thoughts before hajjNov 14, 2009 · 5 minute read · Comments
so i was sitting on a plane in san francisco awaiting the departure of my flight to atlanta, from where i will insha’Allah be leaving for hajj. the captain mentioned something about a leak that they have to fix, so i figured, “why not write a blog post on my phone in the meanwhile?” (the plane took off and i realized i had more stuff to add and edit, so the in-airplane mobile blogging commenced on land and in the air).
anyhow, i wanted to write the pieces of advice and gems given to me by my shuyookh, elders, family and friends who have already went to hajj.
hajj - themes and similitudes when i went to ummrah before, i have always been told how i7ram makes all people equal - you could be the richest of people or the poorest of people, you could be from america, china, or burkina faso, but ultimately, it didn’t matter - you were wearing the same simple non-embellished two pieces of cloth while doing your ummrah (or hajj).
however, the parallel i recently learned is that between hajj and the day of judgment. there is a plethora of people (millions), all moving towards the same place, each to themselves and not worrying about those around them. the rich and the poor, the arab and the non-arab, the powerful and the weak, the healthy and the sick all gather from all parts of the land for this journey. on this day, all are dressed in i7ram - similar to the burial shrouding one is wrapped in - and as though all are just being resurrected and walking towards “ard al ma7shar” to await reckoning - may Allah make that day easy upon us!
it is thus not surprising that surat al hajj would start with these verses (22:1-2).
hajj tips 0. first and foremost, the importance of time during hajj. so many people advised me, “don’t waste your time, maximize your time of worship.” others told me, “american crowds go to hajj in luxury, with constant buffets of the best of foods and so on - so eat minimally, especially from once you go to makkah until after the day of 3arafah!” (to stay light and avoid down time). another common advice was “watch who your company is on the trip and beware of bad company!” another tip was “lose the watch, you don’t need it!”
almost everyone advised “do not get angry!” i was told “forget logical reasoning, don’t resist or try to convince anyone of anything, you don’t want to lose your hajj.” i was also told “everyone will be on edge there, you will be pushed, shoved, and tested a lot there, so stay on your toes and whatever you do, don’t lose your cool!” may Allah make it easy! i think ayah 2:197 is very relevant.
the most important request people always make is for du3a2 - du3a2, du3a2, and more du3a2 - du3a2 for ones family, friends, shuyookh, those who have rights upon us, those who passed away before us, the ummah, and for ourselves - du3a2 for this world and for the next. may Allah make it easy and accept!
writing the waseya (islamic will) before leaving - this action in and of itself reminds a person that death can come at anytime, and thus reminds us of the importance of being prepared. may Allah grant us حسن الخاتمه - ameen.
on a related note, calling family, friends, and people with whom you may have had trouble in the past to ask them for forgiveness highlights the importance of brotherhood, good character, and making sure one is on good terms with all people.
hajj - aspirations/what to aim for 0. first and foremost, that Allah accepts it and makes it a hajj mabroor - this is absolutely critical, because without this, the trip would arguably be wasted.
speaking of mabroor, brother Ihab gave an awesome khutbah on hajj, in which he cited a hadith in which the Prophet (saw) said that there is no other reward for a hajj mabroor except for jannah. the sa7aba asked the Prophet (saw), “wa ma biruhu?” - and what causes a hajj to be mabroor? and he (saw) answered with “it3am alta3am” (feeding food) and “ifsha2 al salam” (spreading salam).
[note - i had forgotten the second item and found it in this blog post].
that Allah returns one home completely free of sin, and helps one to improve upon themselves and to become a better person (and ultimately, to grant them حسن الخاتمه and jannah).
that Allah accepts one’s du3a2s while there.
that Allah allows hajj to be a positive turning point in one’s life.
credits may Allah reward sheikh Mohamed, brother Ihab, and all of those who gave me hajj training, advice and shared their experiences with me in any way, shape, or form (the names are too many to mention here and i would undoubtedly forget someone, so i will suffice by saying, “may Allah reward you all”).
and finally… some last (and mostly unrelated notes):
this is most probably the longest piece i have ever written on my phone (and on a plane). for the record, writing long articles on an iphone is a painful experience!
that having been said, while i plan on taking my iphone with me, i am hoping not to use it - otherwise, knowing me, i’ll get distracted and start live blogging my hajj - (“i am now at mina! check out this picture/video!” - and, of course, “i am now on 3arafah! send your du3a2 requests via twitter before maghrib and i will pray for you!”)
and yes, in case you are wondering, i felt strongly obliged to start my lists at 0.