They say that one doesn’t really plan to go for Hajj, but one is called to it by the Almighty. I certainly hope that’s true, because if so, myself, Arifa (my wife) and Ali (my brother) have graciously accepted the Lord’s invitation and would be taking off for Madina from Mumbai 5 AM, Monday morning.
We’re certainly looking VERY much forward to it. No doubt Hajj is an highly spiritual uplifting experience. In fact that’s an understatement. To witness the prostration of two million people simultaneously, each one bowing his head till it touches the ground and that too doing that 5 times a day is an image that can shake one’s inner-self to tears. Ofcouse it’s not all prayers and supplications. There’s a whole lot of socialising too. I think it’s only on Hajj that one actually gets the full flavour of diversity present in mankind. From the Africans, to the Europeaons, to the Chinese, to the Turks….all present in full glory. Each wearing their best attitude…smiling, greeting, hugging at every opportunity. I made some of my very best friends on my last Hajj trip 4 years ago and I’m eagerly awaiting to make some this year.
Yes…it’s a once in a life time experience. For me it’s also because this is the only time my mother (and my wife) would not object in shaving my head bald :-)
Do pray for our safe return…(however when you’re there sometimes return is the last thing on your mind). And we’ll certainly remember you all in our prayers.