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May 24, 2011

Feature: Hajj Diary Series, Part 1

by Simple Muslimah

I don’t leave without making the dua for travel and the ease that follows is amazing

 

We get to the airport early as mum has a thing about being early to everything and I mean everything!

The family comes to see us off. My younger brother only comes as he feels it’s his God given right to be treated to food and drink at the airport at everyone else’s expense.

We see everyone off and it’s not as emotional as when we left home thankfully. My nieces took it real bad.

We’re waiting for the gate to be announced and I find the time to write out my list of duas that people asked for.

A brother walks over to us as he saw the Hajj tag on our bags. He makes dua for us and wishes us all the best.

Those who know me know I’m prone to the occasional mishap and it just happened that I had one right then:

We’re sitting waiting and I’m watching for the first sign of any announcement. All of a sudden next to our flight the numbers 11-15 appear, which I take to be the gate numbers so I grab all the bags and make mum rush to gate 11. There I am trying to explain to the airport staff that the gate numbers have been announced and even take the bloke to the notice board before I realise that it’s not gate 11-15, but that the estimated time of boarding is 11.15!

I sit down quietly and hope mum doesn’t ask me about it.

We finally learn the gate number and sit in the departure area waiting. People come over and start to offer us food. Everyone is real happy and the smiles start to spread across everyone’s faces. The spirit of the whole adventure was falling upon us and you could genuinely feel it.

Our seats are right next to the small prayer area on the plane. Result!

I learnt an important lesson on that plane and that is don’t leave home without masah! Trying to wash your feet in those plane toilets is truly best left to contortionists.

Just before I went into the toilet a man was coming out and I had to call him back as he had left his false teeth in there!

I am so looking forward to being liberated from my phone and having a break from the hustle and bustle of day to day life. In the words of William Wallace ‘Freeeeeeedom’!!

I am waiting to pray in the designated area when a man comes up to me and asks how the Ihram garments go on. After I show him another comes and asks the same question. I asked if they hadn’t tried it at home to which they replied in the negative. I was wondering how on earth you come for this life changing experience and not tried to put on these two pieces of cloth that if you get wrong will lead to a embarrassing moment that you will never ever forget.

I was flabbergasted when a third man comes over and asks also.

Praying on the plane was strange. I remembered the words of Prophet Yunus (as) when he said he wanted to worship Allah in a place that no man had ever worshipped before. He may have had the whole of the depths of the ocean to himself but I had that little plot high up in the sky. I was a happy man.

The miqat was coming upon us and the announcement went out. I wanted to be the first to recite the talbiyah and I was.

The labbayk starts around the plane. It’s like a glue that holds us all together. Everyone is united by it.

Here I am oh Allah! Here I am! You Alone made this possible! You knew my mother’s wish and You Alone made it come true! Glory be to You, for You call even the insignificant back to Your House!

***

Read Part 2 here

To read more of the brother’s thoughts, head over to his blog.

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