12 Aug 2020

My First Hajj Experience

By Tim Randle

I completed my Hajj in 2019/1440AH, Alhamdulillah. The following are my reflections, thoughts and personal experiences that I have gathered from my trip.

Hajj, an experience that cannot be explained with a few words. A completion, a fulfillment and a form of Ibadah that has reward in abundance if accepted by the Almighty. An opportunity of which can never be challenged by any other. Going through an emotional rollercoaster as you perform your worship whilst holding onto your patience as you are constantly tested.

The main objective in completing your Hajj is to attain your fulfillment in one of the pillars of Islam, and to attain the rewards from the Most Generous. Ibadah is the central focus for a believer when performing Hajj, however the physical and mental aspect of Hajj plays a huge role in sculpting the outcome of your reward. Understanding that you will be taking yourself away from the normal day-to-day life to worship your lord, constantly facing challenges, but holding back on falling into sin to give yourself the best chance of your Hajj being accepted.

From the moment I placed my foot outside the door of my house, the tests had began. I found myself questioning my intentions, my ability to complete and if I don’t do it, will I be able to do it ever again? As you drive through the desert towards each ritual landmark, arriving in a short amount of time, you question, “how long would it have taken the companions and their descendants?” A short reminder that followed me through my Hajj is that “The tests we face are minute in comparison to the people of the past, and complaining will only deprive you of the rewards Hajj provides”.

Personal Story: I was struck by a big test in Hajj, of which involved me breaking my toe. It was on my way to Jamarat (Stoning), where I tripped on the back of somebody’s shoe. I was heartbroken, I sat on a curb near the incident, and pondered upon the fact I may not be able to complete my Hajj. A very kind brother offered to take my stones and complete it. However, I managed to salvage some painkillers and persued in completing the stoning. My toe then affected me throughout the rest of the trip, but I had to remind myself of my purpose and continued with what I had to complete.

The most remembered and cherished day of Hajj was Arafat, a day of which holds the most value. The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم)said; “ The Hajj is ‘Arafat” [1]. The day may be hot, your khushoo’ may wander and you may become tired but this day may never come again. My experience of Arafat was different to what I had seen on the television, where millions are swarming the plains of Arafat. You arrive in coordination with your tent from Mina and placed together in another tent at Arafat. Immediately after the Dhuhr salah, the believers find their spots for worship and begin their Ibadah all the way till sunset. Once the Adhaan for Maghrib is called, the day is finished, and the major right for Hajj is complete. A very warm sense of Imaan emerges as you prepare yourself for the final days in Mina.

I cannot stress enough the importance of establishing the correct mindset before attending Hajj, emotionally and physically. Having tests and trials throughout Hajj shows the reason why Allah (SWT) chose this as a pillar of the deen. It shows the true beauty of the religion, seeing Muslims in the millions, from across the world all there for the same purpose. To complete the pillar of their religion and to attain the pleasure of The Almighty.

[1] – https://sunnah.com/urn/639670