Sunday, February 25, 2007
A brother or sister left this post on the website last night and I thought it was just far too insightful, poetic and beautiful to risk everyone not reading. I hope he/she doesn't mind my posting it on the main page.
May Allah (SWT) reward you for comments, dedication and insight. May He (SWT) accept your hajj. Ameen.
"I did my Hajj this year and I must say that what an experience. It was my first time to both the Harams in Makkah and Madinah. The thing that hits you right in the head and in the heart is the realization of how small we are in the face of Allah's mercy. When in Arafaat, making dua to Allah along with millions of other pilgrims, one feels so insignificant, so tiny and to know the fact that right now Allah is saying to His angels "Look at them, my servants have come to me and go listen to what they are saying". My Allah is talking about me. WOW.. The sunset at Arafaat is the sadest sunset in the whole world.
The dealing with fellow pilgrims and showing patience with... well.. some of their annoying behavior, teaches one patience and humbleness and tolerance.
Standing right there in front of Kaaba and listening to the Adhan is an experience that defies everything you thought you had figured out; your expectations, emotions, logic, ego, pride, worries, words and finally submission. Happiness and calmness holds a new meaning. Sitting in the Roda Jannat, next to the Roza Rassool when one hears the adhan to fajr prayers, its so hard to hold back the tears. First you fight the tears, and then after some time you wouldnt even notice that they have come out on their own will to prostrate. One just wishes that the heart stops beating right now right here and be buried in jannat ul baqee (the graveyard next to prophetic mosque where most of the sahaba and members of the household of Prophet (pbuh) are burried) and one's funeral prayer be said in the haram.
A muslim leaves some part of his/her self in the two cities. Bit by bit, every day during the stay. I am convinced its the heart and the soul. Because when one comes back, one is so lost. Its like when one wakes up from a wonderful dream and so desperately wants to go back to sleep so that it could continue, but it does not. The words 'Haee aalal Fallah, Haee aala Sallah' (come to success, come to prayers) holds a totally new dimension of submission.
And then one gets busy in this prison of schisms and deceptions.
And while driving to work, suddenly the black cover of the kaaba shimmers in front of the eyes, that specific angle of the kaaba and its door from the roof top, that flicker of the green dome from the gates of the jannat-ul-baqee in that cold crisp morning after fajr prayers when the sun is rising over the blessed city of madina. Right at this moment the part of your heart and soul . remember... the ones that you left there. They beckon at you. They call upon you to come back and all you can do is say "O my Master, my Owner, Ya Rabbi, Please invite me back to Your house." And then one remembers all the hours and minutes sleeping or eating and one curses ones self if i could've just prayed two more nafils.
One sip of zamzam here, opens a flood gate of memories and then one realizes that where has my imaan gone. Why I have become so lax in obeying Allah, why my heart does not cry anymore when prostrating, why dont i die?
forgive me for a long comment, i just wanted to say this to someone and thank you for the reminder of the journey and maybe destination?."
Saturday, February 17, 2007
When I was in Turkey over the holidays my husband's family would often make the du'a that Allah (SWT) would give us hajj. I think it is a truly beautiful du'a. May Allah (SWT) give us the opportunity to perform one of the pillars of our religion and if done in the utmost, to the best we can possibly do, that insha'Allah we would also get forgiveness from past sins.
Indeed may Allah (SWT) give us all Hajj.
I don't really have a particular theme to write on today, just many things that have been on my mind lately. It has been many days since I have written mainly because we are in the process of selling our home and getting ready to move . We have spent days and literally nights trying to paint the house and get it ready for the market. It has taken up most of my time but alhamdulillah things are done and I trust in Allah (SWT) that He (SWT) will send someone to buy the home so we can start a new life in a new community. I am sad about leaving behind the sisters and community here, but excited for the larger community we are insha'Allah moving to. I think that it will be a blessing from Allah (SWT) to be able to move and establish myself as Mulsim from day-one instead of having to deal with everyone's reaction here as I try to explain why I can't do the things that that I used to. Alhamdulillah I am grateful for the opportunities I have here but I look forward to not facing those challenges.
I heard a couple of weeks ago that one of my dear friend's marriage has ended after six short months. I am so sad. This is the third couple I know of who have been divorced or seperated within the first six months of their marriage. It is so devastating for me. Alhamdulillah it is one thing that I think Islam would solve. Although divorce is permissable in Islam I think that couples bound by the will of Allah (SWT) is a connection that would insha'Allah be unbreakable. In no way is it a judgement, I would never begin to say I know what is right or wrong in their relationship, but alhamdulillah I feel so blessed that Islam is what unifies my husband and I. My family was concerned when I got married as they thought it was too soon from having met my husband, but I feel like if we both know Islam, then insha'Allah we both know each other. I pray that Allah (SWT) keeps us all as Muslilms unified and working towards his cause.
I was in the masjid the other night for one of the prayers and was the first sister to arrive. The prayer was about to begin and I had said Takbeer when another sister came in but chose to stand about 2 meters away from me. It was obvious she wasn't going to stand beside me so I came out of my prayer and then re-said takbeer and started to pray again. This is a problem I see at the masjid often and I feel like I have to address it. In a jumah we are supposed to pray together. There is also a hadith (and I'm going to paraphrase here so may Allah (SWT) forgive me) that the best place for women to pray in the masjid is in the back and to the right of the Imam. We also need to be praying shoulder to shoulder to keep Shatan behind us. If we are going to pray in the masjid, we are there to insha'Allah pray in community with the other sisters and behind the Imam. Join the other sisters if you arrive late. Start the line from the right of the Imam. Bring your shoulder beside the sister beside you.
Alahamdulillah we have an Imam in the community who is mesha'Allah so knowledgable. May Allah (SWT) reward him for his dedication to this community and all of his knowledge. I am so grateful for the opportunity to go and seek knowledge through his Khutbah's. Even more than the knowledge I have gained from him in the past couple of weeks, I have had some other really wonderful blessings at the masjid. For the last two weeks I have had the opportunity to talk to two non-muslims that have come to the masjid for the first time. Today's situation was especially amazing. We ran out of gas and couldn't start the car to leave the masjid so while my husband went to a local gas station to get a can of gas I waited at the masjid semi-annoyed. I kept trying to tell myself that there was a reason for this to be happening. After about forty mintues, and well after everyone had left, this woman came to the door of the masjid. I asked her if she needed help finding someone or something and she began to tell me that this was her first time at the masjid and she didn't know where to go or what to do. Unfortunately she missed the khutbah but alhamdulillah Allah made our car not start so I could be there to meet her and talk to her. I gave her my number and I pray to Allah (SWT) that she will use it and we can talk about Islam. Based on our conversation I know she has been doing some reading and I pray that Allah (SWT) will show her the beauty of this relgion that I know firsthand is real, and she will revert to Islam.
It was an amazing afternoon and just showed me that I need to trust Allah (SWT) and know that He (SWT) knows best. That I need to say Alhamdulillah in all things, and remember I am on this earth to serve Him (SWT) only.