Your experience at Hajj is one that you should never forget. Ozair just reminded me it's been a year now! Alhamdulillah my hajj experience was quite amazing. A few of my friends were also at Hajj last year and I managed to meet up with them. It was great!
I remember talking to Sawitri a month after we returned from Hajj and asking her, when will I feel the impact? And she said that sometimes it comes much later, and the older you are, the earlier it hits you.
Even though it was just me and my father, I think Alhamdulillah I managed to do a few interesting things. I was sick all the way in Madinah and was able to go to the Masjid once a day, if at all. But, I managed to join Rania's Hajj group to visit a Sheikh who was 99 years old, mashallah...
I can't say that Hajj is a spiritual experience. It's actually an experience of struggling to experience spirituality amidst millions of people.
Those who are going for hajj this year have been asking me for advice and tips. All that information can be found online. In fact, there's also a website that Hafsa had found last year- Hajj Tips.com.
What advice would I give?
- Try to go out of your as much as you can to help people. An old woman/man might need help in making tawaf, someone might lose their slippers, others may get lost, many people lose money as well. There are endless opportunities to help others.
- Be generous. My Hajj roommate was amazing at this. She'd spend a lot herself, and encourage me to spend as well, and with anything she bought she'd remind me, "wow, there's so much reward in this! aur kharch karo!"
- Try to do a tawaf a couple of times a day or more (after/before each salah).
- People will make you go crazy...... ignore them and be patient.
- Don't waste a single second on the day of Arafat. Most people in my tent were busy with either their chai, or gossiping (unbelievable) or sleeping!
And I carried lemon, tea bags and honey with me everywhere I went. Mummy said that if you have black tea with lemon and honey in it, it will protect you from illness.