Medical advice in preparation for hajj

As with any journey, planning and preparation is key. Here are some quick tips we have put together with expert advice from Dr. Junayed Ahmed to keep you healthy and fit throughout your Hajj
  • Check up at the GP

    To make sure you are medically fit for this journey, it will be useful to have a check up with your GP.

    They can advise you if there is anything you need to do before going as well as help you with repeat medications and make sure your vaccinations are up to date. It is mandatory to have the Meningitis ACWY vaccination for entry into Saudi Arabia during Hajj.

  • Exercise & Diet

    This is a physically demanding journey.

    You will be walking long distances or even just standing forlong periods in what feels like scorching heat. If you have not done any exercise for a while, now is the time to start. If you are over-weight, now is the time to start getting into shape. Start eating healthily, walk everyday and build up your fitness so that by the time Hajj comes, you will be in amazing shape.

  • IN FLIGHT

    If you are prone to motion sickness, you may want to purchase some anti-sickness medication before you fly.

    These flights are usually very busy but it is important to stay hydrated, stretch your legs and walk around the plane. If you are prone to swollen legs or have had blood clots (Deep Vein Thrombosis) in your legs in the past, you may want to get some flight socks which you can wear before entering the state of ihraam.

  • EAT HEALTHY

    We will land a few days before the days of Hajj inshaAllah.

    During these days, resist the temptation to eat unhealthy foods. I know as Muslims in the UK we go crazy when we see halal MacDonalds, Burger King etc but these will make you feel awful. Stick to a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables. There will be ample opportunity to eat whatever you wish after the days of Hajj!

  • REST WHEN YOU CAN

    During the days before Hajj, make sure you take every opportunity to rest.

    It is more important that you are fit and well for the days of Hajj than exhaust yourself performing multiple tawaaf or umrah etc. Also, when you are in Mina, especially the first day, rest and sleep. Our scholars are excellent at advising what to do during these days and how to prepare. They will advise you when to rest and when to make duaa and adhkaar. Listen to them. A good rule of thumb is to just do what they are doing soif you see them sleeping during the day, copy them! The day of Arafat and the next day are long and demanding both physically and emotionally. Be prepared to have enough energyto make duaa all day followed by a short night of sleep on stony ground and then a long walk the next morning.

  • STAY HYDRATED

    Last year was the hottest Day of Arafat in 50 years.

    By far the biggest problem during the days of Hajj was dehydration and Hujjaj collapsing because of this. Drink a lot of water and avoid too many sugary fizzy drinks. It is also a good idea to bring oral dehydration solution or electrolyte tablets. You will sweat a lot and it is important you replace what you are loosing.

  • FOOT PROTECTION

    You will be walking a lot. Most people suffer with cracked heals (especially if dehydrated), blisters and grazes.

    Bring some plasters and good foot cream. If you have bought new footwear, break them in before Hajj. Comfy footwear will be your best friend!

  • SUN PROTECTION

    It is hot and sunny. Bring adequate sun protection including sunglasses, hats or scarves (when out of ihraam for men) and sun screen lotion.

  • BASIC MEDICATIONS (ORS)

    It is a good idea to bring some basic medications with you. The pharmacies there are often busyand sometimes more expensive than the pharmacies here. Here are some useful supplies to bring:

    • Oral dehydration solution eg. dioralyte
    • Anti-diarrhoea medication eg. loperamide
    • Anti-constipation medication eg. senna, fybogel
    • Pain killers eg paracetamol, ibuprofen
    • Anti-histamines
    • Personal first-aid kit including dressings, plasters, small bandages, antiseptic cream, adhesive tape, sun burn lotion, scissors, safety pins, anti-histamine cream and blister dressings
    • Flu remedies
    • Tubigrip or joint supports if you need them
  • WOMEN’s MENSTRUAL CYCLE

    The fiqh of menstruation pertaining to Hajj is covered in depth during the Hajj preparation seminar. Visit your GP accordingly and make sure you have enough of the medications you need.

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Finally Hajj is one of the most important acts of ibaadah and one of the most enjoyable things you will ever do. It is important to prepare for it physically and mentally so that you make the most of this magnificent opportunity. Over the years,many Hujjaj have not been able to make the Day of Arafat because of ill health. Do not let yourself be in that position. Preparation is key. And Allah knows best.

I pray Allah enable all of us to perform a complete and accepted Hajj. Ameen. I look forward to meeting you all either at the seminar or during the Hajj itself inshaAllah.

Dr. Junayed Ahmed

FRCA(Primary) Speciality Doctor in Anaesthetics & Intensive care

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