What is a Mutawwif? – Your Hajj Guide
Hajj is the fifth and one of the most fundamental pillars of Islam. Every year, starting from the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah, millions of Muslims enter the city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia, to perform the annual pilgrimage.
This makes it difficult for the Saudi Ministry to not only manage the crowd but also ensure that everyone is treated equally and is provided with the services that they paid for. In order to make Hajj more manageable, the Saudi Government has appointed professional Hajj guides known as Mutawwif.
These individuals are responsible for managing the well-being and needs of the pilgrims, including transportation, food, water, sanitary facilities, and accommodation. Keep reading to learn more about the role of a Mutawwif in Islam.
What Is a Mutawwif?
Appointed by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, a Mutawwif is a knowledgeable person who is responsible for guiding and taking care of pilgrims during Hajj. Also known as a Muallim, a Mutawwif plays an instrumental role as a guide ensuring a smooth Hajj and communicating and teaching the rituals of Hajj to pilgrims.
What Is the Function of a Mutawwif?
Once you arrive in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the first thing that you have to do is go through customs and immigration. Once you clear that, travel coupons permitting you for in-country visits will be attached to your passport, and you will be escorted to a bus that will take you to the holy city of Makkah.
On arriving in Makkah, a Mutawwif will take your passport and replace it with a photo ID card. The Hajj guide will also provide you with a Hajj security badge and a rubber bracelet or wristband that will help identify you in case you get lost. From that moment till the end of your journey, a Mutawwif will be by your side throughout the annual pilgrimage.
This individual will be responsible for managing logistics, accommodation, transport, food, and water for pilgrims in Makkah.
Services a Mutawwif Can Perform
Listed below are the services performed by a Mutawwif during Hajj:
- A Mutawwifi’s responsible for providing you with a wristband/bracelet containing information about their office. This includes phone numbers, addresses, and names of important personnel. In case you get lost, you can use this information to find your way back to the hotel.
- On arrival, a Mutawwifwill ask you for your passport and provide you with a photo ID card in its place.
- It is the responsibility of the Mutawwifto to provide you with tents for accommodation on the Arafat plains and in Mina.
- A Mutawwifwill help by arranging transportation within Makkah during Hajj days and also to the cities of Madinah and Jeddah.
- The Mutawwif inspects all hotel accommodations in Makkah to ensure that they meet the standards for pilgrims.
- In case of a dispute between the hotel manager, travel agent, and pilgrims, it is the responsibility of the Mutawwifto to resolve the quarrel.
- A Mutawwifwill assist you with concerns and complaints about accommodation.
- In case of a medical emergency or sudden illness, a Mutawwifwill help by arranging a reliable medical facility and an ambulance.
- In the unfortunate event of a pilgrim’s death, it is the responsibility of the Mutawwifto to arrange the funeral service and provide assistance with documentation.
- A Mutawwifcan also provide pilgrims with literature such as Hajj and Umrah
- A Mutawwifarranges Ziyarat (tours) of sacred Islamic places in Makkah, Jeddah, and Madinah.
How Can I Apply for Hajj?
To apply for Hajj, all you need to do is visit www.motawif.com.sa and fill in the registration application on the portal. For more information, you can either contact the Motawif call centre at 1-833-271-2112 (if you are calling from the United States) or +44 20 3814 3314 if you are calling from the UK or email them at: email@example.com.
Making planning your Hajj journey easier and more manageable, Motawif portal features all kinds of Hajj packages, multilingual communication centres, and customer support services.
However, please note that registering on the portal doesn’t necessarily mean that your Hajj application is approved. You must fill in the application with authentic information and wait for the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah to get back to you. In order to be applicable for Hajj, your age must be between 18 to 65 years and you must fulfil the following requirements:
- Must have a Saudi national card or valid residence.
- Vaccination certificate for approved vaccines. Click here to learn which vaccines are approved in Saudi Arabia.
- Must have a clear medical record (should not have any chronic disease).
- Your status should be immune to Tawakkalna.
- You should not have performed Hajj in the last five years.
How Do Pilgrims Check their Hajj Registry – International and National
Since the beginning of this year (2022), the Saudi Government has started an online Hajj registration process for locals and residents of the UK, USA, and Europe. The purpose of the online portal is to make sure that every Muslim gets a chance to perform Hajj at least once in their lifetime. The digital system has also made it easier for the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah to keep a record of the pilgrim.
While all Muslims are allowed to send their application for Hajj, every year, the Ministry chooses only a few lucky people. The selection is usually made on the basis of their application, age, and a lucky draw. In 2022, the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah only permitted 60,000 pilgrims to perform the annual pilgrimage. However, this number has increased to one million for Hajj 2023.
So, if you are an internal pilgrim and have filled out and cleared the registration phase of the Hajj application process while ensuring that you meet the health status and regulatory guidelines, you must be eager to know whether your application has been approved or not. Follow the steps mentioned below to review the status of your Hajj registration application:
- Step 01: Visit the website: https://localhaj.haj.gov.sa
- Step 02: Click the “Start Reservation” button and add the details of the primary applicant (female or male).
- Step 03: Type in the ID Number: Residence Number or IQAMA Number, Date of Birth according to your residence, and the image code.
- Step 04: Now press enter and check the status of your Hajj registry.
On the other hand, if you are an international pilgrim, follow the below-mentioned step-by-step guide:
- Step 01: Visit the website: https://www.motawif.com.sa/home/en-sa.
- Step 02: Click on the “Application Status” button.
- Step 03: Enter your details, email address, mobile number, and ticket/application ID.
- Step 04: Click on “Send OTP,” enter the OPT and check your Hajj registry status.
Ministry of Hajj Contact Details
Are you looking for a way to contact the Saudi Ministry of Hajj? Their contact details are as follows:
Facebook: Ministry of Haj and Umra
Contact Number: 8004304444 – 00966920002814
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org@haj.gov.sa
Address: CQ89+699, Makkah – Jeddah Hwy, Al Hamra Umm Al Jud, Mecca 24321, Saudi Arabia
Is There an Age Limit for Hajj?
Even though there is no age restriction in Islam for performing the obligation of Hajj, according to the latest guidelines by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj, people older than 65 years of age are restricted from participating in the annual pilgrimage.
Summary – Mutawwif
Also known as a Muallim, a Mutawwif is a guide appointed by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah to manage Hajj rituals and take care of the well-being and needs of pilgrims.
The Hajj guide will be by your side throughout the rituals of the annual pilgrimage.