So far, I have published six posts on my Hajj experience. The total word count is exactly 5,821 words. I hope the posts were insightful and entertaining to you.
Many people asked me: How did you come up with this idea: writing about your Hajj experience? Well, here is the secret.
I never thought about it. All the credit should go to my good friend Bu Adam. He called me one day before I left to Hajj. The conversation went something like this:
Alikum Al Salam.
I apologize for not being able to visit you tonight as I am tied up with a prior commitment. I replied: It is ok. Don’t worry about it.
He then said: I have a small request from you.
I said: Sure, go ahead. I’ll do anything for you.
I want you to update us with what is happening in Hajj through Face Book feeds. Everyday if you write a small update, it will be fantastic. We will love it.
I retorted: No way, I am going to Hajj, I am not going to become a journalist. Besides, I will need time, a laptop and a connection to do all this.
He said: Please Mohamed. I know you can do it.
I said: I’ll do my best. But deep inside me, I thought this idea will destroy my Hajj Journey Devotion.
After I have finished the Umrah Rituals, I found out that the Hajj Agent Management made available to us four laptops and a Wi-Fi connection. When I saw this, I thought, man, now, you do not have any excuse. Just write few updates to make your friend wish come true.
Accordingly, on 8 November 2010, after the morning prayers, I sat down in the reception area and typed in the first Hajj post entitled: The Journey Begins. It was 1,000 plus words so I could not upload it in one Face Book entry. That’s when I remembered that my good friend Steve uses WordPress.Com to publish his blog entries. I immediately signed up and learned its basics to publish my first blog ever.
And this is how it all started. Thanks a lot Bu Adam and Steve for the inspiration.
As soon as some Pilgrims knew about the blog, they got very excited. Some people started reading it and some asked me whether I mentioned their names in the Blog! The Scholars liked the idea and encouraged me to write more articles. I will never forget the Scholar who told me: If the laptops downstairs are busy, you could use mine to write your articles. Another Scholar encouraged me to translate these articles into Arabic to achieve the maximum reach in terms of prospective readers.
With all this encouragement, I was fully charged. I was fired up. I was resolute to encapsulate my Hajj experience through these articles to serve as: My First Hajj Journey Diary. It is my habit to record significant happenings whenever I travel. This time, I took it a step further.
Now, the second question is: How this writing about Hajj will finish?
This is a very interesting question and I hope to give you a very interesting answer.
I will stop posting more entries on Hajj. Instead, I will continue to write several Hajj articles to document my Hajj experience for future references. The idea of writing about Hajj is more developed now. My plan is to publish an entire book about Hajj. I have been thinking about this for some time. The book will be different from the posts in many ways:
- It will be more detailed of what happened before, during and after Hajj.
- It will be sharing the names of the Pilgrims.
- It will include more pictures.
- It will be more educational, especially for non-Muslims who are interested in knowing more about Rituals of Hajj.
My target is to publish the English version of the book in the third quarter of 2011. In addition, I will target publishing the Arabic version in the first quarter of 2012. I pray to God that He gives the strength, patience and the inspiration to achieve these targets.
If you have ideas to be included in the book, please leave me a comment. Likewise, if you know any company that could sponsor the design and printing of the book, please do let me know.
I will keep you posted on the development of the book.
May God bless you.