1000. That is the number of people the Saudi government is saying will be allowed to perform Hajj this year.
I keep thinking to myself, who are these people? What have they done that has made them so beloved to Allah? He has invited them to His house, to this journey, to follow in the footsteps of our Prophet, when almost no others have been invited. SubhanAllah, what an honour. It makes me teary to think about it. How I wish I knew their stories, even more so, how I wish I was one of them.
I can clearly remember the sadness I felt when I saw the first photo of the Kabbah closed due to Covid 19… the gates to the Prophet’s masjid (SAW) locked. It seemed unreal. Feelings of sadness, maybe even contemplating what the bigger lesson was in it. Was it a punishment? The sign of the end times? Or merely just a safety precaution? Allah knows best. There are other times that the Kabbah has been closed in history. There has even been a time when our beloved Prophet (SAW) was turned away from the House of Allah. When he and 1400 other Muslims desired to make Umrah, and were not granted access (the trip that lead to the Treaty of Hudaibiyyah). SubhanAllah, when I think about that, that there is a common history even in this situation… an example from the life of the Prophet (SAW), for that which we are going through now, I am just awestruck. I am constantly amazed at the perfection of Islam, and its constant relevance.
As millions around the world did not get to fulfill their Hajj dreams this year, I pray that they are rewarded for their intention, and that Allah provides for them another opportunity. I also pray that they, as well as the rest of us, are able to look for the wisdom and the positives that will come out of this.
Initially when I sat down to the computer to write this blog post, I had intended to write about my personal Hajj experience. I have been blessed to go to Hajj, not once, but twice in my life thus far. As these blessed days of Dhul Hijjah pass us by, I have been thinking about my journeys a lot. One of those trips to Hajj was just last year… I have spent a lot of time looking through my journal, remembering how I felt… the emotions and memories at each stage. The thing is, no matter what I tell you about my experience, it won’t mean as much until you get there yourself. So rather than write pages about my Hajj story, I thought I would make dua for all of us to be able to write our own. I include myself in this, because I can honestly say, once you have been to Hajj, your heart desires to go every year. I pray Allah invites us back over and over again.
So, in these days, when our deeds are most beloved to our Creator, I pray that Allah settles a sincere intention in the hearts of all of us. That we decide right now, that we want to fulfill the fifth pillar of our religion. I pray that Allah accepts that sincere intention and answers our dua. That we are invited to His House. That we all have the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Ibrahim, Hajjar, and our beloved Prophet (SAW). That with each step we think of the magnitude of the journey, and of the people that have gone before us. That we go with patience and love for our fellow pilgrims, and overcome the physical and mental difficulties of the journey with ease.
Oh Allah, Al Fatah, open a way for us to be invited to this amazing journey. Al Wahhab, You are The Bestower of Honour, honour us with this trip. Ya Razzaq pour out rizq enough on all of us to be able to make the journey. Ya Hadi, The Giver of Guidance, always guide and keep us on the straight path. Allow us to complete the fardh of our faith and perform Hajj. Al Jami, You are the Gatherer. Gather us together again for this blessed act. Al Wadud, You are Loving. Increase our Love for You, for our Ummah, for that which you love, for our Prophet (SAW) and for Islam as a whole. Allow us live and die in the fold of Islam. Ameen.