It was a journey of a life time - packed with spiritual and very personal experience. I recall the struggling through the loving and worshiping crowds. I remember standing still - eyes roaming, in reconnaissance for that little space where I could fit in and do my prayers. I remember sitting and read calmly His words, crying for His pleasure, reading for His pleasure and praying for His pleasure.
Al-Haram....I stood in it with awe and inspiration watching at His creation; the millions who were already in the Holy Land, all ready to perform one of the five pillars of Islam. Nowhere else in the world does one see such a huge sea of humanity comprising every nationality and race that inhabits the earth, converge to the Holy City of Mecca, to fulfill God's commands and seek His forgiveness.
The Ka'abah.....always beautiful, absolutely splendid and magnificent. Syukur Alhamdulillah, He had given us a great bounty by making His house near us. Tears ran down my cheeks as I made my invocation to Allah. Glory be to Allah, the Lord of the Ka`abah.
And most of all, I remember the day of Arafat - the most important day of Hajj. The Prophet (pbuh) emphasised the importance of this day by saying that Hajj is Arafat. A day spent on the desolate sandy plain asking Allah for forgiveness and being deeply touched by this spiritual experience. As we stood before the Lord and creator of mankind, asking for His forgiveness - reflecting on our past life. The things that we have regretted; the hurt towards the loved ones; colleagues, family, friends.
In Arafat, we poured our hearts out and asking Allah for His mercy. Sincerity and humility caused uncontrollable tears to flow from our eyes, as we were absorbed in this timeless experience on this a day of forgiveness and reconciliation.
Now, years later, memories of my Hajj experience float through my mind as if I’m watching someone else’s film. Certain scenes are frozen, but most are lost in the maze and flash of the changing shapes, colors of Mecca and the streams of pilgrims on the desert plains braving the odds and going through great sacrifices and hardships to fulfill the command of God.
Labbaika Allahumma labbaika.
Labbaika la syarika laka labbaika.
Innal hamda wanni’mata laka wal mulka.
laa syarika laka
"I am present, O Allah, I am present, there is no partner unto You. I am present. Definitely praise and glory is yours (for You). The Kingdom is also Yours. There is no partner for You".