The Rest of your Days

Remember the last time
you were on the mataaf?
Within touching distance
of the simple
yet sacred
Cube
you’d faced your whole life,
and now stared up at in awe –
a guest of the Most High
on this greatest of journeys.

Remember the last time
you walked around the House?
Counting down the circuits,
wishing this tawaaf would never end,
prayers from the heart
engulfed by emotions –
soul swimming
in a tide of spirituality
that you wished
could stay forever more.

Remember your last salaah
in that sacred haram?
Bawling your eyes out.
Staying in sujood as long as you could,
because you knew
that once you got up,
like the angels
at Bait-ul Ma’mur above,
you, too, might never return.

Remember the zamzam you sipped?
And the sa’ee
you dragged your tired body through?
Up and down,
seven times,
on that well-trodden path –
a tribute
to the perseverance of a woman
whose tawakkul we can only dream of.

Remember your final look
at the House,
before your made your way out,
tears streaming down
as you realised it was time to go:
time to leave behind
this land of revelation;
this Home
that your heart had grown to love.

And as you left,
you promised yourself
that you would hang on
as hard as you could,
as long as you could,
to the feelings
of this lifetime dream fulfilled.

And you remembered
the meaning of the takbir
that was chanted
in those final days:
Allah is Greater.
Greater than anything.
Greater than everything.

And though your next trip
would take your body
far from Allah’s House,
no matter how far you went,
your heart must remain
close to Him.
For He remained closer
than your jugular vein:
the Lord of the Ka’bah
was your Lord everywhere else;
and the Lord of this Hajj,
awaited your remembrance
even outside that season.

And though it was sad
to leave your Hajj behind,
you departed only
from its time and space,
for Hajj remains forever within you.

And though its memory fades,
be thankful for what you had,
for gratitude brings increase,
and the best of gratitude
is action.

So as the feelings are rekindled
each year,
remember
the best of provisions,
and recommit yourself
to trying
and trying
and trying
to live this Hajj
for the rest of your days.


Mataaf: The open white area immediately around the Ka’bah.

Bait-ul Ma’mur: The “Frequented House” – situated on the 7th heaven, directly above the Ka’bah on earth. The angels make Tawaf (circle) this House like Hajj or Umrah to Ka’bah. The Ka’bah on earth is a replica of it. Angels perform prayer in the Bait-ul-Ma’mur. Every single day 70,000 angels visit it. This will continue on until the Day of Resurrection.

Tawaaf: The circling of the Ka’bah in Makkah, believed to demonstrate the unity of the believers in the worship of the One God, as they move in harmony together around the building, while supplicating to God.

Salaah: Ritual prayer in Islam.

Zamzam: A blessed well near the Ka’bah, providing water of religious importance.
Sa’ee: Pilgrims walk or run between the hills of Safa and Marwa near the Ka’bah, as part of the steps of Hajj or Umrah. This replicates the struggle of Hajar – the wife of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him), and mother of Prophet Ismail (peace be upon him).
Tawakkul: Reliance on God.
Takbir: The magnification of the name of God (“Allāhu ʾakbar”)


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