1. Wear a simple and small backpack

This serves multiple purposes at the Masajid. It carries stuff you will need there. During crowded Tawafs, the bag serves as a cushion between you and the pilgrim behind you, who might bump into you when pushed ahead. Hence, you will always have breathing space when the crowd thickens. It stays in place and there is no fear of it slipping off or being tugged at during close encounters with other Hajis.

  1. Keep your shoes in a bag inside your backpack

The Masajid have arrangements for pilgrims to slip off and deposit their shoes at various entrances. They are quite safe too, but it is preferable to carry your shoes with you. This grants you the liberty to enter and exit from any gate of the Masajid and not have to remember and fetch your shoes, wasting time walking back and forth.

  1. Carry a Dua book

The Masajid have beautifully printed copies of the Quran placed at abundant locations. You can recite from it, if you do not wish to carry your personal Mushaf. However, a favourite prayer book comes in handy, especially when you have to wait between one Salah to the other. The time is precious and beautiful Duas can be recited and even memorized in the tranquility of the Haramain.

  1. Share your travelling prayer mat

The tiled floor of the Masajid is cool and usually gleaming. However, you can take along a light travel prayer mat to place for your prostration. They are foldable and can be stowed away in the backpack easily. You may spread it across horizontally to share it with the pilgrim right next to you, as mostly people do not carry theirs. This offers a chance to make a friend and earn a reward by serving Allah’s (swt) pilgrims. In desperate times, it also serves as your spread sheet for Qailoolah or power naps.

  1. Stock some dry snacks and water

Though there is plentiful Zamzam available, it is recommended to carry your own water bottle, fill it and drink from it. Sometimes plastic cups pose hygiene issues. Also, carry dry snacks, such as dates, crackers, nuts, etc. They serve as great appetizers when you are spending longer hours at the Haramain and hunger pangs strike you. Besides, you can again offer them to your neighbour pilgrims and reap rewards.

  1. Be smart and do not use the smart phone

Use your cell phone only to connect with your other family members within the Masajid in case you are separated. Refrain from clicking selfies during the Tawaf and the Sai, as it highly disgraces the sanctity of the Haram. It also poses serious safety threat to other pilgrims whose way is blocked by you. Use this special moment to connect with your Lord (swt), instead of sending updates on the social media. You are there for a reason. You need a spiritual uplift for an improved life ahead. Allah (swt) will not grant that to a heedless heart or someone whose primary concern is Dunya and its merriment. Keep your worship private. May Allah (swt) forgive and guide all. Ameen.