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.

Off to Haj

It has been a few years since I have been thinking about Haj and recently things just came together perfectly and with the help of family. I have read a few books and sat down with some people have been through Haj to give me a briefing of what I should and shouldn’t do. I’m happy that I am not clueless but do I feel ready for it, no, but I am looking forward to this spiritual experience.

There a lot of things I have memorized over the past couple of weeks, but I had a million questions and I even wrote down a lot of things. I’m going with my cousins who have been to Haj a few times so I won’t be too lost and the Hamlah (Pilgrimage Group) has a good reputation. Its physically and mentally exhausting but very satisfying, a responsibility for each Muslim to complete. I have even brought my camera with me to take some photos, but I wasn’t sure in the beginning so I asked and I was encouraged to take it.

Link: Flickr