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A Common Man’s Hajj – Day to Day Recount of Hajj 2019 – Part 1
I seek refuge in Allah against the devil, damned
I begin with the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent; the Most Merciful
“My Lord! Expand for me my breast (with assurance); and ease for me my task; and untie the knots from my tongue; that they may understand my speech.” Aameen. (surah Taha)
“All Praise be to Allah; And to Him Alone belongs All Grandeur within the Heavens and the Earth; and He is the Exalted in Might; the Wise. He is Allah, other than Whom there is no deity; Knower of the unseen, and the witnessed. He is the Entirely Merciful; the Especially Merciful. He is Allah, other than Whom there is no deity; the Sovereign; the Pure; the Perfection; the Bestower of faith; the Overseer; the Exalted in Might; the Compeller; the Superior; Exalted is Allah, above whatever they associate with Him. He is Allah, the Creator, the Inventor, the Fashioner; to Him belong the Best Names; whatever is in the Heavens and Earth is Exalting Him; and He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.” (surah Al Hashr)
“O’ Allah! Pray to Mohammad and the Family of Mohammad, as You prayed to Ibrahim and the Family of Ibrahim; Indeed, You are Praiseworthy and Honorable. O’ Allah! Bless Mohammad and the Family of Mohammad, as You Blessed Ibrahim and the Family of Ibrahim; Indeed, You are Praiseworthy and Honorable.”
Allah Says in surah Al-Ahzab. “Mohammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the Messenger of Allah, and Last of the Prophets; And ever is Allah, of all things, Knowing”. He Says further, “Indeed, Allah confers Blessings upon the Prophet, and His Angels (ask Him to do so). O’ you who have believed, ask (Allah to confer) Blessings upon Him and ask (Allah to grant him) peace’’.
And so, it became mandatory for us to send prayers and blessings upon our most highly respected and revered Prophet, Hazrat Mohammad (peace be upon him).
May Allah accept our recitations, our actions, our deeds, and our efforts which are never free from faults, with His Grand Grace. Aameen.
The original manuscript is in Urdu; and except couple of last pages, was written while sitting in Haram Shareef; and almost all of it was written while sitting in Mataf. Ka’aba tul Musharrafah was in front and in sight. I cannot pay enough gratitude to Allah for bestowing upon me such great Blessing.
Allah is ‘Samad’ and is Worthy of All Grace and Glory.
Asrar Ahmad Qureshi
A Common Man’s Hajj – Day to Day Recount of Hajj 2019 – Part 2
Today is 14 August 2019; 13 Zilhajj 1440; the day is Wednesday; time is 11:46 in the morning.
I had reached Haram Shareef a little while ago; just completed a Tawaf. Allah granted Tawaf to me inside the Mataf. I am sitting here; Ka’aba tul Musharrafah is in sight. I prayed to Allah and asked for His Permission and have started writing this.
Yesterday, on 12th Zilhajj, we performed the third Rami and left Mina. We walked all the way to get to our residence at Aziziah (Makkah). We have another three weeks till our departure back to Pakistan. So, it is us, and Haram Shareef, and Baitullah. May Allah Grant us energy and focus to spend most of this time here and busy in His Zikr.
By Allah’s Grace, I and my wife had performed Hajj in 2005. I used to be employed in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia at that time, and we performed Hajj as local residents. We went from Jeddah to Mina on the evening of 7th Zilhajj and returned on the night of 12th Zilhajj. The group arrangements were highly organized and all Manasiks were done comfortably.
Allah is Extremely Kind. My wife and I later went for Umrah in 2013, 2015, and 2017. By the sequence, we were due to go in Jan/Feb 2019. However, my wife passed away on 17 February, after a rather brief illness. May Allah Grant her with His Forgiveness and His Best Blessings. Aameen.
It was a huge loss, but life goes on inexorably.
Sometime around the end of February, I had gone to main market Gulberg (Lahore). The banners for submission of Hajj applications under government scheme were displayed over all banks. I went inside the Bank AlHabib branch. I did not keep my account in this branch of bank AlHabib, but I had visited it earlier for Biometry. On that occasion, the Operations Manager Munib Ahmad treated me with utmost respect and facilitated me going out of his way. I really appreciated it. May Allah Bless him. Aameen.
Munib was still there and recognized me. I told him I intended to apply for Hajj. It was a spur-of-the-moment thing as I had not planned for it earlier. He gave me forms and instructions, which I brought home and filled. The medical report was very kindly facilitated by a very respectable doctor. Two days later, I went back to the bank and submitted the forms along with the required attachments.
I prayed to Allah; My Lord! It is not my privilege to request you to grant me permission for Hajj, as You had bestowed this privilege upon me earlier. However, if You Grant me this Blessing, it is entirely Your Grace and Kindness.
There is an old lady who asks for something some time, and then offers lot of prayers. In the next few days, she called me for something; I said it will be done. She said, “May Allah Grant you Hajj”; paused for a moment and then said “again”. I felt strange, but sort of happy. Strange because I had never told her my Hajj plan; happy because it felt good to hear.
By the Grand Grace of Allah, I received the good news about success in draw from Ministry of Religious Affairs (MORA) after a few days.
We can never be able to pay enough gratitude to Allah for His Kindnesses; and it should better be like this. His Grace and Blessings and ‘Fazal o Karam’ should always be much bigger than our capacity for gratefulness. I, for one, shall never want to be in a situation where I even slightly feel that my gratitude is (Allah Forbid) anywhere close to Allah’s ‘Inayaat’. I earnestly pray to Allah. Aameen.
This travelogue is the account/recount of a common/ ordinary man’s Hajj; by all means.
I am a common man from the masses; part bad, part good; part lazy, part active in my prayers; sometime very focused, sometimes unfocused while submitting to Allah. By Allah’s High Kindness, my submission to Allah has been consistent, but practicing and following His Commands has been inconsistent.
I am a common man, whose knowledge of religion is superficial and remains so, because most speeches of religious scholars do not necessarily impart knowledge; and personal effort in this direction is weak.
This is truly the account of a common man’s Hajj; which I am, which probably you are.
I got 44 days package under government scheme. Allah has given me excellent memory, Alhamdulillah, and it is possible for me to remember events, places and people accurately, like these are etched.
I shall take you with me on this Hajj in a way as if you have also been there.
It is going to be a long effort, and I pray that Allah Grants me the capability, courage and fortitude to do so. Aameen.
Asrar Ahmad Qureshi