In this post, I have attempted to put my incredible experience of Hajj in a series of ultra short videos, to hopefully inspire you to one day take the same journey, realizing that words and videos cannot do justice to accurately reflect on the inspirational-high I felt.
To say that my Hajj was an amazing experience is the understatement of my life. It was physically the most demanding trip I have ever undertaken, yet the most uplifting by far. From the calmness of Medina to the hectic life around Ka’aba in Mecca, on to the tent cities of Arafat and Mina, it was truly an unforgettable journey.
I was part a group of 30 people from my local Islamic center. We prayed together, slept next to each other in the tents, ate together, and got sick together.
I took hundreds of pictures and captured hours worth of video clips every step of the way. I am sharing some videos at each step to hopefully give you a glimpse of what it was like, realizing that the words and the videos will never capture the way I felt- how everyone else in our group felt and how deeply we were touched by this amazing journey.
We had many sessions where we reflected upon our own experiences and how the journey has changed our lives. Everyone described how the experience has made them more humble, patient, calm(er) and brought them close(er) to God Almighty. They all felt “so light” as if a heavy burden was lifted from their shoulders.
Seeing a sea of people from all around the world in the same simple, white pieces of cloth, no matter where they came from, what race they belonged to and regardless of their socio-economic status- all with the common goal of seeking nearness to the Almighty.
Walking in the same grounds as Prophets Muhammad, his family and his companions, as well as Prophets Abraham and Ishmael and Hagar (Hajira) in Makkah, Medina and the surrounding areas was truely a dream come true, though I found myself pinching at times..
We returned feeling like we are like new-born- all eager to start a new life with a a heightened focus on being the best we can be as husbands and wives, as brothers and sisters, as neighbors, as one community, and as human beings.
This post is more about sharing my experience through videos rather than words. I would admit though that I wish that even my worst enemy would have the same experience and incredible feelings I had during this journey. To maintain the brevity, I am only posting a very small number of the videos I captured.
First Stop: Medina
I had already posted about Medina while I was in Medina on my blog, therefore I would only share one additional video on this post. This one is from inside the mosque of the Prophet(Masjid e Nabwi).
I am at Riazul Jennah(also pronounced Riadhul Jennah). This literally means land of the paradise. It is thought to be a piece of paradise on earth, and Muslims crowd each other to pray two Rak’ah in this spot and ask for God’s forgiveness, as we are taught that just one Rak’ah (when you bow down in ritual prayer) is worth 1,000 of prayers. To get to secure a slot here for few minutes was a struggle in itself as all pilgrims strive to get to this place, which is no more than about 1000 square feet, extending from the Prophet Muhammad’s gravesite to his pulpit.
Next Stop -Wearing Ihram