Hajj is now over, and as the pilgrims return home to their loved ones, they take back with them a multitude of precious memories from the journey, lessons they’ll hope to apply for the rest of their lives, and an elevated sense of spirituality. Continue reading
This year’s Hajj pilgrimage commenced yesterday, with close on 3 million Muslims travelling to Makkah and surrounds for what is the world’s biggest annual gathering of humanity. Continue reading
Year after year, we hear the excellent advice of what we should do if we are not going for Hajj. We all know about not clipping our nails and hair, the fasting of the first nine days of Dhul Hijjah, being charitable, making dua, and so on. While these are all excellent actions to take – essentials really – they may become repetitive and uninspiring, because they are so routine by now. If this is how you feel about Dhul Hijjah, try to do something different this year: do I’tikaaf. Continue reading
It was incredible to see and be among the 3 million pilgrims heading to Muzdalifah – both by bus and walking. The busses held passengers inside, on the roofs, and in the luggage compartments underneath. Continue reading
Every former Hajji has their own unique story. Tales of the days they were blessed to spend on this sacred journey, so beloved that even the struggles and discomfort they faced are not enough to discourage them from wanting to return. At this time of year, that yearning grows stronger. So, what can they do about this? Continue reading
I wrote this 7 years ago, on the rooftop of the Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) mosque, a few weeks prior to Hajj 2011. It was our final night in Madinah, and this piece was inspired by the time there. Sadly, I’ve not been back since then. Continue reading
I feel for those who leave their kids behind to undertake this trip. It’s heart-breaking…but it’s a necessary pain. It teaches us that, no matter how strong our attachments to the people we have in this life, we have to leave at some point. We have to meet our Creator. The same goes for attachments to material possessions and status. Continue reading
As I sat there, I was moved by watching my fellow hujjaajj. I reflected on how we were all brought together for this trip: Allah had specifically picked each and every one of us to be His guests at these holy sites in this year. I thought about the bonds had grown between us, and how united we’d been. And soon, this would all end. We’d go back to our own lives at home and our Hajj would fade into history as fond memories – flashes of a past experience that we would so dearly love to hold onto, but wouldn’t be able to, since life would move on, and time would erode the highs of our spiritual peak. Continue reading
I think of how my own life has changed in these six years.
When we got back, the desire to “live my Hajj” meant staying highly spiritual: worshipping a lot; being beautiful in character; and just living a good, clean life.
Six years later, my feeling is that that’s not what it means to live our Hajj. At least not for me. Maybe because I’ve failed miserably by my own initial definition. Continue reading
With this year’s Hajj fast approaching, those who are going can find it hectic getting logistical stuff sorted out, making the social arrangements for departure (the greetings etc before leaving), and – most importantly – their own personal mental and spiritual preparation.
What follows is a compilation of tips and lessons extracted from my own Hajj experience – which I hope will be of benefit to those making the journey of a lifetime this year. Continue reading