As salaamualaikum everyone. I hope you all had a good Eid, a blessed 10 days of Dhul Hijjah, and a spiritually uplifting few weeks around Hajj time.
As you may know, if you’ve read the last few posts, I was away on Hajj, and returned a few days ago. And while there, I was able to do a lot of writing – some of which was posted on this blog – but most of which was not, since it was a personal journal.
Many people write Hajj journals or diaries, and I’m no different. Many people also publish those (or extracts from them)– and again, I’m no different.
Without doubt, I can say that this journey was the greatest – and most important – of my life. The experiences and places were amazing, and the lessons and insights I gained through the days and weeks were abundant.
And because of this, I’ve decided that I want to share that with my readers – in the hope of not only passing on what I’ve learnt, but also hopefully inspiring you to make this journey yourself – if you haven’t already been.
And for those who don’t think it possible, I again reiterate that there’s no need to consider current limitations – be those financial, physical, logistical (e.g. visas and quotas) or other – as barriers to this journey. It’s one that happens regardless of any obstacle that we can see or perceive. Allah chooses who goes – and if you sincerely want to go, and you make a good intention and follow that with dua, patience, and the right practical steps and attitude, then insha-Allah your time will come – even if you think it difficult or even impossible.
Hajj truly is the ‘journey of a lifetime’ – one that liberates you from your lifetime of sins and bad qualities. One that gives you a clean slate – a chance to start life again, in the spiritual sense, as if you’re a new-born baby. It’s one that teaches you how to re-orient your focus to what’s really important in life. It’s one that forces you to grow – because it takes you out of your comfort zones; teaching you qualities of character that you know are virtuous – yet you find difficult to practice in everyday life, in the absence of such challenges. And most importantly, it’s one that draws you closer and closer to your Creator – nurturing the relationship that is most important in life, and putting your existence, your purpose, and your responsibilities, into the proper perspective.
I hope that this series will be of tremendous benefit to not only you, but me as well – as lessons and reminders of how I need to live. Because – as the clichés go – Hajj doesn’t end when you leave Makkah and come home. It really begins at that point. Hajj itself is not the main challenge. The main challenge – and life’s mission – is to live that Hajj: to take forward what you’ve learnt; be that better person you were inspired to be; and always be progressing further and further on the path of living the best way you can in this world, so that you’re successful here and in the eternal realm of the Hereafter.
Also, I just wanted to note that the posts on this blog, insha-Allah, will be written for a Muslim audience – in terms of assuming the reader is familiar with certain Islamic / Arabic terms and background knowledge. I also plan to write another version – which may differ in content – for a non-Muslim audience – where these assumptions are not made, and things are put in a way that someone with no prior knowledge of Islam or Arabic can understand. Details of that will follow later on, insha-Allah.