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Hajj & Umrah FAQ

  • Hajj & Umrah General
    • Q. What is the distance from Makkah to Mina and from Mina to Arafat?
    • The distance between Makkah and Mina is around 8 kilometers (5 miles). And the distance between Mina and Arafat is around 14.4 kilometers (9 miles).
    • Q. Where do pilgrims stay during Hajj Manasik (Mina, Arafat, & Muzdalifah)?
    • Hajj Manasik takes place in Mina, Arafat, and Muzdalifah. In Mina, pilgrims stay in camps. There two camps: the European camp and the Jamarat camp. Some of Dar Al-Islam groups will be staying in the first camp and the rest of the groups will be staying in the Jamarat camps.

      Both camps are supplied with air conditioning (a/c) units.

      In Arafat, all pilgrims will stay in the same camp until sunset.

      In Muzdalifah, there will be no camps for any Hajj group. All pilgrims will be staying the night in flat open areas. Make sure to have with you your sheets and sleeping bags. However, you will only be staying in Muzdalifah for short amount of time. If you arrive in Muzdalifah at 10:00 PM, you will be leaving for Mina around 6:00 AM, when buses start moving pilgrims to Mina.

    • Is food provided during Hajj Manasik (Mina, Arafat, & Muzdalifah)?
    • During the 5-days Manasik, food can be arranged for an extra charge. However, light meals, drinks, and fruit are sold outside the tents at an inexpensive price of around SD 10 per plate. If you buy your own food, you will be saving considerable amount of money.
    • How are children classified by their age?
    • The Hajj Ministry in Arabia classifies children into 3 classes:

      1. Infant Class: any child less than 2 years of age.
      2. Child Class: any child between 2 and 12 years of age.
      3. Adult Class: any child over 12 years of age.
    • Q. Are there day-care centers during Hajj?
    • Day-care centers are not available during Hajj.
    • Will a representative meet our group when arriving at Jeddah airport or Medina airport?
    • Each group is based on the package class. The representative will also meet pilgrims at the hotel to assign them their rooms and meal tickets.
    • Is Meningitis vaccination mandatory for children and pregnant women as well?
    • If your wife is pregnant, she will be exempted from taking the vaccine. You will have though to attach a letter from your clinic asserting that your wife is pregnant. This document is required by the consulate that issues the visa. Children under the age of 10 are also exempted from taking the vaccine.
    • Q. For how long is the Meningitis vaccine good?
    • The Meningitis vaccine taken in the UK is valid for 3 years.
    • When will I get the visa?
    • The embassy and its consulates around the country start processing visas about 3 weeks before Hajj departure. The visa is issued a few days before departure.
    • Can I get a Hajj or Umrah visa on my own?
    • Since 2001, the Ministry of Hajj dictated that any pilgrim for Hajj or Umrah must be associated with a Hajj agency in order to be issued a visa. Therefore, no one can get a Hajj or Umrah visa by applying directly to the embassy.
  • Mehram
    • Q. What is Mehram?
    • Mehram is any man (free, adult, and close relative: father, son, brother, uncle) with whom a woman can travel a distance equivalent to at least a day and a night.
    • Can a woman go to Hajj without Muhram?
    • According to the strict meaning of Hadith ("A woman should not travel a distance equivalent to a day and a night but with her husband or a Muhram"), the answer is no. The other Hadith narrated by companion Odey is not contradictory to this Hadith above, nor it is a recommendation by the Phrophet (Salla Allaho Alaihi Wesallam) for a woman to travel without a Muhram.
  • Accomodation
    • Q. How many people can stay in a room?
    • At any hotel in Makka or Medina, there is a maximum of 5 people in a room.
    • Is transportation provided between the airport and the hotels? Between hotels and Manasik?
    • The transportation between hotels and airport is the responsibility of Dar Al-Islam. It is provided free. The transportation from hotel to Mina, from Mina to Arafat, from Arafat to Muzdalifah, and from Muzdalifah to Mina is all included and provided by Dar Al-Islam.
    • Q. What kind of food is served in Arabia?
    • A combination of middl eastern and international food.
  • Qurbani
    • Q. When do I make the Qurbany)?
    • The Qurbani or sacrifice is due on the 10th day of Thyl Hijjah, the Eidol Adha Day.
  • Ihram
    • Q. What is Miqaat?
    • Miqaat is the geographic location from which the pilgrim, for Hajj or Umrah, will make Ihram. If a pilgrim passes this point without making Ihram, the pilgrim will have to make Fidyah, in the form of a sheep slaughtered as a Kaffarah.
    • Q. When do I start wearing Ihram sheets?
    • If you going to Medina first, you will start making Ihram at Abaar Ali (Thul Holeifah), just outside the Medina limit, on your way to Mekka.

      However, if your heading to Makka first, you must be making Ihram while you are in the air. The airplane captain usually announces the Miqaat point and asks the pilgrims to make Ihram. In order to make sure you do not miss the Miqaat and you make Ihram rightfully, it is advised that you start making Ihram immediately after departure. For instance, you are departing from Rome to Jeddah, you will make Ihram at the Rome airport or immediately after boarding the aircraft.

      Dar Al-Islam will have an adviser who will help the pilgrims fulfilling their Hajj and Umrah obligations according to the Sunnah of Resoolo Allah (Salla Allaho Aleihi Wesallam).

    • Q. How will a pilgrim start Ihram?
    • A pilgrim man will start the Ihram as follows:.

      1. Change his clothes and only wear two sheets: Izaar and Ridaa.

      2. After changing clothes, you make verbally (Not Only In Your Heart) the Niyyah with the exact wording: "Lebbaika Allhomma Umrah", or "Lebbaika Allhomma Hajj"

      For a pilgrim woman, she will do the same thing above except she will not have to wear any special Ihram clothes. Making Ihram in the same clothes she is wearing is OK.

      Please note that it is Sunnah to have a body wash (shower) before making Ihram. It is not though an obligation.

  • Hajj Dates
    • Q. What are the dates for Hajj?
    • The lunar month is the determinant of Hajj dates. Hajj starts every year in the month of Thyl Hijjah. Here are the day of Hajj:

      1. Hajj starts on the 8th of Thyl Hijjah, which is called the Day of Tarwiyah.
      2. On the 9th of Thyl Hijjah pilgrims stand on Arafat.
      3. On the 10th of Thyl Hijjah pilgrims perform the manasik of Ramey Jamarat, Tawaf & Saey, Shaving, & Qurbany.
      4. On the 11th through the 12th, but up to the 13th for those who wish so, pilgrims stay in Mina for Ramey Jamarat.
      5. Hajj ends on either the 12th of Thyl Hijjah or the 13th of Thyl Hijjah
    • Q. How long is the stay in Mina?
    • Mina stay is a total of 5 days. This includes the Tarwiyah Day, Arafah Day, Eid Day, and the 3 days of Tashreeq, if the pilgrim is not in a hurry.

      However, if the pilgrim is in a hurry, and has to leave on the 12th of Thyl Hijjah, then the total number of days will reduce to 5: Tarwiyah Day, Arafah Day, Eid Day, and 2 days of Tashreeq.

    • Q. How long is the stay in Arafat?
    • Arafat stay starts from the Zawal or Dhohr time until sunset.
    • Q. Can some people visit their homeland after Hajj?
    • Yes, you can book your ticket in advance to leave for your homeland after completing Hajj. Please note that you cannot leave Arabia until you complete Hajj, which is after the 12th day of Thul Hajjah.
    • Q. What is the minimum deposit required to purchase my Hajj package?
    • Each Hajj package has a minimum amount of deposit stated on the Hajj Packages page.
    • Q. What is your cancelation policy?
    • Airlines do not refund Hajj tickets once they are issued. And some hotels have similar policies on room reservation. Therefore, we will not refund the deposit made if a pilgrim cancels his or her seat. Please read the Terms and Conditions section.
  • Miscellanious
    • Q. Is Hajj visa guaranteed to be issued?
    • As long as you have valid, unexpired documents (passport, green card, I-94, etc.), you will Insha Allah get the visa.
    • Q. What are the Motawwaf fees used for?
    • The Motawwaf fees cover the following pilgrim services:

      Loading and unloading you luggage at the airport, transportation to and from the airport to the hotel, transportation from hotel to Mina, from Mina to Arafat, from Arafat to Muzdalifah, and back to Mina. In addition, they cover the cost of staying in the tents in Mina and Arafat.

      Please note that the Motawwaf fees cashier check must be stapled in your passport until you arrive in Jeddah or Medina.
    • Q. How far is the hotel from the haram in Medina and Makka?
    • Please review the accomodations associated with each package. Some packages have close residence hotels around the haram and some are a distance from the haram.
    • Q. I am making Hajj with my parents. However, they are elderly and cannot make Tawaf and Saey?
    • There are wheelchairs available for rent inside the Haram. The wheelchair owner will be responsible for driving the wheelchair. The cost of renting this service as of 2009 is around SR 500. If you negotiate, you might be able to bring the cost down to SR 300. The service includes both Tawaf and Saey.
    • Q. I am going for Hajj with my wife. Will we stay in the same room at the hotel in Makka and Medina?
    • At the hotel, women stay together in separate suites from men. So you will be staying with the men and your wife will be staying with women. The same thing applies during manasik. Women will stay in separate tents from men. However, you can purchase a suite for you and your wife at an extra cost. Please see each package description.
    • Q. When is the deadline for making payment?
    • The deadline is 60 days before departure. For Hajj application filed after Eid El-Fitr, the total amount must be submitted with the application. Before Ramadan 1st, a deposit is accepted and it is about 50% of the total package price.
    • Q. How many luggage bags can we check in for free?
    • You can check in 2 pieces of luggage, each up to 50 lbs in weight. There is a charge for each additional piece.
    • Q. Can my kids check in the same number of luggage?
    • Children who are two years of age or older can check in 2 pieces of luggage, each up to 50 lbs in weight. Please check with the airline since these policies change.
    • Q. How is my application handled?
    • When you send in the application forms with all required documents, we will first start making your hotel and airline reservations. After these reservations are confirmed, we will start processing your visa, if all fees are paid by then. After confirming your reservations and obtaining your visa, you will receive a package that includes the airline ticket, the hotel information, your passport with the visa, a picture Id card, and the group contact information when your land in Mekka and Medina.
    • Q. When will be the last day to receive Hajj or Umrah applications?
    • Limited seats are available, therefore, the seats will be reserved on first-come, first-served basis. It is advised that you start making reservation at least 90 days before the departure day.
    • Q. Can I use my visa cards in Makka and Medina?
    • Visa cards are accepted everywhere. However, there is a catch. When you make a purchase there, the currency used is SR.
    • Q. How much cash should I take with me?
    • If you selected a package that does not include food and drink, then set an allowance of £100. Then, consider what gifts you plan to buy for your family and friends.
    • Q. Is medicare provided during manasik?
    • Yes, medicare is provided during manasik. In the north camp in Mina, there is a free medical clinic and you can get also free medicine from the clinic.
    • Q. What if I lost my marriage certificate and I am going for Hajj with my wife?
    • If you lost your marriage certificate, go to your local Islamic center and request the manager there to write you a letter certifying that are known to the community as a husband and a wife. This certificate will serve as a proof of marriage.
    • Q. I have a valid business or tourist visa. Can I go for Hajj using that visa?
    • No. The hajj visa is strictly used for Hajj and cannot be substituted by other types of visa.
    • Q. What should I take with during the Hajj or Umrah trip?
    • The most important item to take is your Ihram clothes. If you arrive in Medina first, you will be able to buy them in Medina, and they cost between $5 to $7. However, if you arrive in Jeddah first, you will be making Ihram while you are in the air, and therefore, you will need to buy them here in the States, where they cost between $25 to $35.

      For further information on what to take with you, please review the Hajj Advisory (Items You Need) page.