The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Islam is built upon five pillars: testifying that there is no true god except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, performing Prayer, paying the z akah, making the pilgrimage to the Sacred House (Hajj), and fasting the month of Ramadan” (Al-Bukhari). Also, we’d would like to commend your pursuit of Islamic counseling.

Before going to Hajj, prospective pilgrims have to prepare themselves for this blessed journey by doing more good deeds, asking Allah for forgiveness, and avoiding bad deeds and anything that may harm their Hajj. They have to supplicate Allah to grant them Hajj m abrur (the one accepted by Allah) and to accept their good deeds.

Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states: There are certain things that the prospective pilgrims must do before undertaking the journey for Hajj:

1. To ensure that their source of income for Hajj is earned through lawful means, and not tainted by haram sources.
2. To pay off their debts if they are outstanding; otherwise, to make arrangements to pay them off in case they are not able to return home safely.
3. To ensure that their family and dependents are provided with sufficient funds or means to look after themselves during their absence.
4. To leave a written will stating their obligations and liabilities and how to fulfill them, in case of their death.
5. To ask forgiveness of those whom they may have hurt or offended, for this journey should be undertaken with a clear conscience.
6. To educate themselves as best they can with regard to the correct performance of Hajj in form and spirit. One of the best books about the spirit of Hajj is the Four Pillars of Islam by SayyidAbulHasan Ali Nadvi.
7. To advise their family to fear Allah and remain steadfast on their deen.
8. To consistently seek forgiveness of Allah and make dhikr a habit.
May Allah make our hearts and tongues supple with His remembrance. Ameen.

Allah Almighty knows best.