Hajj Journal – (part-10)

It was a long and slow drive to Muzdalifah; people were congratulating one another on having done the Hajj… cell phones were constantly ringing as relatives and friends from Pakistan were calling to give “Mubarak”… but my heart was still aching with sadness as I looked into the deep blue sky turning black with the coming night… knowing that this day will not come again.

As the bus crawled its way through the mighty ocean of traffic and pilgrims on foot, I wondered how we can go on living the same old lives after going through such an unforgettable experience. Surely we must all be transformed into better people… But then why the condition of the Muslims does not change even while every year millions and millions of them were doing Hajj…?? The reason lies in the fact that these honoured places or acts of worship cannot do any magic on us if we don’t seek any positive change with a conscious heart. Allah guides only those who seek guidance… it is not automatic… And so I prayed to Allah again and again to forgive me and to guide me…

After about four long hours the bus finally came to a halt and we got off on the grounds of Muzdalifah to spend the night under the sky. I had been looking forward to this ritual with great excitement because it had always used to fascinate me to think how it would feel to look up at the sky while lying down on the open ground without the normal comforts of life. But nothing had prepared me for the actual moment when it came upon me… because I saw that instead of an open ground, our group was going to camp on the road…!! Along one side of the road our men began to spread out the mats and along the opposite edge a never ending trail of buses and pilgrims who were walking briskly towards Mina to avoid the rush of next morning…

I just couldn’t understand how I could possibly lay down in the middle of all that noise and activity… but as I lowered my exhausted body on the mat, I could feel Allah’s mercy entering my heart, making it calm and peaceful. I looked into the depths of that mysterious black sky and felt like Allah was smiling down at all His obedient creatures who had left all their worldly comforts behind and were sleeping on whatever space they could find… like homeless beggars… only and only for His sake…

How awesome is Islam… How infinitely wise are Allah’s commands… could we do these things if Allah had not commanded us? Would we have experienced a night like this if it was not to follow the Sunnah of our Prophet (s.a.w)? As I felt the hardness of the earth beneath me, I thought of how the Prophet (s.a.w) must have lay down on the same place more than 1400 yrs ago and my heart began to overflow with love and happiness that I am His follower… And then like a miracle I could feel the gentle hands of sleep closing my eyes and I drifted away to the land of dreams…

(to be continued)

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