Handy Hajj Tips for Ladies

Handy Hajj Tips for Ladies

Compiled by Aliya Khan and Ruhaifa Samir

Congratulations to those, who have made intention to go for Hajj this year. You are embarking on a monumental and life altering journey. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your pilgrimage!

What to do before Hajj

  1. Start an exercise routine. Walking is ideal to get you in shape for the rituals of Hajj.
  2. Read books to learn about Hajj.
  3. Learn the Talbia and favourite supplications.
  4. Don’t just promise to do Duas for other people – better write them down; also make a list of your own Duas as well.
  5. Practise silence.
  6. Reflect. Think about the permanent changes you want to see in your life post-Hajj. Make it part of your Niyyah.
  7. Pray for an easy and Mabroor (accepted) Hajj.
  8. Make cards according to the days of Hajj, listing Duas and rituals to be done that day.

What to take with you

Besides the usual, here are some tips for things that will add convenience to your Hajj, Insha’Allah:

  1. Get Abayas with pockets.
  2. Bring with you scissors, so your Mahram can cut your hair after Hajj.
  3. Carry with you a spray bottle (for Wudu), a small bag that can be used for Sutra, some clean dirt for Tayammum and a Quran with translation.
  4. Arrange a sim for your phone. Keep your phone, some money and contact numbers of your group/organizer in your Abaya pocket at all times.
  5. Know your hotel and room number. Wear the identification tag your Hajj group gives you at all times!
  6. Keep a little notebook for write down the lessons learnt during Hajj.

What to do during Hajj

  1. Don’t keep calling home every day. Concentrate more on your Hajj.
  2. Try your best to pray Tahajjud every day.
  3. Don’t commit sin by trying to do the Mustahab, such as pushing through men to kiss the Black Stone.
  4. Decide on a favourite Dhikr or Dua, so you can concentrate on it, whenever you feel distracted.
  5. Walk patiently and calmly during Tawaf. Don’t get angry, when others push you. It is advisable to expect a bit of chaos; try focusing on your learned Duas.

How to behave during Hajj

  1. Stay calm during Hajj.
  2. Don’t talk much.
  3. Don’t concern yourself with other people’s issues and help them only if they seek your help.
  4. All the Hujjaj are Allah’s (swt) guests. Be afraid of doing anything to upset anyone. In case if anyone annoys you consciously or unconsciously, forgive and forget!
  5. Lower your expectations as in presence of thousands of Hujjaj it is natural to have little troubles.
  6. Don’t lose your temper at the organizers, in case you are unhappy with the arrangements.
  7. Be prepared for hardships and don’t keep running towards comfort.
  8. Keep yourself open to whatever comes your way, good or bad. Embrace it as your contribution in the way of Allah (swt).

What to do after Hajj

  1. Do self evaluation after Hajj; a Mabroor Hajj must change you permanently and make you more obedient to Allah (swt).
  2. Use learning from the Hajj to plan for your remaining life.
  3. After coming back, don’t tell long stories of your Ibadah and Taqwa to others, as it may be counted as act of self-praising (vanity).
  4. After returning or on your flight back, write down what you learnt from the Hajj experience.
  5. Some people come back with stories of dirty bathrooms at Mina and the hardships they faced. Others come back with brighter hearts and enlightened souls. Be one of the latter.

Your Hajj will be quite a journey. You will learn from it only if you are ready and willing to ‘receive’. Pray to Allah (swt) to make this Hajj a means of bringing you closer to Him. May Allah (swt) accept your Hajj. Ameen.

Dealing with Innovators

Dealing with Innovators

Three men – Abu Bakr, Abu Bakr Al-Admi and their friend – went for Hajj together. After they had performed all the rites of Hajj, they decided to visit Madinah.

One day, in Madinah, the friend came to Abu Bakr and said: “There is a blind man in the mosque of the Prophet (sa). He is narrating fabricated incidents and weak Ahadeeth to a large audience. We really should go and stop him from doing so, as he is misleading the public.”

Abu Bakr pondered for a while and then replied: “I really do not think that people will listen to us and disregard the more interesting details that the blind man has to tell them. After all, this is not Baghdad. We are well-known there and so is our credibility. Here, we are merely travelers. No one knows us, and if we try and argue with him, no one would support us. We will have to think of another way to handle this.”

Suddenly, an idea occurred to him. He realized that Abu Bakr Al-Admi recites the Quran beautifully. All three of them went to the mosque of the Prophet (sa). There, Abu Bakr Al-Admi was requested to start reciting the Quran in a loud voice.

When he began to recite, people automatically began to gather around him. Attracted by his voice and Qirat, the people attending the blind man’s study circle also got up and came here instead. Soon, there was no one around the blind man.

He sighed and asked his assistant to lead him home, saying: “Blessings are taken away in a second.”

This story contains an important lesson for all of us in these times. Instead of fighting over our differences, it is always a good idea to think of more creative and peaceful ways to resolve those differences, such that the right prevails over the wrong.

Adapted (with permission) from Sunehray Huroof published by Darussalam. Translated for “Hiba” by Hafsa Ahsan.

Multitasking and the Sunnah

Multitasking and Sunnah

By Maryam Sakeenah

You have to be a multitasker, or you’re old fashioned. It is just so normal nowadays to have a conversation while SMSing a friend, listen to a song while typing an email, update your Facebook status while looking up a reference on Google, watch the television, while having dinner with family. This just goes to show the magnitude of the transformation the technological revolution has brought about in our social and personal lives. Multitasking is the way of life.

While the modern lifestyle almost dictates multitasking, is it really an efficient way to get things done and get them done well? Much has been written about it and concerns voiced about multitasking taking its toll on human relationships, work efficiency and quality, time management, mental concentration and human behaviour.

What in the old-fashioned eighties would be considered rude manners, disrespect, attention deficit or disinterest is now the way to go about things. In a comedy show, Jerry Seinfeld explains his reasons for not possessing a Blackberry Smartphone: “Blackberry people… their pupils do not focus. They’re not really there. They hold the Blackberry in their hands all the time, because this is what it commands them to do. And they listen to what you are saying and compare it to what is on the Blackberry, and which one is really more interesting…”

It is interesting to note that the term multitasking is derived from computer multitasking. It is a basic computer function. But while machines are built to multitask, can we apply it to human lives as well? The modern way of life demands just that, but it is common observation that it leads to attention deficit, poor time management and poor efficiency. Psychological studies have disclosed that people show severe interference, when even very simple tasks are performed at the same time, if both tasks require selecting and producing action. Many suggest that the human brain can only perform one task at a time. (“Is Multitasking a Myth?” BBC News, August 20, 2010). Researchers examined, how multitasking affects academic success, and found that students who engaged in more multitasking reported more problems with their academic work. (Junco, R. & Cotten, ‘Perceived Academic Effects of Instant Messaging Use.’)

Inability to manage time is a frequent complaint one gets to hear so often. We are by far busier today than ever before, we have more things to do today than ever before, our lives are faster and our tasks speedier than ever before, but we get to accomplish little, if not nothing. Multitasking achieves little. With our uninsightful and rather thoughtless embrace of technology, the Barakah has fled from our lives, as we race against time and breathlessly chase deadlines, doing nothing to the heart’s content. We remain perpetual underachievers, perpetually dissatisfied.

As Muslims, the inspiration and guidance always comes from the life of the Prophet (sa). While we all know that the Prophet (sa) possessed a multi-dimensional personality and lived out many roles that inspire all sorts of people, he also did justice to each of these roles, lived each aspect perfectly well, and accomplished all of his diverse range of duties remarkably. Whether it be his family life, his political life, his social sphere or his spiritual life, Muhammad (sa) did it all to perfection. So then, dispensing so many tasks altogether, fulfilling so many of his duties that his position demanded, did the Prophet (sa) multitask?

Here are some insights from his life that give us clarity in this regard. For one, the Prophet (sa) was a beloved husband and spent quality time with his wives and children. To his friends, he was a mentor and a loveable companion. As a military strategist and soldier, a jurist and lawmaker, a head of state, leader and statesman, a teacher and guide, the Prophet (sa) was the paragon par excellence. Ayesha (rta) narrates: “The Messenger of Allah talked to us and we talked to him. However, he was as if he had not recognized us, when it was time for prayer, and he turned to Allah with his all existence.” This shows that the Prophet (sa) would give his best to each task, one at a time. While at home, he would be fully involved in domestic affairs, spending time with the people of his household, listening to them, talking to them and attending to their needs. And when it was time for other duties, such as the duty of prayer to his Lord, he would stop everything else and turn towards his Lord (swt) with heart and soul, with complete submission and thorough involvement. This is also why he managed family matters exceedingly well, and all his wives loved his noble companionship thoroughly.

It is also interesting to note the Prophet’s (sa) manners of conversing with others. It is said he would speak little, but with gravity, precision, balance and wisdom. More than that, he was an intent listener and would listen to others patiently with complete attention till they had finished. In fact, when spoken to, he would turn himself with full involvement and interest towards the speaker, making him feel thoroughly understood and given importance. It worked wonders in gluing together a closely knit and firmly bonded community of companions, disciples, associates and devotees, who later became integral to the spread of the Islamic mission.

In matters of the state or of military planning, the Prophet (sa) applied himself fully and achieved astounding results. The fact that the Prophet (sa) is universally acknowledged by all as, perhaps, the most successful figure in human history, must make us analyze his approach and methods with some seriousness. The way of the Prophet (sa) was clearly what may be called ‘uni-tasking’ – taking one thing at a time, performing it to the best of his ability till its conclusion without interruption, distraction or interference. It is only when one allows oneself to be possessed by a single idea and executes it to its successful end does one become an achiever with a deep sense of satisfaction. This deep contentment for having attained your target, after successfully finishing a task you devoted yourself wholly to, is an unparalleled feeling that is the privilege of the Sunnah-abiding Muslim to relish. Muslims are essentially uni-taskers.