Author: Maryam Zainab
Assalamu-Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh,
I am a mother to three amazing children who have kept me busy over the past eight years. Every year in Dhul Hijja, I make du’a to Allah SWT that He invites me to The Holy Land.
This never happens. I get disheartened whenever I hear of friends and family who go and return, share their experiences with me and I always ask, why not me???
Allah in His Mercy has given me so much. After two major miscarriages, He has blessed me with three children. After five years of an unsettling marriage, He gave me security. After so many years of ill health he replaced it with goodness. So the one thing I could not understand is why He did not call me for Hajj. I had been saving for so many years. I had to remind myself “And rely upon the Ever-Living who does not die, and exalt [Allah] with His praise.” (Qur’an, 25:58)
Last year a close friend of mine came back from Hajj and spoke to me about her experiences. I had decided, whatever happens, I would go for Hajj the following year. Even though my youngest was only two, I thought I could manage.
But Allah (swt) is the Greatest of Planners. This was not to be.
In April this year my husband had knee surgery which meant that he was unable to walk long distances for at least six months. I cried and cried. I buried my wish in my heart and knew that when it was my time, my Allah would call me “Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.” (Qur’an, 13:28)
During the first week of Ramadhan my son potty trained himself, which was a major relief. As the days went by he was becoming more independent. He was eating by himself, cleaning himself, and behaving extremely well, MashaAllah. This was a blessing from Allah (swt) as it was the month of Ramadhan and the last thing I needed was whining children.
I continued to be patient, carrying on with my daily chores, trying to use every moment of this blessed month to stock up on good deeds so that I can ask Allah for Hajj the following year.
It was the 13th of Ramadhan, and as those of us in London will remember we had a lot of thunder and lightning. I had my window wide open while reading Qur’an lot of thunder and lightning. I had my window wide open while reading Qur’an during Tahajjud. I looked at the sky. It was beautiful. I could only see a few stars, but it felt as though they were sparkling in the calmness of this thundery night only for me. Again tears rolled down my eyes. I had no idea what was happening. This mixed emotion of happiness and sadness was bursting out.
And that’s when I truly felt it – Allah was ‘Inviting’ me. Over so many years, in reference to Hajj, I heard many people use phrases such as ‘you are His guest’ or ‘Allah invites you’ I never understood it until now.
Only Allah knows the peace, tranquillity, and calmness I had in my heart at that moment. I knew it was my time to go.
During suhoor, I asked my husband if we could go, knowing he was still struggling with his knee. Regardless of the amount of times he bothers me, winds me up and makes me do useless jobs, at that moment, he was the most adorable husband on the planet. He just looked at me and said ‘If you manage to arrange everything (regarding childcare), we’ll go InshaAllah’. I felt the entire universe rejoice upon hearing those words. I loved him so much.
So here I am now, sharing this with you. Not because I want to tell a story. But for everyone to be happy for me, and make du’a that Allah accepts my Hajj. I have started to arrange my outfits for the day I first visit Medina, the first time I set eyes on the Ka’bah, and the day of Arafah. I have my du’a books ready. I have been attending seminars on hajj. Studying maps of the areas surrounding Mina, Makka, Muzdalifah. I also have a 20 page day to day journal so that I can capture every moment of the days I am in the Holy Land. I doubt I will have the words to describe those emotions and feelings.
But I am planning for what is within my capabilities. It is only by Allah’s Will that any of this is possible. So it is my humble request to all the readers, please remember me during your prayers, especially in Dhul-Hijjah. Because I am one of you, a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a servant.
“And if you try to count the favors of Allah, you will not be able to number them. Surely, Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful.” (16;19)
….Where Practice Makes Perfect
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