More than just memories

Sunset on the day of Arafah 2013 (Pic by Muhammad Al Shareef)

Sunset on the day of Arafah 2013 (Pic by Muhammad Al Shareef)

Alhamdullilah – this year’s Hajj will be wrapping up very soon, and for those who didn’t get to go, I hope that the live media coverage has been a source of inspiration for not only the journey of Hajj, but also the intention to want to become better Muslims.

Every Hajji has their own unique story to tell of the days they were blessed to spend on this sacred journey. And despite the struggles and discomfort they may have faced, those who have been yearn to go back and do it again – particularly when this season comes around each year.

As I mentioned last year, one of the best ways to get that invitation again is to truly appreciate the experience you already had. If you’re grateful, insha-Allah Allah will give you more.

It’s always emotional for former Hajjis when we see, hear, and communicate with those who are there right now. We remember our own experiences – what we were doing on this particular day or night; what we felt; what we learned; and hopefully, we reflect on the plans we made back then, and see how faithfully we’ve managed to follow through on them – taking into account all the unexpected events that have come our way since that time.

And when it seems that we’ve strayed so far from those plans, and that ‘normal life’ has just buried our Hajj dreams under the dust of life, we’re blessed with this sacred season to remind us of those aspirations. We’re re-invigorated by the experiences of this year’s honoured guests of Allah. We feel it again. We want it again. And we make the intention that, insha-Allah, we will try again.

So my message to myself and all other former hujjaaj is a plea that we don’t waste these feelings. That we use the momentum of this season, take these emotions, and turn them into something practical that will benefit us on our mission to live the Hajj until we die.

Whether we had planned to make major changes in our lives or just aimed to be a little better, let us remember those goals we had when we were in our purest state after Arafah. And let us do what we can to inch forward towards those goals.

As the beautiful and encouraging hadith tells us, the most beloved deeds to Allah are those that are CONSISTENT – even if they be small.

So, let us renew our commitments and find something small – at the very least – that we can do; whether that’s the adoption of some new good deed, or the dropping of something bad / non-beneficial.

With sincere intentions, dedicate efforts, and the help of Allah, insha-Allah each passing year – each passing Hajj season – will see us getting better and better. And insha-Allah when we get another chance to go back for Hajj, our next ambitions and plans for life after Hajj will push us to even greater heights for our remaining years on this dunya.

May Allah grant all this year’s hujjaaj a Hajj maqbool and mabroor, and give them the towfique to live their Hajj until they die – despite the challenges they’ll face once they return to their normal environments and lives.

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