A phrase that has been the under current of my life some months now. This year has brought so much excitement, development and progress and to end it on such a note seems fitting. Umrah, I was not seriously planning for it. I feel my Hajj, which I have not yet experienced is a priority. But the opportunity arose unexpectedly to take this minor pilgrimage to Makkah and Madinah with a large group of family and friends. It was as if our invitation was there and we could not turn it down and so… Bismillah. Here we go.
The packing is almost done and I am told that this will be the lightest I will ever have to pack for a trip. This suits me well as I am a light traveller by nature. I hate lugging around a heavy suitcase. The less I take with me the less I need to decide on what to wear.
I have gotten so much advice on what to expect in Madina and Makkah. Get tawaaf socks as the marble on the mataaf gets really cold, a spray bottle for wudu, that towel that snaps and gets cold to help for the intense heat. Go to the haram at such and such time, leave extra early for Jumuah. Everyone that has been there has had so many useful tips and pieces of wisdom. It has helped to paint a vivid picture in my mind of what is to come.
At the same time I am trying to be careful of having expectations. I want to be a clean slate. I want to enter the city and absorb the energy, of the people and of the city itself. And I want to be able to come back and write about it from a very personal and unique point of view. I know this journey while not a haj, will be a life changing experience and I am humbled to have received my invitation.
The larger part of our group has already left and are spending a week in Turkey. Zulfikar and I, with our two mothers are leaving this coming Saturday. We’ve spent a lot of time saying “See you in Madinah” this week in anticipation of the family and friends we will see when we get there.
We bid you salaam as we undertake this journey InshaAllah, and ask sincerely for your forgiveness if we have said or done anything to hurt or offend, knowingly or unknowingly. We humbly request your duas that we will be granted the strength and fortitude to fulfill all our obligations. We will remember all of you, those we know and those we do not, in our duas as we pray in the most auspicious of places in the heavens and the earth.
May the Almighty Allah (SAW) accept all duas made by us and for us, InshaAllah.
Things will be a little quiet on the website and socials for the next 2 weeks. I hope you will understand if I don’t get to queries in good time as I will be trying to minimize my time on social media in order to focus on the essence of this trip.
If you have advice to share or would like me to make a specific dua for you, please let me know in the comments below. You are welcome to email your dua request to firstname.lastname@example.org if you prefer.
Chat again in 2019.