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In the Name of God بسم الله

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Posted (edited)

Salam Alaykum,

Has anyone here been to Hajj before? I am trying to prep myself to go to Hajj as soon as I have the 'ability'.

What are some good Hajj packages that you are aware of? (I live in Australia for context)  What is the minimum price I will have to pay?

If you did go did you have a Shi'a 'alim to guide you and help with the ahkam?

 

 

Edited by ali_fatheroforphans
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Wa alaikum as salam 

19 hours ago, ali_fatheroforphans said:

Has anyone here been to Hajj before? I am trying to prep myself to go to Hajj as soon as I have the 'ability'.

Yes alhamdulillah 

19 hours ago, ali_fatheroforphans said:

What are some good Hajj packages that you are aware of?

I am not really aware because it has changed a lot in the last 10 years. In my case a relative had been with a local group the year before so I simply followed their recommendation.

19 hours ago, ali_fatheroforphans said:

If you did go did you have a Shi'a 'alim to guide you and help with the ahkam?

Yes, although I also prepared by reading through the rules and watching some videos. 

Hajj is anyway done always in a group (you can't get an individual visa) so you won't be alone inshaAllah 

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On 3/14/2024 at 7:40 AM, ali_fatheroforphans said:

If you did go did you have a Shi'a 'alim to guide you and help with the ahkam?

This is pretty much a must in my opinion. I've previously written about doing Umra alone and panics about the rules. That would be 100x worse if it was Hajj. As said in a previous reply you can't do Hajj alone anyway, but I would also highly not recommend going with a Sunni group or one where you were unsure of the bona fides of the Alim.

For the package leadership you need two skillsets, as well as the religious aspect you do need someone who knows how to run a 'tour operation', simply having good deen and akhlaq is not good enough, they need to be super-oragnised, good problem solvers and so on. I went with 'Sheila' (UK people may have heard of her) in 2003 and she was very shrewd and knew how to work the system.

There can be a tendency for people living in the West to want creature comforts while out there, but really all of that is secondary. You may come across people who complain about the quality of the food etc., but ignore that. The key parameters in my opinion are organisers who can get good speakers for you, who can get you from (a) to (b) without fuss and who have the locations of hotels and transports to harrams etc. sorted.

To give you an example of Shelia's genius, in Mecca she had us put up in a building that I think was about to be demolished. But it was all clean and newly painted and carpeted. And it was a 5 min walk from the Ka'aba. You need to have your wits about you to find a place like that.

As well as the religious rules, you'd also need to be familiar with the Saudi rules and these do keep changing, especially with the introduction of apps etc.

In summary, do all your research beforehand, but once you are committed, you have to leave it to God and forget the notion of 'complaining to customer services', should anything fall below your expectations. 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/15/2024 at 12:54 PM, Haji 2003 said:

you can't do Hajj alone anyway, but I would also highly not recommend going with a Sunni group or one where you were unsure of the bona fides of the Alim.

I do agree, if one follows a Shia scholar and believes Shia scholars represent the true teachings of the Ahllulbayt.

What is actually interesting is, there is an enormous Hadith in Bukhari or Muslim on authority of Imam Jaffer as -Sadiq to Imam Muhammed al-Baqir via his chain to the Prophet saw, that is authentic and their most authoritative hadith on Hajj.

It would be fascinating to compare both schools and sift what is actually wajib and what is not wajib.

I do wonder how much of the guided tours includes a lot of things not done by the Ahlulbayt, such as Duas to recite from Mafatihul Jinan which i am almost certain have absolutely nothing to do with the Ahlulbayt. 

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If you know Arabic well, are aware of the Ahkam differences, what is actually authoritative in our sources across both sects, and it so happens the Wajib parts without the later additions are identical, then i would even go with a Sunni group.

But for the lay public, it's worth just going with who you think represents the truth while you are convinced of that truth.

Edited by In Gods Name
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On 3/24/2024 at 6:49 AM, In Gods Name said:

and it so happens the Wajib parts without the later additions are identical, then i would even go with a Sunni group.

AIUI we do the Tawaf-un-Nisa and they don't.

And going by the following from Ayatollah Sistani's website you are right in the sense that 'it's not a basic element of Hajj'. But notwithstanding that - the implications of not doing it are pretty drastic and explaining it all to a Sunni beyond my abilities to be politically correct.

 

Quote

Tawaf-un-Nisa' is the tenth obligation in Hajj. The eleventh is the prayer which follows it. Although they are obligatory, they are not among the basic elements (arkan) of Hajj. That is, failure to perform them, even deliberately, does not invalidate the Hajj.
Rule 417: Tawaf-un-Nisa is obligatory on both males and females. If a man fails to perform it, his wife becomes unlawful for him. If a woman fails to perform it, her man becomes unlawful for her. An agent performing Tawaf-un-Nisa will do so on behalf of the principal and not himself.

https://www.sistani.org/english/book/47/2110/

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On 3/14/2024 at 7:40 AM, ali_fatheroforphans said:

Has anyone here been to Hajj before?

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I purposely picked a group for pensioners  because if I went with any of my friends, it would have turned into a boys beach party holiday....ironically one of my friends had picked the same group for the same reason and we ended up having a blast. 

But yeah man this was 10 years ago I've seen the prices go up by £2000 so at this point you're getting violated by all these moumins. I suggest picking a really good Molana who speaks good English and milking him as much as possible whilst you're there. Ask him all the questions in the world, take all the knowledge he has to offer at any opportunity because remember he got the free ticket and you paid for him!

Inshallah have a brilliant hajj

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Dar El Salam Travel offers various packages for Australian pilgrims, starting around $7,000 AUD. They provide accommodation, transportation, and support services. As for having a Shi'a 'alim guide, some packages may offer this service, but it's best to inquire directly with the travel agencies or seek recommendations from local Shi'a communities.

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