one blog or two?

salams / peace

it’s been a while since the blog has been updated, it was my intention the blog becomes a goto site for all things pilgrimage related. that is mostly my fault, but not entirely, because I was as they say ‘spinning too many plates’. the focus now is to get back on track, so i would like to know what you think I should do about combining this blog with my other environmental blog Earth Guardians.

should I or shouldn’t I ?


shortlink to this post



salams / peace

apologies for the lack of posts, I have been busy with other projects.

It is nice to return to my Eco blog, sustainability doesnt go away!

ill be focusing on the hajj and umrah experience so do post your experiences on the blog.


rain & food


it is He who sends down

rain from the sky

from it you drink

and out of it grows

the vegetation on which

you feed your cattle.

with it He produces

for you corn, olives

date-palms, grapes

and every kind of fruit:

verily in this is a sign

for those who give thought

chapter 16; verses 10 & 11 – the Holy Qur’an

lift doors closing

hotel lifts

it’s a good idea – no matter which floor you are allocated a room – to walk up one or two flights of stairs, instead of taking the lift all the way to your floor.

you will benefit from the exercise and prepare you for the 5 days of hajj or umrah (& there is the benefit of the hotel using less electricity – important for those true ecopilgrims)

your resting place

Do not squander your wealth wastefully
 (Qur’an 17:26)


Everyone now takes electricity for granted, but producing energy using fossil fuels like coal and gas contributes to climate change.

• The more electricity we use, the more harmful emissions are released into the atmosphere.
• Lighting is essential  the more lights we have, the more electricity we use.

• When you leave a room, switch the lights off. Get into this good habit and it will make a difference.

• Don’t leave electrical appliances on standby (tv’s have arrived in the holy land and if we are to really benefit from the spiritual journey best not to switch the tv on at all!), switch them off


Clean your garments; keep away from all filth
(Qur’an 74:4-5)

Laundry’s use a lot of energy, instead, wash by hand yourself and air dry when possible, you will enjoy it more and feel healthier for it. Remember the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) also took part in chores around the house, cleaning and washing, so why not take this opportunity – even if you don’t do it when you return home – to wash your clothes with the intention of a sunnah and get immense rewards whilst on your Hajj / Umrah.

FACT: A recent study by Cambridge University’s Institute of Manufacturing found that 60% of the energy associated with a piece of clothing is spent in washing and drying it.

• Wash your clothes in warm water instead of hot.
• Save up to launder a few big loads instead of many smaller ones.
• Separate clothes by material, some may last you longer by hand washing rather than washing by machine.
• When they’re clean, dry your clothes the natural way, by hanging them on a line, airing rack, or radiator rather than loading them in a dryer

• Use air conditioning sparingly and try not to leave it on whilst you are in the haram, have gone for salah, ziyarah or shopping.

(Allah’s Servants) are those who are neither wasteful nor
niggardly when they spend, but keep to a just balance
(Qur’an 25:67)  


















getting around

Air Travel            

We made the sky a well‑secured canopy—yet from its wonders they turn away        (Qur’an 21:32)


• Air travel emits greenhouse gases which make the world hotter and hurt the environment .• More people now travel by air more times every year: cheap airlines have made foreign travel easier.
• Alternative aviation fuels are being tested at the moment and may soon be in use.

• When you travel by air,  the pollution of the journey can be balanced with our ‘carbon offset scheme’ …click here
• The newer the airline’ fleet of aircraft, the better the efficiency and clean technology of the engines.


• Cars produce a lot of polluting gases which make it hard to breathe and they hurt the environment.

During the hajj and umrah, you will find that after being transported to the holy cities by bus/coach/car most of your getting around will be by foot.


Many of you may opt to travel around during the 5 days of hajj by coach/bus, but you may want to consider performing a walking hajj,- where you will travel between each place as the name implies by walking.

This is deemed very rewarding as each step you take is a personal step on the spiritual journey towards Allah.

You will find there is a lot less stress to your selves and fellow pilgrims due to the fact you are not stuck in a jam for hours and as mentioned earlier it can be very hot and intoxicating with all the fumes and pollution.

so a walking hajj helps you and the environment.

ecopilgrim plant a tree project


In Islam planting a tree is regarded as a charitable act. By anyone’s standards it’s a noble deed.

As the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said….’Whoever plants a tree and it matures, ALLAH plants a tree in paradise for that person’

To absorb the exhaust fumes from the flight to hajj / umrah….. please help us plant trees.  Contribute to our tree planting movement.


Just £10, will pay for a tree sapling to be planted and nurtured up to its being planted outside where it will live for another hundred years or more and be home to birds, insects and animals, produce oxygen, absorb CO2 emissions, stabilise the water table, help prevent floods, cool the climate, help restore the balance …. and remind us of the Garden … Before it’s too late. Just for Allah.


To grow a tree from seed to sapling takes several months, before the sapling is ready to be planted in the wild to fend for itself.  In the case of some trees much care is needed. For instance most tropical forest trees should not be exposed to too much sunlight as in natural conditions they are seeded in the ground below the forest canopy, where 60% of daylight is cut.  Seedlings must be maintained in a continued damp environment requiring frequent watering.



Indonesian forests have been cleared and transnational companies rush in to plant oil palm plantations to feed the diesel engines of the rich countries with biofuels. Sometimes the transnationals don’t even wait for the forests to be cleared.  They clear them themselves as they plant. This is usually illegal by Aceh’s new “Aceh Green” Policy.  A total moratorium of tree felling was declared in 2007.  It was one of the first implementations of the Government of newly autonomous Aceh. The 30 years war caused the destruction of millions of hectares of Aceh’s forests. On top of that we have to stop the Oil palm plantations. Many of these are “rogue plantations”. Then we can replant in often very degraded soils. Sometimes it’s a race: to replant depleted and cut tropical forests with the many diverse species of trees before the oil palm planters can.  Palm Oil does not solve anyone’s fuel problems, reduces availablity of land for food production, thus raising prices, and increases the drive for deforestation which now contributes to 18% of global carbon emissions.


…Eat and drink the sustenance God has provided and
do not act wrongfully in the land, causing corruption.
(Qur’an 2:60)

The food we eat is a great blessing from Allah, as we will still be eating during the hajj and umrah –  what, how, how much, where and when we eat that will have the greatest effect on us and if we are to be in the best of health so as not to spoil our spiritual activities.

There is a lot of truth in the saying that we are what we eat…the food and drink we consume is what is going to nourish our every muscle, tissue and organ which in turn is the vessel in which we transport our soul and present it in front of our Allah.

So it becomes especially important we do not become complacent with putting halal into our bodies.


As with any journey make sure you restrict your eating to the food provided by your hajj / umrah group and the hotel you are staying.

If you do venture outside it is worth making sure the place is clean and shows signs of good food preparation.

Especially during the 5 main days of hajj, restrict your food intake – especially in the abscence of facilities in Arafat and Muzdalifah and eat plenty of fruit, nuts, biscuits.

With regards to drinking – drink regularly throughout the day as opposed to huge amounts in one go with large gaps in between. Liltle and often is the key to avoid dehydration and frequent toilet trips.

To read what the Ministry of Hajj has to say about food and drink… here