Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Day 20 - Leaving Makkah (Going Home)

I’m sitting on the bus. The bus that begins our travel back home to Canada. This bus will take us to Jeddah, where we will get on plane to go to Turkey and then head back to Toronto.

There’s not many people on this bus – just us and the Libyan doctors. I’m grateful for the space and the coolness of the AC, after the heat of the day. After settling into my seat, I call my mother and my mother-in-law to let them know we are on our way. When I call, neither of them can hold back their tears and it makes me miss home. On the phone with my mom, I can hear her gulping for air on the other end and it’s tough not to wipe away my own tears. But as my mother quietly sobs about some good news that we had received last night, I knew that one of my biggest duas had already been answered. Throughout all the heartache of leaving, Allah truly makes it easy.

The last few hours have been a whirlwind of last minute packing, a final tawaf, a quick dinner with Sahar, Ahmer and Farah’s parents, an attempt to squeeze in every last salah in the Haram and taking one last long, drawn-out look at the Kabah. The crowds have yet to subside, and there are masses of people in between me and this beloved place of Allah. I wish I could say that it all fell away and that I didn’t notice any of the people and that I only saw the Kabah in front of me, but it wouldn’t be true. I wish I could I say I forgot about the heat and humidity and just felt the coolness of an unknown breeze and that my thirst was quenched, but I couldn’t say that. I wish I could say that I knew my Hajj was accepted in that moment, but I knew I couldn’t be sure.

But what I did know, was that even though we hadn’t left yet, my dua is to come back. Come back to where everything else is secondary to your relationship with Allah and that nothing can distract you from your one and only purpose. A purpose that we are reminded of, in the very last ayah of Surah Al-Hajj:

"And strive for Allah with the striving due to Him..."

In this short time, every instant has been a reminder, every experience has provided a lesson and every step has been a harsh reality. The reality that each moment we don't strive for the pleasure of our Lord, is a moment wasted. And that each moment used in the way of worshipping Him, could be the one that tips our scales and enters us and those we love into Jannah.

The bus begins to inch its way through traffic and my mind starts to wander before I doze off to the slow rumble of the engine. Although my body is tired, my mind is buzzing about the last 3 weeks and the many memories I have written, shared or just kept to myself.

But to end these entries about this journey, perhaps I will go back to the way I began them. So I remind myself that the Lord of the Worlds is giving us an opportunity. An opportunity to rectify ourselves, not only in this journey of a lifetime, but in every SINGLE MOMENT of our lifetime. The question of whether or not we seize these opportunities should haunt our dreams and motivate us in our waking hours. Time is running out, and only Allah knows if it will be enough.

Insha Allah, it will be.

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