I wrote this exactly one year ago – in Mina on the first day of Hajj 2011. May it be a reminder to myself and others of how the journey of Hajj is this life’s preparation for a more important journey we’ll all take.
“Friday 4th November 2011
Death’s dress rehearsal
Day 1 of Hajj, and being in the tent is quite cramped. But it’s a reminder of the grave – we’re all lined up in rows, space just sufficient for each of us – all in the same, white cloths that we’ll be wrapped in when we die. Except this is still life – there’s still time to change our ways in future insha-Allah.
Today, being Youm-al-Tarwiyyah, is a day of personal reflection: why did Allah bring me here on Hajj? What is my personal, unique mission on this journey?
I know what my intentions are – but is that also Allah’s purpose in bringing me here? I hope so.
I spent a lot of time preparing for this – even though I wanted to do more; and felt I fell well short of my expectations. But my dua lists are comprehensive, well-rehearsed already, and waiting for Arafah. And my life-changes – those ambitions – are also thought through, documented, and waiting for me to pursue after this trip. No…maybe even from now.
The nakedness in here strikes me: men – myself included – sleeping, laying, or sitting – topless. And while I’m self-conscious about it, it reminds me of Qiyamah – when we’ll ALL be totally naked; yet we won’t care about that. What states we’ll be in – how terrifying, and immense the events and anxiety of that day.
So as this bareness reminds me of that Day’s bareness, I know that it’s not the external appearance that counts here. It’s what’s inside – the state of the heart – that’ll determine our condition that Day. May this day, and journey, put me – and us all – on the road to arriving on that Day with that clean and pure heart (Qalb-us saleem) – which will, insha-Allah, secure us the best possible standing when we stand waiting for our Books of Judgement.”