The longing and yearning to perform my Hajj has somehow deepened throughout these few years. I remember telling the late Mr D how much I could 'feel' myself being pushed and crushed in between millions of pilgrims in the Holy Land, yet in the midst of it, be filled with the feelings of tranquility so unimaginable. We had both prayed that we'd be His guests soon, and today, alone I continue the prayers for a quest to be closer to Him.
Since Eidul Adha is just around the corner, I found myself catching up on readings concerning Hajj, to share with the children I teach at the Saturday School. Thus, in between my daily obligations, I squeezed some time to do a little research and compile a simple yet comprehensive structure for the children to understand. In doing so, I became absorbed in the significance of each act, with only tears indicating that the heart understood. It was certainly not the first time I read about Prophet Muhammad, Ibrahim or Ismail, or the incidents behind each act during Hajj. Yet the impact is different this time around.
Somehow, the story of Hajar being left by her husband, Prophet Ibrahim, in a desert with her infant, Ismail, stirred my emotions. It was a test of faith and it tugged hard at my heart to think of the perseverence and will-power Hajar had - in search of water for her hungry son. Would you climb up a hill, and then walk approximately 450metres towards another hill, and then continue pacing the SAME ROUTE for a total of seven times?
Subhanallah... Isn't she a personality so admirable? She wasn't upset for being 'abandoned' by her husband in a desert, compared to us who would be filled with rage and anger for being stood up by a friend or made to patiently wait for a delayed meeting to start. Hajar accepted the divine will and submitted herself to the Almighty without feelings of resentment, regret, or failure. And today, everyone is made to remember and ponder over this historical event when performing the sa'ie during Umrah or Hajj. But do we feel the connection?
Thus, let's continue our journey to be closer to him, calling out,
" Here I am at Thy service O Lord, here I am. Here I am at Thy service, and Thou hast no partners. Thine alone is All Praise and All Bounty, and Thine alone is The Sovereignty. Thou hast no partners. "
Just as I am typing this out, the millions of pilgrims in the simplest form of clothes are all gathered in Arafah; leaving their family, work, and worldly possessions behind. Their ultimate goal is only to surrender and submit to Allah, and to beg for forgiveness. I wept while trying to imagine how it must have felt when Prophet Muhammad gathered the Muslim folks in the year 10th Hijriah and gave his sermon in Arafah containing the last verse of the Quran. Suddenly, my feelings for this great man, the Prophet, became indescribable.
So, wukuf in Arafah is symbolic on its own - the place where Adam and Eve were reconciled upon their arrival on earth. It is also a reminder of the great day of resurrection in Mahsyar where all will come only in their birthday suits but InsyaAllah equipped with their good deeds. Would I be equipped? Thus, back to the acts of Hajj, after wukuf in Arafah, if Allah permits, each will leave Arafah with ALL his sins forgiven. Isn't He just?
Hence, do you now see how much I long to perform my Hajj? I sooooo want to wash my sins away and build up my Imaan for the remainder of my life. I hope nobody will laugh if they heard my children talk about when mommy is going for her Hajj. They know how badly I want to go as I have been preparing them with the idea that when mummy goes for her Hajj, they won't be able to follow. *Giggle*
To all Muslims, Happy Eid! Have you thought about what you're sacrificing this year?