(Continued from the previous article)
The next event which I distinctly remember was my first Jum’ah prayer. I had never experienced it before so obviously I was very excited. When we reached the masjid it was jam packed! I was a little alarmed to think that if I didn’t get any space then where will I go? Anyway I walked over to the women’s section but there seemed to be no place at all, it was so crowded… I thought I should look somewhere else but when I turned back, a woman leaning against a wall said to me in English: “why are you leaving?” I said because there is no space… to this she said “point your finger towards the sky and ask these women that you want to pray to Allah… they will make way for you.” I didn’t really believe that it will work but just to try it I asked a woman, pointing my finger upwards “I want to pray to Allah” And although she didn’t accept my request but at least she allowed me to cross her and move to the row ahead of her! Again I repeated the act and this time it workedJ… These ladies were from Indonesia and very generous spirited. Immediately they squeezed aside and made space for me. I was so impressed and filled with love for Allah for creating such beautiful and kind people.
So this was another lesson that if we want to make space for someone then all we need is a will of the heart. The physical aspects are just an illusion. The same space becomes enough only if we are willing to accommodate others for the pleasure of Allah.
Due to their kindness my heart was drawn to them and soon we were enjoying a lively conversation despite the language problem. They shared with me a lot of their experiences and how they were enjoying their stay in Makkah. And then the Khutbah started… and we all became quiet to hear it. Although I know only the Arabic of the Quran still I could capture quite a lot of things which the Imaam said. It was a unique experience… The cool air coming in drifts seemed to be full of Allah’s love and compassion. I thoroughly enjoyed the recitation during prayer and so I came to know for the first time why Allah has made this weekly prayer so important that even those who otherwise do not pray regularly make sure to attend it.
Surely the opportunity of going to Hajj and praying among such a huge congregation of Muslims is the greatest gift of Allah but very few people realize that it is not just for accomplishing personal rituals… rather the whole point of gathering muslims from all over the world is so that they develop a bond with each other. Worship of Allah was definitely my primary goal but I also made it a point to interact with my fellow sisters. I specially looked out for the ones sitting alone or seeming to be in some sadness… and my aim would be to cheer them with some light talk or even with dates or bringing them a drink of Zamzam. The smile of delight and surprise would light up their eyes and would be reflected in my own spirit too… It was such a pleasure to bring a smile on a stranger’s face that I wished I could just spend my whole time there serving people… especially the ones on wheel chairs and too helpless to move. Or the women with small children… talking to them, hearing tales of their countries and their relatives, I began to understand the whole theme of Islamic Brotherhood. Why Allah made it so important for us to be united… because we cannot be really and truly happy if we just live selfish, self centred lives… the fact is that we are incomplete without others and so our spirit finds peace only when we share ourselves with others.
Alone we stand nowhere but together we can conquer all obstacles and attain the position which Allah had bestowed on us… but then why aren’t we united? What was the binding force which we have lost? It was, and still is, the Quran and the Sunnah of our Prophet (s.a.w). We have to join on this common ground… only then will the differences be resolved. But it cannot happen by magic… therefore this lesson went deep into my heart that each one of us has to be responsible for the revival of true knowledge which will connect us to Allah as well as to our brothers and sisters in Islam. Together we must realize our responsibility of being Allah’s representatives on this earth and regain the honour which was given to us… inshaAllah
(More to follow soon InshaAllah)