The Pilgrimage started with the mandatory body wash, it is not a regular shower, you need to wash the body parts in a certain order, besides it has a spiritual element to it. When you wash, you should believe your sins are being washed away.
After the wash, you are not allowed to wear regular cloth; just two pieces of white cloths, one to cover the upper body parts and the other to cover the lower part from the waist down, and yes, no under wear please.
Once you wear these cloths, you are prohibited from enjoying several worldly pleasures such as using perfumes, wearing jewelry, shaving, kissing your better half and looking at the mirror!
The color is significant because it signifies purity and peace. It also signifies starting a new life. We believe that if you perform the Pilgrimage, we get a great gift from God – all our sins are deleted and this is what every Muslim desires because having no sins will help us in getting the ultimate gift from God – Jannah or Heaven. In a nutshell, when you perform Hajj you click on alt+del+control to start a fresh life.
It is important to note that, all men must wear identical cloths, so that all men regardless of their backgrounds, social status, or color, feel they are equal in the eyes of God. The only distinguishing feature of men and women in the eyes of God is their Good Deeds they do in their life.
We left home to airport at 3 pm, my brother, my cousin and Uncle dropped us to the airport. Bidding farewell to our children Dana and Abdulla was tough. Dana hugged me tightly for a prolonged period; everyone cried. I played tough, I cried within. When you leave to Hajj, you bid farewell to your family and friends as if you will not see them again especially when you are wearing the white cloths – these are the very same cloths my successors will use when the wrap me and prepare me for my eternal sleep until the day of judgement.
Just wearing the two pieces of white cloths is so deep, it teaches you a great lesson, when you leave this world, you not only leave your family and friends behind you but you also you leave everything else in terms of money, properties, your job title, your status and every material thing you collected during this life. Here we learn so many lessons.
Hajj makes you evaluate your entire life in terms of priorities and it forces you to ask so many important questions:
– When I die, will anyone remember me?
– If he or she does remember me, what will I be remembered for?
– Did I investment the time God gave to me during my life?
– An the list goes on and on ….
Have you ever thought about these questions before? If not, it is better to start thinking about these questions regardless of your religion from now!
We left Bahrain at 7 pm; thanks to connection, we were upgraded to business class.
I enjoyed a great grilled fish and some well steamed vegetables.
During the flight, we read a small booklet on the spiritual aspects of Hajj; some real deep thoughts and concepts. I was blown away. I always realized Hajj goes beyond the physical activities and rituals but never this deep.
We reached Saudi Arabi at Jeddah Hajj Terminal around 9pm, we were delayed significantly by the immigration procedures and the baggage collection.
It was a great lesson in patience. One of the many lessons you learn in Hajj. Most people are impatient and get irritated easily by trivial matters. Reflect back in your life to see if you experience this, chances if you did, your small problems became very big!
The baggage collection was an experience. We were totally lost. There were no signs on which belt will have our bags and no one to ask. During this, we made new friends and demonstrated great level of team spirit. Everyone volunteered to help others.
Another lesson from Hajj: Together, we achieve more!
I felt irritated due to something I heard next to the immigration counter, it is something I least expected to hear during the Hajj season – the season of human equality. It went something like this: You go back to the end of the Q, we will process Bahraini passengers first and then your country!”
What a shame !
We finished collecting the baggage around mid night.
Then we faced another challenge and test of patience. Some four passengers were lost in the crowd. We searched for them left, right and center – found nothing. I know what you are thinking, why didn’t you just call them? We did. An this what we got many times: The number you are calling is out of reach. Thank God we found them.
We left the Terminal only around 1 in the morning in Big Blue Bus. The seats were a bit tight. We had little area of motion for our feet but it was ok, our patience level grow as we proceeded in the journey.
We started the Journey with the usual Pilgrims Recital: Oh God here we come, Oh God, we believe you are the only God.
We went through many check points mainly for the officials to check if we are properly licensed. It was an amazing gesture when in one point, the official distributed the blessed Zam Zam Water. If you are not familiar with Zam Zam Water, google it!
We reached the Holy City of Mecca and began to notice some familiar scenes such as the houses on the mountains, the many road tunnels and Pilgrims walking in the streets. We reached the area of the Grand Masjid and I saw the Glorious new Mecca Clock Tower, it stands tall among other towers in the area, it overlooks the Masjid so if you stay in the tower you will be privileged to see some majestic views of the Masjid.
We did not stop at the Masjid because all the Pilgrims were so tired after our very long journey. But I think I speak for myself and many other Pilgrims, if we were given the chance to visit the Masjid, we would do so gladly because the moment we saw the structure of the Masjid our exhaustion evaporated immediately. It is just like traveling far away and being so tired and then you meet so one you love. I am sure you experience this great
If you think this write up is long, think again. This is the summary of a 13 hours journey from Bahrain to Mecca ! We left home at 3pm and reached at 4am!
I hope you found it informative and made you experience to some extent what I have experienced.