December 24, 2006
And so it began. I’m on my way to
I know right now I long to be able to come back and tell all those people who asked me to pray for them, that I did.. that I took their duas with me, and tell them of the places I prayed for them at.....
But I dont know if I'll return.
4pm @ Jeddah Airport- Pilgrims section
A khutbah is going on in the flight. We’ll be approaching the meeqat soon. The khatib is explaining the 3 types of Hajj and that you don’t have to wear Ihram if you’re going to Madinah first.
I received lots of tips from people, especially Farah Aunty. She told me to make sure I don’t miss the meeqat while making the niyyah in flight, when they announce it. She also told me that the crowd for stoning is less on one side, and that I should go to the end to throw the stones… and some other stuff.
I was feeling nervous. I took out my notes, read them, and felt much better.
Last night, I had read Sawitri’s Hajj memoirs. I was overwhelmed. She’s such an amazing sister, she captured so much in a few words.
I turned 23 today. My friend
Especially thinking about how difficult this had been. I remember having a conversation with someone- “When do you want to go for Hajj?”, I asked. “This year inshallah if I don’t get married, otherwise next when I can save up for two people.”
For girls in my culture, it’s not customary for them to go for Hajj before they get married. In fact, what people say is that, “spend an entire lifetime in sin, and then go for Hajj to repent”.
Still @ the airport. Really, how people even reach their destination is a miracle. Reminds me of my Hafiz sahib telling me about the organised chaos in
The home of the 2 holiest cities, so holy that they’re blessed with real things from
As we exited the plane, in the bus to the airport, a sister noticed my UofT sling bag and started chatting with me. She was travelling with Nugget Travels from
I really wished the airport was non-smoking. I changed my seat several times and then finally gave up. Every other employee or guest @ the airport smoked. Little I knew that I would soon discover that the situation isn’t much better in the cities. I looked around me, and thought, nothing about this airport reflects the wealth of Saudi. This could be
Through the painful waiting hours I spent @ the airport, I often wished we were with a group… or at least a few more people. But there’s blessing and wisdom in every arrangement that we had. The airport authorities really exhausted my father. I prayed silently for Allah to help him, because for the time I was standing there, he must have run @ least 8 times between the finance and the pilgrims office.
I made a renewed effort to clear my conscience and intentions. Too many thoughts!