I was thinking about this right before Being Me Sister Conference (which was on Saturday):
11 days before the flight.
1 Major sisters conference.
1 Major work deadline.
1 Weekend AlKauthar Course.
20 things left to buy.
4 suitcases to pack.
5 duas to memorize (at least).
1 dua list to finalize.
Tons of people to call.
The opportunity of a lifetime: Priceless.
It is a true blessing from Allah, that He has filled my life up with so much good, that perhaps my nafs will not have time to do anything bad. Alhamdulillah!
When Hajj was first prescribed, and before the conveniences of modern transport, sometimes people spent an entire year just travelling from their home country to the Kaaba! On foot, by camel, maybe by horse if they were well off. And now, we can get there in a day! Yet, we feel overwhelmed by the idea of a 14 hour flight.
A book we've done many times in halaqa (I should have it memorized by now!) is Patience and Gratitude By Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (http://www.kalamullah.com/Books/Patience_and_Gratitude.pdf). He highlight the following ayah:
“ ...If you are grateful, I will add more (favours) unto you...” (Ibrâhîm 14:7)
In his explanation of the ayah, the author indicates that the action of gratefulness will automatically lead to response from Allah. Unlike other actions, such as forgiveness, rizq, mercy, these are conditional of Allah's will. Subhan Allah, this is quite profound.
It is in this journey, that perhaps our patience and gratefulness to Allah will be significantly tested. Sh Muhammad AlShareef in one of his Hajj coach videos (check them out, even if you are not doing Hajj, they are awesome masha Allah!), showed us the following picture:
My question to everyone is: What do you see? What do you see in the box?
The first answer that comes to mind is "a black dot...duh!", right?
But what about all the white dots around it? Why do always only notice the "black dots" in a situation and not all the white pearls that surround it? Subhan Allah, Allah has filled our lives with so many white pearls, and yet we lose sight of them the first chance we get!
This scenario can be applied to almost any situation and it kept crossing my mind throughout the Being Me conference, every time someone had a complaint. I kept making dua that He protects me from complaining during or after Hajj. We always want to improve, yes, but let's enjoy the white pearls that surround us. Before we start only seeing the black dots in everything. Those black dots will mean nothing in the grave, on the Day of Judgement or in our Final Abode.
It's our appreciation of the white pearls that will mean everything and save us from the hellfire. So let's focus on that.