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Advice for Pilgrims with Disabilities

MIT
9/6/2016
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Hajj is the annual pilgrimage to Makkah, Saudi Arabia, and the largest mass gathering in the world. Every able-bodied adult Muslim who can afford to do so is required to make Hajj at least once in his or her lifetime. Hajj takes place from the 8th through the 12th days of Dhu al-Hijja, the last month of the Islamic year.

Performing the rituals of Hajj is demanding and involves walking great distances usually in hot weather. Pilgrims should ensure that they are physically fit before travelling, and pilgrims with pre-existing medical conditions should discuss the suitability of travel with their doctor. If on prescribed medications, they should ensure they have a sufficient supply to cover their time abroad and carry a copy of their prescription.

Pilgrims with disabilities should ensure that they have a complete physical check-up before you go and ensure that you are in the best possible health.

Pilgrims with disabilities should try to obtain copies of any prescriptions you might need and any spare parts of your wheelchair, crutches, hearing aid, visual aids etc.

Intellectually impaired pilgrims should be accompanied by responsible people who understand their disability and needs.

One would require walking a few miles every day during Umrah and Hajj. Therefore, please practice walking, starting about 4 to 6 weeks before departure, and walking greater and greater distances as the time of departure arrives. The prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) often spoke of the importance of physical fitness in general. This preparation will help you tremendously. Hajj is a preparation for strong faith, patience and cultural harmony.

Disabled pilgrims must ensure that their travel agents have arranged with private transportation and taxi firms in Makkah and Medina so that they can properly be dealt with.  They should also ensure that you have some form of identification on your person with emergency contact details and information about your disability.

I would also like to take a moment to explain that this is Hajj for the sake of Allah (SWT), a time when more than 3 million Muslims from around the world come together in peace and harmony to worship the almighty Allah (SWT) in a very small place. With this small place comes traffic, congestion and other problems that are a natural result of 3 Million people competing for time and space within this limited area. Add to it government rules and regulations that are necessary to make the whole process possible.Thus, the constant need for patience is going to be a key element to a satisfactory Hajj.






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