With a heavy heart, I’ve been bidding farewell to family and friends embarking on the sacred journey of Hajj. I wished them safety, acceptance of their efforts and asked them to pray for us loads. With every goodbye, I pacified my sad and broken heart: ‘InshA one day again, that day will come!’
Yearning to undertake the lofty actions performed at Hajj, I started to reflect on how Motherhood has been a Hajj of its own kind for me.
Feeling a little elated now, I turn to Him, asking Him to accept this version of ongoing Hajj from me. One that entails stopping to pick pebbles whenever we’re outside or gravitating around the ice rink to catch glimpses of every clumsy swizzle and glide.
With that in mind, I pray: O my Allah! accept my previous efforts like the best of Hajj actions ever performed, and enrich my future acts with even more fervor and love.
And Alhamdlillah Ya Rabb! Thank You for this fortuitous epiphany which brings the essence of Hajj in the little and big things that only happen to me as a mummy!
Within their own rights, both Motherhood and Hajj are sacred and divine. But here’s how I think they’re beautifully intertwined : )
Making the Niyyat was like finding out that we were expecting! At the time, I was ecstatic, apprehensive and knew it’d be life-changing. My whole being focused on nurturing this brand new little creature. I promised to love, raise and guide, all for His pleasure and closeness – Qurbatan Illa llah
I even responded to every food craving with the readiness of ‘Labayk‘ and bravely struggled through the pre-natal challenges though AlhamdulilA, they were few. Knowing too well, it’d all be worth it when they’d first smile, crawl or learn to recite a whole sura.
Then came a heap of maternity clothes – comfy, cottony and mostly plain. A little like the Ihram in my opinion. As my body started to morph into a peculiar form, I gradually made peace and accepted my new fate. Transcending inwards, past the layer of make-up and looks, into the realm of inner strength, grace, spirit and faith. Recognizing that the task at hand, required more than physical energy extracted from muscles, bones and skin. It needed greater levels of perception, creativity and a cheerful spirit, oozing from a pure faith-full soul and a listening heart to raise Allah’s special little beings.
No matter, how much I prepared and was graced with the company of those who ease my pain, when the time came, I labored alone. For me, Labor was like being at Arafah – nothing really could distract me from my sorry state, and it sure was quite close to my own Qiyamah!
It seemed to last a long while. I remember constantly praying, sobbing, feeling hot and clammy, waiting for a sign.
Alas! at dusk it happened, 5:49 pm to be precise. A little whimper followed by loud crying. ‘It’s a girl!’ the new father proudly announced, ‘And now you can shop with her in every aisle’ he’d found a cute ransom!
When they placed her in my arms, I sensed then, that just like at Arafah on the afternoon of Dec 2006, inshA my sins were forgiven as He had promised. I was once again granted an undeserving second chance.
The night feeds were like being at Muzdalifa, exhausted from what had gone on during the day, yet feeling complete under the canopy of His everlasting blessings. I would gaze at the stars and marvel at His Perfection cozily cradled in my arms, grateful to Him for a love so pure that would enrich and constantly twinkle in our lives.
From there on till this day, we continue to pelt. We try to target and chase away our haste, shortcomings and predispositions, as the little bundles learn new things and pose different challenges each day.
Sacrificing comfort and things has been relatively easy. The toughest test has been to look deeper, recognizing our own fallacy; learning to offer ourselves to comfort, love unconditionally, and offer genuine empathy. Suppressing the urges to yell (in most cases at least!), learning to let go so they can learn and grow, and the hardest of all, sacrificing our time and space to be fully present, from the time they’re wake to the time they finally close their eyes.
My Tawaafs don’t usually happen on sacred grounds and can easily go over seven rounds. To the on-looker they may seem like meaningless circumambulation of the slides and swings but to my kids it fulfills their wildest dreams. Although it tires me out (A LOT) when I finally tuck them into bed, they hug me tighter on those nights, telling me they had fun and ask if could we do it all over again – LOTS OF TIMES!
I cannot begin to fathom the desperation of quenching the needs of a thirsty child, and I pray (for the sake of I.Hussein (as), B.Rabab and B.Hajar) that no parent ever has to go through that.
The physical aspect of Saee has on a much smaller scale, somehow manifested into my routine. The stairs feel like big hill to climb in the evenings – carrying cups of water, facilitating several bathroom visits or simply offering kisses and cuddles to get them to fall asleep.
Finally, getting together with other mums feels like spending time at Mina. Sharing our near-misses, lending a listening ear, empathizing or giving a heads up to what lays ahead. It’s such a blessing to have that support and companionship, as we continue in our own journey towards Our Beloved, with kids in tow.
And so, I turn to Him again.
Ya Rabbi! Ya Samiu Ya Mujeeb!
I come asking, begging and pleading.
Accept all my efforts as a mum, with sincerity and approval.
Bless them with the rewards of the real Hajj.
Enrich me from them, so I may better myself and raise human beings who constantly seek Your pleasure.
Rabbij Aalnee Muqeemas Salati wamin Dhurriyyati
Rabbana wa taqabbal Dua.
And the actual Hajj my heart so yearns to perform….
Ya Rabb! I humbly repeat to You O Mighty O High! the words that melt my heart and always make me say yes:
My Rabb I had so much fun performing Hajj the last time, can I please do it all over again, LOTS OF TIMES?
War Zuqni Hajja Baytikal Haraam, Fi Aami Hadha Wa Fi Kully Aam. Waghfilri Tilkadh Dhunubal Idham’.
(Call us to Your House, this year and every year. Forgive our sins and keep us guided towards You).
And Provide me and my family, a home near You in Jannah. InshA!
Rabbana Takabbal Minna Innaka Antas Sameeiul Aleem. InshA!
Iltimase Dua : )