Rami, Qurbani and Tawaf-e-Ziarat are performed in sequence or else one has to offer Dam (Qurbani).
After returning from Muzdalifah, if you have enough strength and do not have aged persons or women with you, you can directly go to Mina-3 for Rami at Jamaraat. Avoid starting Rami before sunrise
The best time to go for Rami is an hour before Asr. Normally, there is lesser or no crowd and you can easily perform you Rami and return back to your camp in Mina.
If there is crowd, try to move slowly and carefully. Keep water with you and whenever you get chance, fill you water bottles from dispenser installed on walkway to Jamarat.
DO NOT try to return from the same path you came. DO NOT move in opposite direction or try to run during Rami. Stay away from the train platform gates.
For 10th Zilhaj, Rami is for Jamarah Aqabah/Kubra (Last one) only.
Throw seven pebbles at the pillar for Jamarah Aqabah/Kubra so that the stones strike the pillar and then fall in the area beneath pillar. Do not hit very hard and do not yell/abuse. Also make sure the stones do not hit other pilgrims.
After Rami, move forward on the pathway back to station (if came by train) or to your camp area.
Qurbani and Halaq
If you have opted for Qurbani via proxy/agent, make sure he performs it after your Rami. Normally they are in contact via phone and inform you about qurbani as soon as it is performed.
For government coupon system, time is provided for you qurbani. It may be on 10th or 11th Zilhaj. Wait atleast 3-4 hours after that time for Halaq/Qasr.
If you are performing Qurbani yourself, it is quite straightforward, and you can perform Halaq once your return to Mina.
Normally, non-professional Barbers are available in Mina for Halaq at SR 20-50. You can also get you Halaq from Barber shop on your way to Haram for Tawaf-e-Ziarat at the same rate.
If you are coming from your camp, it’s better to board the train for Mina-3 (Jamarat) Station, and then walk towards the covered path to haram. If you performed Qurabni on second day, it’s even more convenient to move to haram after your second day Rami. It takes around an hour to reach Haram at normal speed. Do not move continuously and take rest and drink water whenever possible.
Taxis are not allowed beyond start of tunnels and 1-2 Km from Jamarat station, also they take SR300-500 for the journey. So, it is better to walk to Haram and back for Tawaf-e-Ziarat.
If you have performed your Rami and Qurbani on day-1, you can go for Tawaf-e-Ziarat at night, after Maghrib or Isha as there is lesser crowd.
Do not rush for your Tawaf-e-Ziarat as due to crowd it may take longer than your routine Tawaf.
If your Qurbani was on second day, Tawaf-e-Ziarat can be performed till on second or third day as well.
After Tawaf, you can perform Sa’ayi to complete your Major rituals for Hajj. If ground and first floor are crowded, you can move to second or roof floor for the same.
After Tawaf (and Sa’ayi), return back to Mina (camp). Make sure you stay for night in Mina/camp.
Immediately after Fajr prayer, people leave mina camp on foot to reach Arafat. The pedestrian is properly marked but it is recommended to keep a map and GPS based app for navigation. There are ample drinking water and Toilet point throughout the road.
Maktab people start calling for groups to leave for Arafat after Fajr. The train station is very crowded and people who offer prayers inside station reach the train in 30-50 minutes.
Keep on moving with your guide towards station. Do not try to get into buses leaving from Mina with other pilgrims to Arafat as they will not open gates.
Depending upon the conditions, it takes 2-4 hours to reach platform to board the train. The train hardly takes 5 minutes to reach Arafat
Another way around is to walk towards Muzdalifah 3 station, and get onto (if you are lucky enough) hired buses (not Maktab buses). They take around SR 25-50 per head. These buses will drop you at Masjid-e-Nimrah. You’ll have to walk your way to Pakistani (Govt.) camp, which is behind Station Arafat-1 (on the opposite side of Masjid-e-Nimrah).
There are maps installed throughout Arafat that guide you towards your countries’ Camp area.
If your reach Arafat via train, you’ll be close to the camp area. Pakistan mission people at station will guide you towards your camp, if you do not have the map for the same.
Each camp has its own Toilet facility, separate for men and women.
It is recommended to get free from Toilet an hour before Zuhr time.
Once, Zuhr time has started, you can listen to Khutbah on Radio (FM Channel).
The prayer is performed in camps, so offer your Zuhr prayer (Hanafi) and then it’s time to indulge in Dua and Toba.
It is recommended to get your prayer rug and water bottle and make your stay in open sky outside the camps and leave the camps for female pilgrims. You can get shade under trees though.
A lot of eating and drinking stuff is distributed in Arafat. Try not to waste your time in collecting that stuff unless necessary. Remember, these 4-5 hours are the only hours you’ll get in your Wuqoof Arafat, so make better use of the time you get in asking for forgiveness.
After Asr Prayer (if not performed combined with zuhr), there is an increase in crowd at Toilets. So, manage your timings accordingly. Try to eat as minimum as possible for stay in Arafat and Muzdalifah.
Around 20-30 minutes before maghrib, people start gathering at station and Arafat boundaries. Make sure you do not cross Arafat boundary before Maghrib.
Depending upon the situation, either move for station-1 to reach Muzdalifah immediately, or wait 1-2 hours to rest and let the crowd subside. It is easier if you wait as the Toilets are empty in camps after 1-2 hours in Arafat.
If you want to walk towards Muzdalifah, leave immediately after Maghrib to reach in time to get space in Muzdalifah.
When going by train, get to the Arafat-1 Station, moving slowly depending upon the crowd. The train will drop you at Muzdalifah 1 Station. When you come out of the station, boards will be there guiding towards your Maktab.
In case you do not have map, or you do not find your designated area, you can stay at any location in Muzdalifah. However, make sure to walk as far as you can and as near to a Toilet as possible.
Also make sure that you do not stay in the path or close walking area.
Offer your Maghrib and Isha prayers in Muzdalifah and if possible get some sleep.
Collect your stones (better collect extra stones) from Muzdalifah, to be used in Rami. Do not pick bigger stones though.
In case you have females and aged people in group and you cannot find any space (Muzdalifah-1 is almost full with people with no space to even sit, when all pilgrims have arrived), try to get back to station or stay inside the station and wait for the trains to move from Muzdalifah-1 to Muzdalifah-3, so that you can make your stay near your (Mina) Camp (which is actually inside Muzdalifah boundary).
The trains from Arafat normally stop after 1-2 pm at night and then movement towards Mina is started. Do not try to reach Mina directly as trains will not stop/open at Mina before 1-2 pm.
Try to be as calm as possible. Do not get into fights with others over space as every one is tired and fatigued. If you find yourself blocking the path, move to other location if possible. Try to accommodate others within the space wherever possible.
After offering Fajr prayer at Muzdalifah (1 or 3) and Subh Sadiq, either get to your camp for rest, or move towards Jamarat for Rami.
The departure for Mina is normally scheduled on 7th Zilhaj after Asr prayers.
The Muallim people provide with cards for identification, Camp number, and meal coupons one day before departure.
The buses for Haram are closed three days before 8th The only means of travel are taxis. If you have small/large group, taxis are available on all streets/roads. Normal fare for this period from Azizya is SR 100-200 (one-way).
If you can afford the fare, it is recommended to Wear your Ahram from Haram, and return well in time before departure of buses. Normally people make Niyah+Talbeeh when buses start to move.
Try to pack minimum possible items in small bag/backpack. One extra Ahram, One normal dress, Quran, umbrella, Water bottles, extra slippers, eye glasses, some stuff to eat, prayer rug, small backpack for Arafat, and bags for pebbles are enough for Mina stay. If you forget anything, you can come to Azizya (for short duration) to collect extra items.
Once you reach Mina and enter the camp, do not push others or rush to your camp. One camp has beds for 30+ persons with around 1.5 ft width per bed. If possible, try to occupy corner bed or settle for any bed available.
Prayers are offered inside each tent. Beddings are folded for the same. Offer Salat with the group that you are comfortable with, as there are multiple Jamaats per tent. Do not argue others over Qasr or normal prayers.
Sometimes, there is some issue with cooling system. Register your complaint with Muallim people, with Hajj mission politely. They will resolve the issue ASAP.
Try to get map of Mina camps, Arafat, and Muzdaliffah stay camps from staff. Following is the map for Pakistani Camps in Mina (for 2015).
Mina map (2015) with Qurban Gah location
Try to maintain discipline during serving of food. There are shops available outside camps for all the things, in case you do not get food due to some issue.
For 8th Zilhaj, there is no set ritual. Try to get accustomed to maps, locations and train station (for govt. pilgrims, its Mina 1). If tickets are valid for the day and you have enough strength, try to get to Station Mina 3 to visit Jamarat and Masjid Kheef via train.
It is better to get some rest, however, if you like to pray at night, make sure you keep strength for the Arafat day/night (9th Zilhaj).
Forget everything about luxuries of your routine life. Try to make most out of your stay at Mina.
Note: Mina 1/extended Mina area is actually Muzdaliffah area, however, there are rulings that allow stay in this area for Mina period.
When you have time available, normally before Zuhr prayers, you can go to different sacred places for Ziarat. Buses regularly move for such purpose and their ads are pasted on Hotel notice boards. So you can register to any of the operators for as low as SR 10 per head.
If you plan to go for ziarat with smaller group using Taxi, the rates are normally lower before Hajj. Taxi (7-seater) can cost from SR 70 to SR 200 (total).
Mina (Masjid-e-Kheef, Jamarat, Qurban Gah Hazrat Ismail)
Birth place of prophet (Peace be Upon him)
Jabl-e- Hira (Jabl-e-Noor)
All these places can be visited during your travel around Haram and Hajj.
Birth place (library), Jannat-e-Mualla, Masjid Ra’yah and Masjid Jin are on walking distance from Safa-Marwa side. The Souq-Jafaria is also within this area.
Library at Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wasallam) birth place
Arafat, Muzdalifa, and Mina points, if known, can be seen during five days of Hajj.
You will definitely visit Jamarat during Hajj,
Masjid-e-Kheef is just next to the Jamarat and can be visited on 8th ZilHajj.
Hazrat Ismail Sacrifice point (Qurban Gah) is a small tomb shape structure on the mountain visible from road/train just before Masjid Kheef on opposite direction, below Mina Palace, but not accessible.
Masjid- Masha’r Haram is situated near Train stop Muzdalifa-1, where you get off the train when returning from Arafat. It is closed except for the Hajj days.
Masjid Nimra is on the entrance of Arafat (when coming by road).
The Asian camps are on opposite side of Arafat near Station Arafat-1. The road from Masjid Nimra leads to Jabl-e-Rahmat on the left of road. It may not be accessible on Hajj day due to crowd though.
Nehr Zubaida remains can be seen on mountain when coming back from Arafat to Muzdaliffah by road.
It is not recommended to visit Jabl-e-Noor and Thawr before Hajj.
If you do not have experience in climbing/walking on mountains and it’s your first time in Makkah, It’s better to leave these mountains for your Umra/second trip. You may get unwell especially people with Knee issues may lose their Tawaf. For young visitors, Jabl-e-Noor is easier to climb and also has clear path to reach Hira cave.
Jabl-e-Thawr takes more than 4-5 hours to climb and get back and there is no clear direction to reach Thawr cave.
After taking some rest at your residence, and some understanding of your surroundings, plan the movement for Umra.
It’s better to perform atleast one Salah near your residence and get accustomed with bus stops and their numbers. Also get Hotel Card from staff.
The buses will take you to intermediate stop. The same bus number will pick you from this stop to your residence. The shuttle service to haram moves between this stop and Masjid-e-Haram. (From now on haram will be used to refer to Masjid ul Haram instead of Haram boundary for ease). Pl. see the Map below,
For Pakistani Pilgrims, the shuttle (2015) gets you to Ajiad Hotel stop, which is directly in front of Bab-e-Abdul Aziz. The Indian shuttle from Kadayi will take to underground stop to Haram, which leads to staircase in front of Makkah Tower.
From the stop keep moving towards Masjid reciting Talbeeh, Due to construction work, some places may be closed. Bab-e-Abdul Aziz if Open, leads directly to the Mataf area (first floor or underground). Your Muallim staff will guide you about the doors to be used for entry. Pl. See the map below,
If Bab-e-Abdul Aziz is closed, move towards left side towards gates 90-99 for entry. These will get you to under ground part of Masjid leading towards the Mataf area near Bab-e-Fahad.
If you go further left from these gates, you’ll lead towards Bab-e-Abdullah, where major construction is going on.
There is a bridge adjacent (on right) to Bab-e-Aziz, normally for wheel chairs. This leads to upper floors of the Masjid, if open.
The area to the right of Bab-e-Abdul Aziz (when looking from your entrance towards the gate) leads to Mas’aa (Sa’ayi area), which again leads to Mataf when crossed.
If you enter from Bab-e-Abdul Aziz, You will face the Yamani corner, and will move towards right to start your Tawaf. This way You’ll directly look at Kaaba while entering the gate, so be careful for your FIRST GAZE.
If you get in from Gate 90, you’ll get to the underground area, which leads to Mataf. You’ll have some problem identifying the Kaaba from this angle, as you’ll first see Mataf and people performing tawaf and suddenly Kaaba will be in front of you. (During Hajj period, the Cover (Al-Kiswa) is folded). You’ll have to move right to get into position to start Tawaf, as you’ll be directly opposite of the Hijr-e-Aswad.
When I was searching for information on Hajj, I came across many books and online articles. Most of the books published are mostly limited to legalities of actions and take much of the material from older books with limited insight to what we experience on ground. Same is the case with most of the online articles, where people share their experience or Hajj diaries. My intention is to write a complete story of Hajj with latest information and tips/tricks that can help people to avoid hustle and make up their minds for what is going to happen on their journey.