“Stay away from malicious gossip and fake words" (Qur'an 68;11).
Labbayk Allahuma Labbayk, Labbayka Laa Shareeka laka Labbayk, Innal hamda, wan ni’mata, laka wal mulk, laa shareeka lak
Here I am, O Allaah, here I am. Here I am, You have no partner, here I am. Verily all praise and blessings are Yours, and all sovereignty, You have no partner
With all thanks to Allah, I had the oppourtunity to go on ‘Umrah, a visit to the Ka’bah (holy masjid) in Makkah. It was an incredible experience which as they describe, “words cannot explain.” I wish to share a few memories and gems I picked up on the trip with you.
As we arrived in Madinah and completed checking in our hotel, there was a loud sound coming from afar. “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar!” It was the call to Fajr (dawn prayer). We, the grade 12 students of ISNA High School, headed towards Masjid An-Nabawi (The mosque of the Prophet). It was almost the perfect scene. My heart was filled with serenity. Everywhere you look, people of various colours and ages would calmly be approaching the mosque in hopes of fulfilling the same one goal; submitting to the one God. Our guide, principal and Imam, Abdul Aziz, told us to keep in mind how grateful we should be for this opportunity. “Haya’la Al-Falaah- Rush to success” the muaddhin (caller to prayer) recited and I reflected on how behind every successful achievement in life, are the loving and supporting people who help you get there. After thanking Allah, my parents and family were in my prayers for a very long duration. No matter how much we do, we’ll never be able to repay them.
Reality of this World
One day after Fajr, a few of my friends and I went to help with the burial of a few babies who passed away. Everyone wanted their turn of carrying the baby to the graveyard. You could only hold it for a few seconds before someone would be asking for a turn. There’s nothing like it, holding a dead body in your arms and realizing that one day you too, will be carried in someone else’s arms, dead. The reality of this world is that we will all die. “Every soul shall taste death” (3:185). “And no soul perceives in what land it shall die.” Helping with the burial was an experience I recommend each and every person take part in.
With all the hardships of the trip and the sacrifices one must make such as wealth and time, a person’s true colours really do come out. Are you able to still keep a smile and refrain from complaining? Are you willing to put your convenience on the line to provide comfort to others? One of the key characteristic traits I witnessed on this trip was humility. Certain people would do so much such as reading the Qur’an, donating money, fasting, and sacrificing sleep to fulfill acts of worship and yet keep silent about these acts. It is unfortunate to see few individuals develop an ego due to the numerous acts of worship they engage in. The problem does not only start there but continues when they belittle others for not doing the same acts. This is kibr and can really screw with your sincerity. Do not put down others just because they may seem like they are not as serious as you when it comes to Islam. Rather, be a source of encouragement and work off their positives so that they may improve more efficiently.
Be the one who ignites the spark of fire in your friend, not the one who puts out his last flame.
Those you surround yourself around will have an influence over you, whether directly or indirectly. I spent this journey with some fantastic people. I also reflected on those who really meant something to me back here in Canada. Keep those who matter close, and stop trying to earn the approval for those who do not appreciate you. Those who do not appreciate you, do not matter in your life. Sometimes, we try so hard on winning the hearts of those who do not appreciate our efforts, that we slowly distance ourselves from those who really count. Get over the people who mistreat you, they’re not worth your time.
I pray you and I get the opportunity to perform ‘Umrah in the near future. I hope you benefited from reading and are inspired to go sometime soon. Thank you for reading. God bless. Oh, and I got bald.