بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ قَوْلًا مِّمَّن دَعَا إِلَى اللَّهِ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا وَقَالَ إِنَّنِي مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ
“And who is better in speech than one who invites to Allah and does righteousness and says, “Indeed, I am of the Muslims.”
[Al-Qur’an – Surah Fussilat(Explained in Detail) – 41:33]
I was anxiously waiting to go for Hajj this year with my husband and sister-in-law. My anticipation and excitement was indescribable! Whenever I would read the ayaat of Hajj in the Qur’an, my heart would skip a beat and I would beg Allah (سبحانه وتعالى ) to call me for this act of worship and give me the opportunity to wash away all my sins, Insha’Allah. I could literally feel the winds of Makkah when I would close my eyes and pray for a Hajj made easy by Allah (سبحانه وتعالى ).
Dhul Qa’dah* approached and it was only a month to go for this journey. I got the opportunity to attend the Hajj training classes at the Al-Huda Khayaban-e-Sehr campus before leaving which proved to be very beneficial. Many of the tips came in handy such as keeping a spray bottle for wudu*, keeping snacks and reading material for delays.
During the days prior to my departure, my anxiety was at its peak and I started worrying whether I would be able to fulfill the haq* of the knowledge I had acquired for the past one year as a student of the Qur’an by being able to convey the truth to others. I had a sense of responsibility to pass on the knowledge as much as possible. This became my goal for Hajj and I prayed that Allah provide me with opportunities to be able to fulfill this duty. Alhumdulillah, when you take one step towards Allah (سبحانه وتعالى), His promise is to take ten steps towards you.
During our journey I was able to share the book “Hajj and Umrah by Iqbal Kilani” with my family; we discussed and highlighted the main points. Everyone was very keen to know the correct method of performing this great act and to follow the Sunnah* of Rasul Allah (صلي اللهُ عليهِ وسلم) as closely as possible.
We reached Makkah and performed Umrah. During the Umrah, I recited the following ayah and deeply felt the true spirit of how Bibi Hajrah would’ve felt racing back and forth Safa and Marwa in search of water..
إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِن شَعَآئِرِ اللّهِ فَمَنْ حَجَّ الْبَيْتَ أَوِ اعْتَمَرَ فَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِ أَن يَطَّوَّفَ بِهِمَا وَمَن تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَإِنَّ اللّهَ شَاكِرٌ عَلِيمٌ
“Indeed, As-Safa and Al-Marwah are among the symbols of Allah*. So whoever makes Hajj to the House or performs ‘umrah – there is no blame upon him for walking between them. And whoever volunteers good – then indeed, Allah is appreciative and Knowing.”
[Al-Qur’an-Surah Al-Baqarah (The cow)- 2:158]
Although I had performed Umrah before, this Umrah felt like the FIRST UMRAH of my life! I felt I was doing Umrah with true spirit, humility and gratitude as this time knowing why I was doing each rukun* and I could feel a much stronger connection with Allah (سبحانه وتعالى). It was all due to the fact that I now understood the Qur’an in its true meanings.
During our ziyarat* to Masjid Tan’eem (also known as Masjid-e-Ayesha), I was able to guide few ladies about Umrah niyat* and duas. I gave them the booklet called ‘Zad-e-Rah‘*. It seemed they were waiting for someone to guide them I am thankful to Allah (سبحانه وتعالى ) for showing me this opportunity.
On another occasion during the Jumu’ah prayer while waiting for the khutbah* to begin, an Indonesian lady sitting next to me asked if I had some reading material. I gladly gave her the Friday flyer of Al-Huda and after going through it she asked for more copies to give her family members and also asked for any additional material. I was so happy and shared with her Remembrance of Allah card and the next moment I saw her, she was doing tasbeeh* on her fingers. My heart filled with joy!
While we were staying in Azizyah in a shared accommodation, one of the kids wanted her mother to narrate a story. As the mother was tired, I suggested to share Yusuf (عليهِ سلام)’s story which the Qur’an calls “Ahsan ul Qasas”* and opened Surah Yusuf in my mushaf*. I began reading it and their eyes were wide open as she listened to every bit of it carefully. At the end of the story she asked me which book I was reading the story from I told her it is “The Holy Quran” and Yusuf (عليهِ سلام) was the Messenger of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). She got very interested and took the Qur’an to her Mom expressing a desire to have this storybook for herself. Subhan’Allah, I was amazed how the words of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) can move even a child.
On the 8th Dhilhajj arrived and we left for Mina, the sound of Talbiah* echoed all around us. The beautiful sight of people rushing from all over towards the call of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) was made visible to our eyes.
وَأَذِّن فِي النَّاسِ بِالْحَجِّ يَأْتُوكَ رِجَالًا وَعَلَى كُلِّ ضَامِرٍ يَأْتِينَ مِن كُلِّ فَجٍّ عَمِيقٍ
“And proclaim to the people the Hajj [pilgrimage]; they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every distant pass -“
[Al-Qur’an-Surah Al-Hajj (The Pilgrimage):27]
During my stay in Mina we were in a tent with over 90 ladies and I noticed that many ladies would leave their trash near their beds. Initially I was comfortable keeping my immediate area clean but then I recalled the story of the lady who used to clean Masjid e Nabwi and how Prophet (صلي اللهُ عليهِ وسلم) prayed her Namaz-e-Janazah* when he found out that she had passed away. Moreover I was a part of the group and had a bigger responsibility towards creating ease for others during Hajj. I took the initiative of taking a trash bag and collecting the trash from all the ladies, many of whom were too old to go to the trash can over and over again. Alhumdulillah, many young ladies made the same practice during the next few days and I shared with them the same story regarding the virtue of cleaning sacred places.
We experienced the miracle of immediate acceptance of duas during our stay in Makkah, we would desire the smallest of thing and would get it instantly. We truly felt like a guest in someone’s house with the best of arrangements and the noblest host who would readily fulfill all our needs.
When we would want water it would be given to us by complete strangers in the middle of the tunnel, when we needed transport we would show little patience and find convenient and economical conveyance. Our taste buds would desire a particular food and the very next meal our group served would be the same.
The Miracle of the Qur’an
During the Fajr, Maghrib and Isha Salah the jahri salah* I would intently listen to the recitation and it felt so wonderful to be able to understand the Surahs which not only helped me concentrate and strengthen my connection with Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) during salah but also gave me important reminders at the right time as if the Surah being recited had been selected for me.
Although I had completed only 6 Juz I felt very blessed to be able to understand the words of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) from almost any part of the Quran. I would open the Qur’an right after salah to search for the ayahs which were recited to verify my translation and share with my family..
Once I was feeling down and the ayah I heard in salah were so motivating that they changed my mood and strengthen my Faith in Allah (سبحانه وتعالى). The verses were from Surah Fussilat.
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُوا تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ أَلَّا تَخَافُوا وَلَا تَحْزَنُوا وَأَبْشِرُوا بِالْجَنَّةِ الَّتِي كُنتُمْ تُوعَدُونَ30
نَحْنُ أَوْلِيَاؤُكُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَا تَشْتَهِي أَنفُسُكُمْ وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَا تَدَّعُونَ31
نُزُلًا مِّنْ غَفُورٍ رَّحِيمٍ32
“Indeed, those who have said, “Our Lord is Allah” and then remained on a right course – the angels will descend upon them, [saying], “Do not fear and do not grieve but receive good tidings of Paradise, which you were promised.
We [angels] were your allies in worldly life and [are so] in the Hereafter. And you will have therein whatever your souls desire, and you will have therein whatever you request [or wish]
As accommodation from a [Lord who is] Forgiving and Merciful.”
[Al-Qur’an-Surah Fussilat (Explained in Detail) -41:30-32]
I pray to Allah (سبحانه وتعالى ) that He gives me beneficial knowledge and the ability to spread the light onwards. Aameen.
Here we come, O Allah, here we come!
Here we come. No partner have You.
Here we come! Praise indeed, and
blessings, are Yours—the Kingdom too!