I had many experiences during the Hajj. The first one was when I first saw the Ka’bah. It was a beautiful sight to see, shrouded in the black and gold Kiswah (drape) with the names of Allah sewn onto it. When the ‘Asr Athaan was sounded, it was most beautiful sound I have ever heard. When it had started, life came to a standstill. After ‘Asr, we started ‘Umrah with Tawaaf. But in the middle of the third circuit my dad and I got separated slowly from my mom and little brother. My dad and I were now anxious to find mom and my little brother. Then, when we had just finished the third circuit of Tawaaf, the Athaan had started for Salaat (prayer) Al-Maghrib. It seemed that the voice of Muathin was going higher and higher up in the air. And when the Imaam started the soorah it was incredible. His voice had such a precious deep sound. It seemed it was just floating up into the dark sky, beyond the atmospheres into space.
When the Saalah ended, we looked for mom and little brother. After a while, it looked kind of grim to find them among so many people. Then I looked to my right and to my surprise and great joy, I saw my brother looking around for us, and my mom facing the Ka’abah and making Du’aa to Allah. I told my dad and he and I started to cry in joy. We were all really surprised to find each other in such a short time - Alhamdulillaah.
Another beautiful experience I had when I was in Muzdalifah. We arrived there late and could not find a single spot to rest. When we almost gave up our hope, a small group of Macedonians offered us some space to share. They were wonderful. They gave my brother a pillow to sleep on and shared what little space they had with us.
I also had a beautiful experience at Al-Baqee’ cemetery in Madeenah. There is no plaque showing the names of the people who are buried there. There is nothing on the ground except dirt. It seemed that the whole place was dead and barren; no life existed except for us walking on the walkway. It seemed that there was always a cool heavenly wind always swept through the graves. I noticed that the graves were used before so the bodies were buried over each other in order to ensure that we all become dust and food for ants and insects- the cycle of life has to be maintained.
My experience in Jerusalem was sad. Al-Aqsa is a big mosque and situated within the old city surrounded by residential houses and bazaars. I was amazed to look at its beautiful architecture and size. But not much people were there to pray. The reason was fear. There were check posts at the entrance and sometime the Palestinians were stopped there from entering the Masjid campus. There were Israeli police present within the Masjid campus, keeping a watchful eye on the worshippers. You might be thinking right now what did I learn from all these wonderful cities and rituals. To tell you the truth, I learned a lot during Hajj and ‘Umrah. Sharing and to be humble. Never get angry and shout. Be patient and gait for other people. Do not always push and go in front. And above all, always remember Allah. Whenever we got in trouble or a problem, Allah made it easy for us.