Every year, millions of Muslims embark on Hajj pilgrimage and it is crucial to stay healthy and strong during this physically demanding journey. To maintain energy and body strength, pilgrims need to take certain safety precautions. It is the most important event in the life of an individual whose primary focus is on worship and devotion to Allah (SWT). Nobody wants to be consumed by thoughts of discomfort and uneasiness. However, being the largest mass gathering in the world, Hajj raises many health concerns such as the transmission of infectious diseases, especially those transmitted by air or contaminated food and water. Here are the tips to stay safe and healthy during Hajj that you must follow.
Tips for Hygiene and General Cleanliness
- Maintain personal hygiene by bathing regularly and washing your hands by using water and soap, or hand sanitizer, especially after coughing and sneezing.
- Cover your nose and mouth by using handkerchief or tissue paper when coughing or sneezing, and then eliminate them in the trash.
- Use a face-mask in crowded places, and remember to change it every now and then.
- Pay close attention to your oral and dental cleanliness.
- Eliminate waste in the trash.
- Change your clothing often.
- Pay close attention to the cleanliness of your residence.
- Avoid spitting on the floor in public.
Also Read: Common Mistakes to Avoid during Hajj
Tips for Protection against Heat-related Illnesses
- Keep yourself hydrated by drinking enough liquids (water, juices, etc.) at regular intervals.
- Avoid sun exposure for long, and use an umbrella when necessary.
- Restore your energy by getting sufficient sleep after completing each of the Hajj rituals.
- Wear loose and light-coloured cotton clothes.
- Avoid Tawaf during midday times. You can consider performing Tawaf during night time.
- In the case of heat exhaustion or sunstrokes, you should move to a cool area and seek medical help.
Also Read: Ihram and its Guidelines
How to Protect Yourself from Infections during Hajj
- Avoid sitting near people who suffer from infectious diseases, such as common cold, to preserve your health.
- Wear face-masks, especially in crowded and congested places, and change them every now and then, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Using handkerchiefs to cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, and dispose them of in the trash. In case you are not carrying a handkerchief, use, the upper arms instead of the hands.
- Avoid greeting others by shaking hands.
- Don’t drink ice water.
- Keep away from the air conditioner when sweated.
- Certain vitamins and minerals can play a role in strengthening your immunity, like Zinc, so include them in your diet. Keep nuts, pumpkin seeds and chocolate handy.
Also Read: How Should You Prepare Yourself for Hajj?
How to Avoid Food Poisoning
- Wash fruits and vegetables with clean water before eating.
- Before buying canned foods and drinks remember to verify the expiry date.
- Do not eat uncovered food as it is exposed to insects and pollution.
- Wash your hands well before eating or preparing food.
- Avoid storing cooked food in buses for long when moving from one Hajj site to another as it is one of the major reasons for food poisoning during Hajj.
- Storing cooked food for more than two hours in the room temperature may lead to the growth of bacteria that causes food poisoning.
- Drink only bottled water and use it for cooking. If bottled water is unavailable, use filtered and purified water; otherwise, water must be boiled before it is used.
- Never buy salads and prepared food from street peddlers.
Safety & Security Guidelines for Hajj
- Wear a wristband that displays your name, nationality, address, health condition and the name of your convoy.
- Avoid overcrowding or pushing so that you do not hurt yourself or others.
- Avoid climbing stones and rocks while performing the Hajj rituals.
- Avoid performing animal sacrifice outside the places dedicated for this purpose such as streets or near tents as this will expose you and others to diseases.
- Go to the nearest healthcare centre immediately in case of sickness or nausea.
- You are recommended to carry a small medical bag with important medication and emergencies.
- Carry a note containing the phone numbers to contact in case of emergencies like hospitals, ambulance, and police to ask for help when needed.
- Consult your physician to know about new preventative procedures and important vaccines that you must take. If you are suffering from a certain disease, ask the doctor for advice concerning your health condition and if it is safe to travel for Hajj.
- Carry a first aid kit to deal with any emergency that may arise during the Hajj rituals. In the case of groups, these things are taken care of by the group administration.
Also Read: Hajj Guidelines For Women
General Tips for Hajj
- Make an Identity card for yourself as you will not have access to your passport.
- Watch out for the pickpockets as several cases have been reported in Makkah especially in the Tawaf
- It is better to perform Tawaf on the second floor which takes longer to complete but quite safe to do so.
- If you feel exhausted because of heat or any other reason, head towards King Fahad Gate area which is entirely air-conditioned. [Read More]
Precautions to Take during Hajj
- Take enough rest before and after performing every Hajj ritual to refresh your body and restore energy for the rest of the rituals.
- Use clean utensils and plates. Disposable plates and cups are preferred.
- It is preferable to eat fruits with thick peels, such as bananas and oranges, as they are certain to be clean and uncontaminated.
- Keep away from uncovered foods or those prepared long ago. It is advisable to eat packaged foods that are safe from contamination.
- Adhere to the directives issued by the Ministry of Health and other government bodies.
Also Read: Complete Packing List for Hajj