1. There is going to be a major, sudden, temperature change & acclimatisation is a gradual process. This usually has a dramatic effect on the individual especially those coming from countries experiencing winter.  Air conditioning, while necessary, usually delays the acclimatization process, which usually has its major impact during the actual Days of Hajj, when aircons are not available. Other factors such as only wearing light coloured cotton clothing, avoid walking in direct sunshine (umbrella) etc. also play a role. Given the large number of individuals, especially women that suffered from heat exhaustion etc. in the recent past, it is strongly recommended that the Ihraam be made of white cotton material as this is most efficient in terms of reflecting heat & facilitating the body’s cooling mechanisms. Black clothing made of synthetic materials/polyester invariably cause problems especially during the Days of Hajj.

  2. Given current circumstances, very old, frail, mentally unstable individuals, individuals with severe medical ailments etc. invariably experience added difficulty which usually impacts negatively on the group they travelling with. Psychiatric patients & those with significant disabilities invariably face added challenges in terms of completing the rites of Hajj. They & their caregivers should seriously consider these as significant challenges/inconveniences have been faced by fellow Hujaaj by these patients in the recent past.

  3. Pregnant women from 7 months onwards should avoid air travel. The sentimental claim of giving birth in the Haramain must be weighed against to potential harm to mother & child & major challenges caused should the women deliver anytime during the journey. Experience over the past few years has shown that dehydration especially during the days of Hajj, is not only a significant risk for both mother & child, but prevents the mother from engaging in ibaadat as well.It is not advisable for women who are beyond 7 months to undertake the journey

  4. Most South Africans are extremely unfit & suddenly find themselves forced to walk long distances,in the heat, multiple times a day. One needs to start walking 2-3 months before Hajj. Start over a short distance & build up slowly. One should also practice walking up & down hilly terrain. InshaAllah this along with appropriate footwear that are ‘worn in’ & comfortable, should go a long way in minimising much of the swollen, aching feet & legs, blisters etc.that Hujaaj often complain of.

  5. Get used to drinking large amounts of good quality, alkaline water weeks before departing for the Haramain. This will make it easy to switch to ZamZam which has both physical & spiritual shifa. In the Haramain, ZamZam should constitute the major part of ones fluid intake as it is also best constituted to replace the minerals lost in the heat due to perspiration etc. Avoid synthetic juices, carbonated drinks & caffeine containing beverages as these stress the body & encourage water loss from the body.

  6. In order to avoid using the toilets in Mina, Arafah & Muzdalifah, many Hujaaj, especially women avoid drinking sufficient amounts of fluid. This coupled with wearing black synthetic clothing & choosing to walk during the Hajj, in the summer heat, has resulted in the large numbers that required resuscitation with drips etc. as was seen during the past few years. Not wanting to use public toilets is not a valid excuse to risk serious harm to one’s health, which is also an amaanat.

  7. Chronic health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, arthritis etc. don’t miraculously disappear on reaching the Haramain. One needs to take the medication as prescribed, the dosage however might need to be adjusted. Hujaaj should take sufficient supplies from home to last for the duration of their stay, as not all medication is freely available and if they are, costs are high. These include insulin (which must be correctly transported), sticks for glucose machines, & strong pain killers for arthritic patients, creams for skin conditions etc.

  8. Vitamin supplements, cough syrups, probiotics etc. that many are accustomed to, are usually not available during the Hajj journey and adequate supplies must be taken from home.

  9. Interfering with/stopping the normal menstrual cycle using hormonal preparations such as the pill etc. given the circumstances, often have unpredictable, unwanted effects that create more challenges in terms of unpredictable spotting/ bleeding etc. which, given all the physical & psychological stresses due to heat, sleep deprivation, travelling etc. becomes difficult to treat & creates further stress as it inteferes with ibaadat schedules etc. Experience has shown that the best is not to attempt cycle manipulation at all & instead book the return flight accordingly, which can facilitate the performance of Tawaaf-e-Ziyaarah/Ifaadah with ease, once tahaarah is attained again. Sanitary towels, along with other toiletries should be taken in sufficient quantities from home. These are difficult to obtain especially during the 5 days of Hajj, in Mina & Arafah.