Staying Healthy on Hajj and Umrah
Posted: 16 Muharram 1423, 31 March 2002
Title: Staying Health on Hajj & Umrah
Authors: Abdul Hakim Luqman and Aletha Luqman
Publisher: Medsurg Coatesville
The authors are a husband and wife team. He is a medical doctor. She is a nurse. Both
are American Muslims who went for Hajj in 1421 AH. There they found themselves helping
fellow pilgrims who needed medical attention. As they dispensed care and advice to them,
they realized a much larger audience could benefit from their advice if they put it in
writing. This monograph is a result of that thought. It has the noble purpose of helping
the pilgrims "maximize their time in Allah's House worshipping Him and not nursing
their illness or injury."
It contains articles on preparation and precautions followed by 27 notes listing
special considerations for items ranging from arthritis to back pain to diabetes to
hypertension to yeast infection, etc. These are followed by 15 useful checklists.
The medical advice is sound and useful both for healthy people as well as those
suffering from a known condition. However it should be noted that the advice offered is
for an American who is traveling for the first time to a Middle-Eastern or Asian country.
Occasionally the write-up is unnecessarily alarming. For example consider this
observation. "Many obstacles exist on the ground from trash to plastic bottles,
broken sidewalks, aluminum cans, and spilled water, especially in wudu and bathroom
area." Also this advice: "Use labeled can companies. Watch for drive offs when
female enters cab first. Mahram should enter cab first and exit the cab last." This
paints a gloomy and far-fetched picture of a land where crime rate compared to the US is
close to zero. Similarly many people would question the validity and wisdom of such
advice: "Avoid street and roadside vendor food that is not packaged. These products
have a higher risk of food poisoning." We do not know whether the authors have any
hard data to back this claim or are they simply working from a hunch.
If such deficiencies are removed this could turn into a useful book that could be
recommended to the would be pilgrims from North America.