Hajj is a commitment for every Muslim who is physically fit, mentally sane and capable of bearing the cost of Hajj travel. Annually, around three and a half million Muslims from different corners of the world gather in Makkah to perform the holy pilgrimage of Hajj, also considered one of the greatest human gatherings in the world. It is a chance to seek forgiveness from Allah (SWT), wipe away sins and start life afresh. If you are lucky to travel to Makkah for performing Hajj, it is your responsibility to look for a perfect Hajj package for yourself or for your family. It is important to decide beforehand which Hajj package would be suitable for you; shifting or non-shifting, which are usually the two kinds of Hajj packages offered by different travel agencies across the world. Before choosing any one of these packages, one must understand the two categories and the basic difference between both of them.
What is a Shifting Hajj Package?
In shifting Hajj packages, pilgrims are moved away from the Haram during the peak Hajj season residing in far away apartments, also called Aziziyah apartments. Once the Hajj is over, pilgrims are moved to the accommodations near Haram. Shifting Hajj Packages are also known as Aziziyah Hajj packages.
For instance, when pilgrims leave for Hajj from the UK, after reaching Jeddah they are shifted to apartments named Aziziyah located in the suburbs of Makkah. One of the things to do in Aziziyah is to attend the Hajj workshops and training classes to prepare for Hajj. Pilgrims stay in Aziziya for about 5 to 6 days with a shuttle service to Haram. On 7th Dhul Hijjah, the group is moved to Mina for five days of Hajj. After completing the Hajj, pilgrims come back to the apartments and stay there for three more days. Later, they are moved to the hotels close to Haram and stay there for the number of days allocated to their group after which most of them depart for Madinah.
Read Also: Important Tips to Prepare Yourself for Hajj
Most pilgrims opt for cheap shifting Hajj package which proves to be advantageous for the following reasons:
- It costs much less to pilgrims. The prices of the hotels close to the Two Holy Mosques during the Hajj days increase significantly. Therefore, a Hajj package that includes a third location like Aziziyah during that overly expensive period means cheaper packages for the pilgrims.
- Accommodation near Haram during the Hajj days (8th – 13th Dhul Hijjah) means paid but unused residency since every pilgrim is required to reside in Mina for 5 to 6 days. Pilgrims on a non-shifting package will be paying huge money for the hotels they are not going to stay during that period. So it makes sense not to pay for unused residency by choosing a shifting package.
- Access to the hotel and extra facilities in shifting Hajj packages during Hajj days. Facilities in Mina are very basic and crowded so Aziziyah hotels provide an alternative to the pilgrims on a shifting package to access to these hotels. However, you must keep in mind that staying in Mina is a part of the Hajj rituals and the access to the hotel is only to lessen some of the pressure that pilgrims face for refreshment.
- It offers an opportunity to prepare for the Hajj. To break away from the exhaustion of Makkah, many pilgrims prefer to stay in Aziziyah just before Hajj in order to prepare themselves physically and mentally for the marathon-like Hajj rites. Pilgrims usually utilize this time by attending Hajj workshops and training sessions organized by their Hajj operators. Hajj workshops include training on the various challenges that pilgrims might face during the five days of Hajj and ways to handle them. A religious guide helps them to understand how to achieve the goal of building a meaningful relationship with Allah (SWT).
- Transport is available at all times for visits to Masjid-Al-Haram which is roughly 3 miles away. Pilgrims who want to visit the Holy Mosque can take a short trip via cabs and shuttle services.
What is a Non-Shifting Hajj Package?
Non-shifting Hajj packages are also known as Non-Aziziyah Hajj packages. In Non-Shifting Hajj Packages pilgrims consistently stay at a single area in Makkah near Masjid-Al-Haram throughout the Hajj which ensures maximum comfort and fewer hardships.
For instance, after reaching Jeddah, pilgrims are shifted to the hotel in Makkah near Haram. They will remain in these hotels until they leave for Hajj on 7th or 8th Dhul Hijjah. After completing Hajj, they return back to a similar hotel. The accommodation remains available to the pilgrims at all times and they have access to rooms even during Hajj days. Pilgrims remain in the hotel for a couple of days more after Hajj and then depart for Madinah and eventually back home.
If you are interested in going to Saudi Arabia for Hajj 2020 and looking for low-cost Hajj deals, contact your Hajj travel agent to know more about the shifting and non-shifting Hajj packages available and the kind of facilities provided.
Read Also: Common Mistakes to Avoid During Hajj
Some of the advantages and facilities in Non-shifting Hajj packages are:
- Since pilgrims are close to Haram, they can easily visit the Grand Mosque to perform Tawaf and daily prayers. However, the prices of non-shifting Hajj packages are higher.
- Pilgrims have access to their hotel rooms even during Hajj days. They do not have to transfer their luggage to Aziziyah which is far away from Haram. Travelling between Aziziyah and Haram constantly could be hectic in the harsh weather.
If you have made up your mind to perform Hajj in 2020 then you must decide which Hajj package you want to choose from since both have their share of pros and cons. Consult a Hajj travel operator in the UK to know about the savvy options for Hajj pilgrimage this year. Book your Hajj tour package to get attractive offers and discounts.
Read Also: Step by Step Hajj Procedure