Every year when the month of Dhul-Hijjah begins, I find my emotions in such turmoil. I am filled with such yearning to be amongst those blessed souls preparing to gather on the plains of Mina. I constantly speak of and reminisce about my Hajj experience. I get goosebumps each time I hear the talbiyah. And yet I find myself overcome with gratitude…for seeing and living through the reality of so many of my Hajj duas, for having being amongst those who stood on the plains of Arafah in a state of Ihraam, for the blessing of my faith!
During a madressa lesson on Hajj, I had no difficulties in explaining the actual rites of Hajj, the fiqh terminology, ect. However while trying to convey the spiritual aspect of the journey, I kept falling short. One very clever little girl eventually said “I think that part of Hajj has to be felt…it can’t be explained”
And that truly conveys the sentiment. I could write an entire thesis and still not put into words the exact feeling, the depth of emotion, the heart-rendering and overwhelming travels (See? Even in saying, I can’t explain, I still find myself wanting to…)
And so, I’ve decided to simply share a short excerpt from my Hajj Journal. This was written on the 8th Dhul Hijjah, we were in Aziziah and preparing to leave for Mina.
Long before dawn, everyone is awake, bathed, dressed in Ihraam, in anticipation of the greatest emotional and physical journey we have pledged to undertake. I have by now seen thousands, hundreds of thousands of people in Ihraam, but this is different…this is Ihraam for Hajj!
Sporadic bursts of Talbiyah echo through the passages, and pierce my heart. I gaze out of the window and see that the ever-growing river of white has already begun ascending the hills to Mina.
All I can think at this point is:
Ya Rabb, you have brought me…unworthy, ignorant, sinful me…to this place, this point, on the doorstep of the greatest experience. Oh Allah, make it easy for us, and we beg of you, accept it from us, and accept us!
لبيك الهم لبيك، لبيك لا شريك لك لبيك، إن الحمد وانعمة لك والملك لا شريك لك
I am here, my Lord, I am here!‘
And so that was the beginning of my journey. A journey of faith. A journey of submission. A journey that leaves one forever changed. A journey that lasted forever. A journey that ended too soon. A journey I hope and wish and pray that I might experience again!
Oh Allah, accept the Hajj of all those who have left their homes and travelled miles upon miles to follow your commands. Oh Allah accept all those who are performing Hajj this year, all those who have performed Hajj in the past, and all those who will perform Hajj in the future. Let the unity on the plains of Arafah, reverberate and echo throughout the Ummah!