Diary of a Hajji 1: True Germophobia

Health they say is wealth. You know how some people have an innate fear of germs or disease or how others have OCD… I personally cannot make a whole meal without washing the spoon I am using to cook after every entry into my pot. Sometimes I wash my hand after adding every spice even when am adding all the spices at once. Hey! I am not a psycho. Just my own compulsion. We all have it in varying degrees.

As a Haji, these privileges do not extend to you. You would have to learn to overlook and live with certain things. I hate to see spit or hear someone cough up sputum and spit *scratches head*. So imagine the sound of someone cough up spit and using his mouth as a cannon, launches it through the vacuum of a metal bin *hugs self*, and because of it travelling through space in the bin, it echoes. It is indeed horrible… as the sound reaches the depth of your soul. Some decide to take it up a notch and first drag the phlegm from their lungs to their throat and it is apparently a deed that cannot be done quietly. And you might be lucky one of these culprits extends a hand to you with a smug smile and says “salaam”. Loads of hand sanitising but even the sanitizers have their limits.

Do you hate the smell of dampness? Whether room or clothes or air? Well, Some people wash their clothes and hang them over their beds where they drip till they dry. Not sure which is worse a damp cloth or a damp bed. Cannot live down the smell of either. Sometimes because of the heat, people pour cold bottles of water over their fully clothed bodies including their hair. This one I did a lot of the time, but I never smelt damp. The mercy of Allah in the form of the sun dries you up completely.

Then the compulsory flu was another test. It is so hot but everyone seems to have a cold. I took a daily dose of vitamin C and even though I did have a cold, it was not as bad as others had it. You know in the masjid, during salat the period of Tashahud is usually quiet, till one person coughs and then it seems to activate everyone’s cough and then it’s just the sound of coughing till salaam. Most of the people do not cover their mouths. Coughing is reactive, so not your fault quite all right, but courtesy demands you cover your mouth.

The saying, there is no place like home. The home not just your family, the building in itself and how particular you want everything in it to be arranged. How people live in mansions and call an exterminator at the site of a cockroach. Oh yeah! Some accommodations were filled with so many rats that some rooms had to be closed down. Oh! The stinging smell of rat pee.

Disclaimer: I had an amazing, uplifting and awe-inspiring hajj journey. I would do it again in a heartbeat if giving the chance again In Sha Allah. I pray every one of you gets a chance and for those that have performed hajj may Allah accept it. Ameen.

Thank you for reading and do let me know what you think in the comments section.




33 thoughts on “Diary of a Hajji 1: True Germophobia

  1. oteebotee says:

    You are indeed not alone in this compulsion. I feel living through all these, the colds, the not so perfect living conditions, are all part of the debasement of man, so that by the end of your hajj you truly know that man is nothing!!!


  2. Papatia says:

    I’m obsessive too… at random moments lol! It’s weird lol but it’s me. Anyways, yea I heard a lot horror stories about hajj, nonetheless a spiritual journey over all. The trials get you for sure. I’m glad you came back safely and renewed. Mahsa’Allah!


  3. Raising Young Believers says:

    Im not quite as obsessive but can also relate to being grossed out by some of the scenes. I constantly had a bottle of hand sanitiser with me,and made sure to have lots of vitamin C, before during and after the journey.There was the odd runny nose and slightly itchy throat to content with, but I think that may have due more to the constant use of aircons, and change in climate, rather than the masive throngs of people.


  4. rukukazia says:

    I did Hajj over a decade ago, and let me tell you I now remember nothing of the negatives although I’m sure I did experience them, and would go back in a heartbeat given the chance:-). Hajj Mubarak!


    • ummbilal01 says:

      I was not a chronic sanitizer. I started sanitising but I got over it. Had a mantra though. “HE BROUGHT ME TO IT, HE WOULD SEE ME THROUGH IT”. Other times I go “SABR YA AISHA” just loud enough for me to hear.


  5. Amina says:

    Masha Allah…Tabaarak Allah.

    Alhamdulillah for making it to Hajj. May Allah (swt) accept from you and bless the hosts.

    The stories and experiences vary for everyone – and it shows how indeed it is journey involving striving with one’s heart, body and soul; just as it shows how different we all are as humans.


    • ummbilal01 says:

      The same experience would be reported differently by people. Overall Hajj is amazing. Preserves the beauty on diversity under the blanket of Islam.we all have one islam…same rules and beliefs.


  6. Myda Tahir says:

    Asalamoalikum Ayesha,
    Hajj Mubarak first of all, Hajj is another name of Sabr(patience). one just get Sabr by looking at the people so weak and old performing Hajj, all are the indeed the guests of Allah (SBT).
    May Allah give every muslim the chance of performing Maqbool Hajj and accept of those who have been there. Ameen


  7. Bouchra Rebiai says:

    I remember going along with my parents for Hajj when I was about 8. My mom was so worried about the food that we packed 2 small bags with canned food and non-perishables. We didn’t eat a single meal the whole 7 days of Hajj, she was so scared we might get food poisoning. Nowadays during Ramadan when we’re near the Haram we eat from restaurants, but it is sometimes a bit disconcerting, all the germs around the area.

    Though I think that the fact that we’re there to worship Allah comes first, it’s more important. And by the will of Allah, He will protect us from the deadliest of germs!

    Mabrook on your Hajj, may Allah accept it from you 🙂


  8. Muslim Mummy says:

    Hajj Mubarak!

    I am not quite so OCD but yes people spitting and coughing without covering their mouths makes me cringe! I get tempted to tell people to cover their mouths! Not sure how I would cope with it if I get the chance to go on hajj.


  9. randombytes says:

    Hajj Mubarak sis! Remember me in your Dua’as please, Hajj is a journey that is of a lifetime. I did my Hajj two years back but the memories are so fresh and it was so reviving to the soul that I want to go there every year!


  10. Aisha Hassan says:

    Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu! just reading this now after 2 years of it being posted! lol! i just stumbled upon the page. i also do have ocd and all sorts of phobia but i cant wait to go for hajj, insha Allah. i have been to Umra in Ramadhan though but i know it doesnt compare to Hajj Subhanallah!


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