She must have been a very special person in His eyes………..I mean my mother, for I am enroute to perform Hajj on her behalf, and I can tell from step one that this is going to be a very special trip.
I am told that I along with the six million people in Mecca are his guests or Dufur Rahman. Yet I can feel from the very moment when I step out of my house that I am an honored guest where my host has called in everything possible for my comfort.
I am on my way to Atlanta and at the airport one the senior officials of the German airlines comes to greet me and says my name and asks if I am going for Hajj with the women’s group. I am stunned at this personal greeting compared to the sullen faces we usually see when boarding the plane.
On the plane to Frankfurt Allah Subhanawataala truly folds the distances because it passes quickly. On the plane a man in front of me is watching an Indian movie which seems enticing since I have not watched one in almost twenty years I am tempted and then Sheikh Magroubi’s voice comes through “keep the focus” I avert my gaze and close my eyes to remind myself of the Dhikr and where I am going.
On checking onto the Flight to Jeddah from Frankfurt the Clerk at the airline counter informs me “you have been upgraded to first class”. I am speechless for a second but then like a typical Pakistani kid I ask her if my friend who is also traveling on this airline could also be upgraded. She checks her name and shakes her head “No “ she says with a no nonsense tone and moves on to the next passenger.
On the first class flight, I try not to revel in the luxury keeping in mind where I am going and why.
I look back at the seats they are filled with men in white ihraam and women in white clothes. The Imam comes on the PA system and states that soon he will be announcing the meeqat and help us do the Niyyah for the Hajj e Tammatua.
An Imam on the PA system on a German airline??????? If this was an American airline, by now we would have had an air force escort and perhaps the imam would have been in handcuffs.
I smile at the power of Allah Subhanawataala, He gives to whom he wishes and takes away from whom He wishes. My conclusion is that American Muslims have a long ways to go before they can please Allah. Perhaps they need to cut down their luxurious way of living, give more to the poor and needy and cut out the A from the arrogance…but who am I to say I am one of them, and cleansing of the heart and body begins with ones own self.
The plane resounds with labaik Allah humma labaik as it coasts over the meeqat answering to the call of Ibrahim AS from centuries ago. The desert sands shimmer with anticipation of the footsteps of the Hajjis who come laden with worries and cares to lay them down at the steps of the House of Allah……..
And He my host has just rolled out the red carpet. I feel sheepish and humble at accepting His gracious hospitality, and wonder how to reciprocate?