It was the most mesmerising 5 weeks of my life. It was also the most testing 5 weeks of my life. The tests, the hardships? None of that mattered. None of that mattered when I first saw the ka'aba. I used to sit for hours in the blistering heat just gazing at the ka'abah and pondering about the heavens and the earth. Thinking about my life. How it was spent and what needed to be done. The hereafter; what is yet to come. My circles of friends. My relationships with people. How I used to view the world and wider societal issues.
Then there were the 3 superstars of the Ummah there. Sheikh Sudais, Maher and last, definitely not least Salah Al-Budair. 3 of my favourite reciters. I will never forget the Salah's I stood with these men. They brought the Qur'an to life. They brought my teachings to life. From the very little arabic I understood and all my tafsir studies, it was nigh on impossible to stand in Salah without devotion, fear, obedience, happiness and tranquillity.
My baby feet 2 hours after landing in a neighbouring arab country:
I knew it was going to uphill struggle from here.
In the first week I must have walked over 60 miles, yes my feet were on their way out. Over the 5 week period, I must have walked over 200 miles.
I exceeded my expectations in ibaadah. I did much more umrah's and tawaaf's than I estimated.
I met some amazing people on my journey. Made some really good friends and I met a few notable characters from around the world.
I found clarity, peace and some answers I went looking for.
The number of people exceeded hajj according to pilgrams who had done hajj several times.
It's amazing. At Salah it's the only place in the world where millions of people stop talking. All you can hear are the birds above the ka'abah.
I miss it. I truly do. It's been 3 weeks since I've been back and I'm finding it difficult getting back into the swing of things.
I really wish I could share some experiences, I have enough to write tons on but I've noticed this blog is getting some serious hits from where I reside. If there's one thing I've learnt, word travels very quickly.
Anonymity is a real pain at times.