The biggest challenge I see for myself in the upcoming Hajj is keeping my focus on the path to Allah, and keeping everything and everyone else away in a realm of superficial logistics.
From what I remember from my last Hajj, it is difficult to remind oneself that while entering Tawaf one is on hallowed ground where all the Nabis, our beloved Rasool pbuh and his Sahabah walked. As I walk around the kaabah with every step I take I am following in his (pbuh) footsteps. It is easy to remember it now, but in the hustle and bustle and excitement of the Tawaf, the focus shifts away to the logistics of staying in tawaf.
As the crowd jostles me and fear of being trampled knocks on my heart I forget that it has been introduced into my heart by less savory characters on the media and the grapevine of melodramatic Hajjis.
It is in those moments of heat, when I am drenched in sweat, I must remember that the ground around the Kaabah is not marble but the hot sand of Arabia and our Rasool pbuh is walking on it barefoot. Is he feeling the heat or not?
Tawaf in Hajj is like being in a surreal dream where the reality of the present does not define the actuality of the spiritual realm.
The challenge is how does one reach a state of ebadah in which side stepping an aggressive hajji who is in a rush should become as liquid and easy as turning a left at the rukni Yemeni.
This time while in Mina, I want to go to Masjed al Khaif where 70 Nabis bowed their head in prostration to Allah Subhanawataala. I want to press my forehead to the ground where these Nabis pressed his forehead and begged Allah.
So I look up Masjed Khaif on line. It is at the border of Mina and Makkah, and as one looks at the minarets rising to the sky from a sea of tents it is difficult to ascertain where the camps begin or end and the Masjed begins. The bright lights of the streets and the entrance take away any sense of spirituality especially if one is rushing forth to find a place in the Jamaat.
How does one school oneself to stop, look at the hallowed ground, and not see the litter but see only the hot sand of Arabia receiving the blessed foreheads of the seventy Nabis?
That is the challenge! Please pray that I can keep the spirituality of the place and recede the actuality of the logistics.
I need your prayers.