As with everything preparation is key.  It is the most important thing to do.  To make sure you know what you are doing and what you need to be prepared for.  For Hajj there are a lot of things you need to prepare yourself for and you can start doing those things now if you haven't already.

If you prepare well then you'll be able to embark on this journey with a lot more ease.  And when I say 'prepare', I don't just mean taking all the essentials and reading a few books.  There's a lot more to preparing for Hajj than just that, so I've split it up into 4 categories; Physical, Mental, Spiritual and of course Packing.

You're probably wondering why is there a need for me to do all this?  But read on and you'll see.  I promise!

Before I went for Hajj, and I'm talking about my second Hajj as I was only 10 when I went for the first time.  For my second Hajj, I was a lot older so I understood what Hajj meant and what I needed to do.

I read as much as I could and even though a lot of it was repetition, I learnt something new from each book or leaflet.  And because there was so much information to take in I decided to simplify it for myself.  One thing I found difficult to remember was where I was going to be during each day of Hajj and what I had to do and pray.

I even found the maps with the pictures, text and arrows pointing out the journey to and from Makkah to Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah including the Jamarat all difficult to digest.  I mean just typing that out was a bit of a mean feat but if you're a first timer, reading it must have been a bit too much too.  And I don't blame you!

I felt like there was too much going on and I couldn't process it in an order I could understand.  There was so much to remember that I was getting confused so I made a booklet for myself about what to do on each day of Hajj.  I will talk more about this in my Spiritual preparation blog post and will also include pictures of my booklet for you to see.

Like I said, everything will seem like it's too much and your brain will be overloaded that you feel you can't remember anything, but as long as you've done your homework, it really isn't as hard as it seems.  I'm going to try to make this as easy for you to as possible and help you to prepare for your hajj with ease Inshallah.

At the end of each post I will put a little re-cap for you of all the things you might need to buy or take with you.  A kind of shopping list if you like.  I'm hoping it'll help you for when you start preparing and packing for your trip.

So let's get started and prepare for your journey.