Sunday, September 30, 2012

So it begins...


Today, we had our last Hajj prep seminar before our departure. Literally, like 2 little school girls, Sahar and I were giddy with excitement as we rushed into IMO to grab some seats as close to the front as possible.

Taking off our shoes, we see the towering figure and huge smile of Shaykh Alaa Elsayed welcoming the pre-Hajjis! My husband and Br Ahmer (Sahar's husband) run back to greet him and are enveloped by huge hugs and words of encouragement.

As we take our seats, I look around the room for any familiar faces. Aha! Farah's mom! Masha Allah, now that is one cool lady. We scoot over to the end of our row and sit beside her, hugs, kisses and congratulations on getting our visas shared amongst us. A cursory glance at the other faces in the room, returns back with smiles, apprehension, yearning and anticipation. I can share their sentiments.

The reminders begin. Starting with the brothers from Falcon Travel. Pack a lot of patience and follow the rules, follow the group leaders, follow the shuyookh and no fatwa shopping! The last 4 reminders seem easy, it's the patience one that worries me. 

By time, Indeed, mankind is in loss, Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience. - Surah Al-Asr

Few short lines from Allah's words, that reminds me not to waste this opportunity and His invitation. Only Allah knows if I will pass or fail this test. But with the words and guidance from Sh Alaa Elsayed and Dr Muneer El Kasem, the motivation to pass these tests is overwhelming.

I'll end this post with a reminder given by Sh Alaa. He told us to imagine that as we depart our homes for Hajj, to think of our final journey. What would we say to our family members and friends if this was the last time we spoke to them? He told us to imagine that our car ride is like our coffin. That our plane ride is like our souls departing. That what we see outside our little windows is like the dunya we are leaving behind. Would the haram we did, be worth it?
Shaykh Alaa showing how to wear the ihram garment for men.

But Alhamdulillah, the Lord of the Worlds is giving us an opportunity. An opportunity to rectify ourselves in this journey of a lifetime. The question of whether or not we seize this opportunity should haunt our dreams and motivate us in our waking hours. Time is running out, and only Allah knows if it will be enough.