As Hajj season gets closer, I feel a myriad of emotions upon me that I just can’t seem to explain. So instead, I’ll take you back with me on a journey that I embarked upon a year ago:
February 2004: As people left for Hajj in 2004, every time I said bye to someone who was going, I felt this constant ache which kept getting worse with each goodbye. I was envious. I wanted to go! And as cheesy as it may sound, I felt a ‘calling’. For years of my life I always thought that I would eventually want to go when the time was right. Suddenly, it felt right! It was time.
March 2004: Talked to my sister and told her that I really wanted to go. Upon further discussions, she was convinced and she decided it was time for her too. Next thing you know, a total of 6 family members made the decision to go to Hajj 2005.
May 2004: The decision was made. Am I really going to do this? It’s not a small thing. With Hajj come a lot more responsibilities. This is a turning point in my life. To me, this isn’t something that I’ll do now and then come back from it the same person who left. Was I really ready for this shift? I thought I was.. but that’s not good enough! I had to be sure!
June 2004: Yes, of course I’m ready.. actually I’m ecstatic and excited. I can’t wait to go to Bait Allah & join the millions of others to fulfill one of our religious duties towards Allah. Listen up everyone, I’m going to Hajj! I’m going to be Hajjiyah!!!!!
September 2004: I’ve always said I would at7ajab before going to Hajj; that this is how I wanted to face Rabbee when I went to Him asking Him to forgive all my sins. This means I only have a little more than 3 months before I have to put on the 7ejab. To me, this is no joke. Once the 7ejab is on, it’s on for good! Am I worthy of wearing it? I don’t want to wear it as a symbol. I don’t want to wear it the way I see many women do, casually! I want to wear it as a sign of conviction, of belief, of succumbing to a greater cause.
October 2004: That’s it, it’s almost final. We’ve paid the deposit to the 7emla we’re going with. This is happening! It’s real! I’m FREAKED OUT now. I’m not ready. I’m not ready for this. I want to be, but this is such a huge responsibility. What if I’m not up to it? What if I fail? I can’t fail!! Failure is not an option! I’m scared out of my mind!
December 2004: It’s happening soon. I can barely breathe! I can’t think of anything other than this. I’m going to face Allah and live up to all of the mistakes of my past. I am going to face my Maker and ask him to not only forgive me for those mistakes, but to believe that I am a better person now; that I will not continue down the wrong path!
January 17, 2005: I put on my 7ejab for the first time and declare to my mother that I am now officially met7ajba! We get our things ready and head out. We’re on our way to
Stay tuned for part II: The Pilgrimage!