Saturday, November 21, 2015

Haj 2015 - My Last Haj?

I was apprehensive before I started the journey, but once we got started, I think we never looked back.

We had our share of predicaments - especially in the beginning, but in the end, I thought it was a moving journey. That's how I would remember my haj.

I was never into it - all these years; too young, too busy, too many people etc, and hence I never offered to chaperon Mak. Even much later, I was nonchalant about it. Without my uncle and auntie pushing me to join them for haj, I would not have made it.

I am not proud to admit.
The Two Haji and Hajah  were all smiles and looking forward to return home after performing the haj

I was considering of canceling my journey due to the piles I was having. Should I have done that, I am sure it would take me a few more years to plan another journey.

After all the dusts have settled, and despite my criticisms of the management of haj, I would like to strongly encourage all muslims to do their haj if they have not done so. I have only mentioned the physical aspects of the journey and have not touched the spiritual aspects at all. I had read the book by Maulana Zakariyya, thanks to my in-law Hj Roslan, so I am not going to elaborate on them; I know I can't beat the eloquence of the Maulana. Know the physical aspect of the haj rituals, and then follow up by the spiritual aspects. You would not go wrong with it. I thought haj is a moving ritual of Islam that take you to another level.

A beautiful story on the haj was shared by my Auntie MC Kam just prior to my trip. It is about a story of a person who had never performed the haj, but apparently for that particular year, his "haj" was the only mabrur haj conferred.

All he said to Him, with his feet firmly planted at his hometown thousands of miles away from Makkah, "Oh Allah, my haj is here!"

I thought by going for this long and arduous jouney, I would be blessed by him. I thought by spending my saving for this has, I would be granted one. Instead someone who had never laid his foot on the Makkan soil was rewarded - the shoemaker from Damsyik. His name is Muwaffaq. I don't know how true the story is since it involved a dream, but I would take it at face value. After giving away 300 dirham he had saved for his journey for haj to the widow with 7 children who were cooking and eating carcass ("My food is halal for me, but haram for you, she told Muwaffiq."), he said, "Oh Allah, my haj is here (at his neighbour doorsteps and not in Makkah)" since he can no longer afford to travel to Makkah.

And yet his was the only one accepted by Him, and he did not even set his foot in Makkah.

Allahu Akbar.

As such, I thought 2015 would be my last haj. I am not planning to go again. I know it is a bit to definitive to say it here - if Allah wills it, then you go again, but somehow I felt so strong about it. You are supposed to go once in a lifetime, if you can afford it. Then you go only once. If I have the means to go for haj again, I thought I should give it to someone who deserve to go; someone with a better chance for a mabrur haj, instead of me. Not only due to monetary cost, but considering visa limitation.

I hope I would be blessed for assisting someone with his haj. If he gets mabrur haj, surely Allah will reward me too. InsyaAllah. We should all be looking for Muwaffaqs in our midst. I know insyaAllah I would be looking for mine.

I do hope that He will bless me with the mean to give someone else the opportunity to perform it. Or help others with the money you want to use for your second haj. Get them out of poverty. Sponsor a student. Build a mosque. Or orphanage. Whatever you fancy,

I kept on telling my staff and my boys since coming back and encourage them to plan their way. I am not sure if umrah is even necessary unless they have the mean do it before Haj. But it is not even compulsory.

Just do it. He will reward you more than you had spent on your haj.

I know I should not say that this was my last haj. You must wish to go again. We should all have ambitions to be His guests, but I am looking from the perspective of the law within our religion.

Once in a lifetime, if you can afford it. (Not " If you can't afford it, once in a life time! It gives totally different meaning.)

Arafah after Haj. At last I was able to stand here and du'a!

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