Umrah Reflections, as written on May 30, 2007
So, it has been a week, almost (t-8) since I have reached home, safely. Alhumdulillaah.
I have learnt MANY lessons throughout this trip, which I hope I can remember and bring them to beneficial actions, inshaAllaah.
Among the lessons I learned, here are a few:
- If you really want to get rid of a bad habit, one month is enough for it, if you are consistent. Ramadan is only a month, ~30 days. So, if there is something we truly want to get rid off, we can do it in a month. For example, I was completely out of touch with cell phones, internet, t.v. etc during this trip. I came back, and I had trouble communicating on MSN. I realized I can live without it :P
- Secondly, if you have the means to go for Umrah or Hajj, and you have studied the seerah, then I recommend you pack your luggage and go. We keep searching for peace here, but the peace that will come to you in the Holy Lands is never felt before. Just to be surrounded by people of common faith is a blessing in itself.
- Thirdly, you learn to be humble and thankful. I don’t remember if there was a time in the Holy Lands when I was doing anything else other than either thanking my Lord or asking for forgiveness. Dhikr! Your tongue is moist with it as you walk barefoot in haramain. I don’t even recall for a second that I was either tense, stressed or frustrated. I got lost, I walked to the hotel by myself from the haram, I was hungry, my mom had to walk barefoot to the hotel from the haram, but no words of complain or even feelings of shikwa “why me?”
- On a note on dhikr, I love the billboards in as-saudia!! They have Quranic aayat on them!! SubhanAllaah. Imagine making dhikr while you are on a highway, every exit-curve, every bridge you come across, every ad you watch. They have those little aisles with SubhanAllaah, Alhumdulillaah and Allaahu Akbar written on them on the road sides. I even saw reminders to send durood on the prophet salAllaahu alayhi wasallam on the lamp-posts in Pakistan. And while driving to the outskirts of Islamabad from Pindi, I spotted the beautiful names of Allaah subhanahu wa taala on both sides of the road. You don’t get to see that here, eh?
- Fourthly, don’t worry about the result of your duties. Just do what you are commanded to do. If you don’t get to see the fruits of your actions in your life, rest assured, the world will witness it long after you are gone! Do you think Ibrahim alayhis salaam knew that the place where he is building the House of Allaah, will become a city from a barren land one day? A city that attracts millions and millions of worshipers! Do you think the companions of rasulAllaah salAllaahu alayhi wasallam, may Allaah be pleased with them thought that what they are spending their wealth, their lives, their sukoon of day and night for – will bring about fruits of tawheed in the universal message of Islam to such huge populations AROUND THE WORLD? and that people will come to Makkah and Madinah in search of peace one day?
- I loved the accomodation for women in the Muslim countries. In Dubai, when we were in a mall, there were signs on escalators reminding us to watch our abayahs! I couldn’t stop laughing at that. And there is a masjid (well maintained) inside each mall!
- When we were in transit at U.S., I wanted to run away from that place. The U.S. customs are dumb and pointless. I was mad at them, but I had to stay there as there was no other way out. And when I was sitting on the plane, I remembered ‘the world is a prisoner for a believer’. I know where my home is now. But I am not free to go until I am trapped in this body. Therefore, patiently we shall wait in this transit till Him we shall return.
- While in Pakistan, I never realized the importance of seeking Islamic knowledge as it hit me there. I was fluttering to get back here. Pakistan is torn between secularism and people fighting to bring Islam back there. It seemed more chaotic because apparently Pakistan is an Islamic state. I saw graffiti on walls of Shabab-e-Islami (Islamic Youth) who were voicing their concerns of secular education or perhaps trying to make people remember what Pakistan stands for. Muslims fighting Muslims. SubhanAllaah.. it was truly a mess.
My mom took a sigh of relief when we reached home, ‘finally, we are home’. And as I heard her, I thought to myself… ‘no, we have left home far behind.’
I have posted some more reflections here on the shabab forums (currently down)