Hajj Journal- (Part-9) continued from last entry

The memories of those days are so crystal clear in my mind that I can simply close my eyes and see everything as if it was happening right now. The images, the sounds, and most of all the feelings and emotions of the heart have been engraved on my soul forever… most probably due to the extreme consciousness I had of being in the presence of Allah on that most important day of my life. The moment we stepped down the bus and started walking towards our tent in Arafaat, I suddenly became aware of the word “pilgrim” because I could feel how for the first time in my life I had nothing to distract me away from Allah… how empty handed I was… how “free” my heart was…; wanting nothing else except forgiveness and mercy of Allah.

How amazing is the fact that on the day of Hajj we have no special ritual except to make duas… even the two prayers of Zuhr and Asr are shortened and joined together so that the time after that can be completely devoted to talking to Allah… this is the beauty and simplicity of our religion which very few people understand or appreciate.

I wished I could be all alone with only me and the blue sky, to share with Allah all my thoughts and my duas but again I learned that Allah wants us to be united in our devotion to Him. It’s no big deal if you climb a mountain or walk off alone in a desert and remember Allah, but the real test is to be cramped together in a hot and stuffy tent along with a crowd of talkative/noisy people and still be able to whisper to Allah… still be able to focus on Him. This will show your real level of consciousness!!

And when I got out of the tent to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (s.a.w), of making duas while looking at the sky, I realized the wisdom in this Sunnah… that we can achieve maximum focus and concentration when we look at the sky… so vast and “uncluttered” and infinite… making me feel like Allah was right there in front of us listening to our words, and counting all our tears, weighing our truth and sincerity…

I wished if I could just keep standing there forever and ever, but time moved so quickly. The sun was almost close to setting when we were told to pack up and walk towards the bus because it was time to move on… the cool breeze and the puffy clouds here and there, seemed to say goodbye and I felt like my life was only of this one day and it was ending with the sun… the feeling of helplessness is hard to describe… I wanted to hold on to the sun… please don’t go away yet… I have not even begun to pray… I have so much to say to Allah… I have so many sins to ask forgiveness for… I don’t want to go yet… but time never waits for anyone… At that moment when tears were blurring my eyes and sadness seemed to crush my heart, I remembered the verses of the Quran in which Allah says that when the time will come for us to leave we will not be given a single moment more… the angel of death will neither come a moment earlier nor a second late than its appointed time. I don’t think my heart can ever forget that lesson which it learned with so much pain…

It is such a great foolishness that we spend our lives away just as we spent that one day. We know its going to end so soon and yet we waste it in petty things and when the sun of our lives is about to go down we hurriedly want to collect some good deeds but the best time has already gone and so we have nothing but regrets…

Therefore the wise people are those who value their time… who prepare for the moment when it will be time to go…

(To be continued)

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