Following general guidelines are sketched out for you to execute your Hajj and Umrah smoothly:
Lower the gaze:
Being a Muslim, it is mandatory for men to keep their gaze lower whenever they counter situations where men and women tend to gather together (especially in Makkah).
Safeguard your Self-Respect:
Each woman (barring women above 45 years) is bound to travel for Hajj and Umrah with a Mehram (One whom she can’t marry). Hence it is the duty of men to safeguard them. It is said that worst men are Dayyooth (Who do not care if their wives, mothers, sisters and/ or daughters are approached by other Non-Mehram men) and the worst women are those who flirt with Non-Mehrams.
Avoid Mingling with Non-Mehrams:
It is prohibited (under all circumstances) to intermingle with non-Mehrams who are living in the same hotel or are in the same groups likes yours. The tours leaders and representatives should avoid being over friendly with the females in the group.
Pre – Hajj / UmrahPreparationn:
Another important general guideline for Hajj /Umrah is to search for relevant and necessary ‘Ilm’ (knowledge) from reliable sources prio tor leaving for Hajj or Umrah. This will help you perform Hajj / Umrah independently and with confidence. Learning a few Arabic words will come very handy.
Greet People Around:
Greet your fellow pilgrims (belonging to the same gender) with Salam. Every pilgrim is bound to be a Muslim so spread Salam wherever you go as lack of greetings is one of the signs of Qayamat (Apocalypse/ Day of Judgement).
Help the Elderly:
A very general guideline to perform Hajj / Umrah is to respect the elders. Ensure to assist them whenever it possible so that they perform their Hajj / Umrah successfully.
Settle on a Price Before Making the Transaction:
In order to evade unnecessary disagreements, agree on the price level prior to making the transactions. You will have to put your negotiation skills into practice for getting your laundry done, during shopping, for rendering additional services at the airport.
Avoid Putting Musical Ringtone on Your Phone During the Pilgrim:
Instead of any song or melodious tune, put a simple generic ringtone on your phone. The general guideline for Hajj / Umrah is to stick to the basic tunes such as Nokia tune, the generic ‘ring ring’ tune, etc. Avoid using your phone as much as possible, especially during Tawaf. Use of phone during the sacred journey is a sign of disrespect.
Avoid Taking Pictures:
Unfortunately, instead of focusing on performing the Hajj and Umrah correctly, people locate spots to capture the perfect picture. Honestly, if one is sincere enough and realize the actual worth of this journey, he or she will get so engrossed in worship that they will forget about all irrelevant actions. One needs not to provide others with proofs that they were there. Hajj and Umrah are performed for Allah only and he does not require any proofs.
Hajj and Umrah can turn out to be a true test of patience. On the journey, you will encounter all sorts of people. One should remain calm and try not to lose their temper whenever they come across any unanticipated situation.
Do not hesitate to socialize with your fellow pilgrims. Do not be shy to initiate the conversation. If one can’t do any of this, they should pass a smile at-least.
One more general guideline to perform Hajj / Umrah is that one should refrain from smoking. If they can’t, they should restrict it to their hotel room only.
The taxis present in Saudi Arabia might not be in the ideal condition. Do not worry if the windscreen is cracked or a side mirror is missing. All you need to ensure is that you fasten up your seat belt.
One might come across some fellow Muslims who will advise you whenever you make a mistake. This happens more often in Makkah. If someone does that, listen to them patiently and be humble. On the other hand, if you see someone struggling and seeking for help, do not hesitate to advise them.