The “Tawaaf-e-Ziarat” which is the final ritual of Hajj seemed to me as the most difficult test of patience because all the five million pilgrims would be doing it on the same day and I had heard that normally if it takes half an hour to do the seven rounds, it can take up 2 to 3 hours on this day… Well I thought to myself that it was my Rabb, Allah, who had enabled me to walk all the way from Mina to Makkah, and He is the one who would give me the energy to go round His house which I loved so much!
And then I thought how great it would be to do this Tawaaf close to Ka’ba; but of course tonight it wouldn’t be possible… therefore I was all set for going on the rooftop. So imagine my surprise and delight when my husband said “let’s do the Tawaaf on the ground floor…” Of course I accepted the offer most eagerly because it was like an impossible dream coming true! A small voice of fear rose inside me “but what if we get stuck in the crowd?” Immediately I looked at the sky and felt assurance of Allah’s love and mercy… Isn’t He always looking at me…? Isn’t He the one who made this wish of mine come true? At that moment I recalled the words of a friend of mine who had given me lots of advice about this journey of Hajj… “Ask Allah for everything that you want because there in His house, you are His guest and He will shower you with His blessings and you will see that quite often you will express to Him a wish and it will be fulfilled instantly.”
Thus we entered the ocean of people flowing in complete adoration and harmony around the house of Allah… just like electrons around their nucleus. It is a miracle of Allah that despite the unbelievable number of people there is for each and every person, enough space to walk, and air to breathe! There in that specific time and place, I actually felt the pull of Ka’ba on my heart and my whole being… No matter how much I tried to focus on my path, my eyes were glued to the sight of Allah’s house… so near to me and yet so far… I yearned to touch it… to feel my face against the black cloth… to kiss the black stone… to feel what the Prophet of Allah must have felt and all those righteous people after him… who followed his example in every little step of their lives… and without even realizing I would find myself getting closer and closer to the inner circle of people and a word of caution from my husband (who was walking right behind me) would remind me to stay on my line! Praying and talking to Allah, I would look at the sky from time to time, almost expecting to see a glimpse of Him, but all I could see was the beautiful moon of Zilhajj shining like a jewel in the great black sky… how could one not be absolutely mesmerised by all this splendour and majesty of Allah shining from all directions… Just writing about it makes my heart yearn to reach back to that place where me and my heart were joined together in Allah’s love and nothing else mattered except Him…
But then of course, being a human being, one cannot be totally oblivious to the irritations of life… and so on an almost parallel line of thought I kept imagining how the experience could be made a million times better if people had some education, some training… so that they would realize that Allah cannot be pleased with us if we push other people to get our way. How nice it would be that everybody knew the etiquettes of praying in public… of keeping their whispers for Allah… of not shouting their duas aloud and disturbing everyone else… of walking with extreme care lest anyone be hurt because of their movement… because the basic principle of our religion is that you cannot be a Muslim if people are not safe from your speech and actions.
Again Allah showed me His miracle that in less than an hour we had done the Tawaaf ! And as we went ahead to drink the Zamzam and offer the two nafl… I realized how perfect was the sequence of these rituals… what better way to come out of such profound experience of love and devotion, than to satiate your thirsty soul with the most fulfilling water which seems to go instantly to revive each and every cell of your body… and then to put this body in front of Allah… bent and humble… totally helpless yet empowered through the connection with the most Supreme Power… SubhaanAllah… how perfect is he and how perfect his religion!!
So you see this is the reason how people get the energy to walk so many miles on Hajj… we are being carried not on these weak legs but on the wings of passion… the passion of love:)
(To be continued)