responded; they ask of Him and He will give them,” the hadith further reads. As a guest of The Almighty, then, it is only proper that we come fully prepared to meet the Host in the best of our physical, mental and spiritual states.
The hajj consists of a series of physically demanding rituals, so pilgrims have to be in their best physical condition. Hereare a few tips in maintaining a tip-top condition prior to making the pilgrimage.
“It is highly recommended to perform the hajj at a young age, in addition, it is a great idea to start a cardio exercise routine a few months prior to the scheduled departure. A good amount of exercise really builds up the body’s resilience, which is very important for coping with fatigue and extreme weather conditions.”
It is also recommended to do fasting and a balanced diet to train the body to function optimally. Subhan’Allah, Allah (swt) has designed the hajj in such a way that the pilgrimage season falls only two months after Ramadan, when the body is still accustomed to [having less]. Mealtimes during the pilgrimage can be irregular due to many reasons: problems in finding food, unsuitable menu, late catering service, etc. If one’s body is used to fasting, then these problems will not be too bothersome.”
Before and during the hajj, make sure that we pay attention to the quality of our food. Eat less processed and fried foods, and have more fruits and vegetables.
As with any other acts of worship, the sincerity of our intention will be tested. This may come in various forms before, during or even after the hajj.
A few weeks before leaving for the hajj, a financial consultant experienced a skyrocketing workload and suddenly suffered from severe hyperthyroidism. “But subhanallah, only one week before the flight, my lab tests returned with normal results and I was able to perform every hajj ritual in a healthy condition”. Partly attributing the returning health to miracle, but says that calm and positive attitude, combined with determination to fulfil the worship obligation, was also an important factor that smoothed the way.
Of course, everyone experiences his or her own sets of tests and trials. A reminder, that in life – including planning for the hajj – we have to truly surrender to and keep our faith in Him. In the big picture of things, humans are powerless. Only Allah has the power over all. The full realisation of this is the cornerstone of how you can mentally prepare for your hajj pilgrimage.
SOUL & SPIRIT:
In the largest gathering of mankind that is the hajj, each of us is like a speck of dust. But every single pilgrim is invited by Allah to be His guest. Bearing this in mind, we should be prudent of our every act and of how we spend every second in the holy land.
Developing good habits such as praying on time every time, reading the Qur’an regularly and learning the sirah of Prophet Muhammad (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) are just a few ways to prepare spiritually. We should also be prepared to handle all sorts of challenges, such as managing difficult people and situations, as well as giving help to anyone who needs a hand.
Even though the hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, not every Muslim will be fortunate enough to fulfil this act of worship. So, embrace the opportunity to visit Him that Allah Himself has granted you.
Let the voice in your heart recite the glorious greeting in His name, “Labbaik Allahumma labbaik.”
“I am ready to obey Your orders, O Allah!”