Life as we know it is filled with a never-ending pursuit of excellence and success.  Fast-paced life revolves around accomplishing various tasks and life’s daily demands. There is a need for vacations, time to pause and unwind. The journey to Umrah provided me with exactly that. It gave me a distinct perspective on life, and its sweetness still lingers in my thoughts. 

 

During my Umrah trip, I remember the moments I spent performing Tawaf (circling the Kabah) and Sai (walking between mountains Safa and Marwa) that filled my heart with serenity and peace. I never felt more at ease than I did during that time. My perspective on life changed. Being back home, I often try to recapture the comfort I felt while gazing at the Kabah, the happiness I felt when I embraced the Kabah and prayed the Fajr prayer drenched in rain. The physical weariness I experienced there was much exceeded by the spiritual strength I felt, particularly when completing Sai. I reflected on Hajar’s tremendous faith, which caused the Zamzam to burst from the ground. I came to realize that Sai is meant to serve as a reminder that Allah is powerful and that if one carries as strong faith in Him as Hajar did, anything is possible in life.

 

It was hard to leave Allah’s house because I kept turning and staring back at the Kaaba, hoping to return soon.  It was finally time to travel to Medina. I was excited, impatient, and restless to be walking on the same ground as him.  I couldn’t believe I was there. I was eager to enter the Prophet’s mosque and offer prayers in the Rawdah – a sacred place the Prophet mentioned as a piece of Jannah (heaven).  It surprised me that I could find a place to pray only ten feet from the prophet’s house, where he was buried.  With trembling hands and tears flowing down my cheeks, I prayed. I was able to say Salam (greetings) to Prophet Mohammed (s.a.w.) and his two companions Abu Bakr (r.a.) and Umar (r.a.). Muslims believe that, while they may have physically passed away, the dead can still hear and respond to the Salam. I walked out of the “Jibreel” door, thinking of the number of companions that had been in my exact spot. They stood here to be in the Prophet’s company and learn Islam.  I experienced an inexplicable sense of calm and peace in my heart.  I desperately want to have this experience again and be back in the Prophet’s (s.a.w.) land and city.

 

My days in Makkah and Medina revolved around the five daily prayers, and I want to make this a priority now that I am home.  It’s never easy to leave Medina and Makkah. No matter where we live, these two blessed cities will always hold a special place in our hearts. May Allah give us the strength to persevere in our faith and the blessing of frequent trips to His and the Prophet’s homes. Ameen.