My heart started pounding faster and deeper in my chest as we walked past the crowds, bare foot on the hard tiled floors. Faces of people from all over the world filled my vision and the sounds of different languages and dhikr (remembrance of Allah) rang through my ears.
We were drawing nearer to the moment I had been waiting so long for. We walked through a seemingly never-ending path, trying our best to find empty spaces of marble between the masses to step through.
And then, before I even had a chance to gasp . . . . . . there it was.
I could see it though the solid marble pillars, a ray of sunlight reflected from the Arabic gold text, shining on the rich black cloth. My heart skipped a beat and then sunk deep in my chest with awe. I could not believe my eyes, it did not seem real. Tears started streaming down my face uncontrollably as though this was the first time I had ever shed a tear.
As we drew closer and finally emerged in to the open air, there it was in full view. . The Ka’bah
Standing on the steps in the Harem, I had to blink several times to check that I was not dreaming. My mind turned back to the many pictures, images and videos I had seen of this magnificent place, it was hard to believe where I actually was. It took several minutes to adjust and to reorient to my surroundings subhanAllah, the intensity of that moment was so overwhelming.
And then, I felt my heart slowly start to lighten, the paradox was perplexing. I cannot think of a time when my heart felt lighter in my chest as it did that day. As though suddenly, all the pains and difficulties of this life were meaningless and had been lifted.
Fresh tears began to trickle down my face as I stood there overtaken with an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and thankfulness for everything that I had been blessed with in my life and everything I had achieved by the will of Allah (swt). I felt nothing but complete bliss in those moments, followed shortly by a deep sense of guilt for everything that I still needed to improve on. My purpose in life was clearer than it had ever been before…
This life and everything in it is temporary, we will all die one day. The real question is, have we prepared enough for the next eternal one?
Written by Naimah Umm Hafsah
SubhanAllah, I wrote this when I went on Hajj in 2009 and even when I read this now, 10 years later, it brings fresh tears to my eyes! Ya Rabb, invite us all to your house again to experience the awakening of our hearts in your blessed land!