10 June 2014
So after a few months of preregistering, preparation, vaccinations, crash courses, visa application and whatnots, finally the date of my departure to the Holy Land is finalised to this Friday, 13th June 2014.
It means from the moment I’m writing this, the journey to ihram is only 3 nights away.
This would mark a very important event of my life, and maybe even a turning point of life. My life has always been a series of self doubt, self loathe and disappointments. Going to the Holy Land, though sounds cheesy and cliché, might change that. This is after all, a journey of spiritual conscience, more than a physical one. I’m going to the place where my religion that I have been practising my whole life is being sent down by God, the place where He puts the person He loves most on earth. I’m going to step on the same soil that the Prophet has set his feet on, tracing back his history on this mortal world. That is at the very least, is overwhelming for a small person (figuratively!) like me.
And to be honest, more than happy, I am terrified. Some of my friends and relatives are jealous of me for going there at a relatively young age, but in truth, I’m carrying a big responsibility. I need to take care of my parents the whole time in Saudi Arabia. And my father would be wheelchair bound all the time. My mother is not in a great state of health either. She hurt her knee a long time ago, and now she could not walk longer than 15 minutes without hurting her legs.
Also, those stories about people getting trampled, killed, and robbed in Makah makes me more horrified. But I’m putting all my hopes and fears in Allah’s hand. I remember the Ustaz’s words from the umrah course. He said, whatever the reason you’re going there, no matter it’s because your son sent you, or because somebody paid for you, or because somebody asked you to accompany them, the real reason being is because Allah has invited you to be His guest.
Knowing that puts some comfort in myself. After all, Allah has invited me. Whatever fate that comes afterwards is a part of his design and desire. His qadha and qadar.
I don’t know if going to umrah should be a matter of public knowledge, but consider this as an official announcement of me going there. I am more than happy to make prayers for you lots, if ever you need me to pray for you. And in turn, I hope you can pray for our safe departure and return. Taking advices from my friends who have been there earlier, I have prepared a small notebook that shall include all the doas from people that I need to recite in front of the Kaabah, as well as in Jabbal Rahmah. And the book still got many empty spaces, just waiting for more doas to be written.
I myself still have problems on things that I wanted to pray for in front of the Kaabah. I have so many things to ask, but maybe the best prayer would be asking for the best things in life (and afterlife). Maybe something in the lines of getting rich, a Ph D, being a full time writer, opening a restaurant etc etc etc, but the most important one is asking Allah to grant me Jannah, together with my family and friends.
I should also note that I am thankful to those people who had helped me to achieve this dream. To my brother who has made it his dream to send our parents to Mekah, to my uncle and aunt who had given me lots of material support, and to my friends for their advices and financial aid, only Allah can repay your kind deeds to me.
For the first time in my life, I am finally a guest of Allah’s. And I can cross this on my “before-25-list”. Alhamdulillah.