Reflections: Journey to the Haramain
Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem (In the name of God, the most Gracious, most Merciful) Assalaamu’alaykum wa Rahamatullahi wa Barakatuh (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon you) Dear Reader, On a train journey to New Delhi, India, the place-mat read “India is a journey of mind and soul. It is a journey of five senses. It is a journey of self discovery. It is a journey of self fulfillment.” One can only assume the author of this quote has never set foot within the boundaries of the Haramain (the two Holy cities of Makkah and Madina). The Blessed Lands offer a person a journey of the mind and soul beyond anything one can possibly imagine before arriving in the Holy Lands. There is also the possibility of not realizing the magnitude of the journey undertaken until returning home and reflecting upon the recent weeks and all that occurred. This is because no words can do justice to describe the feelings associated with this blessed journey. It truly is a journey of the five senses. One thing for sure, however, as cited in the numerous literature on HAJJ, is it is indeed a journey of a lifetime. It is indeed YOUR journey of a lifetime; specific to you and no one else: your journey of self discovery. Each person in the Blessed Lands with you has his own story and no one can compare. Each person's struggle and journey to arrive to Makkah and Madina is different and the challenges each person faces will be in line with his story. There is no competition and no comparison. This is the time to focus on yourself and on how worthy you are to have been called to such a blessed place. It is indeed a great honour not given to all. You have to do justice to being called. You have to constantly remind yourself you are not there because of anything in your power. It is solely the mercy of Our Creator that brings us to such a place. When you see someone doing something or behaving in a manner which you don't approve of, know that he/she has been called the same way you have been. We are not perfect and neither is the said person. There is no judging and no comparing because we don't know everyone's stories. We don't know what Allah sees in the other person to call them just as He, in His infinite mercy, has called us. You do to the best of your ability what you can and pray to Allah you don’t waste this blessed opportunity because you don't know if you will be worthy of being called again. This is your chance. You have to make the most of it. And very importantly remember the food and clothes are available all over the world. You can experience worldly things anywhere but the Kaaba, the water of Zam Zam and the green carpets of the Rawdah are only available in the Haramain. Make the most of it. The worst feeling is to return with regrets of not having done enough. But if you know you tried your very best then know that it was all you were meant to do and pray the yearning in your heart to do more is accepted by Allah the Most Merciful to your favour. This blessed journey should make us humble if we truly understand the value of being able to undertake it. For that you need to prepare yourself spiritually and read as much as you can on the reasons for Hajj, leaving your family, spending your wealth and physically exerting yourself all solely for the pleasure of Allah. Read all about the history, the meanings and the lessons to be learned from this amazing journey. Obtain your information from reliable sources. Know the actual acts of Hajj and Umrah are very easy and simple but the spiritual aspects of it need to be perfected to really obtain maximum benefit. Keep your mind open. Look for learning experiences. Apply everything that is happening around you to you, your life and your situation. Know that what may be difficult for someone else may be easy for you and what may be easy for someone else may be difficult for you; because we all go with our own stories, our own trials and we return with our own victories. When Hajj is over it is not the end. It is actually the beginning. You wonder how you could have been living in such darkness before, blinded by the duniya. There is now this yearning, this ache, to be called over and over again. A part of your heart remains in the Haramain and now your goal is to constantly do good and hope you will be worthy of being called and allowed to visit over and over again. We thank Allah for opening our eyes and our hearts. Du’aa is very important. We make du’aa to be called, we make du’aa to be worthy of Allah’s blessings and mercies. We make du’aa to be accepted. We make du’aa to not let pride get in the way. We make du’aa for Allah to accept this yearning in our hearts to see the Kaaba, to touch it, to walk around it, to feel the peacefulness of Masjid un Nabwi, to talk to the Holy Prophet Muhammed (S.A.W), to feel the plush green carpets of the Rawdah beneath our feet, to do sajdah on it and most importantly we thank Allah for allowing us to enter a part of Jannah temporarily while in this world and we beg Him to allow us to be able to enter it in the hereafter for eternity. Aameen. *All the good written in the above article is from Allah. All errors are from me, the author. May Allah forgive me and accept this effort of mine. May my family be rewarded. Aameen.