Hajj, Jan - Mar 2006


By Enrique Raheel Rojas

Many people asked me about Hajj when I returned. My Christian parents were glad that I came home alive. However, I did not expect them to realize the full significance of Hajj.

My brother-in-law did his best to stay awake during my retelling of my Hajj experiences. Alhamdulilah; this is or will be the extra experience that a Muslim revert will go through that a born Muslim will not.

What can I say about Hajj other than what the Prophet (pbuh) said, “GO. Go as soon as you can or eliminate the conditions preventing you from going to Hajj.”

When my group landed in Jeddah, I immediately saw how international Islam was. There were several waiting areas sectioned off for pilgrims of different nationalities.

When we reached Mecca, I was moved to find myself surrounded by Muslims. All sizes races and colors.

In the distance, I saw a wall of the Grand Masjid. I felt excitement because inside was the house of Allah. The house I have seen only in pictures.

As I entered the masjid by the main floor, the Kabaa came into view. Through the pillars and the crowds, I saw the black draped house of Allah.

In its magnificence, the Kabaa stood out more real than anything else in the Haram. Within the bouquet of emotions, I felt I felt a strong gratitude for my Lord for inviting me to his house.

I made my Umra with thousands of others. I performed the rights of Hajj as the multitudes did before me.

The stay in Mina.
The afternoon in Arafat.
Sleeping over in Mustalifa.
The stoning of the Jamarats.
And, then finally the fairwell Tawaaf.

I did not want to leave Mecca.
Out of all the places in the world, Mecca is the only place that felt like home.
My heart longs to return.

Home was not home anymore when I returned.
Like a glass of juice made diluted with water, home was now bland.
For many, you do not return the same from Hajj.

Hajj shows you the strength and brotherhood of this religion.
It shows you that Allah does not care what race you are.
Allah invites to His house from amongst all humanity.