I amhomesick for Hajj, and yet I am not there this year so I close my eyes………..and I am there.
I am in Mina the tent city outside Mecca. It is night and we are packing to go to Arafat. My companions and I have been told to leave every ‘non-essential” behind. I do not know what is essential for others, but I pocket my dua book of istighfaar, a toothbrush and toothpaste, (I want the prayers to come out of a clean & fresh mouth) some dry cookies, a bar of chocolate for Shireen & me and my sleeping bag. It is amazing how little one needs in actuality.
I stepout of my tent to refresh my wudu before travel. The camp is ablaze with lights and a suppressed feeling of excitement. We are going to Arafat! Everyone wants to know which bus will we be on…

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