They say that time heals all wounds. Time was a factor that stood in the way of me feeling complete again.
At this stage in my life, a mere few months after losing our Qasim, I was still wondering about that theory. How much more time would I need to ‘get over it’? I doubted that I would ever completely forget the pain.
Life had soon returned back to normal, and after Bilal’s wedding and Laila’s dramatic experience with the car hijacking, our lives slowly took a turn for the better, revisiting the times where we could just relax and be content.
We had settled into the lull of life. Umar and I were closer than ever before, especially after everything that had happened, but the topic of kids never came up again. I was still dead set on not trying, and avoided the topic completely. Umar would sometimes give me a look and shake his head, but he didn’t say a word.
Besides that, we had bigger things on our plate. The impending Hajj trip was a definite awaited climax in our lives, and I found myself looking forward to it more than ever.
It just reinforced for me the plan of my Rabb. In His infinite wisdom, He knew that I wouldn’t have to leave behind a little baby and go. As difficult as it was to lose my baby boy, I was glad that I wouldn’t have to go, knowing he was at home. I was content in the knowledge that he was in the best of places.
So, as time went by, I gradually learnt to focus on other things. I had started Hifdh classes from home, in an attempt to fill my day up a little. I didn’t realise just how good it would be to take out my time for Deen. It was definitely an eternal reward, that made me feel like I was doing something a little useful.
With Umar finishing his Aalim course that year, it made me all the more excited about what lay ahead for us. Umar had always wanted to open a Madrassa the following year, but he suddenly seemed hesitant about it, and I wondered what had changed for him. He barely spoke about his ambitions anymore.
On the other hand, as we prepared ourselves for the journey of a lifetime, I could literally feel my anticipation mount. As the last months of the Islamic year dawned, Umar psyched me up, as his own excitement overflowed.
Those months were the months in which Nabi Ibraahim (AS) was the hero. After all, it was him who was given the title of ‘Khalilulallah’, the friend of Allah Ta’ala. He had pleased Allah in such a way, that Allah blessed his progeny with the light of our last Nabi (SAW).
And as I read up on what to expect and do for my Hajj journey, what really amazed me was the ultimate sacrifice that they had made. I mean, when I looked at how Bibi Haajar (AS) dealt with being left alone in a desert, with little food and drink, I could barely understand the strength of a woman.
But she was chosen, because of her faith and piety, to be the blessed mother of Isma’eel (AS). According to a narration, it is said that before she was given the priviledge of being the wife of a Nabi, the master that she had previously belonged to as a slave girl would get paralysed when he would touch her. And if that wasn’t enough to recognise the piety of this woman, her simple words to her husband as she left is enough to ascertain her calibre. Though her husband refused to tell her why he was leaving, her own words were an assurance.
If it was Allah’s plan, He would take care of them. Her faith was so intense, that she had no doubt that her Lord would provide for them.
But the sacrifice, even for the Friend of Allah (AS), was barely an easy one. While leaving his wife and son in Makkah, Prophet Ibrahim prayed to Allah:
“O our Lord! Surely I have settled a part of my offspring in a valley unproductive of fruit near Your Sacred House; our Lord, in order that they may keep up prayer; therefore make the hearts of some people yearn towards them and provide them with fruits; maybe they may be grateful…” (Surah Ibrahim, Verse 37)
But with the life that Haajar (AS) established in Makkah with her son Isma’eel, a nation was born that would last until the end of time. The story of this nation begins with a woman who was willing to bear great burdens to establish it. And imagine, to honour her and the efforts that she made, we perform this ‘Sa’ee’ in every Hajj and Umrah throughout history up to the end of the world.
It commemorates the pure strength, struggle and determination of this woman, but as a woman, it also shed a new light on things for me.
Trusting in the plan of Allah Ta’ala was what struck me somewhere deep within. This woman was so sincere and persistent in her efforts, that she ran those great lengths in an attempt to provide for her baby. All she knew was that her frantically crying baby was hungry, and Allah Ta’ala would provide.
I could never compare to that. I thought of my husband going away, leaving me with little food, and I wondered how my faith could ever compare. I was truly in need of some spiritual reformation.
So, as the trip dawned on us, my first Hajj, I felt a great sense of excitement. There was a long road ahead for me.
It seemed like everyone else was just as excited as I welcomed the plentiful Du’aas and well-wishes of family and friends. I also felt a little sad to be leaving, as I wondered about how much I would miss everyone.
I worried most about my sister, though, wondering about what really went on in her head at times. I made a note to make special Du’aa that she finds someone worthy of her, and who could honestly put up with her. She was a lot to handle at times, but as I witnessed her grow up in so many ways that year, I wished that whoever was her match would appreciate her.
“Don’t worry about me,” she said to me, about a week before I was due to leave. “Just make Du’aa for me. Insha Allah, when you’ll are back, I’ll be done. We can have a Jalsa.”
She was due to finish her Hifdh soon, and I was so proud of her. I could see how much of commitment she had put into it in the past few months.
“I’ll miss you, Has,” she said, a tear visible in her eye. I gave her a tight hug, completely overwhelmed by her affection. Lately, I had been feeling like my little sister was no longer there. It was like there was just a shell, after everything that had happened.
Getting over what had happened with Tasneem’s brother-in-law must have been difficult. Tasneem had been keeping a low profile, gladly, and after months of witnessing Laila’s mood swings, my baby sister finally seemed okay again. My parents were a little more patient now, and tried to understand her, though extremely complicated.
I still had a lot on my mind later that evening as Umar and I sorted out our travel arrangements for the following week, and sat up that night, just getting excited.
“I feel like we’re never going to get there!” He confided, shaking his head. Umar really had no patience!
“Relax, Umar,” I said, smiling at him lovingly.
“I feel like I won’t ever want to come back!” he exclaimed, clearly excited. “But Imraan is postponing his wedding date, just so we’re there for it. He’s a crazy guy, ey.”
Postponing it for us? I wasn’t sure if that was a good idea. After what had happened with Bilal, Saaleha was bound to think that she was up for another evasive groom.
I didn’t say anything, though. It wasn’t really any of my business.
“Just a week left, babe,” Umar sighed, literally jumping up to fetch something. “Can you believe it?!”
I shook my head, still in awe of the journey that lay ahead. I honestly couldn’t imagine. I smiled at my husband, amused at his behaviour. It was the first time that I had seen him so excited about anything.
I gave him a peck on his cheek, telling him playfully to calm down.
He grinned back at me as he locked up, ready to go to bed. We had just switched the lounge lights off when the doorbell rang, and he looked at me, confused.
“Visitors?” He asked, frowning. It was getting a bit late, but we didn’t mind.
Umar went to the intercom and hastily answered. I watched his expression change as I put on my pardah, and he finally put the receiver down.
“Has,” he said, looking a bit surprised. “It’s your cousin.”
My cousin? I looked at him, confused. Which cousin?
“It’s Tasneem,” he said. “She’s coming up.”
Author’s Note: As family and friends prepare themselves for the journey of a lifetime, I’m sure that many of us also get that longing to be there. We all feel that natural inclination to the Holy Lands, to hear the resonating chants of ‘Labbaik’ and sleep under the sky at Muzdalifah. Though our call may not yet be there, remember that our Allah is Most Merciful. He will not deprive us, even if we are not on those planes of Arafaat in body, we can still gain those rewards.
SubhaanAllah. There are no other words.
The Reward of Haj
There are several deeds which Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam has equated to the reward of Haj. Those who are not undertaking the Haj journey, may reap the reward of Haj by virtue of the following deeds:
1. Wudhu at home before attending Congregational Salaah:
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam has stated: “One who purifies himself (makes Wudhu) and leaves his home to attend the Fardh Salaah in congregation, receives the reward of a Haji in the state of Ihram, and if he leaves for the Salaatud-Dhuhaa (Chaast), he gets the reward of Umrah.” (Abu Dawud)
2. Salaatul Ishraaq:
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam has stated: “Whoever offers his Fajr Salaah in congregation, and then remains seated making the Zikr of Allah until (approximately 15 mins after) sunrise after which he offers two Rakaats of Salaah (Ishraaq), will receive the reward of one complete Haj and one complete Umrah.” (Sunan Tirmidhi)
3. Going to the Masjid to acquire Knowledge:
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam has stated: “Whoever goes to the Masjid for the purpose of learning or teaching Knowledge, receives the reward of a Haji whose Haj was perfect.” (Tabarani)
4. Serving one’s parents:
Sayyiduna Anas Radhiyallahu Anhu reports that a man came to Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam and said: “I wish to participate in Jihad, but I cannot afford it.” Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam enquired if any of his parents were alive, to which he replied, “Yes! My mother is alive.” Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said: “Show Allah how you serve her. If you do so you will be like a Haji, a Mu’tamir (one performing Umrah) and a Mujaahid.” (Targheeb)
Note: The promises of “Reward of Haj” are restricted to the reward only. It does not mean that the compulsory Haj will be fulfilled by these deeds. (Sharh-Nawawi)
Reminder for Mission Sunnah Revival. We hope that everyone is trying to implement, Insha Allah.
#ReciteQur’anDaily – at least a quarter
P.S. Insha Allah, next post on Monday.