HAJJ THE BUILD UP
In 2005 we organised for my husband to go to Hajj we didn't have the funds for both of us.
It turned out his passport had expired so he couldn't go.
In 2005 my friend was able to go and she needed a baby sitter for her children so I volunteered.
We saved another year and in 2006 my husband and I were both able to go.
My friend volunteered to return the favour and become my babysitter alhumdulilah.
In preparation for Hajj I learnt tawhid and aqida online and the characteristics of beautifying our character through patience and good manners, and from refraining from angry outburst.
We went with the Iisna group here in Australia, we did Hajj Tamattu where you do Umra first then rest for a few days out of Ihram then back into Ihram to do Hajj.
The first week we were in Madina subhanallah the people are very relaxed friendly and helpful.
We went to the prophet's mosque where I soaked in the feeling of tranquility that I experienced their.
Leading up to Hajj Medina got very busy bustling with people everywhere.
Iisna organised our hotel which was close to the Kaaba so alhumdulilah easy access.
Iisna gave lectures which helped me to connect further to my purpose and build our anticipation of Hajj, and also we were being supported by the group leaders, who directed us through the process procedures and protocols.
We then headed to Mecca.
MY REACTION ON SEEING THE KABA
We arrived in Mecca and we did Tawaf around the Kaaba at 1am in the morning, so my reaction was “subhanallah, I am here,” Allah swt wrote this for me, remembering that initially we only had the funds for my husband the year before, I was here fulfilling my destiny through Allah swt invitation.
I also was tired,but my focus was on my purpose and my connection to our maker Allah swt.
WHAT EMOTIONS I ENCOUNTERED
I encountered all the emotions from being tired and exhausted to being elated and on a spiritual high, through being an observer and now experiencing it first hand for myself.
It also was very testing I had to rein in my frustrations and really put patience into practice. I really had to bite my tongue where people pushed in because there were no orderly lines, and processing for visa and bus transfers always took longer, so always expect the time to be doubled.
When I was on the bus our tyre got a flat so we had to stop and get that changed, so then my thoughts went back to New Zealand when we had our Maori Hui’s (gatherings) and we were all on the bus stopping for pit stops or we call it mimi hill, so I comforted myself with these thoughts and knew this is nothing to stress over which gave me an advantage to those who haven't experienced bus hiccups.
Arafah was a defining moment, here we listened to inspiring lectures, I read my books and spent my time in reflection and Dua. I had a dua list with all the names on it to pray for, I prayed for my loved ones, family and friends and for our Muslim community.
Muzdalifah was a unique experience for me, here you sleep in the open under the stars this was definitely memorable especially seeing everyone sprawled out wherever they could find space.
Mina the tent city was another stand out, there was a community spirit, which helped that I had lovely supportive english speaking sisters, who encouraged me and guided me, they were of the same mindset I was, “to focus on our purpose on being their."
I felt relieved when we completed Hajj, as I put a lot of effort into it, their were many test and practicing patience was a recurring theme. So I am grateful for the lectures that helped me implement the character of sabir on a daily basis.
I was also very happy to get home to my children here in Australia.
Prepare yourself and develop your character, remember why you are their and make it count and worth the sacrifice.