Tuesday, December 26, 2006

 

Hajj 1427

Gosh it's already four [lunar] years since we performed the 'Journey of a lifetime'. What an amazing four years.

I still remember the day in Ramadhan [November 2002] when mum gave me the great news that dad had finally agreed to renew his passport and accompany us.. my prayers had finally been received in the Heavans.

Hajj came at a time when it was meant to come. I was at a point in my life where all had become very 'stale'.

My health was haphazard with a cycle of IBS, migraines and a poorly back. I hadn't been able to fast for many years and had somewhat become used to it by now. Career life was good; I was in the second year of my teaching qualification and worked in a couple of places. I didn't know any artists whatsoever but a kind soul had agreed to sell my artwork at his leisure! I was selling the stuff for charity as I was financially alright. I was surrounded by people who I'd known for many years through college, university or work. And my search for 'The Answers' was an on-going daily activity.

And the news had come that my dad's heart had been directed towards Holy Mecca...

2002 had been a tough year for dad as he lost his mum on February 4th.

My grandparents didn't have many siblings who lived to expand the family tree and thus the roots of our family are small. It was only a few hundred years ago that one elder heard the Message and converted into a 'Believer in the One God'. And it is very unlikely that anyone had ever performed the Hajj back then.

After the death of our grandfather, gran made the Hajj, in the mid-1980s. She was the first person ever in our family to go to Hajj. She was accompanied by a noble man; my dads' friend: who also named me. A blessed man who was the first Hajji man I ever met. He died from kidney failure after an operation during the blessed month of Ramadhan many years later.

So who was this lady whose experience taught me that a place called Mecca exists when I was a wee little kid?

She was a woman who had saved me in the late 1970s from being knocked over by a wild boar as I pranced about the fields as a toddler in search of adventure [in Pakistan]. I owe my life to this gentle woman. A tall, frail lady in her 90s dying from 'wear-and-tear' having spent over 20 years as a widow. After the death of his father, dad had seen her as the one 'incharge' of the family. My dad had much respect and love for his mother, and had always sought her counsel in matters.

She had left, and dad was alone.
His mum had gone, departed, returned to God Almighty and he was the one who was now 'incharge' of the family.

In the midst of this, two women [myself and mum] were constant in our demands for him to accompany us to Mecca. On a cold November morn in the early days of Ramadhan.. here we were trying to persuade dad to make his passport so that we could all go to the Umrah [visit] next summer.

Yes.
As crazy as it sounds, we had no intentions of Hajj whatsoever.
We wanted to convince dad to accompany us 9 months later for a short trip to the Holy Sanctuary.

Dad said no.

...


I cannot even write here what I felt, did and said.

...

I still remember the day in Ramadhan [November 2002] when mum gave me the great news that dad had finally agreed to renew his passport and accompany us.. my prayers had finally been received in the Heavans.


Hajj Info:

Islamicity
Channel 4 - 2003
Detailed info
Virtual Tour
BBC Religion & Ethics
Bint-eh Adam: In the City of the Prophet [BBC]



On February 4th 2003, a year after losing his mother to God Almighty, dad accompanied myself and mum on the aeroplane to Damascus, where we would prepare ourselves for our presentation before the Great House.

I thank God Almighty a thousand-fold for giving dads' heart solace in a manner which has helped him cope with the death of his beloved mum.

Alhamdulila Wa'l Shukr Allah.
A Tamil Hajj map :-)



Comments:
subhanallah.. going hajj seems like a miracle which happens in a lifetime of a muslim

may Allah grant us a journey to Hajj, ameen

inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji'un.. to the deaths :(
 
Ameen!

Yes and it will happen for each of us.. at a time when we least expect it - but equally at a time when it needs to :-)

*And as for Death - it is part of life.
 
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