Thursday, December 16, 2004

a journey

Labbaik Allah hummalakalabbaik,
Labbaikala syarikalakalabbaik.
Innalhamda wannikmata lakawal mulk.
La syarikalak.

Tomorrow is the second day of Zulqaedah 1425 H. Tomorrow is the day I will set out to make the journey I had awaited for years, to be once again in the House of Allah and the City of Rasulullah. This time I pray that I would be welcomed as His guest, a soul among a few million other guests, a soul from among over a billion that proclaim ‘There is no god but Allah’. I pray that I will be welcomed to fulfill the fifth and the final pillars of Islam. If the last time was for a visit, performing the umrah, a small optional pilgrimage, this time it would be for the obligatory finale.

I could not imagine in the true sense how insignificant one would be among the millions, how small a man in the vastness of Arafah. But I will be there InsyaAllah; in a moment where a peasant and a king is garbed in physically similar garment of two pieces of white cloth, sans any sewing, calling out the same ‘talbiah’ – Labbaik Allah; where everyone an equal in the eye of Allah.
Once I had stood on the roof of Masjidil Haram, looking below at the Kaabah; I saw the circumbulation like that of an endless swirl of water, flowing from the edges, drawn towards the center, circling and after a while flowing out again. The flow in, the circling, and the flow out again happening ever continuously one can’t guess which was the beginning or which was the end. Not a moment has the flow halted but for the time of prayer. But then the halt was like a momentary pause before the flowing and circling begin yet again.

Soon, it will be time for Haj again. A ritual of a thousand and four hundreds of years will be performed again. Some say that it was the same ritual performed by angels since the beginning of time. All as a mark of obedience. Whatever one had seen at the time of umrah, will be too minute compared to the happening of Haj, people say.

I pray that I will be there.

No comments: