Date :Friday, September 4th, 2015 | Time : 07:14 |ID: 1036 | Print

Stories of Hajj – The journey of forgiveness

SHAFAQNA - For those on the annual Hajj the journey can be one of great discovery and self-fulfillment.

Two local Muslim kids share their experience of hajj, Rabail Altaf 10 grade student and younger brother Fahad Altaf 7 grade student with their parents join a local group from Orlando, with Caravan of Lights.
it is a journey more than anything else about forgiveness and helping you to focus on your own spiritual well-being.
Any body can change no matter who you are.
For me going on Hajj was very personal thing.  Most people I have spoken to say one thing when they return.  It is indescribable.
I think going on Hajj should help you become a better person.  You can’t judge people’s intentions but one should try to take as much from the Hajj experience as possible.

The sighting of the Kaabah was overwhelming.  I was awestruck by its magnificence, its beauty cannot be described in any other way except by pure experience of its presence.
I felt incredibly insignificant standing before the house of my Almighty creator.  As I did my Tawaaf (circulation) around the Kabah, I couldn’t help but glance up overwhelmed by the thought that at this very moment thousands of angels were doing Tawaaf around the superior abode of Allah(swt) directly parallel to our tawaaf.  After we performed our tawaaf we cooled ourselves down by drinking zamzam water in which I felt all my fatigue and thrist diminish.  After we went to perform saee,once again I became emotional recalling the plight of Hajrat Hajarrah thinking how frantic she must have been looking for water.Finally, to end the rituals of Umra, we cut off a lock of hair my dad and younger brother cut their hair.

over the next days, the mass of pilgrims will move outside Mecca to sites in the desert.  the thunderous, melodious chants of the talbiyah was echoed from every direction,never had I felt such a strong sense of belonging.

The centerpiece of hajj is a day-long vigil on mt.  Arafat, the open ground was full of an incredible hum of people. It was the day where tears fell and hearts overflowed with thankfulness to Allah, with a strong belief in His mercy that all our sins will be forgiven.  The day of Arafaat is the day I ‘ll never forget.
In Muzdalifah as far as the eye could see all I could see was millions of people spread out on floor,under the clear black sky.It truly is an enriching experience, it gave me the international experience of the ummah.  There are people here from every corner of the world,of all diverse colours, cultures and classes.  However here every one is sleeping on the floor.  This spiritual equality of the sexes,the races the rich and poor is the main foundation ofHajj,wearing an Ihraam further reinforces this feeling of equality. I am ansure that my Hajj will be accepted in the court of Allah,since deficiences in deeds are bound to occur on account of human frailty and imperfection.
After spending the night in Muzdalifah we returned to Mina to stone the devils,It was chaolic!I had to make sure that I was not struck by a stone and at same time make sure that I don’t accidentally harm anyone,either.

After Mina we returned to Makkah to perform Tawaaf-e-Ziyarat,returned to Mina pelt the devils again for two days and then returned to Makkah,We performed the last Hajj rite the farewell Tawaaf and left Makkah with heavy heart for Medina.
Medina is home to the tomb of the Prophet Muhammad,masjid-ul-nabi is a  structure of inexplicable beauty, at first glance it was hard to look away,its a vision which will be imprinted in my heart forever.  I still can’t believe that I’m actually here,it’s nothing short of a miracle.  It was an honour and privilege to visit the most Beloved of Allah Messenger. IT’S  a whole different experience sending Salam them in Masjid-ul-nabwi.  When I visited the historical sight of Medina I could not stop the tear from streaming down my face, to walk in a place so steeped in Islamic History is inspiring and humbling..  In addition to the historic religious shrine, Medina is home to a Starbucks, Kentucky Fried Chicken and dozens of modern hotels catering to religious tourists.  The American pilgrims found the contrast disconcerting.
When I went to visit the Holy Prophet(saw)for the lasty time before departing.  When I return to USA physically, I’ll be there or in any where else in the world but my hearty will always remain in MEDINA.
I feel as if I came here with an empty spiritual wallet and as returning with an unbelievable amount of richness(spiritual).  Even if I Spend the rest of my life saying Thank you to Allah(swt).  It still would be insufficient I’M in debted to His(swt)kindness and benaficience.
The feelings that I used to feel in those blessed places are missing here.

By Naureen Kamdar – The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.

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