The following are tips for booking a Hajj agent from MuslimMatters' Staff and Writers.
Top Tip 10
Rely on word of mouth… a travel agent tried and tested for several years with a good well-known, reliable shaykh – Amad
Top Tip 9
Make sure that the travel agent is going to give all the travel details and itinerary and contract on paper (i.e. distance between accommodations and Haramain). Ask if the dates are flexible. This is a great website of do's and don'ts for British Hajjis as well as this fraud alert. Here is an impartial Hajj rating site for US hujjaj. This is the Saudi Ministry of Hajj website to help you understand the procedures for travel agents. - Hena
Top Tip 8
Always look at the reputation of the religious guide and see if they're into following the Sunnah and not taking shortcuts. - Bushra
Top Tip 7
Try to meet the leaders of the Hajj tour if possible – find out if they are even knowledgeable about the deen or if they only see it as a business.
Top Tip 6
Ask the booking agent very specific questions about your stay in Muzdalifah. It can be a very trying experience! - Haleh Banani
Top Tip 5
Go in with zero expectations. The best of agents often have a lot of things outside their circle of control. - DiscoMaulvi
Top Tip 4
Even if you book with the top Hajj agent and package, keep in mind that things won't always go according to plan, and have patience. - Sameera
Top Tip 3
Try to go with a group of your spiritually like-minded friends so you can encourage one another and be supportive. Our group was only consumed with having the best facility which really took away from the spiritual experience. - Haleh Banani
Top Tip 2
We all know that the Hajj is the journey of a lifetime, so why would we want to experience it with subtitles? Every Hajj agent worth their salt will ensure they hammer home the various rituals needed to successfully complete the pilgrimage, but few will have someone on board who will help you delve into the meaning behind the rituals. An inspirational guide can be the difference between a life-changing experience and an after-life changing experience. - Dr. Muḥammad Wajid Akhter
and Top Tip 1
The heart plays a role here as well: Don't let your heart heedlessly rely completely on the group you chose or the amount you spent. Place your trust in Allāh first. No matter how much you spent or what they promised, they are creation and at any given time, the situation may go completely out of their control. As for the Creator, place your tawakkul on Him alone and you won't be disappointed. Attach your heart to Him, expect the best from Him, seek your needs from Him and He will surely make it a successful Hajj. “Whosoever puts his trust in Allāh, then He will suffice him.” (al-Talaq 65:3). - Mariam E.
May Allāh give you Hajj Mabroor and ease your affairs.