Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hajj Visas

Hajj visas are free and are issued from Mid-Shawwal until 25th Dhual-Qa'dah of each year.

Hajj visa is for Jeddah, Makkah and Madinah.

Hajj visas are not valid for work or residency.

Hajj visas are not issued to individuals. Each applicant for a Hajj visa must apply through a licensed travel agency, which must present the Consulate with copies of "Accommodation Contacts" and a letter from the Ministry of Hajj in Saudi Arabia confirming that the travel agency has duly completed all requirements to qualify to assist pilgrims.
Documents required for Hajj visa

The applicant must have a passport with a validity of at least six (6) months and acceptable both for entry to Saudi Arabia and entry to the next destination; the passport should have at least two empty visa pages adjacent to each other.

Each applicant must submit one recent passport size color photograph with a white background. The photograph must be a full-face view in which the visa applicant is facing the camera directly. Side or angled views are NOT accepted. (Some travel agents require two color photos, one for the visa application and the other for the group identification card).

The applicant must submit a completed application form filled in by pen using black ink or printed; the form must be signed and stamped by the authorized travel agency.

The Mahram (the male relative) should write his complete information on the application forms of his spouse and children or any relative with whom he is traveling. He should also provide copies of marriage or birth certificates; if these documents were issued outside the country he is applying from, he should then provide copies translated and notarized by a certified translation office.

All women are required to travel for Hajj with a Mahram. Proof of kinship must be submitted with the application form. Any woman over the age of 45 may travel without a Mahram with an organized group, provided she submits a letter of no objection from her husband, son or brother, authorizing her to travel for Hajj with the named group. This letter should be notarized.

The applicant must be in possession of a non-refundable roundtrip ticket with confirmed reservations.

The applicant must submit proof of vaccination for meningitis and ACYW135. For infants and children up to 15 years of age, a vaccination report is required for polio, as well as meningitis. Children over 15 years of age should present the same vaccinations requested for adults. The certificate of vaccination should have been issued not more than three years and not less than 10 days prior to entering Saudi Arabia.

Each pilgrim should submit two certified checks or cashier checks payable to 'Unified Agents Office' in Jeddah for pilgrimage services (guides, Zamzam water agents, accommodation in Mina and Arafat and transportation costs). These checks should include the name and the passport number of the pilgrim and date and place of issue. Each applicant must pay the appropriate fees. Pilgrims have the option to submit one check combining both fees. Children between the ages of seven and fifteen should only pay half of the amount. Children under the age of seven do not need to pay.

Please check with the Saudi Consulate for current fees.
Applicants who are not nationals of the country they are applying from should submit documented proof of legal residence status. Passport authorities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia reserve the right to return (at his or her own expense) any pilgrim who has provided wrong or false information about their residence.
No applicant under the legal age of eighteen will be granted a Hajj visa if not accompanied by his family.
If the applicant has converted to Islam, an Islamic certificate must be presented; this needs to be notarized by an Islamic Center.
General Guidelines:

Travelers must carry vaccination certificates with them for inspection by the Saudi Authority at port of entry.

No food products are allowed into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The last day to enter the King Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah for the purpose of Hajj is 4 Dhu'l-Hijjah of each year.

Upon arrival, pilgrims shall hand their passports to the custody of the Unified Agents Office representatives to enable the latter to complete all travel formalities to Makkah and Madinah.

In the event that pilgrims lose their passport, they should immediately report the loss to the same office appointed to take care of them during Hajj. Applicants must obtain a report from the the Unified Agents Office in which the loss of passport is mentioned.

All pilgrims must leave the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia after Hajj no later than the 10th of Muharram of each year. The rules and regulations of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia forbid any pilgrims from staying in the country after the completion of Hajj.

General guidelines for travel agencies:

Travel agents must provide the consulate with Residence, Tawafa, and transportation contracts. They also must provide the unified contract that verifies the general services provided to pilgrims. This contact must include the name of the organizer, the code given to him by the Ministry of Hajj, and the number of visas he's allowed to get. He also must provide the consulate with a letter from the Ministry of Hajj's office in Makkah. All these documents should arrive at the consulate before hajj visas are issued.

Passports will be returned if the information submitted is not compatible with the information sent electronically by the Ministry of Hajj. The Embassy reserves the right to inform the Ministry of Hajj about travel agencies that submit inaccurate or incomplete information.

Travel agencies should affix on each passport a sticker showing the agency's name, address and telephone number.

In the case that a travel agency wishes to submit any question or complaints to the Ministry of Hajj, they could do so through the company or agency they deal with in Saudi Arabia or through the official routes in their country.


Visitors should not overstay the time granted on the visa.

Visitors to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia must abide by the country's Islamic laws and regulations and respect its society's values and traditions.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's laws against drug trafficking are strictly enforced.

Violators are subject to severe punishment, which may include the death penalty.

Sectarian, political or religious gatherings are forbidden.

Hajj Locations Distances

Approximate distances between main locations of Hajj

Makkah to Mina: 8 kilometers (5 miles)
Mina to Arafat: 14.4 kilometers (9 miles)
Mina to Muzdaliah: 3 kilometers (1.8 miles)
Makkah to Arafat: 22.4 kilometers (14 miles)

Hajj Safety Instructions for Pilgrims

Hajj General Safety Instructions for Pilgrims

For your own safety and that of others, please observe the following instructions when proceeding to the casting of the Jamarat:

1. Adherence to the schedules designated for you by the Mutawwif.
2. Adherence to the lanes designated for proceeding to the Jamarat and returning therefrom.
3. Avoid pushing your fellow pilgrims and proceed quietly and calmly.
4. Do not carry personal effects.
5. Do not walk against the direction of the traffic.

Hajj Hospitals in Makkah & Madinah for Pilgrims in Saudia

The Ministry of Health has established 21 hospitals with 7,000-bed capacity to serve and provide health care to pilgrims.

There are hospitals, ambulances and other centers specializing in the treatment of sunstrokes and heat exhaustion in Makkah Al-Mukarramah, Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah and the Holy Shrines. Makkah Al-Mukarramah has seven hospitals with a total capacity of 3,173 beds.

There are several hospitals in the Holy Shrines containing specialized outpatient clinics, ambulance units and operations and admittance rooms in addition to special arrangements for treating sunstroke and heat exhaustion.

These hospitals include:

1- The 800-bed Arafat General Hospital, 24 beds for sunstroke patients, 130 beds for heat exhaustion patients.
2- The 30-bed Jabal Al Rahmah Hospital, 4 beds for sunstroke patients, 150 beds for heat exhaustion patients.
3- Arafat's Mobile Hospital (100) beds at the heat exhaustion center, 8 cooling units, 50 beds for admittance.
4- Mina General Hospital (350 beds).
5- King Abdul Aziz Bridge Hospital in Mina (120 beds).
6- The 370- beds Namera Hospital, 8 beds for sunstroke and 71 beds for heat exhaustion.
7- The 130-beds Mina Al Wadi Hospital, 10 beds for Intensive Care Unit.

The following hospitals serve pilgrims in Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah:

1- King Fahd Hospital (500 beds).
2- The Obstetrics and Paediatrics Hospital (500 beds).
3- Badr Charitable Hospital (216 beds).
4- Chest Diseases Hospital (120 beds).
5- Isolation Hospital (57 beds).
6- Common Diseases Hospital (200 beds).
7- Al Ansar Hospital (130 beds).
8- Al-Migat Hospital (120 beds).
9- Ohud Hospital (239 beds).
10- Madinatul Hujjaj Hospital (36 beds)
11- Al-Hanakiyah Hospital (68 beds).
12- Khaiber General Hospital (50beds).

Hajj Health Centers in Holy Cities KSA

There are numerous health centers in the Two Holy Cities and the Holy Shrines. Some of these centers offer their medical services throughout the year whereas others operate only during Hajj seasons. All these centers receive and treat patients.
There are 294 centers, including:

42 Primary Health Care Centers in Arafat.

30 Primary Health Care Centers in Mina.

7 Primary health Care Centers in Muzdalifah. Each of these centers contains 16 beds for receiving heat exhaustion cases.

27 Permanent Primary health Care Centers in Makkah Al-Mukarramah.

45 Seasonal Primary Health Care Centers at the inlets of the Holy Capital, the Al-Hijrah Road and Land Pilgrims parking areas.

38 Supporting Health Units in Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah devoted to the pilgrims, five of which are inside the Prophet's Mosque.

133 Health Centers in various parts of Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah and land routes leading to it.

5 Primary Health Care Centers inside the Holy Mosque.
84 Seasonal Primary Health Care Centers in Makkah Al-Mukarramah, five of which are surrounding the Al Jamarat flyover bridge.

Hajj Accommodation

There are different types of accommodations in Makkah and Madinah, from luxurious four star hotels to apartments and rooms to hire and share. The licensed travel agency usually organizes accommodation for visitors.
Accommodation in Mina and Arafat will be tents set up by the Tawafa Establishments. The costs for these tents are included in the checks sent with the application form for Hajj visa.

Ihram FAQs

Q: What is an Ihram and how should I wear it?
A: The Ihram garments for men consists of two pieces of white sheet. Wrap the larger sheet around your waist to cover your body from the navel to the ankles. Secure the Ihram either with a belt or by a strip of fabric torn from Ihram material. Drape the other sheet over the back and shoulders and wear a pair of stitched or unstitched sandals or shoes which do not cover the ankles. The head should not be covered, and no underwear should be used. The Ihram should preferably be white.

Q: Should women wear the Ihram?
A: Women are allowed to make Ihram in any dress they wish which fulfills the Islamic conditions of public dress, regardless of the color. Women's hands and face should be uncovered in Ihram. Their heads should be covered.

Q: Are there things I should and shouldn't be doing while I am in a state of Ihram?
A: Yes, a Muhrim (someone who is in state of Ihram) must observe certain obligations and prohibitions.

These are:
* Keep your head uncovered at all times. Women should keep their heads covered
* Do not shave, cut your hair, clip your nails, use perfume, or wear sewn clothes of any kind
* Do not perform marriage or get married yourself
* Do not kill an animal of any kind for any reason, unless it poses a danger to you and to the others.
* Do not enter into conjugal relations with your spouse. Avoid suggestive and provocative talk or gestures and remain focused on Hajj

Hajj Travel Items recommendations

Hajj Travel Items recommendations
(Recommendation of Ministry of Hajj KSA)

Many of the following items are available in Saudi Arabia, but in order to save time searching for them, it is advisable that you should bring them with you.

* Notarized copies of your passport, in case your passport is lost
* Pilgrims arrival photo
*ID Card, issued upon arrival to Jeddah. You should carry this ID Card at all times

Ten passport size photographs for use by authorities for various ID cards and other documents and procedures
* Vaccination Record Book
* Names and addresses of hotels you are staying in in Makkah and Madinah. If you are lost, you can call them or get directions
* Plastic bracelet with the name, address and telephone number of your Tawafa Establishment printed on it. Make sure you carry this bracelet at all times. In case you are lost or have an accident, this bracelet will let you get to the right people.

Take a sufficient amount of currency to cover expenses. Have most of money in the form of travelers' checks and a small amount of Saudi riyals.

Have a small first aid kit with you, containing adhesive dressings, some insect repellent, antiseptic creams and water sterilization tablets.

If you live in the West and are not used to high temperatures, take plenty of salt tablets and start taking them as soon as you arrive in Jeddah. If you cannot get these tablets, two tea spoonfuls of common salt is adequate per day. This will prevent you from losing too much salt through your sweat (loss of salt can make you feel very weak).

Take something to soothe your throat since sore throats are common.

Take something to help you if you develop a cough, constipation or diarrhea.

If you suffer from any ailment such as a heart or chest condition or diabetes, tell your doctor or specialist that you are planning to undertake the Hajj journey and ask their advice on how to reduce your chances of becoming ill. Also ask them for a report to carry with you, with a list of your usual medications. Make sure you take with you enough medication to last the duration of your journey.

Sturdy, hard*cased luggage with heavy duty wheels. A waist pouch to keep and carry valuables at all times. Good quality light backpack for carrying personal stuff during Hajj.

Clothing and bedding
* Two or three sets of Ihram: The Ihram consists of two pieces of white, plain cloth, either 100% cotton or light terry*cloth. These are cool to wear and also provide for better absorption of the heavy perspiration you will inevitably experience during Hajj.
* Light and airy clothes for street wear. Take enough clothes to make your stay comfortable, but do not over*burden yourself with unnecessary clothes. Professional laundry facilities are available in Saudi Arabia. If going on Hajj during winter months, take some woolen clothing as the early mornings tend to be cool.
* Three or four pairs of rubber slippers for use during Ihram. Couple of pairs of comfortable shoes or sandals.
* Two large and two small towels
* Sleeping bag for bedding, inflatable pillow and thick sheets

Tooth brush, toothpaste, moisturizing and disinfecting hand soap, bath soap, shampoo, disposable razors, shaving cream, small mirror, comb, nail clippers and disinfectant, deodorant, tissues and toilet paper.

Miscellaneous items
* Bottled water to avoid dehydration
* Folding umbrella to protect from sun
* A prayer rug
* Copy of the Holy Qur'an and books that give you authentic and detailed information about the rites of Hajj. DO NOT take audio or video tapes as the authorities will review them at the airport and that will cause delay.
* Pen, pencil, small notebook
* Mobile phones to keep in touch with your group and also to phone home. SIM cards only valid for a month are available over the counter in most phone shops in Makkah and Madinah. Before leaving, make sure your phone can accept any SIM card, as opposed to being tied to a network.
* Multi*blade pocket knife, can opener, small scissors
* Small flashlight, with extra batteries
* Small bottle of dish washing liquid and laundry detergent

Prominent features of the Pakistan Hajj Policy 2011

Prominent features of the Pakistan Hajj Policy 2011
(Ministry of Religious Affairs, Islamabad, Pakistan)

Pakistani Hujjaj quota has been increased from 159,647 to 179,256.

Hajj scheme 2011 shall be implemented through Government Hajj Scheme and Private sector i.e. Hajj Group Organizers (HGOs) with proportionate share of around 50:50.

There shall be no balloting this year under Government Hajj Scheme and applicants will be considered successful on the principle of “first come first serve”.

The applications under Government scheme will be invited from 15th April to 10th May 2011 through designated banks.

Under the Government Hajj Scheme, there will be two categories of accommodation i.e. Green Category within 2000 meters without transport with a rental ceiling of Saudi Rayal (SR) 4000/- per pilgrim and White Category beyond 2000 meters with transport with a rental ceiling of SR.3600/- per pilgrim.

The rent in Makkah Mukarramah will be charged on actual basis from pilgrims and at Madinah Munwwarah at a flat rate of SR.450/- per pilgrim.

PIA has agreed for airfare @ Rs. 72,000/- for south zone and Rs. 84,000/- for north zone.

Hajj dues of White category will be Rs. 200,847 for south zone and Rs. 212,847 for north zone.

Hajj dues of Green category will be Rs. 210,047 for south zone and Rs. 222,047 for north zone.

Hujjaj will be airlifted by the national airlines of both countries in equal share, in pursuance of the revised Air Service Agreement (ASA) between Government of Pakistan and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

15% of the total seats under Government scheme will be reserved for hardship cases, pilgrims recommended and funded by charitable institutions and Labour/low paid Employees of different organizations/corporate entities under corporate social responsibility etc. Balance number of seats, if any, will be allocated to late comers at an enhanced package @ 5% of the Green category to fill the resource gap for welfare activities.

A broad based Accommodation Hiring Committee comprising five members will hire the accommodation in Makkah Mukarramah and Madinah Munawwarah.

Hujjaj under Government scheme will not be required to pay any amount on account of Personal Exchange Quota (PEQ) and same will be arranged by them from open market through banks or foreign exchange companies.

There shall be no fresh enrolment of HGOs in the year 2011. HGOs already enrolled with MORA in the year 2010 shall continue in 2011 with the same quota.

HGOs will offer only two packages i.e. economy and executive.

For the welfare services, Medical Hajj Mission will be increased from 260 (2010) to 540 (2011), 230 Khuddam ul Hujjaj to be drawn from Armed Forces, Civil Armed Forces & Pakistan Boys Scouts and number of Local Khuddam ul Hujjaj to be increased from 250 (2010) to 900 (2011) subject to availability of resources.

A comprehensive awareness campaign and training to the intending pilgrims will be launched.

Hujjaj Mohafiz Scheme based on the concept of “Takaful” will be launched with the contribution of Rs.400/- non-refundable by each Haji for compensation due to death / accident during Hajj.

There will be a committee of Parliamentarians called “Hajj Advisory Committee” to advise on policy, planning and management of Hajj operation 2011 in Pakistan as well as in KSA.

Any person who has performed Hajj during the last five years will not be eligible except Mehram, Group Leader or undertaking Haj-e-badal.

International Machine Readable Passport, Computerized National Identity Card and medical certificate shall be mandatory.

All pilgrims (Male/Female) to affix a Pakistan flag sticker on their “Ahrams” for identification. Every female pilgrim to carry at least two “Abayas” preferably of black colour.

Pilgrims to ensure that their luggage is labeled bearing Name, Nationality, Passport Number, Air Carrier, Building and Flight Numbers.

Monitoring and supervision mechanism for Hajj operation in Pakistan and KSA shall be strengthened.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Arabic to English Cardinal Numbers

Arabic Cardinal Numbers
Hady achar
Hadiata achar
Thani achar
Thania achar