Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Day 8 - Prepare for Hajj

Today was a day filled with rest, salah and lectures by Dr Muneer, Sh Riad and Sh Alaa.

Dr Muneer was up first. Right after Fajr. We all gathered closely together in the prayer hall of the Hajj building. It feels like such a traditional way of learning. Something only the shuyookh talk about when they describe how they would sit at the feet of their teachers and learn. Perhaps, it is a bit romanticized, but it feels wholesome to learn this way.

Dr Muneer discussed the first 25 ayahs of the Surah-tul-Hajj. And guess what? They have nothing to do with Hajj itself. Not about the rituals, not about the procedures, not about the manasik, the faraid, the wajib, none of it. The first 25 ayahs of the surah are about the Day of Judgement and argumentation. Allah is surely full of Wisdom.

After Dhuhr, Sh Alaa also provides a reminder. He tells us of the story of Abu Dharr and how Abu Dharr had said that he loves illness, hunger and death. He loves illness, because his sins fall away, he loves hunger, because it brings him closer to Allah and he loves death, because it will bring him to Allah.

Later that evening, after Maghrib, Sh Riad is up. Earlier there had been a discussion and some of the pre-hajjis were complaining a bit and questioning some procedures. Sh Riad was visibly upset by the attitude of those that were complaining.

He started by saying his original topics was going to be about love. But he changed it. He wanted to remind us of our true purpose of Hajj. Not to be right about our madhab’s ruling, not to complain, not to argue.

He had changed his topic to death. Death of the Prophet (saws) and about the Day that everything will die.

The room was left silent. Tear streaked faces and heads in hands. Shoulders crumpled under some unseen weight and heavy sighs escaping burdened lungs. It is the day before Hajj and Allah provided us with our wake up call.

May Allah reward our shuyookh and protect them and their families. Their willingness to invest in us, sacrifice their time and time with their families to help us perform our hajj cannot be repaid by us. I have seen them run up and down handing out water bottles, I have seen them pick up and collect garbage, I have seen them pull wheelchairs over hards rocks, I have seen them answer our questions until their voices have become hoarse and barely audible, I have seen them cry and care for us, as if they would drag us to Jannah with them if they could.

Ya Allah! Accept from them and enter them and their families into Jannah with no account. Increase them in their barakah and increase them in their rank in this life and the next. Ya Rabb! You are the Most Merciful, shower them with your mercy and protect them from difficulty in this life and the next. Ameen.

We leave for Mina tomorrow.

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