Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Life-Long Dream To Perform The Pilgrimage

24 September 2009, Thursday (5 Syawal)

Today, I feel really great.  I'm 10% done to fulfill my lifelong dream of performing the haj.  After numerous obstacles in the past, both my husband I finally managed to go to the Tabung Haji office in Jalan TAR to register ourselves as prospective pilgrims.

Only those who have the strong urge and true calling from God, I think, will know the sweet and wonderful feeling of making that first attempt to go through the ritual which is one of the five pillars in Islam.

Haj is one of the requirements of Islam. It is an exercise in mental, physical and spiritual endurance that is exclusive to Islam. Not many religions can boast of a ritual as complete as Haj, which is a lifestyle by itself.

Haj is meant to show a deep, spiritual bond between the Almighty and the person performing Haj. At the same time, there is a strong practical aspect in which each Muslim interacts with thousands of people around him. 

During Haj, a person has to abstain from many worldly activities and concentrate single-mindedly on the purpose of being present to the bidding of God.

Islam teaches us to live together and care for each other. In Haj, Muslims of diverse ethnic origins come together for one purpose - to submit to the will of Allah. 

No person is distinct from the other by caste, creed, color, race or sect. Every man wears two pieces of unstitched cloth at Haj so there is no indication of status or wealth. Islam preaches equality among humans, and one sees this in effect at Haj.

Haj, therefore, is an act of worship that reinvigorates us, filling us with a new Islamic spirit and vigor. It is meant to show the solidarity of Islam, and strengthen the filial bond cemented by one faith.

Haj is performed by millions of Muslims at the same time, so they require patience, perseverance and a strong faith.

I'm looking forward to the day when I can start attending classes for prospective pilgrims and indeed am looking forward to the day when I can have my first look at the Ka'aba which will emblazon across my heart and mind. 

Performance of Haj, I hope will change my outlook on life. I pray that it will give me wonderful insight into my soul and also strengthen my acute awareness of the world around me. 

I pray fervently to Allah to grant my wish to perform the pilgrimage, hopefully by next year.  Insyallah.

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