Hajj Chronicles: Part3: Twelve bags of sabr

slip-sliding away.....

Previous parts: Introduction | Part 1 | Part 2

The Arabic term sabr is often translated as ‘patience’, ‘perseverance’, or ‘steadfastness’, and we all know its tremendous importance in Islam. When it comes to Hajj, many people tell you that you’ll need a lot of it –  because you’ll inevitably face difficulties and trials, such as waiting in queues, waiting for transport, delays in administrative procedures, food being late, and people pushing and shoving you in the sometimes-insane crowds.

On our stopover in Johannesburg, before leaving for Cairo, my uncle there joined the list of people giving that same advice. The common joke is to pack one bag of your clothes and necessary items, and another bag of sabr. His advice was to take twelve bags of sabr.

In the old days, travelling to Hajj was a big trial – given the fact that people would go by ship, car…

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