Essential Items for Hajj and Umrah
On the whole, the majority of these items will be required for both Hajj and Umrah though less will be required if you are just going for Umrah. Items mentioned for use in Arafat, Mina and Muzdalifah will not be required during an Umrah trip outside of Hajj.
Essential items you should take with you:
- Ihraam: For men it is two clean, unfitted pieces of cloth, preferably white, while women are free to wear what they please except clothes that are attractive to or imitating men.
- If possible take another set of Ihraam clothes with you. You are in Ihraam for 3 days and 2 nights during Hajj. It is nice to be able to change or in case you accidentally dirty your Ihraam. (The Ihraam cloths (men) can be used as towels, shades, blankets, etc., later on.)
- Clothes: Take comfortable, loose-fitting clothes. You do not need lots of clothes. Take clothes that are acceptable to wear to the mosque, and are easily washed and ironed. Take clothes with material that require little or no ironing.
- Keep packets of hand tissues (for the toilet, sweating, etc.). Some tissues are perfumed, so avoid using them while in Ihraam.
- Take a comfortable pair of sandals to wear with your Ihraam and for going to and from the mosque. Take a flat, soft pair if possible, as these are much easier to carry in your hand when you are in the Haram. Do not buy new pairs of slippers or shoes for Hajj, if you don't have to. Instead, use the tried and tested ones. Most of the time, new shoes tend to hurt one’s feet when you initially wear them.
- Carry a small plastic bag or a small cloth string bag with you, to place your sandals/shoes in when you are inside the mosque.
- Take a pair of sand shoes (runners, joggers, tennis shoes). "What for?" you may ask. You will need them in Mina. They are the ideal shoes for going to the jamrah as they provide you with grip and balance. Remember you are only in Ihraam on the first day of stoning the jamrah. Thereafter you are out of Ihraam, meaning you can now wear your joggers. Avoid going to the mosque with them, as they are normally bulky. This applies to women as well.
- Take socks, as you will need these to wear with your shoes
- A small pocket-size Qur'an. There are many Qur'ans available in the mosque. However, it is much easier to have your own. Also you won't have to get up to get it or take it back, as you may lose your valuable spot in the mosque. (Remember not to enter the toilet with the Qur'an in your pocket.)
- The book of Hajj from Sahih Muslim or Sahih Bukhari. This is a handy authentic reference in case you are unsure about a particular issue.
- Your Hajj reference books that you studied from
- Prayer mat. You may need it when “caught” outside the Haram or when on the road due to traffic or crowds. It can also be used as a sun shield when required and can be very useful during travelling.
- Compass for Qiblah. This will be needed while travelling.
- A Pen. This is always a handy item. Be prepared to share it with other pilgrims, therefore do not take an expensive pen.
- Paper or a small notebook. If you have a pen, you will need something to write on. Use an A4 paper and divide it into small (business card size) pieces.
- A small bag (backpack/knapsack) that you can carry on your back. This is very useful for your trip to Arafat as well as for moving between Mina and Makkah.
- Shaving machine, blades and scissors. This is not for the beard but for preparing yourself for Ihraam and to shave/cut your hair on the 10th of Dhul-Hijja.
- Scissors (to cut the hair of the female pilgrims).
- Hairbrush or comb.
- Small mirror.
- Nail clippers.
- Alarm clock.
- Money belt.
- Umbrella (avoid a black one, as it draws the heat).
- A hat/cap/koefia or scarf to protect your head from the sun if you plan to shave it (men) on the 10th of Dhul-Hijja.
- A straw Hajji mat. (If you do not have one, you can buy it in Makkah. It is a woven straw or plastic mat with a plastic blow-up pillow. Essential for your night stay in Muzdalifah.)
What is useful to take with you:
- Shoe bag for your shoes while you are in the mosque.
- Stone bag to keep your stones for the stoning (ramy) of the jamr'at in Mina.
- Sun block (do not use it while you are in Ihraam).
- Dust mask
- Small water spray bottle. This is most refreshing, but can give you a cold.
- An address book, e-mail addresses and business cards.
- A small pocket knife. You should pack this in your suitcase and not in your carry-on luggage, as it will be confiscated (the camping type that contains a scissors, can-opener, etc.).
- Some string. (This is useful to hang clothes or to tie a damaged suitcase.)
- Some clothes pegs for hanging your washing.
- An inflatable air mattress. This is very useful in Mina and Muzdalifah. The plastic pool ones will do the trick.
- A blow-up travelling neck-pillow. This is very useful during the long journeys (plane or bus).
- A small radio. You can listen to the Khutbah on Arafat.
Take some or all of the following with you. These things are all available in Saudi Arabia however; it is much easier to go prepared:
- Headache tablets;
- Salt tablets (especially if you sweat a lot);
- Muscle cramp ointment;
- Vitamin C tablets (take one of these daily);
- Throat lozenges & Cough syrup;
- Cream for skin irritation (Remember, you (men) will be wearing no underwear and pants while in Ihraam, and the friction can become painful);
- Moisturising cream (for your dry skin and heels);
- Plasters (band aids) and some bandages;
Toiletries to take with you: (these items are available in Makkah. However, as with the medicines, it is good to go well prepared):
- Shampoo (if perfumed, do not use it while in Ihraam)
- Non- perfumed soap (for while you are in Ihraam)
- Liquid soap (shower hair and body wash)*
- Toothpaste (use a miswak instead while you are in Ihraam)
- Perfume (men only)
- Underarm deodorant (perfume-free for the women)
- Sanitary pads.
- Sunscreen lotion
* We suggest you buy the liquid soap instead of a soap bar. Take the ones that can be used as shampoo as well. Also, try to get the ones in a container with either a hook or a tube shape with a flat back. This will make your trips to the shower in Mina much easier.
What NOT to take with you
- Lots of clothes.
- Expensive jewelry.
- Any political books or fashion magazines.
- Lots of toys, if you have accompanying children