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Assalaamu Alaikum,
Before anything, I would like to encourage all Muslims to perform their hajj without delay when it becomes possible for them to do so. Hajj Mabrur to all the hujjaj. When planning your trip, you should definitely consider that hajj is a challenging spiritual journey and not a cruise or vacation. Prepare as much as you can beforehand – physically, mentally, and emotionally. Read up on hajj and talk to others who have been on hajj about their experiences and advice. Once you are on hajj, listen to your group leader(s), yet all remain fairly self-sufficient, and remain open, flexible and cooperative. Some of the advice I got before leaving was to be ready for any sort of test from Allah, to focus on the 99% positive, rather than the 1% negative, to realize that whatever hardships you go through those who made hajj before you went through much greater hardships, and to think about how you can serve others rather than on how you can be served. This year (2012) was my first ever hajj. I actually used this site ( to select my group – Abu Muazz Hajj and Umrah – because of its high ratings and also because I felt I got a good variety of comments which gave me a sense of what to expect. (I appreciate for developing this site.) I also noticed the high number of people who return to make hajj with this group year after year as well as the staff who have been with them for a long time. This commitment and loyalty was a very positive indicator to me, that bore out in reality. Having returned this month from hajj with Abu Muaaz group, I highly recommend these services. I had an excellent experience on hajj, alhamdulillah. It was better than I could have dreamed. If Allah swt permits me to return on umrah or hajj, I will choose Abu Muaaz group. It may not be useful to describe particular hotels or accommodations, because they change depending on package. However, I will say I was very pleased with the accommodations. Our first hotel in Mecca was a short 5 minute walk to the haram, and the hotel in Medina was similarly a 5 minute walk to the masjid un nabawi. The food and snacks were always excellent and plentiful, and there was always plenty of water, tea, coffee, and juice. You have to remember that the hajj itself is basically a camping trip into the desert with millions of other people, so adjust your thinking accordingly. A lot of behind the scenes planning and coordination by Abu Muaaz makes that adjustment go as smoothly as possible, alhamdulillah. One of the strengths of the group is the experience and personality of the leader (Abu Muaaz). The logistics and responsibilities are enormous but Abu Muaaz is made for this, mashaAllah. We always felt strong leadership and a protective caring throughout our stay. These kinds of qualities are needed from the leadership on a hajj trip. On hajj, the quality of the tour group you select is measured not in luxuries or fancy talks, but in the ability to handle during hajj itself the ever-changing and challenging logistics in the smartest possible manner that allows you to fulfill your duties for hajj. One sign that Abu Muaaz has great experience and ability in this was that our group was always among the first to arrive for any of the stages of hajj. For example, we were among the first to Arafat, Muzdalifah and back to Mina. That meant we were always in place for performing our duties, without rush, while being among the first groups to find places, settle in our bags, use the restrooms, get tea/coffee, and so forth. There will always be challenges. These are either unforeseen circumstances out of anyone’s control, that the group has to adjust to and solve. Or they are personal tests that Allah swt selects for the individual on hajj, and they too are outside of the control of the group you select and would happen to you no matter which group you go on. One of the journeys on hajj is striving to achieve more patience and reliance on Allah swt, and to appreciate all that Allah swt gives you. Whatever was in Abu Muaaz control to do for our group, he did it with excellence. Again, a lot of this is behind the scenes. A small example, was on the trip back, we had a nearly overnight stay scheduled in Amman airport waiting for our plane to JFK. We could have been left at the airport to sleep or wander around over there, instead we were bused to 5 star accommodations for much-needed sleep for part of the night, hot showers, and hotel breakfast in the morning, even though this was not promised on the package. We got back for our flight in the morning well-rested and ready to go. These are a few glimpses into my experiences with the Abu Muaaz Hajj and Umrah group. Again, I highly recommend this group and would not hesitate to travel with them again on hajj or umrah.
May Allah swt grant us and you the accepted hajj.