Frequently Asked Questions

For your convenience, our most common customer questions are answered right here.

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  • Do we need a blanket or sleeping bag for the trip?

    You will need a sleeping bag or sleeping pad for the night spent in Muzdalifah. Beyond that, we provide adequate sleeping accomodations for all other segments of the trip.

  • Your Hajj package says it starts in IAD. I live in another state, how will that work?

    We indicate the origination Airport for our packages each year, generally it is IAD or JFK. It is the responsibility of the travelers to arrange for their domestic flights to the origination Airport and back home. The package does not include domestic airfare.

  • Do you provide Ihrams for Men?

    Yes, TFP will provide an Ihram for men.

  • Is The Fifth Pillar a registered travel agent with the Saudi Government?

    No, we are not a travel agency. We are a Hajj Tour Operator that has been serving Hujjaj since 2004. We sub-contract our services from reliable Travel Agencies that are registered with the Saudi Government and add our personalized services over top of the Hajj package to enhance its offerings.

  • How can I convert U.S. Dollars to Saudi Riyals?

    Money coversion facilities are accessible in both Makkah and Medinah. They are not banks, but Money Exchanges setup for the sole purpose of currency conversion.

  • What is the difference between VIP Tents and North American Tents?

    There are 2 major differences between VIP Tents and North American Tents. The first is price, packages with VIP tents are generally $2,000 - $3,000 more in price. The second is distance, VIP tents are located closer to the Jamarat in Mina whereas the North American tents are approximately 2.5 km away.

    The look and feel of the tents is similar as TFP always upgrades the North American Tent amenities to match that of VIP.

  • Will we get physical Airline tickets?

    No, all tickets are processed as eTickets by the Airline as part of our group booking process. We will provide a paper copy of your ticket when we provide your final documentation as a reference.

  • As a spouse, how can we proof relationship?

    You must supply a copy of a Marriage certificate or a Nikkah certificate to proof relationship.

  • Are there laundry services available in Makkah & Medinah?

    Yes, most hotels offer laundry services. Additionally, there are multiple laundry services available outside of the hotels that are very accessible. Generally, they offer same day or next day service.

  • Does TFP provide tours of Makkah and Medinah?

    We always do a tour (Ziyarah) in Medinah. The tour includes sites such as Masjid Quba, Masjid Qiblateen and Mount Uhud.

  • Do Airlines count Zamzam as a piece of luggage?

    The Airlines (International) flying out of Saudi Arabia do not consider Zamzam as part of your luggage. They will allow you to check-in 2 pieces of luggage along with a Zamzam.

  • What preparations are required to get ready for Hajj?

    TFP recommends people prepare physically and spiritually for Hajj;

    Physical Preperation - The moment you decide that you will be traveling to Hajj, start a walking routine of between 1-2 miles a day, increase it as you get closer to Hajj. In the last 2-months prior to departure for Hajj you should be able to walk 3-5 miles a day comfortably.

    Spiritual Preperation - Identify texts or online resources from reputable scholars and familiarize yourself with the process of Hajj, the holy cities and sites. Use the links provided under the "Resources" section of our website to educate yourself.

  • Are their western toilets in Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah?

    Yes, there is a combination of western/eastern toilets in each of the cities. Based on our experience the ratio is 1:4 (Western:Eastern)

  • Is it better to convert U.S. Dollars to Saudi Riyals in America or in Saudi Arabia?

    Money coversion facilities are accessible in both Makkah and Medinah. They are not banks, but Money Exchanges setup for the sole purpose of currency conversion. The conversion rate in Saudi Arabia will always be between 3.7 +/- to 1 USD. In the U.S., you will likely find a rate of 3 +/- to 1 USD. The recommendation is to convert monies in Saudi Arabia.

  • Do I require a Mehram to travel to Hajj?

    All women are required to travel for Hajj with a Mahram. Proof of kinship must be submitted with the application form. Women over the age of forty-five (45) may travel without a Mahram with an organized group, They must, however submits a no objection letter (known as a Mehram Letter) from her husband, son or brother authorizing her to travel for Hajj with the named group. This letter should be notarized.

  • What services do you guys offer?

    We only focus on Hajj Tour Groups. We do not serve as a full service travel agency.

  • As a brother or sister or a child traveling with a parent, how can we proof relationship?

    You must supply a copy of your birth certificate (for each) to proof relationship.

  • Can we pick our room mates for the trip?

    Yes, if you know others who are traveling with our group you can request to be roomed with them. As per Saudi guidelines only Mehrams can share a single room.

  • Can we book our own Airline ticket, or must we use the group Airline?

    It is highly recommended to use the Group Airline. However, we do allow individuals to book their own Airline Tickets. This process requires detailed coordination to ensure flight timings will work with our itinerary. In case of individuals booking their own Airline, we discount a pre-determined (must be discussed at time of reservation) amount of the ticket price from the price of the package. The package is then marked as a "land-only" package and passengers will incur a meet and greet fee of $150 p/p.

  • Is Qurbani (Udhiya/Sacrifice) included in the Hajj Package Price?

    The cost of sacrifice is advertised as part of our "exclusions", however the total package cost (all inclusive) cost which adds in all exclusions does include sacrifice. We have local point of contacts that are representatives of TFP who oversee the sacrifice process and ensure it is done in compliance with guidelines.

  • Is Visa processing included as part of the Hajj package price?

    Yes, Visa processing is included as part of the Hajj package.

  • Does TFP use VIP Tents or North American Tents in Mina?

    Since we tailor a custom package each year, this is listed as part of our Hajj Package details. Please review it carefully, as it will indicate either VIP Tents or North American Tents.

  • What method of payments do you accept?

    We are only able to accept payments via a personal or certified check.

  • I heard the Saudi Government keeps our passports, is that true?

    Yes, at the time of arrival each traveler will turn over their passports to Ministry of Hajj officials. It is the responsibility of TFP staff to secure/retrieve your Passports and they will be provided back to the travelers at the time of departure from Saudi Arabia.

  • Is the entire payment required at once?

    No, we always break up Hajj payments into 3 payments. The due dates for those payments are detailed in the Terms and Conditions.

  • What vaccinations are required for Hajj?

    All travelers must submit proof of vaccination for meningitis and ACYW135. For infants and children up to fifteen (15) years of age, a vaccination report is required for polio as well as meningitis and polio. Children over fifteen (15) years of age should present the same vaccinations requested for adults.

    a. meningitis and ACYW135.

    b. The seasonal (or common) flu, which should be taken two weeks before applying for the visa.

    c. The H1N1 flu, if a vaccine is made available before Hajj season, and should be taken two weeks before applying for the visa.

    d. Infants and children up to fifteen (15) years of age should provide a vaccination report for meningococcal and polio.

    e. Children above fifteen (15) years of age should present the same vaccinations requested for adults.

  • What are the luggage requirements for Hajj?

    Luggage requirements are dictated by the Airlines policy for international travel. Please check the respective Airlines website to determine luggage requirements.

  • Can a female travel to Hajj alone?

    Per Hajj Ministry Guidelines, a female over the age of 45 is allowed to travel to Hajj alone without a Mehram.

  • Does TFP provide wheelchair service?

    No, however wheelchairs are available for rent from Haram Waqf staff in Makkah to perform Tawaf and Sai'. Beyond that if a traveler requires a wheelchair we encourage them to bring one from the U.S.A or purchase one from a local Saudi Pharmacy.

  • Does TFP provide classes to prepare the Hujjaj?

    Yes, we hold various sessions to prepare the Hujjaj logistically and spiritually. We hold conference calls at least monthly to cover logistics and spiritual items. Additionally, we will hold at least 2 in-person sessions where Imams will deep dive into Fiqh aspects of Hajj. We utilize conference calls, video conferencing for remote participants.

  • Does TFP have training sessions for Females?

    Yes, we hold sessions with Shaykhas that are specifically designed for women.

  • Does TFP provide Zamzam bottles for the group?

    Yes, at the time of departure from either Jeddah Airport or Medinah Airport each passenger will receive a 5-Liter bottle of Zamzam to bring back to their home country.

  • Are organizers available to guide us throughout the journey?

    Yes, we have an experienced team of professionals that travel with our group every year. They are available in the U.S.A. prior to travel to answer questions and provide guidance and they travel with you and are available 24/7 throughout your Hajj journey.

  • Do you require originals or copies of documents to process the Hajj Visa?

    We require originals for;

    - Passport or Green Card (Alien Card)

    - Visa Application

    - Pictures

    - Vaccination Records

    - Mehram Letter (if applicable)

     

    - All other documents can be submitted as copies.