Health Safety

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

Performing Hajj or Umrah is, without a doubt, the noblest of all the deeds for Muslims. Allah (SWT) commands Muslims to perform Hajj at least once during their lifetimes. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has talked about immense rewards for those who perform this duty. 

Therefore, every Muslim who can afford to do it performs Hajj to fulfil his religious obligation. But there is no denying that Hajj is a physically demanding and tiring exercise. It can exact its toll, particularly on those who are old, physically weak or suffer from some medical condition. 

It is, therefore, in the fitness of things that such individuals take special safety precautions to safeguard their health. Failing to do so can have consequences for the concerned individuals and their friends and family who may have accompanied them on the Hajj or Umrah trip. 

Here, we will spell out some of the health and safety tips that will be especially helpful for those who suffer from some ailment and require medical attention and care. 

Let’s begin with some pre-Hajj health tips. 

Consult your doctor: 

To begin with, before you embark on your pilgrimage, it is advisable to consult your doctor. Your doctor has your medical history and understands the limits to which your body can withstand physical toil and hardship. 

The doctor will give you proper advice, and in the best interests of everyone involved, you better heed it. If the doctor advises against your Hajj plan, you should follow it. He is stopping you for some valid reasons. Instead of being stubborn about it, you should act upon his advice. 

Allah (SWT) does not want you to pain yourself. He does not like his people to suffer, seek His mercy and ask him to grant you good health so you can perform your Hajj rites efficiently. 

Complete your vaccinations: 

Everyone suffered at the hands of the Corona Virus; Hajj or Umrah was subject to severe restrictions, and vaccination was an absolute must. 

Thankfully those days are behind us. But there remain some vaccinations that are still essential. The Saudi govt keeps issuing directives in this regard. Consult its embassy or your travel agent about the latest vaccinations required for your trip. 

The UK govt may have its vaccination requirements. You can consult the health department in this regard. 

You can also discuss it with your doctor about it. He may prescribe some vaccinations keeping in view your physical condition, immunity or any allergy symptoms you may have. 

In any case, complete your list of required vaccination doses and do not show any laxity in this regard. 

Don’t forget your medication: 

Lastly, do not forget to take your medicines with you if you suffer from heart disease, diabetes, asthma, hypertension, or kidney issues; then take sufficient stock of medicine with you that will last you during the Hajj or Umrah time. 

Now let’s discuss some general guidelines for maintaining a healthy Hajj routine. 

Sunstrokes and heat exhaustion: 

It is common among pilgrims going from cool climes like the UK to suffer under the intense heat of the Arabian desert. They suffer from dehydration, heat strokes and other such issues. With caution, you can endure the heat and perform your Hajj. 

Here’s what you should do: 

  • Drink plenty of water and juices. Do not let your body feel thirsty. 
  • Avoid walking directly under the sun for too long. Use a light-coloured umbrella where you can. 
  • Tawaf and Sa’i can be tiring. Avoid doing them during midday or rush hours. 
  • Arafat and Mina may also drain your energies. Take proper care when you are there. 
  • If you feel exhausted under the sun, find shade and get under it immediately. 
  • Do not compromise on your sleep and rest whenever you get time. 
  • Don’t delay medical help if you feel your condition is unwell. 

Food poisoning: 

Another widespread issue that many pilgrims face during Hajj is food poisoning. Many pilgrims make the mistake of eating unhealthy food and falling sick. You can avoid this by following some very basic tips below: 

  • Wash your hands before and after you have eaten your food. 
  • Wash fruits and vegetables before eating. 
  • Do not eat uncovered food. 
  • Avoid drinking water from taps. 
  • Check the expiry date of packaged food and drinks. 
  • Avoid street food. 
  • Avoid food that looks and smells suspicious. 

Following these tips can save you from food poisoning and help you perform a hassle-free Hajj. 

Hajj is an exercise which requires you to be at your fittest, and if you do not take precautionary measures, you can easily fall sick. Therefore, it is best to follow these guidelines and be on your guard. Otherwise, you might have to spend your Hajj in a hospital bed.