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Hajj Checklist and Packing Guide




I went for Hajj last year and I had started packing three months before we left! I know it’s crazy, but I was really confused and took my time researching products and asking family and friends for suggestions on what I might need to make my journey easier. Here is a checklist (summary version, and then a set of explanations for some of the items below) as well as packing suggestions based off of my prep last year and the trip and Hajj itself.I hope these suggestions will help you feel adequately prepared, without going overboard or going empty-handed, insha’Allah.

When you’re packing and preparing for your trip, have two intentions. The first is that you are preparing and planning to allow yourself the ability to relax and focus on the important things on your trip (like Hajj and all of the worship, resting, not exposing yourself to sickness in the markets, etc.).  The second is that because you’re preparing for Hajj now, make the intention that this is an act of worship which will allow you to do your part for preparing the worldly means necessary to have a successful Hajj, while leaving the rest up to Allah.

Last note–expect the unexpected and know that you will be unprepared for something or the other. But–do try to get yourself and your bags ready! Also, all of the products linked are products that I bought. I do not have any official or unofficial endorsements to the products in this list.

Hajj Checklist Summary


Clothing & Shoes

  • Pair flip flops for bathrooms
  • Shoe covers for tawaf, 1 reusable or a few disposable
  • Comfortable walking sandals, 2 pairs
  • Tennis ball
  • Sweatshirt and sweatpants, 1 each
  • Pure cotton clothing, thin but not sheer (I used old shawar kameez), suggested 1 pair of clothing/every 2 days of your trip to minimize laundry problems

Heat Management Supplies

  • Mini squirt bottle
  • Mini electric fan necklace, or a manual fan
  • Cooling towel (you can find one that runners use)
  • Large-brimmed hat to provide shade

General Supplies

  • Door hook hanger for the bathroom, 2
  • Plastic bags, a few
  • Drawstring shoe bag (with pockets)
  • Neck pouch/necklace pouch for keeping money
  • Small towel
  • Sleeping “bag” liner (I made my own, here’s a DIY tutorial))
  • Small blanket (I cut a small throw in half so that it fit inside of my sleeping bag liner)
  • Yoga mat + carrying strap (not all of them at Bin Dawood had carrying straps, so I brought my own with me)
  • Zipper seal bags in different sizes, a handful of each size
  • Umbrella
  • Eye cover/sleeping mask (ask your Hajj leader if these will break ihram)
  • Ear plugs, 1 set/day of your trip
  • Sunglasses, 1 plus a backup
  • Clothesline and clothespins to keep up with laundry by handwashing, 8 ft. clothesline (I just used a rope) and 10 pins
  • Sewing kit
  • Inflatable airplane pillow/mini pillow
  • Extra collapsible large duffle bag (if you plan on shopping), 1 or 2 depending on your shopping list
  • D-clips for hanging stuff to your bag easily (like water bottle), 3
  • Suitcase (however many you need), suggestion: fit all of your things in 1 carry on or small check-in bag
  • Backpack or small duffle bag for the days of Hajj


  • Portable phone charger
  • Old phone
  • Extension cord with multiple outlets
  • International power adapter)

Personal Hygiene

  • Unscented soap (small pieces in a Tupperware)
  • Unscented deodorant
  • Unscented lotion or oil
  • Unscented Vaseline
  • Gloves, a few pairs
  • Unscented hand sanitizer, 2 small bottles
  • Unscented wipes, 1 pack split up into convenient zipper seal mini packs
  • Disinfecting spray
  • Unscented laundry detergent
  • Unscented sunscreen
  • Portable lota (Wudu Pal) to help with travel
  • Toilet paper roll (mini roll will do, if you’re used to using toilet paper)

Spiritual Supplies

  • Notebook
  • Pens, 2
  • Dua book or app
  • Personal traveling prayer mat
  • Quran that you’re comfortable with, preferably small
  • Budgetized, itemized shopping list
  • Tawaf counter


  • Basic mini drugs kit (allergy, pain relief, anti-diarrheal/digestive problems)
  • Antibiotics, get them from a pharmacy there (no prescription needed, just consult with a doctor in your Hajj group) if you end up needing them
  • Ginger essential oil (to help with nausea/motion sickness, simply put a few drops in a tissue and breathe deeply)
  • Paper bags/diaper bags for throwing up and other unexpected problem
  • Sore throat and cough supplies (numbing lozenges and cough drops)
  • Cold medicines of choice (you can get them in Saudi, but you might not find exactly what you’re used to)
  • Topical pain reliever for sore muscles/aches and pains (try to get unscented)
  • *If you don’t get the daily vitamin electrolyte tablets as I suggested earlier in the “Food” section, then make sure you take Vitamin C pills/immunity boosting supplements with you


  • Extra copies of passport and visas, 2
  • Will/power of attorney forms, 2
  • Permanent marker/Masking, packing, or duct tape

*Buy in Saudi Arabia

  • yoga mat
  • umbrella
  • dates
  • nuts
  • antibiotics, if needed
  • ihram

Hajj Checklist Suggestions Explained


  • Collapsible reusable water bottle
    • These came in handy for filling ZamZam. If you’re already a reusable water bottle user, then you will probably be able to easily deal with a non-collapsible one. The collapsible ones are super portable and convenient, however.)
  • Electrolyte tablets
    • I used Nuun tablets and loved them.  They break into half and therefore fit easily into a water bottle (people are always handing you water bottles.) They also don’t have a huge hit of sugar like sports drinks powders so your energy levels aren’t dictated by sugar surges in your blood stream. I suggest getting both types, the ones with the daily vitamins (get enough for one for each morning) and the regular hydration tablets without the added vitamins (get three tablets for each day).
  • Energy/marathon chews
    • These are convenient for the days of Hajj when you need something to run on but don’t want to use the bathroom as often as you normally do.
    • I got Cliff ones with and without caffeine, because my husband and I are pretty used to drinking caffeine daily. I would suggest making sure whatever caffeinated food items you get have caffeine from natural sources (like tea or coffee).
  • Granola bars (energy and/or protein)
    • Just bring enough for one a day for each day of your planned trip. Don’t get the ones with chocolate in them, they’ll melt all over.
  • Dates
    • These work like energy bars but quite honestly are way better because of their slow releasing and stabilizing sugars and the huge amounts of potassium which helps with hydration. They’re ancient energy bars + hydration tablets in one.
    • I bought dates in Madinah.
  • Nuts
    • I also bought nuts from Bin Dawud (a store you’ll find everywhere in Saudi) for a protein-rich snack on the go. They were perfect for when I didn’t want to eat something sweet, like a date, or when I was really hungry but doing okay on energy.

Clothing & Shoes

  • Random flip flops
    • These will be great for using in public restrooms or even in the shower in your hotel/building, or for coming in and out of the tent easily in Mina.
  • Shoe covers for tawaf
    • I ordered these shoe covers online, but you can also get disposable ones.  A good pair of shoes will be helpful for anyone, regardless of foot and other health issues, for walking activities within the Haram (tawaf and sa’i). I needed to wear shoes per my physical therapist’s recommendation in the recovery of a foot injury I had sustained in March. I wear a size 6.5 in (US) Women’s and I think XS would have fit ideal for me.
    • I also had a pair of Haram/indoor walking sandals, just so that I could be more certain I didn’t have any ritual impurities on my shoes. I would change my shoes outside of the Haram/Masjid al Nabawi (in front of the guards) and then put on my shoe covers over them.
    • Shoe covers or socks? I say shoe covers. I would not want to keep socks on my feet in that heat.
  • Comfortable walking sandals
    • Make sure you have two solid pairs in case one gets lost or broken.
      • I didn’t bring sneakers, but some people in my group did.  I actually have no idea how they would wear sneakers in such heat. If you get really good walking sandals, they’ll have the same soles as sneakers and you won’t need sneakers.
    • According to Shaykh Omar Suleiman, for men, make sure there isn’t a strap at the back of the ankle. For women, I believe there were little to no limitations on clothing.
  • Tennis ball
    • This is something that I did multiple times a day based off of my physical therapist’s recommendation because of my fallen arches. After a long walk, you just roll the tennis ball under your foot and it’s like a foot massage. I also did this in Europe (and so did my sister) after long days of walking.
  • Sweatshirt and sweat pants
    • This is unexpected. But bring your sweat-shirt to Mina, especially if you have air conditioned tents. The AC is out of control and runs without a thermostat to stop it. I was freezing in my tent and I thought I was getting sick because I felt so cold and was going from 60 degrees inside to 110 degrees outside if I had to step out of the tent.
  • Pure cotton clothing, thin but not sheer
    • My family is from Pakistan, and this is where traditional clothing came to save the day. Because of my skin’s allergy to the heat, I can only wear pure cotton clothing above 50 degree temperatures as it is, so the prospect of surviving in Saudi Arabia with 100 degree nights was very scary for me.  I took shalwars (traditional pants) and long kamizes/calf-length maxis (longer shirts without slits that were six inches above the ankle.)
    • My mother-in-law is a bit taller than me and had some old shalwar kamiz outfits that she wanted to get rid of because they were getting worn out.  What she did is sew the slits on the side shut, so they were basically really thin, pure cotton abayas that were far enough above the ground to not get dusty or compromised in the bathroom, but below my knee enough to make me feel comfortable wearing them in the holiest places on earth.
    • My husband pretty much wore kurta shalwars the whole time, too, because of the looseness of the clothing and the quality of the cloth which made the heat bearable. He buys most of his clothes from Junaid Jamshed.


  • Mini squirt bottle
    • Sometimes you are walking or in really cramped spaces and the mist will help revive you.
  • Mini electric fan necklace, or a manual fan
    • I liked having this electric fan necklace on. It was a little heavy, but I loved using it especially in Masjid Nabawi because everyone would sit so cramped in there and it was too stuffy to breathe.
  • Cooling towel (you can find one that runners use)
  • Door hook hanger for the bathroom
    • I got mine from the Dollar Tree. They’re really handy because you go into the stalls in Mina or Arafat and there aren’t any door hooks. You can easily hang up your bag or your towel/change of clothes without being worried about them getting wet or dirty
  • Plastic bags
    • Bring a couple grocery-sized bags, they’ll come in handy for anything and everything. Designate one specifically for bathroom trips during the days of Hajj to protect your clothes from getting wet in the bathroom.
  • Drawstring shoe bag
    • Although your Hajj package might give you one to match your group, I’m a little torn on their efficiency. The size of the drawstring bags are perfect, but the quality can be dubious (mine broke twice) and there aren’t smaller pockets for additional organization. I can’t tell you how many times I was digging in my bag to find a tiny object and how inconvenient it was.  My suggestion is to buy a small backpack or drawstring bag with additional internal/external pockets.  If your Hajj group provides a bag, simply cut out the logo from the bag and just safety-pin (or sew like I did, or hot glue even) it onto your bag. The reason why I mention this is because the same bags really do help in easily spotting your group and can be very useful to help you not get lost.
  • Sleeping “bag” liner
    • I made mine out of an old sheet that I bought from the thrift store (you can easily make your own, too, here’s how!) I saw one or two options available at the camping store, but the fabric was a synthetic blend that was not breathable. I decided to buy a pure cotton sheet from the thrift store (because I am relatively newly married, I don’t own any random old sheets) and then proceeded to hand-sew mine and my husband’s. Hand-sewing took forever and was a miserably long process, but I loved the end product and it really was truly so convenient and perfect for sleeping outside in Muzdalifah and even for sleeping in our building in Makkah and the tents in Mina (I wasn’t sure how clean the sheets and blankets were that they were giving us.) My husband said that in the tents in Mina, it is very easy for men to accidentally expose themselves due to their ihram clothing. He hung out in the tent inside his sleeping bag the whole time to avoid that problem. My suggestion is to find a masjid aunty who knows how to sew and ask her to help you, she’ll want the good deeds :)
  • Yoga mat
    • The yoga mat serves as the padding, which I suggest buying from Bin Dawood (a big store that you’ll find everywhere) when you get to Saudi so that you don’t have to lug a yoga mat around with you from the US. *Not all of the yoga mats at Bin Dawud had carrying straps. I thought they wouldn’t so I bought some from home and took them with me.
    • I looked into sleeping bag pads from the camping store as well, but they were much heftier and more expensive, so it seemed like a waste to me because I only planned on using the yoga mat for one night and we were told that if we left them in a pile in the morning someone would pick them up and reuse them. Also, the woman at the camping store told me that she uses a yoga mat every time she goes camping and that camping pads and yoga mats are essentially the same.
  • Zipper seal bags in different sizes
    • These will come in handy for creating small medicine packs for traveling on the actual days of Hajj, storing dates and nuts in, and so much more. If you have smaller to larger sizes then it will be easy for you store various items in.
    • Garment-sized zipper seal bags can also be very useful for keeping your clothes together in “packs” (per outfit or two). My suggestion is be organized and it will help you not waste time, get stressed out for no reason, and have everything you need.
  • Portable phone charger
    • You never know what the deal is with the outlets and power supply when you’re in the days of Hajj, so it’s a great idea to charge up a portable charger and have that as back-up. This is also easy because if you’re in Mina and you only have one power outlet with 10 slots for the whole tent, you’ll be able to hook up your charger whenever there’s a free outlet and you can charge as you need to. I got a Gorilla charger as a gift, and although I didn’t take it with me to Hajj, I should have! One thing to keep in mind is that you probably won’t zip through your phone’s battery as often as you do because you won’t really be on your phone during Hajj.
  • Old phone
    • If you want to risk losing your expensive smart phone, go ahead and take it. I brought an old phone (unlocked because I wanted to buy a SIM in Saudi) and my everyday smart phone to use coming in and out of the US. I left my smartphone in my building over the days of Hajj.
    • Another thing, it helps to use an old phone to unplug from the connectivity our smartphones allow us. Don’t link up your email and other social media accounts/apps. If you do, make sure you delete them before the days of Hajj start. You will be surprised at how little you will care about knowing how the rest of the world is getting on.
  • Extension cord with multiple outlets
    • Useful for everyone due to lack of outlets.
  • Umbrella
    • Useful to shield from the sun, which is intense. Also ihram-safe for men.
  • Eye covers/sleeping mask
    • If you’re a light sleeper, these will particularly come in handy. I don’t think I slept more than 5 hours at one time the whole duration of my trip and I would take naps at every time of the day and night so the eye covers helped me sleep.
  • Ear plugs
    • You will have no control over the people around you, especially in your tent in Mina. Do yourself a favor and bring ear plugs.
  • Clothesline and clothespins
    • You never know when you will need to wash something, and this will help you quickly tackle any laundry whenever you have it.
  • Extra collapsible large duffle bag (if you plan on shopping)
    • Just keep this folded up inside of one of your suitcases and you’ll be so happy you did!

Personal Hygiene

  • Unscented soap (small pieces in a Tupperware)
    • Just use the soap as shampoo, and even for washing clothes if necessary.
  • Unscented deodorant
  • Unscented lotion or oil
    • You may get sunburned or have severe reactions to the dry heat.
  • Unscented Vaseline
    • Especially helpful for men to prevent chafing due to ihram.
  • Gloves
  • Unscented hand sanitizer
  • Unscented wipes
    • I packed these in smaller zipper seal bags and rolled the wipes to fit easily inside.
  • Disinfecting spray
    • I made my own with tea tree essential oil, rubbing alcohol, and water in a spray bottle. I brought the tea tree essential oil in a small dropper bottle and put the rubbing alcohol in the spray bottle to easily pass through airport restrictions. Once I got to my hotel, I finished making the solution there. In a 4 oz. Bottle, I put 1 ounce of rubbing alcohol, 20 drops of essential oil, and filled the rest with water.
    • Spray bottles I bought are here (safe to use with essential oils).
  • Unscented laundry detergent
    • I made my own unscented laundry concentrate, which was convenient because a tiny amount went a long way. I might make some available to buy in my Etsy shop in the next two weeks, but am not sure if I have the itme.
  • Other personal care products that you enjoy using and would normally use if traveling for any other trip (these might be especially nice once you are finished with Hajj and take your first shower using the products you’re used to)
    • I got to take a shower on Eid back in our building in Makkah and it was the shower of a lifetime.

Spiritual Supplies

  • Pens
    • Impossible to find in Madinah, for some odd reason.
  • Dua book or app
    • like Accepted Whispers for example
    • Hard copy or electronic copy? My suggestion is to stay off of digital devices as much as possible. Hard copies are generally more reliable and less likely to “run out of battery” or “break” etc.
  • Personal traveling prayer mat
    • I bought mine in Madinah (I went to Madinah first) as a sort of souvenir. I would suggest always taking your prayer mat with you so that you can avoid getting sick—people are sneezing and coughing all over the ground during prayer.
  • Quran that you’re comfortable with, preferably small
  • Budgetized, itemized shopping list
    • You’ll be surprised to find this under spiritual supplies, but it is very easy to get distracted with shopping during your Hajj trip. Make a list of what you want to buy from there and what gifts you will be buying and for who. The more prepared you are, the less time you will waste in the marketplace.
  • Tawaf counter
    • (I didn’t need one because I planned a dua list for each round in Tawaf/pass in Sa’i. For example, dua for myself in the first, for my parents in the second, for my spouse in the third, etc.)
    • On that note, I would really suggest planning your dua for tawaf and sa’i in a similar manner. For example: first lap is dua for myself, second lap is dua for my kids, third lap is dua for my spouse, fourth lap is dua for my parents, fifth lap is dua for my siblings, sixth lap is dua for my community, seventh lap is dua for the Ummah. I had slightly different lists for tawaf and sa’i, so don’t feel locked in by your decision. I find it helpful to plan for your dua so that you don’t feel lost or confused or like you’re wasting precious seconds while you’re actually making tawaf or sa’i.


  • Mini drugs kit (allergy, Tylenol, anti-diarrheal)
    • Small enough to slip in your Hajj bag
  • Ginger essential oil (to help with nausea/motion sickness, simply put a few drops in a tissue and breathe deeply)
    • With the heat, you never know if you will feel sick to your stomach or not!
  • Sore throat and cough supplies
    • You will have a problem with your throat at some point.
  • Cold medicines of choice (you can get them in Saudi, but you might not find exactly what you’re used to, like Robitussin or something)

Hajj Packing Suggestions

  1. Order and gather all of your supplies NOW. Make sure everything is ready to go at least one week before your departure. Just a word of caution–your Hajj trip is precious. Do not waste your time by leaving toothpaste at home and needing to buy it in Saudi Arabia. Don’t have time? Send someone to the store with a list for you or just sit down on your computer and knock out your list in an hour or two, leaving enough time for delivery/shipping.
  2. Print out the Hajj Checklist, add whatever else you need to, and use it to make sure you have bought everything. Print out another clean copy and check off the items as you pack them. If you want to be very organized, make a note of where your items are packed.
  3. How much clothing should you take? You really don’t want to run out of clothes. I always pack light in terms of clothing but you really don’t want to, not for Hajj. Women, make sure you at least have 5 outfits (one for each day of Hajj) and men, make sure you have your ihram and a backup ihram (our Hajj leader suggested to buy the thicker ihrams that look like towels). Other than the days of Hajj, make sure you have at least 1 set of clothes for every 2 days of your trip. (If you’re a woman on a 12-day trip, for example, I would suggest taking 8 outfits.)  Men should also check if/when they can change out of their ihram with the Hajj leader. You will have to keep up with your laundry by hand washing it yourself. My suggestion is to hand wash your laundry every other day until the day of Hajj so that you don’t have any problems. (2 days before we started Hajj our Hajj group was in a frenzy to wash everything and it was overwhelming. We were lucky enough to have a building with clotheslines on the roof, but even then the clotheslines ran out of space.) If you find yourself thinking “yeah right this is way too much clothing”–think again, I challenge you! When my mom went for Hajj over 10 years ago this was her number one suggestion to me–bring a pair of clothes for every day.  In my Hajj group, there were people literally on the brink of tears because they ran out of clothes and couldn’t send them to get laundered in time before we left for Hajj (laundry there is basically paying for dry-cleaning, so get ready to shell out $3 for one clean pair of your old underwear.) Don’t do this to yourself–make sure you’ve got your clothing situation under control!
  4. Packing clothing in sets inside large zipper seal bags is very easy. Make sure you have your Hajj sets laundered, packed, and ready to go 2 days before the days of Hajj begin. Make sure each set is self-contained, you don’t want to be rummaging around for a missing something or the other in the tent in Mina and realize you forgot it at your hotel.
  5. Make sure you have a backpack or separate bag for the days of Hajj. Keep it light and easy to carry and walk with, you never know what is going to happen.
  6. Subpackage all of your things in groups. Make a medication baggie, make a shoe baggie, make a documents baggie, etc. I used cloth drawstring bags to put different groups of items together.
  7. Don’t freak out–you will be going with a group and it is likely you can borrow or take something from someone in your group if you don’t have it. You can always go to stores like Bin Dawood and get the things you need if you forgot something or something is broken.

Hajj Mabroor to you! Wishing you a life-changing journey!

Standing at just under 5’2,” Meena is still growing (figuratively, sadly no longer literally) into her place in the world. She is a graduate of Comparative Literature studies at the University of California, Irvine, where she was active with the Muslim Student Union. As a student of knowledge, Meena has discovered the power and beauty that words can have, the highest example being the Words of Allah preserved in the Holy Quran. In her own capacity and with the help of Allah, she hopes to capture and communicate her reflections and thoughts as she continues on in this exciting time of her life. You can follow her on Twitter @imeanking & read more of her posts on her personal blog:



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    July 27, 2017 at 7:51 AM

    Assalamu alaikum wr wb there!
    That was a really HUGE list. My luggage was just 1/4th of this and there was nothing I fell short of, Alhamdulillah. I suggest that people take a call on their own about how much and what they’re going to need. You certainly have loads of things to carry back from the places you visit!

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      July 27, 2017 at 8:00 AM

      BUT I must say this list pretty much covers everything of what’s needed!
      Ma shaa Allah, good job ukhti

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      July 2, 2018 at 6:10 AM

      Alhumdolilah sis Iam going for haj this year and jazak ALLAH your list was really helpful

  2. Avatar


    July 27, 2017 at 2:08 PM

    Jazakallahu khairan for this list.I will be going for Haj Insha Allah and need to start preparing.Received this in my inbox just in right time.May Allah bless us all with Haj mabroor.

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      July 27, 2017 at 5:54 PM

      Your blog remind me of my Hajj Journey :). I wish to perform Hajj again n again Insha Allah :)

  3. Avatar

    Amina salihu

    July 29, 2017 at 9:54 AM

    MashaAllah! May Allah reward your effort. It’s a very intelligent list for each to determine what they may need. I have forwarded to friends I know who are lucky to have been called for hajj this year. May Allah accept our acts of worship.

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    July 30, 2017 at 10:42 PM

    IHere is my HajjPacking list :

  5. Avatar

    Tahir Malik

    July 31, 2017 at 7:55 AM

    Thanks a lot for taking time and writing all this down. This is very helpful.


  6. Avatar


    August 20, 2017 at 7:16 PM

    Jazakillah Khayr!!

  7. Avatar


    December 8, 2017 at 1:01 AM

    Masha Allah. Thanks for this checklist for haj. May Allah give us strength for Umrah and Haaj.

  8. Avatar


    May 30, 2018 at 9:27 AM

    JazakAllah khair for sharing your hajj Travel list! It’s extremely helpful! And it contains very important tips and information!
    May Allah bless you sister.

  9. Avatar


    June 29, 2018 at 1:42 PM

    Thank You for sharing these tips.

  10. Avatar

    Fatema Yeasmin

    July 15, 2018 at 8:51 AM

    Thank you so much :)
    May Allah bless you sister❤

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    July 17, 2018 at 1:12 AM

    As salamu alaykum. Jazak Allah khair for this list. I am not a walker and sayee is like 1.96 miles or 3.5 km in 7 times, but I do not see in any video of any ladies wearing shoes or slippers. I see you have shoe cover, did you use it without anyone objecting you? I want to use it for sayii.

    • Avatar

      Meena Malik

      July 28, 2018 at 12:01 AM

      Ws. I saw many, many people wearing shoes in the sa’i area. I was surprised at how many people were wearing them actually! You CAN wear shoes during tawaf (which I did and saw other people doing as well) but because it’s the Haram and Muslims are super sensitive about shoes, you might get some people yelling at you. That’s why the shoe covers were so great–no one can get mad at you for “wearing your shoes” in the masjid. I didn’t have anyone say anything to me when I used my shoe covers. I made sure to stand near the guards as I changed my shoes from outdoor to indoor/masjid shoes and THEN put the shoe covers on. I hope that helps!

      • Avatar


        July 29, 2018 at 6:33 PM

        Jazak Allah khair sister Meena!

  12. Avatar


    July 21, 2018 at 5:35 PM

    Though this list is comprehensive, individuals will need to make a judgement call. Some great things in there like ear plugs, food items, zipper bags that I would have easily overlooked. Fantastic effort nd may Allah reward you imensly. Make dua for me as I’ve booked for hajj this year Inshaa’Allaah.

  13. Avatar


    July 30, 2018 at 1:07 AM

    Im going for hajj this year 2018 InShaAllah from New Zealand and i am using your list. great stuff. jazakAllahukahiran

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14 Short Life Lessons From Studying Aqidah

Lessons I learned Studying Theology (Aqidah) with a Local Islamic Scholar in Jordan

Hamzah Raza



I sit here in the Jordanian heat, with a kufi on and prayer beads in my hand. I watch as young kids play soccer with their kufis and kurtas on in the streets. They go on and on until the Adhan interrupts their game. I think of how different the kids back home in the United States are. Due to the rules for living in this quaint Jordanian neighborhood, the kids are not allowed to play video games, use social media, or watch television. This is the Kharabsheh neighborhood on the outskirts of Amman, Jordan.

I have spent the past two months living in this community. It is a community so similar to, yet so different from any community I have ever lived in. In many ways, it is just like any other community. People joke around with one another, invite people over for dinner, have jobs, go to the gym, and do other pervasive events of everyday life. But in many other respects, the community is different from most in the world today. Many of those living here are disciples (mureeds) in the Shadhili Sufi order. Sufism has faced a bad reputation in many parts of the world today. The stereotype is that Sufis are either not firm in their commitment to religious law (Sharia), or lax in their understanding of Islamic theology (aqidah). Far from the stereotype, I have never met any people in my life more committed to the Sharia. Nor have I ever met people so committed to staying true to Islamic orthodoxy. Just in seemingly mundanes conversations here in Kharabsheh, I find myself learning a plethora of life lessons, whether that be in regard to Islamic jurisprudence, the ontology of God, or the process of purifying one’s heart.

I have compiled a list of a few lessons I learned in studying an elementary aqidah (theology) text with a disciple of Shaykh Nuh, who is a scholar of theology and jurisprudence in himself. Without further adieu, here are some of the lessons I learned.

1) If you want to know the character of a man, ask his wife. People may think someone is great, but his wife will tell you how he actually is. One of the greatest proofs of the prophethood of the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) is that he had 11 wives over his lifespan and they all died upon Imaan (faith).

2) Humans are never static. We are always incrementally changing. No one changes in anything overnight. People are either gradually getting better, or gradually getting worse. Every day, you should sure that you are always improving. Do not get worse. If you only pray your Fard(mandatory) prayers, start to pray Sunnah(recommended prayers). If you are already praying your Sunnah prayers, improve the quality of your prayer or pray nafl (optional prayers).

3) Hope in the Mercy of God, and fear of His Justice, are two wings that we need to balance. If one has too much hope, they will become complacent and think they can refuse to follow God’s rules, and do whatever they want, because God is Merciful. If one has too much fear, they will give up. They will inevitably sin (as all humans do), and lose all motivation to better themselves.

4) The believer has great hope in the Mercy of God, while also great fear in His Justice. It is an understanding of “If everyone were to enter Heaven except for one person, I would think that person is me. And if everyone were to enter Hell except for one person, I would think that person is me.”

5) Whether we do something good or bad, we turn to God. If we do something good, we thank God (i.e. say Alhamdulillah). If we do something wrong, we turn back to God(i.e. say Astagfirullah and/or make tawbah).

6) Everyone should have a healthy skepticism of their sincerity. Aisha (May God be pleased with her) said: “Only a hypocrite does not believe that they are a hypocrite.”

7) You are fighting a constant war of attrition with your carnal desires. Your soul (ruh) and lower self (nafs) battle it out until one party stops fighting. Either your soul gives up and lets your carnal desires overtake you, or your carnal desires cease to exist (i.e. when your physical body dies). Wage war on your carnal desires for as long as you live.

life lessons, aqidah

8) The sign of guidance is being self-aware, constantly reflecting and taking oneself to task. The evidence of this is repenting, and thinking well of others. If we find ourselves making excuses for our actions, refusing to repent for sins, or thinking badly of others, we need to change that.

9) The issue with religious people is that they are often tribalistic and exclusivist. The issue with secular people is that they often have no clear meaning in life, and are ignorant of what lies beyond our inevitable death. One should be able to cultivate this meaning without being tribalistic or arrogant towards others, who have not yet been given guidance.

10) There are philosophical questions regarding free will and determinism. But it is ultimately something that is best understood spiritually. An easy first step is to understand the actions of others as predetermined while understanding your response as acts of free will. This prevents one from getting too angry at what others do to them.

11) Always think the best of the beliefs of other Muslims. Do not be in a rush to condemn people as heretics or kuffar. Make excuses for people, and appreciate the wisdom and experiences behind those who may be seemingly strange in their understanding of things.

12) Oftentimes, people get obsessed with the problems of society and ignore the need to change themselves. We are not political quietists. But we recognize that if you want to turn society around, the first step is to turn yourself around.

13) Do not slam other individuals’ religious beliefs. It leads to arrogance and just makes them more defensive. If you are discussing theology with non-Muslims, be kind to them, even if pointing out flaws in their beliefs. People are more attracted to Islam through people of exemplary character than they are through charismatic debaters or academics that can tear them apart. As my teacher put it rather bluntly, “Don’t slam Christians on the Trinity. No one can actually explain it anyways.”

14) In the early period of Islam, worshipping God with perfection was the default. Then people strayed away and there was a need to coin this term called “Sufism.” All it means is to have Ihsan (perfection or beauty) in the way you worship God, and in the way you conduct each and every part of your life.

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Ten Things You Didn’t Know About The Kaaba- Video

Dr Muhammad Wajid Akhter




Every Muslim knows the Kaaba, but did you know the Kaaba has been reconstructed several times? The Kaaba that we see today is not exactly the same structure that was constructed by Prophets Ibrahim and Ismail, may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon them. From time to time, it has needed rebuilding after natural and man-made disasters.

Watch to learn ten things that most people may not know about the Ka’aba, based on the full article Ten Things You Didn’t Know About the Ka’aba.

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Eid Lameness Syndrome: Diagnosis, Treatment, Cure




How many of you have gone to work on Eid because you felt there was no point in taking off? No Eid fun. Have you ever found Eid boring, no different from any other day?

If so, you may suffer from ELS (Eid Lameness Syndrome). Growing up, I did too.

My family would wake up, go to salah, go out to breakfast, come home, take a 4+ hour nap and then go out to dinner. I didn’t have friends to celebrate with and even if I did, I wouldn’t see them because we stuck to our own immediate family just as they did.

On the occasion that we went to a park or convention center, we would sort of have fun. Being with other people was certainly better than breakfast-nap-dinner in isolation, but calling that a memorable, satisfying, or genuinely fun Eid would be a stretch.

I don’t blame my parents for the ELS though. They came from a country where Eid celebration was the norm; everyone was celebrating with everyone and you didn’t have to exert any effort. When they moved to the US, where Muslims were a minority, it was uncharted territory. They did the best they could with the limited resources they had.

When I grew up, I did about the same too. When I hear friends or acquaintances tell me that they’re working, doing laundry or whatever other mundane things on Eid, I understand.  Eid has been lame for so long that some people have given up trying to see it any other way. Why take personal time off to sit at home and do nothing?

I stuck to whatever my parents did for Eid because “Eid was a time for family.” In doing so, I was honoring their cultural ideas of honoring family, but not Eid. It wasn’t until I moved away that I decided to rebel and spend Eid with convert friends (versus family) who didn’t have Muslim families to celebrate with on Eid, rather than drive for hours to get home for another lame salah-breakfast-nap-dinner.

That was a game-changing Eid for me. It was the first non-lame Eid I ever had, not because we did anything extraordinary or amazing, but because we made the day special by doing things that we wouldn’t normally do on a weekday together. It was then that I made a determination to never have a lame Eid ever again InshaAllah.

I’m not the only one fighting ELS. Mosques and organizations are creating events for people to attend and enjoy together, and families are opting to spend Eid with other families. There is still much more than can be done, as converts, students, single people, couples without children and couples with very small children, are hard-hit by the isolation and sadness that ELS brings. Here are a few suggestions for helping treat ELS in your community:

Host an open house

Opening up your home to a large group of people is a monumental task that takes a lot of planning and strength. But it comes with a lot of baraka and reward. Imagine the smiling faces of people who would have had nowhere to go on Eid, but suddenly find themselves in your home being hosted. If you have a big home, hosting an open house is an opportunity to express your gratitude to Allah for blessing you with it.

Expand your circle

Eid is about commUNITY. Many people spend Eid alone when potential hosts stick to their own race/class/social status. Invite and welcome others to spend Eid with you in whatever capacity you can.


You can enlist the help of close friends and family to help so it’s not all on you. Delegate food, setup, and clean-up across your family and social network so that no one person will be burdened by the effort InshaAllah.

Squeeze in

Don’t worry if you don’t have a big house, you’ll find out how much barakah your home has by how many people are able to fit in it. I’ve been to iftars in teeny tiny apartments where there’s little space but lots of love. If you manage to squeeze in even two or three extra guests, you’ve saved two or three people from ELS for that year.

Outsource Eid Fun

If you have the financial means or know enough friends who can pool together, rent a house. Some housing share sites have homes that can be rented specifically for events, giving you the space to consolidate many, smaller efforts into one larger, more streamlined party.

Flock together

It can be a challenge to find Eid buddies to spend the day with. Try looking for people in similar circumstances as you. I’m a single woman and have hosted a ladies game night for the last few Eids where both married and single women attend.  If you are a couple with young kids, find a few families with children of similar age groups. If you’re a student, start collecting classmates. Don’t wait for other people to invite you, make a list in advance and get working to fend off ELS together.

Give gifts

The Prophet ﷺ said: تَهَادُوا تَحَابُّوا‏ “Give gifts to increase love for each other”. One of my siblings started a tradition of getting a gift for each person in the family. If that’s too much, pick one friend or family member and give them a gift. If you can’t afford gifts, give something that doesn’t require much money like a card or just your time. You never know how much a card with kind, caring words can brighten a person’s Eid.

Get out of your comfort zone

If you have ELS, chances are there is someone else out there who has it too. The only way to find out if someone is sad and alone on Eid is by admitting that we are first, and asking if they are too.

Try, try, try again…

Maybe you’ve taken off work only to find that going would have been less of a waste of time. Maybe you tried giving gifts and it didn’t go well. Maybe you threw an open house and are still cleaning up/dealing with the aftermath until now. It’s understandable to want to quit and say never again, to relent and accept that you have ELS and always will but please, keep trying. The Ummah needs to believe that Eid can and should be fun and special for everyone.

While it is hard to be vulnerable and we may be afraid of rejection or judgment, the risk is worth it. As a survivor and recoverer of ELS, I know how hard it can be and also how rewarding it is to be free of it. May Allah bless us all with the best Eids and to make the most of the blessed days before and after, Ameen.

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