Some thoughts on my Hajj journey

Alhamdulillah, in 2015, I had the opportunity to perform haj.

Following are my thoughts and experiences of this life time journey. I am only putting these experiences in writing to prepare the future pilgrims to be physically and psychologically ready for this magnanimous experience.



Before you go on haj, start practicing more of your patience. You need it in plenty while you are on this journey. Haj journey in itself will be long, tiring and difficult. You need your supply of patience to complete this journey. Whole Haj journey requires us to be patient but it's very easy for Hujjaj to loose their patience. Fights can break out over food, queuing for toilets and even mobile charging. We want to keep our mobiles charged so we can keep in contact with the world. We love to keep in touch with the world instead of being with Allah even during the days of Haj. Not everything will go according to your plans. You will have complaints about your transport, hotel accommodation, food and your hajj colleagues. Keep a cool temper, and control your tongue. Remember, Shaitan wants to ruin your haj reward. Don't let him win.

Come prepared:

I have realised that people come to Haj very unprepared. They are not aware of all the Haj rituals and the difficulty in performing them. When they get a taste of difficulty of performing Haj, they seem to be giving up on performing the rituals. For instance they were asking others to do rami on their behalf. They don't realise that they have to pay damm for missing rami themselves. People wanted to stay in the comfort of their hotels instead of staying in Mina according to Sunnah on 10, 11 &12 Dhul Haj. Haj operators make it worse for the Hujjaj by giving them incorrect Haj rulings and doing things what's in their best interest instead of making sure that Hujjaj can perform mistake free Haj. I have realised that Hujjaj do need a qualified scholar accompanying them who can guide them throughout this blessed journey.

Plenty of food:

I was amazed by the government's arrangements in Mina. There was plenty of food and drinks available in the tents. Air conditioning made it easier to spend the time in the tents. There is plenty of food and drinks for everyone to indulge in. However, a lot of it goes to waste too. All the food is provided by the Saudi Moallam in Mina and Arafat. It goes without saying that if it was up to the Haj operators to provide food and specially drinks then we would see half of it. Specially drinks would be rationed out. So Alhamdulillah it has been delegated to the Hajj Moallam to provide them and it has been provided for abundantly (at least thats the case in European camps) Because food and drinks are provided freely, pilgrims over consume them, specially fizzy drinks. Almost everyone was coughing in our tent. The only time you will have to arrange for your own food and drink is when you are staying in Muzdalifah or travelling to Makkah or Mina from Muzdalifah.

Stay in Arafat:

The stay in Arafat is in open tents without air conditioning. Some tents do have air conditioning. People must have paid more for that luxury. The day of Arafat will the most difficult day due to the hot weather.

Haj Operators:

Everyone we spoke to was not happy with his Haj operator. They are regarded as ripping people off. There are also shortcomings on behalf of the British Hujjaj. They have no patience. They want everything to be perfect and without delay. Little they realise that they are on a journey. Every journey requires patience. Haj journey requires even more patience because you are on the way to house of Allah and Shaitan will do his best to divert your attention from Allah to other petty things. The whole journey is full of reward and exhibiting patience is rewarded with paradise. If there are mistakes by the Haj operator they must be identified and corrected but you must not loose your temper and ruin your own Haj. May Allah accept all of ours Haj and forgive our major and minor sins. Aameen

Fizzy drinks:

Hot weather plus affordability would push you to consume a lot of fizzy drinks. Please avoid them as much as you can. Fizzy drinks are not good for your health anyhow and specially at crucial time such as haj, you want to make sure that you remain in good health all the time. With cold fizzy drinks you could get cold, flue, sore throat and chest infection. Falling ill just before or during hajj will ruin your hajj experience. Look after your heath with good care. The best drink is zamzam. Even zamzam can be quite cold. Mix it with non-cold zamzam. In the Haram, non-cold zamzam drums are marked with blue "Not cold" writing on the top. Unfortunately I saw so many pilgrims in hajj ihram suffering from chest infection but still consuming cold fizzy drinks. What was worst for some was that their condition was so severe that they had to wear face mask during their hajj ihram. Under normal circumstances wearing face mask violates the condition of ihram, unless allowed for severe exceptions. Why put our hajj at risk if you can take some time to look your health during these crucial days.


Once the Hajj days are over, our eyes long to see the majestic light shinning over the Green Dome and to be present in the city of the Holy Prophet. However, in between there is another worry covering the mind of the pilgrim: SHOPPING. Larger the family, bigger the problem. Specially when you are in Madina, most of your time would be spent on buying gifts for your loved ones back home. Of course, you don't want to disappoint anyone and of course, its sunnah and good manners to give gifts to your family members, relatives, and friends but it must not be at the expense of your ibadat – your worship. Its a life time opportunity to be in Makkah and Madina. Lets makes use of this time and spending more time in the masjid than in shopping malls.

Lets face it. Most of the items that people get from Saudia are from China and readily available in other countries. Lets not carry so much weight from Saudia. The best gifts you can bring from Hajj are Zamzam, dates and attar (perfumes). These are lightweight and blessed items. People over-buy the items and run over their luggage limits. During the last days in Madina overarching worry is how to take their shopping back to their country. They will ask their fellow Hujjaj if they have any space left in their luggage and receive the answer in negative. The person being asked the question will be in similar situation to the questioner. Some pilgrims also cargo their shopping back to their country. All this situation reminds a Mu'min (believer) of the scenes of the day of judgement when we will be carrying our load of sinful activities and we would be looking for someone to share our burden. A day when our parents, children, friends and all our wealth would abandon us and only good actions, charity, righteous company and intercession of holy prophet would come to our rescue. May Allah Almighty protect us from any calamity on the day of resurrection and grant us the company of righteousness. Relatives back home can also play their part by frequently reminding the Hujjaj that they do not expect nor want any gift on their return except duas, zamzam and dates. Relatives can also remind the Hujjaj that their primarily role of going to Hajj is to please Allah and His holy Prophet Muhammad.

May Allah accept our Hajj. Aameen.

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Theresa May – A new Prime Minister, A new beginning (I hope)

We congratulate Theresa May on becoming UK's 54th Prime Minister, a great position that comes with great responsibility.

Of course, this new role is best suited for her as she has already spent the last 6 years on reducing immigration, an imaginary tool or a magic wand in the minds of so many politicians and now cascaded down to the public, to eliminate every economic and social problems currently suffered by UK.

As 'Brexit is Brexit', no doubt Mrs May will use her expertise in isolating UK from the rest of Europe as the last government has isolated communities living in UK.

No doubt, her jubilant case of deporting one person, Abu Qatada, from UK will come handy in deporting EU migrants.

It was inspiring to listen to Theresa May talking about 'burning injustice' in society and the need to remove these injustices. but it was coming from the mouth of someone who has helped to create such injustices in the last 6 years. Perhaps such admissions are way for Mrs May to achieve atonement and ask for forgiveness from the public who has suffered severally by her policies.

In her speech she mentions the name of her party and what it means to her: "It means we believe in a union not just between the nations of the United Kingdom but between all of our citizens – every one of us – whoever we are and wherever we’re from." What beautiful words from someone who has ripped families apart and forced them to live separately due to her non-EU immigration policy. No indigenous British person would understand the trauma and agony of living away from their spouse and children caused by her policies.

She promises to listen to 'you' and not 'wealthy', 'mighty' and 'privileged' ones. However, its only been few years that she backed 'bedroom tax', police cuts and voted against measures to prevent climate change. Her actions defy her words and future is to monitored closely.

She also has the audacity to talk about white vs black when she has not done any positive action to lower such barriers in the last 6 years. Her critics will point out the extradition cases of Gary McKinnon vs Talha Ahsan, when one extradited to the US and not the other. I am sure you can guess who was extradited by just looking at the names. Not an exact case of discrimination based on colour, but discrimination based on faith or race.

Her addiction to Prevent and snooper charter also gives no cause for celebration, in particular to the minority groups. There is a hope among the communities most hurt by her policies that her tenure is swift and the next 4 years passes without new policies being passed to divide the communities further.

Politicians have a habit of doing only lip service to the real issues. Perhaps Mrs May's first speech was just a lip service to appease the public and calm them at this uncertain times. We hope not so and that she sticks to her words.

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TRIBUTES TO IMAM HUSSAIN (may Allah be pleased with him) will be aired on Radio Asian Fever 107.3 FM

Saturday, Sunday & Monday 1 – 3 November 2014 between 10 – 12pm


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Youth Residential trip pictures

I was delighted to take few youth for a short residential and for their physical, character and spiritual development in Malham – UK.

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Ramadan Food Bank 2014

During the month of Ramadan, I had the opportunity of organising a food bank at Woodsley Centre.

It was a great feeling to be part of an important community initiative that really benefited the needy families in our areas.

I want to thank all the donors for contributing to the food bank. May Allah bless you all.

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Leeds Makkah Masjid in association with Fateh Foundation is taking a group of youth aged between 14 – 17 for a night residential to Malham in the Yorkshire Dales.

The purpose of the residential is to develop character and spirituality of our youth. The residential will include physical activities and Islamic learning. Children will be encouraged to participate in each Namaz, Quranic recitation and Dhikr.

We will be leaving on 9th August from the Makkah Masjid at 11:00 am and returning on Sunday 10th August approximately 8pm. The group will be staying at Malham Youth Hostel over night.

There are limited places available, so it will be a first come basis. If you would like your child to participate please fill in the consent form and return it to Imam Muhammad Qasim asap.

Send your enquiries to

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NEW Quran and Islamic classes


I am proud to announce the start of NEW Quran & Islamic classes at Woodsley Centre

The classes will cover:
• Quran & Tajweed studies
• Memorisation of Quran
• Islamic studies
• Islamic morals and manners
• Spiritual & Physical development
• Educational trips and seminars
• Develop confidence in public speaking and recitation

Its open to ALL AGES; specifically for 14+ boys & girls

Monday – Friday 4-6pm

Venue: Woodsley Centre, 64 Woodsley Road, LS3 1DU
Tel: 0113 244 2684, 07855 633254

Makkah Masjid Christmas 2013

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iPad apps to manage your supplementary classes: Review of TeacherTool and TeacherKit

In my professional capacity I run and manage many different classes. These are supplementary classes, helping the children with their school studies, and also managing madrasa classes.

I was looking for a software to manage my classes.

I was looking for a software that could:

  • Add student details
  • Take a register Keep a record of grades and exams
  • Keep notes on student progress
  • Produce reports
  • And everything else related to school management

Instead of a desktop software, I decided to go for an ipad app because of its mobility. In my search for ipad app, I could only identify 3 apps suitable for my requirement: TeacherTool, TeacherKit and Teacher’s Assistant Pro. 

My eyes were fixed on TeacherTool due to good ratings and its price. TeacherTool costs around £20. I thought because the price is high, the app will be better than others. TeacherKit is free but of you want to produce reports, it will cost around £5. Initially, I did not pay any attention to TeacherKit. I did not believe that a free app will be any good or I thought that it will be very limited.

So I went ahead and purchased TeacherTool. After purchasing, I spent many hours figuring out how to use this beast but was not too successful. There are not any tutorials in English that could help.

I found the following about TeacherTool:

  • Too complicated
  • Use of terminology is difficult to understand.
  • This is due to the fact that it is developed by German developers.
  • Cannot use the app outside the class’s timetable.
  • It has a rigid approach to class management.
  • I did not try the CSV export and am disappointed that TeacherTool does not provide graphical reports.

Teacher Tool may be great for some people who are looking for an extensive app. But if your requirements are simple and you want an easy to use app to manage your couple of hours a week classes, then Teacher Tool is not for you.

At the end I had to give up on Teacher Tool and experimented with TeacherKit. To my surprise, Teacher Kit was much easier to use and configure and did the job quite well.

Teacher Kit still has some limitations. The big disadvantage for me is its limited ability to sort the students list. I want to be able to sort out students by their mainstream school, school year or age. Teacher Kit only allows you to sort the children by their name or grade. Also Teacher Kit does not give you much option to save too much students’ details.

I hope this review will help you to decide what app to get for your supplementary classes management.

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Who is allowed to interpret the Quran

Recently I was asked to do a presentation regarding who is allowed to interpret the meaning of Holy Quran and the messages of peace and harmony in Quran and in the Prophetic traditions.

I am uploading the slides here for the benefit of everyone.

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Books for the Islamic classes

We use a range fo informative Islamic books by reputable authors during our Islamic classes.

Following books have been selected for the Islamic classes at Woodsley Community Centre and Weekend classes at Madina Masjid (LS6 1HR).

For instance, we will be using Islamic Beliefs and Human Rights by Shaykh Muhammad Imdad Hussain Pirzada and Tokens of Wisdom by Dr. Musharraf Hussain and  Islamic Studies Level 1 & 2 by Weekend Learning.

Islamic classes at Woodsley Centre are run on weekdays between 4-6pm and Weekend class is on Sundays 11-1pm.




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