Sunday, October 6, 2013

1st Zulhijjah 1434 Hijri | Arafah calling


Was about to post a carefree rambling but withdrew. There is more than a dozen things that can distract us. It would be nice to escape to a sacred or quiet place, to save ourselves from distractions. Today is first Zulhijjah. It would have been wonderful if we were among the pilgrims, who must be waiting with much anticipation, the arrival of the big day - the day of Arafah. 

Arafah calling is incomparable to London calling. I've never experienced the vibes of an Olympic. Still I can imagine the excitement of Arafah calling. But of course the imagination of one who has not tasted something is not the same as the imagination of one who has experienced it. Yet, thinking about Arafah alone can give one goosebumps.

Habib Ali Zaenal Abidin al-Hamid will be one of the fortunate souls who gets a pass to the Arafah arena this year. He is much loved and respected especially by those who have sat in his majlis ta'lim at Masjid Muadz bin Jabal, Kuala Lumpur. Our thoughts are with him.

My thoughts are also with family friends who make it to hajj this year. I wonder what's playing in their minds now especially Sister M and Sister F. Both happen to be single. One of them is relatively younger and more well-off. The other one is in her 50s and is there, thanks to her retirement funds. Imagine each one of the millions of pilgrims having his/her own story. Allah knows each of their stories.

Allah knows His servants best. Whereas we mortals are concerned about people's backgrounds. We are curious about people's CVs. We are nosy about people's portfolios. But surely Allah will only look at their hearts on the day of Arafah, akin to the Day of Judgment - "The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail. But only he (will prosper) that brings to Allah a sound heart." (Quran - As Shuara 88-89)

May Allah invite us to the Arafah gathering next hajj season. Ameen.


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