The Tents at Mina

The Hajj is the religious pilgrimage to Makkah that all able-bodied Muslims are required to complete once during their lifetime. Last year some three million people from around the world converged on Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj during a specific five day period. The Hajj is a complicated process of rituals which are completed in various places around Makkah, such as circling around the Kaaba seven times, drinking water from the ZamZam Well, symbolically stoning the devil, walking between two small hills a number of times, and spending a couple of days or so in an area called Mina. Upon completion of the Hajj, Muslims are supposed to cut their hair or shave their heads. This photo shows a very small section of the thousands and thousands of tents where the pilgrims stay in Mina. I found this interesting description written by a pilgrim of what one might expect during their stay in Mina:
“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” Keep this principle in mind when you leave for Mina from Arafat. Staying in a tent that is next to the toilets, sleeping in a part of the tent which is besides the area where foul smelling garbage is piled up, half of the toilets without water supply in your tent area, pilgrims from countries with low civic consciousness messing up the toilets, overcrowded tents – these are some of the conditions that you may have to put up with during your 3-day stay in Mina. Some survival tips are listed below:
a. Plan your diet so that you don’t have to go to the toilet frequently;
b. Avoid idle talk which consists mostly of a tirade against the authorities for various shortcomings;
c. Immerse yourself in various types of worship – reading The Qur’an, zikr, and duah. While these are not only the right things to do in Hajj, they will also help to keep your mind from being distracted by the shortcomings there;
d. You’ll be able to spot individuals in your tent who are knowledgeable about Islam. Get close to them and seek clarifications about matters that are not clear to you. In the long run, you’ll remember these meetings more than the difficulties your encountered in Mina.
e. Remember to bring along a little pail. In the event of water supply failure to the toilets, you can use the pail to fetch water from other sources.


About SusieOfArabia

American woman now living in hubby's homeland of Saudi Arabia
This entry was posted in Landmarks, Religion, Saudi Arabia and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to The Tents at Mina

  1. Susie — I did not realize you had converted to Islam! I was surprised to see your recent photos from Makkah.


  2. Bill B. says:

    Always an interesting insight to things.

  3. Jerry M says:

    I’ve seen tent cities in the US (in places that held old fashioned revival meetings) but never ones as large and never with quite such a specific warning about water and cleanliness.

  4. Dina says:

    I can’t thank you enough for this post, Susie.
    So that is where millions of pilgrims sleep! It just increases my admiration for those who make many sacrifices to make hajj.
    The pilgrim’s advice is a great mixture of spiritual and physical.

  5. Gaelyn says:

    Sounds like good advice not only for Mina. Do people pay to stay in the tents? Great capture.

  6. Jacob says:

    Wonderful photograph. Religion can sure be an interesting study.

  7. janice says:

    Great picture, Susie. Everything looks so orderly.

    Reading the “survival tips” now make me happy to attend Sunday mass for an hour…..I can hold it until I get home, LOL.

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