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Back from Hajj...

After this long and amazing journey, we are all back from Hajj. It hit us as soon as we landed that it is very cold in Kuwait compared to wear we were. I’m lucky our flight wasn’t delayed but many others weren’t as lucky. I thought I might sleep right away but that wasn’t the case, I saw both family and friends, and fell asleep around 2 am in the morning. I couldn’t sleep more then a few hours and woke up around 7:40 am even though I wanted to sleep more I couldn’t.

I even went out on my bike for a bit, went to breakfast, saw family in the afternoon, and in the evening then with my friends for a bit. Out of the past few days I couldn’t watch a movie without passing out. Its interesting going to back to what I know, experiencing so much during a time that I wasn’t sure what was next. Tawaf Al Weda’a was hectic that morning and there was a lot of people, but we went to the top of the Haram and finish it. I was pushing a relative on a wheel chair while doing the Tawaf and that turned it into a competition for me, I was timing my laps while making doa’a which I found to be funny, I think God has a sense of humor. The hard part wasn’t the pushing, the hard part was braking so that I don’t hit the people that cut in front of me. As time progressed I cut the turn from 11 minutes down to 7 minutes which wasn’t too bad. After that morning I took a shower and my legs felt very light, and sore after a little while. Now back in Kuwait in this lovely weather, and so many family to visit and a few things to take care of.

The Last Few Days of Hajj...

There was some point during our stay in Arafah that I completely forgot how long we have been there. It is a very serene feeling being at Arafah and there is a lot I would like to say about it, and our Hamlah did an amazing job with the timings and helping us avoid the millions of people here. Those 36 hours felt more like a few days but the time was flying between Doa’a and prayer, and talking to people.

You go through such a spiritual and religious experience with a dynamic group of people. You really do bond with these people and you don’t realize how small the world is. Just two more days to go, and it has been the best trip of my life by far. I am very lucky that I managed to come with some family members or else I would honestly be lost. You try to remember everyone you know and family, and even Doa’a for Kuwait to get better. I know people might not say this enough, but Saudi Arabia is doing an amazing job with the organization and the infrastructure to handle so many different people and I am thankful for being able to Hajj, and I hope this won’t be my last one because it is just such an experience.

We just had the 2nd day of Ramee Al Jamaarat and a lot of people were feeling under the weather. I felt queasy and a sore throat but I stayed in the Hamlah in Mina waiting it out and not doing much else. It did get better with time and Hamdilah by 11pm when we headed to the Jamaarat I was doing fine but by that time the flu set in on some of the women in our group and they weren’t doing too well and on the second day it was getting very crowded. One girl was not in good shape and they took her flying to the bus where the doctor was waiting for her, it was the case of flu and dehydration. And as we finished Jamaraat another 6 women fainted as we were walking, it was a moment where our group came together to make sure these women got safely to the buses, it is an exhausting experience and for everything they did they will receive a hasanah from God for each and every hardship during Hajj. You really do bond with people your group I don’t know most of these women but when someone is troubled you can’t do anything but want to help and there is a surge of energy inside of you. I know it might seem a bit strange reading all this but it is a such an overwhelming experience in Hajj. The one thing I am extremely thankful for is that this Hajj has been very easy in comparison to the stories I was told, and I am very happy to meet so many different and good people. There is a lot more that I want to talk about but these days I barely have time to sit in front of a PC and you just want to pass out after these long walks.

The Coming Haj...

Now the religious trial will begin starting today saturday with Mina, Arafah, Muzdalefah, and Mecca again. A lot of people keep telling me to be physically and mentally prepared, I think I am mentally prepared, and physically I am rested so I am looking forward to it and thankful to be able to participate in this Haj. I know that a lot of people have it harder at different times for Haj, but the weather is cool which makes it easier on people during this Haj.

We tried a few times to pray in the Haram but mashalla there are so many people in Mecca you can barely make it to the outskirts even going an hour or two before the prayer. After prayer with the Hamlah there are these talks where they explain the reasons for certain actions and whats the next step which is good and useful. During those talks I ran into friends who I was even aware they were in Haj as well, let alone in the same Hamalah which is great. There is a good feeling between people and these sheikhs are very helpful are able to explain all our questions. I sometimes feel my questions are dumb but probably most people have the same question. And its good to discuss the next steps so that everything is clear, and I’m personally looking forward to Arafah.

The First Day...

It was a bit of an exhausting and very satisfying, we flew in early morning. Got to Mecca mid afternoon and we were planning to go to Oumra, but the Sheikhs of the Hamlah (Haj Group) recommended to go after Esha (Evening) prayer. Spoke to a few people and they went between 10 and 11pm. So I prayed and took a nap since I wasn’t able to sleep much the night before, woke up two hours later and so we headed out around 9:30 pm.

I have to say that it was a very happy experience, walking was no issue. What was amazing that we managed to get so close Kaaba during Haj. We were literally walking within a few meters during our tawaf (the path around the Kaaba). I didn’t have a chance to take pictures since I was wearing the Ehraam and reading passages of Quran and Dou’a during that time. Time went by very quickly and we honestly managed to go through all the steps and hamdilla we managed to pray behind Maqaam Ibhrahim. My last Pilgrimage was a long time ago, and to able to do all this during Haj time is nothing short of amazing and a blessing. After a while my feet was getting numb but I was still going good.

We managed to finish within two hours, we left the hotel at 9:45pm and we finished around 12:00 am then headed to Kudos for some decent junk food. After a nice shower my legs felt sort just above the knees and just waiting for fajer prayer before going to sleep. I just have that calm, serene and content feeling after finishing Umra.