بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
….وَأَتِمُّواْ الْحَجَّ وَالْعُمْرَةَ لِلّهِ
“And complete the Hajj and ‘umrah for Allah….”
[Al-Qur’an: Surah Al-Baqarah:196]
This is a very small ayah of the Qur’an, yet it engulfs an ocean within itself. The most important journey of this world must be lillah(for Allah (سبحانه وتعالى ). When the intention is pure and sincere, it becomes the Hajj of the heart and a journey of love for Allah (سبحانه وتعالى ) alone.
Looking back to when I went for Hajj, there are some vivid moments of my experience that I would like to share with you.
During our visit to Medinah, there was a friend with us whom I had known for many years, but this journey with her brought to light the statement: ‘Living Islam.’ She taught me a very important lesson that I will never forget.
While we prayed together at the masjid (mosque), she would earnestly ask me to recite the masnoon duas (duas that Rasul Allah (صلي اللهُ عليهِ وسلم) used to recite). She felt very ashamed that her Arabic was weak. Often she would just say “ameen”, when she came upon words that were difficult for her to pronounce. I found her depending on me to even read the dua for entering and leaving the masjid. I realized how important it was to learn these duas and was grateful to Allah (سبحانه وتعالى ) for the knowledge.
Our days at Medinah ended and we prepared for our journey to Mecca. This is where the tables turned, I became unwell and my excitement and energy gave way to weakness and anxiety for the days of Hajj, yet to come.
When we were given separate accommodation from our mehrams (those male relations whom it is unlawful to marry, besides the husband), this friend truly showed me a side I had never experienced before. During my illness, she brought food to me, washed my clothes, and took care of me. Not only this but she was a source of spiritual energy for me as she urged me to be strong and positive through this ordeal. When my socks became wet and the extra pairs were not washed, she pulled out her extra pairs. I lost my shawl during stoning, and she wrapped an extra one she had with her. She taught me to break the non-perfumed soap into four pieces, to share with others who had forgotten to bring theirs. She helped and cared for not only me but others as well within our group.
About the Author
Mehreen Furqan is a subject teacher at Khyabane e Sehr branch, Karachi, Al Huda Welfare International.Her turning point towards Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) was a moment of reflection during Daura e Quran to repent for her sins.