A piece about Hajj experience
This is a piece about my Hajj experience for 2006. I am not trying to write about how to do Hajj and I will explain this as I write.
Firstly I would like to express my personal and sincerest gratitude to some of the people who made my Hajj possible and a success.
To my wife who stood beside me in every decision that I made from the time we made our commitment to Allaah in 2002 to make our Hajj in 2006. Through the good times and the bad times of ill health and financial problems. Even when I decided to sell our home so she could stay home to recuperate from illness while I started a business. A debt to her that I could never repay except by both of us completing our Hajj.
To the Saudi government and the thousands of officials and unseen workers right down to the street sweepers who organized everything so we could complete our Hajj. When moving over three million people at any given time delays are inevitable and we had our share. This is a time for patience and to never loose sight of the final goal and that is Hajj. I will mention this massive logistical nightmare more as I write for now it is enough to say that Hajj would not be possible but for a very few without the work that these people do.
My first experience of the reality of Hajj.
It is 4:00am and we arrived in Madeenah at 2:00am, some 30 hours since leaving Brisbane. It was a good flight with a couple of lengthy transit stops. I have had a shower and it is time to walk to The Prophet’s Mosque for Fajr Salaat. A bit early but if I sleep now I will have a hard time waking for Thuhr. A five-minute walk from our hotel and there in front of me is the splendor of this magnificent building. We all have the photos and wall hangings but nothing prepared me for the real size of the Mosque. The photos actually make the place look smaller.
A little further and we walk through the gates into the Mosque courtyard. It is at this stage that I realized that the building is just a pile of rock and, as beautiful as it is, it will fall into decay one day. I suddenly had this feeling of walking into a presence. Like walking into a soul. I felt the goose-bumps across my skin and the tears began to well in my eyes as an overwhelming feeling of peace came over me. That feeling of being in the presence of a living being is something that no picture can ever portray and the only way you will experience or even understand what I felt is to stand in front of this Mosque for the first time.
The following evening after Maghrib we decided to visit the grave of the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ). This is not an easy undertaking at the best of times during Hajj as there are millions of people with the same idea. I think it really is the will of Allaah if you are one of those chosen to go. After a very difficult time maneuvering my way through the massive crowd I suddenly found my self directly in front of the grave with only the partitioned wall separating me from the grave. The feeling generated by standing right in front of the Prophet’s sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) grave is something else that I could never explain to you in words. I was brought up in a Christian society (and a fairly tough one at that) where grown men do not cry. It was the first time since I was a child that I had those tears of emotion running down my face. My expectations of Hajj have only been with me since I reverted to Islam in 2000 and I know the depth of my feelings. Those feelings touched my very soul at these times and throughout the rest of hajj. I can only imagine how much more intense the feelings are for someone who has been waiting for this time all of their lives. I could certainly see some of that feeling in my wife and others around me.
If you go to Hajj then you will feel and understand what I mean. If you never go then I am sorry to say that you will miss the most beautiful experiences that you can ever have on this earth.
Since I have been back from Hajj I have been asked about Hajj in physical terms, is it nice, is it hard, is it good, what is it like? All I can say is that it is none of these things as these are all experiences of our physical senses. Our touch, taste, sight and feeling. Hajj has nothing to do with these feelings as it is something spiritual. It is a feeling of the soul.
While I was away I used my video camera and took hours of film along with a large number of photos. As I moved further through my Hajj, I realized that all this material would really mean nothing to anyone else other than another look at the outside of a few buildings, a bit of landscape and a couple of mountains. The only person who could get the true feeling of what this film meant was me.
If I am not blessed to be able to go again then I will be able to look at this film in later years and hopefully it will revive some of the emotion that I felt at Hajj. For anyone else it would be meaningless. For this reason (right or wrong) the film that I have taken and the photos will remain my property for my wife and myself to view.
Throughout Hajj and a couple of the extra tours we did the feelings and the emotions keep flooding in day after day. Just when you think it can’t get any better it does. To climb Mount Uhud. The grave site of the martyred companions. To see where the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) hid from his pursuers. To stand at the base of Mount Hiraa’ and know that in the cave at the top of this mountain is where the original revelation of the Quran started. To climb Mount ‘Arafah and stand at the place where Adam and Eve where reunited. The tent city of Mina and the stoning of the Jamaraat. It is a never ending trip through the greatest moments of Islam.
Of course, no Hajj is complete without ‘Umrah at Al-Masjid Al Haraam and the Ka’bah. When we entered the Masjid for the first time, our guide, Barakat Ali, took us through the door that was the entrance that the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) used. From this entrance the house where he was born and spent his early life is visible. From this point Brother Barakat asked us to look at the floor as we entered and not to look up until he advised. At this time I looked up and there before me was the Ka’bah. Again I will not try to explain the feelings that I had except to say that it was a totally overwhelming experience. On your first visit to the Ka’bah you will know if you do the same thing.
Another statement that I hear is how lucky I was to go. And also I am asked how does one go about getting to Hajj or that they are planning to go in the future.
There is no luck involved in going to Hajj. It is not a lottery. Planning to go in the future will not get you there. The only way to get to Hajj is to make the commitment to Allaah that you are going to Hajj for Him. Make the commitment and set a date and, if Allaah accepts you for Hajj, then you will go. Nothing or no one on this earth will stand in your way from that point.
A couple of the most important things to take to Hajj are faith and patience. From the time you commit to Hajj work hard on your faith. If you are prone to being easily annoyed or quick to temper then it is time to also start changing these failings. You will need patience, patience and more patience. Never loose sight of why you are there. You are there to do Hajj for Allaah. Nothing else matters but the successful completion of your Hajj. Everywhere you go remember that you are walking in the footsteps of our Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ). Anger, yelling, fighting, etc will not see you complete your Hajj successfully.
I do not have much more to say. If what I have written encourages just one person to commit to Hajj then I will be a very happy man.
Article by: www.islamweb.net