Alhumdulillah Umrah was a profoundlyly personal and introspective experience at all levels. I thought to myself that it would be so neat to share what it was like through a detailed post but I quickly realized that no form of expression could truly capture what it felt like to revisit Madinah al Munawwarah, see the Ka’ba, and just have the opportunity to exist for a few days on the lands that changed the course of history. I could write an endless post and it wouldn’t do justice. Nevertheless, a few gems are still beneficial to share :)
- There are so many Muslims who wait their entire lives to make Hajj and visit the two most blessed cities in the eyes of Allah, so when Allah (swa) chooses you and provides the means/opportunity to go .. GO! No vacation spot, resort, etc. can come close to being in the presence of believers in the city of the Prophet (salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) and the Haramain. Wallahi nothing comes close.
- I will never forgot the absolutely impeccable adab / manners, generosity, and humility of all the people who helped us throughout our journey .. from the airport, to the hotels, the bazars, streets. May Allah (swa) envelop them in his mercy and grant them ease in this life and the next.
- I thought long and hard about the du’a to make upon seeing the Ka’ba, and I eventually decided to make as sincere of a du’a as possible for Allah (swa) to make me one of His chosen people, and among those who truly thanks Allah (swa) because of the many mentions in the Qur’an of how few people thank Allah. May Allah accept the du’a and make us all among His chosen creation, whom He uses in the path of good works. Ameen. In the words of Farooq bhai, “Allah apney bando mey sey chunai karte hain, aur hamari sabsi barri khaysh ho ni chahi ye key Allah hame apney chunne ve bandon mey sey banaa ley.” (sorry, don’t have an urdu keyboard)
- Being in Madina, the realization that every part of Madina has shifa’ .. the water of Madina has shifa’, the dirt of Madina has shifa’, the air of Madinah has shifa’. <3
- One’s love for the Messenger of Allah (salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) skyrockets in his city. The seerah comes to life :)
- Hearing Sh. Budair (hafidhahullah) recite these exact ayaat in salah in Madina was quite possibly the most memorable salah I have prayed to date! The ayaat + the significance of where I was standing and the meanings of each word he recited.. Allahu Akbar.
- When we are extra cautious about our gaze, Allah (swa) provides a special type of halawah / sweetness in one’s ‘ibadah that is felt and experienced deeply.
- Seeing the mountains and dry lands in Saudi, one develops a visceral connection with the challenges our Messenger (salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) faced and the Sahaba. Leaving their homes, traveling long distances over some of the most difficult terrain, it’s as though they were not made for this world and only had their eyes set on Allah’s promise and pleasure. On the way to Makkah, I thought to myself .. “wow, there is really no other reason a person would visit here except to for the sake of Allah!”
- We had the opportunity to see the well ‘Uthman (radhiallahu ‘anh) bought for the Muslims. It’s really incredible to think of how many times ‘Uthman (ra) had the tawfiq and opportunity to be told that he was guaranteed Jannah. The number of times he used his wealth in the path of Allah without hesitation and his overwhelming mahabba for Allah and His Messenger (saw).
- We also passed by the exact location where Rasulullah (salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) planted the palm trees to free Salman al Farisi. Reflecting upon his boundless love and energy to support the believers in times of difficulty..
- Seeing so many believers making intense du’as at every moment, every hour of the day, seeking only from their Creator and putting their trust in Him, renews one’s Iman immediately. We had a lovely opportunity to make du’a in Madinah while it started raining and just seeing everyone raise their hands for du’a standing anywhere outside.. you can’t help but feel strong. When we know Allah exists and He answers the call of His believers, we should never feel weak.
- Almost everywhere you go, you hear people making dhikr, sending salwat/peace and blessings upon the Prophet. This is something you miss so much upon returning home, but remembering that experience of being in a constant state of dhikr can help us stay connected to it.
- One of the new reciters I heard in the streets of Madina has now been on autoplay since returning .. Sh. Khalid Al Jalil
Left part of my heart in Madina, may Allah make it so we can make Umrah every year without fail, ameen. <3
– Fi Amanillah-
P.S.: When packing for Umrah, pack LOTS of sabr. :) (corny but important)