I don’t want you to think hajj is only about the travel to and from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
But unfortunately, due to all the stress and worries, our heads were in a turmoil and I was worried that I would never be in the right frame of mind to make an accepted Hajj. But then, who can say what the right frame of mind is?
I didn’t want anything to spoil my Hajj, but there I was, haven’t even left Trinidad and Tobago yet, worried that my hajj might be spoiled by all the thoughts going on in my head. I was worried about why it took us so long to get visas. Who screwed up? Did anybody screw up? What about the other group that didn’t get visas? I was trying not to be annoyed with what I heard. I was trying to be *calm* and when upset make dua or pray..
In the years leading up to our trying to make Hajj (2006 when Chennette got sick, 2007 when our other siblings had babies), I never thought it would happen. I never thought I was ready for Hajj. I didn’t think I was worthy. I still didn’t think I was the perfect candidate but then…in our religion there are five pillars:
- Tawhid – belief in one God and submission to him
- Salaah – perform the 5 daily salawat
- Zakaah – give the annual charity, one-fortieth of the money you’ve had for a whole year
- Saum – fasting in the month of Ramadhan
- Hajj – make the pilglrimage to Makkah, if you can afford it
And, I could afford it. Barely I guess
When I quit my job I made sure I had that money put aside (even though it seemed like a pipe dream) and didn’t touch it for anything.
And Alhamdulillah (All praise is due to Allah), I was finally making Hajj. My stomach shouldn’t've been in knots because of travel arrangements…yes it should’ve been in knots because of the great spritual/religious journey I was embarking on. I wanted it to change me for the better. I wanted to be a better person and a better muslim. And I was going to pray hard to change into that person.
Mostly, I wanted an accepted hajj. I know I’ve not been the best Muslim I can be and I know there have been lapses and I wanted forgiveness. Hajj gives you the opportunity for a clean slate (if accepted). But even if not accepted, I still decided it would be my turning point. There were many things I wanted (not just material!!!) and I also had to make up my mind to not be disappointed with whatever I received.
During all the worries about our visas and other groups not making it mom would announce at random, “It’s Allah’s house. When He’s ready for you to come, you will come.” Remember, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) was ready for her to come twice before. And so with dad. Chennette and I were embarking on our first hajj. The obligatory one. And no matter what people tell you about it, you know you’ll never be ready.
And on a side-note, I was very concerned about these infamous stooping toilets or sunnah toilets.
Especially considering certain surprises.
But don’t worry, I will have a post dedicated to that *luxury*.