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A Reflection on My Hajj Journey

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My first time in the Middle East was to perform Hajj. The weather in Mecca was 105-degrees and the heat was a new experience for me. I was also startled by the Muslim world before me. The incredible diversity of people journeying far and wide was beautiful to witness and be a part of. Many came with little other than determination and what little amounts of clothes they had on. They walked for hours in the heat, some of them without shoes. The majority of the people were also way older than me. The atmosphere was so surreal to me, and the little things most people took for granted, fascinated me the most.

What is hajj? Hajj is the Muslim pilgrimage to the holiest city of Mecca and it takes place on the last month of the Islamic calendar “Dhu al-Hijjah”, and it is a mandatory religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all Muslims adult who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey, and can support their family during their absence. It brings together Muslims of all races and backgrounds for one of life’s most moving spiritual experiences. For 1400 years countless Muslims, men, and women from all over the world have made the pilgrimage to Mecca the birthplace of Islam. In carrying out this obligation, we fulfill one of the five pillars of Islam.

My Hajj journey started at Mina a district in Mecca also known as Tent city where we stayed in huge white tents with massive rugs on the floor and a foldable bed that turns into a little chair. I was sharing a tent with 80 random men. You can imagine how hot it got. I was also right under the AC so I wasn’t getting any cold air. When walking through the camp area, I would see crowds of people from the UK, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, and other states in America. I also saw other crowds lying totally exposed on the ground, mostly from the subcontinent, without any obvious worry about the sun and its harm. Despite the difficult circumstances they were in, I was hit by how satisfied these individuals were, and they also helped me see the blessings that I was taking for granted, such as when we were at our first hotel we were in a poor area where water was dripping from the air conditioners outside, and the roads were dirty and hand a bad stench. I would also see African women sit selling seeds to pilgrims willing to feed flocks of pigeons and would see a lot of beggars. There were Volunteers outside the Kaaba and hand out boxes of food to pilgrims who sit on the roads eating despite the heat. Many of them were coming without a government or tour operator. It was humbling to see how the pilgrimage was worth so much to them, the discomfort didn’t matter. We all were wearing two white garments which are called ihram clothing. It is intended to signify unity regardless of social status or nationality, and also to signify that in front of God there is no difference between the entire people.

The main day of Hajj is at the plains of Arafat. All around me I saw men and women deep in supplication, praying for betterment in the world and in themselves. My experience in Arafat was amazing they had free food free drinks and we were in a cold huge tent with over 100 people. While we were there it started pouring rain and every single worshiper there started praying shoulder to shoulder with Muslims from around the world seeking God’s mercy and blessings. We were bused to Muzdalifah, essentially an open scene with dusty grounds. Millions of us slept on the floor until sunrise and some of the people slept on the mountain. I had the best sleep on that dusty mountain area then I did my entire life. I remember being fascinated by every country’s delegation, corresponding ID cards, flags, and colored bags to ensure no one gets lost.

We walked to Mina at about 6 am and got there at about 9 am to perform the ‘stoning of the devil’ ritual. The ritual is a recreation of the Prophet Abraham’s stoning of the devil after he tried to persuade Abraham to disobey God’s order to sacrifice his son, Ismael. After the stoning we then walked the Kaabah to do are tawaf ritual going around the Kaaba seven times. My time there I also helped some elderly touch the Kaaba because they couldn’t touch it because people were pushing so I told them to hold my shirt and I brought them right next to the Kaaba and we prayed the afternoon prayer known as “asr”. During the Hajj, I believe it is very difficult for the elderly to even get close to the Kaaba. .We then went to do Safa and Marwa which are two small mountains in the great mosque and we did it seven times back and forth. After we were with our tawaf we had to either trim our head or go bald, I chose to go bald. I paid the barber 30 riyal which is equivalent to eight American dollars.

In Conclusion, I feel like my experience in Hajj was incomparable to the other stuff that I did in my 17 years of living. I realized how short this life is and how easily we all get consumed in materialistic materials. My time during the pilgrimage the way I view life has changed. The experience was incomparable to the other because Hajj brought all the people together and united all the Muslims from different sectors of the world and from different races, colors, and cultures, which was a symbol of equality. During my trip, I only saw the good in everyone around me and I became calmer. I felt much lighter and spiritually connected and I wanted to undertake what I did during Hajj and practice it in my daily life. When I returned home from Hajj to my regular life the old habits and temptations were coming back and was trying my best to stay on the narrow path. I was going to the mosque at least once every day and was reading some Quran. I stopped listening to music and started to take care of my health and counted how much food I consume on a daily. According to one Hadith of Prophet Mohammed, we are advised to leave one-third of our stomach empty after finishing a meal. I started incorporating it into my daily food intake. I also began to exercise and go to the gym every day. My experience during Hajj has shaped me into a better shape of myself and I couldn’t ask for a better spiritual journey and I haven’t stopped grinding ever since. I was told that once you leave Mecca, it always calls you back. I never really believed until I went to the Hajj. I Have these urges that continue to attract and call me back, and God willing, I intend to go back one day. 

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A Reflection on My Hajj Journey. (2022, May 24). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 8, 2022, from
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