Ministry of Hajj
Ministry of Hajj
Ministry of Hajj
Hajj Notices
Hajj Questionnaire

How to Plan a Successful Pilgrimage

A pilgrimage is a sacred journey to a holy place or site. People decide to undertake this journey for many reasons. Some look for a miracle, while others are looking for a spiritual experience that would bring peace to their souls. Some religions, like the Islam, require that each Muslim does the Hajj at least once in their lifetime if they can afford. Regardless of religion or the reason behind the pilgrimage, if you wish to begin a successful pilgrimage, you need to plan it properly. There are three periods of every pilgrimage. The first period is the planning phase, where you need to take care of every detail and make sure that your body is healthy and can handle the journey. The second phase is the actual pilgrimage, and the third phase is what comes after you have completed your mission. Today, we will be looking at how to plan your pilgrimage, from the beginning of the first period to the end of the third period, so that you could achieve the peace of mind that comes after the pilgrimage.

Start planning months ahead

Turn your wall into a drawing board with some whiteboard paint. What is whiteboard paint? It’s a dry erase paint that can turn any surface into a whiteboard. It’s perfect for making plans and can be quite useful when planning pilgrimages. The first thing you need to do is decide on the destination and the route. You can draw the path on one part of the wall, divide the path into days and nights, and use it to plan your pilgrimage. Having a good plan is necessary for a successful pilgrimage. Of course, your journey will not go 100% according to your plan. On the other hand, planning your pilgrimage months ahead will give you two different benefits. The first benefit is flexibility – if one factor of your journey changes, you can immediately view how other aspects of the journey will change as a result. The second benefit is preparation – you will have more time to plan and as such, will be able to mind every detail. As a result, your journey will be swifter, smoother and easier.

Mind your budget

Pilgrimages involve traveling, often to exotic or distant destinations. You will face different costs, starting from visa costs, all the way to hotel and airplane reservations. Moreover, you will have other expenses – such as clothing, equipment, and whatever else you are planning on bringing with you on the journey. Airplane tickets are cheaper when bought months ahead, and the same applies to hotel reservations. Remember, you do need a hotel, despite the fact that you are going on a pilgrimage – a journey that involves walking – because you should arrive a few days before the start of the journey, and allow a few days of rest so that your body can get accustomed before flying back home.

Make sure your body is fit

As mentioned above, pilgrimages involve walking, for a week, two weeks, or however long necessary to reach a holy site. If you have spent the last five or so years sitting in an office every day, your body might suffer from shock once your pilgrimage begins. Moreover, if you do not exercise daily, chances are you would not be able to reach the holy site and handle the journey – which is also quite dangerous for your health. Because of this, it is advisable that you begin preparing your body for the journey to come. Try to walk at least two or three kilometers per day, and increase the amount every week. That way, when you finally begin your journey, your body would be used to walking every day and will be able to handle the physical strain.

Health preparation

Since you will probably be traveling abroad, you should get vaccines to protect your health. Even if you are traveling solo, and going on a solitary pilgrimage, you should still make sure to get inoculated. You might have an adverse reaction to a different environment, and since a pilgrimage is a period of your life when you need to be healthy, vaccines are strictly necessary. Opposite, if you are going on a group pilgrimage, the vaccines are doubly important. Due to the closeness of the group and a large number of people who would be traveling with you, viruses and illnesses would thrive in such an environment. For example, individuals who wish to do the Hajj are advised to get inoculated against meningitis. The Hajj attracts more than two million people every year, and in that environment, meningitis has been proven to spread quickly.

Make sure you have everything

Imagine every day of your journey, from the moment you would wake up until the moment you would lay down to sleep. What will you need? Will you sleep underneath an open sky, or will you need to set up a tent every night? Will you discard material items and bring only the necessities, or will you bring special equipment with you?

Do not think that you shouldn’t use equipment and technology during a pilgrimage. You might be surprised to know that technology is welcomed during the Hajj, for example, and used to aid the two million people who take part in the journey. Even when done in a group setting, a pilgrimage is a personal journey by nature. It is not important whether you wish to push yourself to the limit, or make your journey easier with equipment. Bring whatever you need that will help you complete the journey and focus on your goal.

Create a goal, but keep an open mind

As previously stated, people go on pilgrimages because of different reasons. However, most of them have a goal that they want to achieve – even if that goal is nothing complex and merely involves stepping away from the material world for a while and reflecting upon beliefs, values, and ethics. Whatever you choose as your goal, make sure that it will bring you peace, and that it can be achieved through your journey. On the other hand, keep an open mind. Experience everything you can. Make friends and communicate with other people in your group. If you are traveling solo, use the time to reflect, but make sure you can always talk with someone if an emergency comes up. Take everything in stride, and most of all, focus on achieving your goal.

Share your experience with others

While millions of people go on pilgrimages every year, there are some people who wish to go on a pilgrimage but remain at home because they are afraid of the unknown. They don’t know what to expect, and as such, they remain at home, year after year. So, after you have finished your pilgrimage, you should consider sharing your experience with others. You can do this by telling all of your friends about it, starting a blog where you will talk about the journey, or even by writing a book about it. Be honest about your journey. Share both the positive and negative parts of it. Share your favorite moments. You have the power to inspire many people to leave their homes for a few weeks during the year and go on a pilgrimage, and sharing your experience can bring forth personal joy as well.