I learn that I need to reflect on myself.
I learn that by exercising self-reflection, I'll be better loved by Him and others.
I want to learn. I love to learn.
This is 'What I learn...'
Thursday, August 12, 2010
What Iearn from 'Pre-Hajj Preparation'.
Since recieving our waiting list letter from Tabung Haji for Hajj this year, both my husband and I have started reading books as well as asking friends and family members whom are Haji and Hajjah in order to prepare ourselves for this big event in our lives. Talking to those who have performed Hajj is wonderful since they can give a wonderful recount of their experiences and tips of dos and donts.
Tonnes of theoretical books on Hajj readily available on shelves; but one that caught my attention was in Bahasa Malaysia, entitled Haji Muda (Young Hajj) by Ridzwan Bakar. His writing is casual and practical. Masha Allah, I learned alot from him.
Many advise us to mentally and physically prepare ourselves for Hajj, in order to obtain optimum worshipping (ibadah) experience that will give high impact in our lives.
What I learn from my readings and private chats is firstly, have a mental picture on what you are going to do and where is it going to be done. I did a sketch on movements of activities, from home-to-home. It helps to give me some clues of what should be done. I've only been to Mekah and Madinah for Umrah but not for Hajj. Understanding the terms Haji Ifradand Haji Tamattukin practical ways will make our sketch differs. Since for now, we're still in the waiting list and wouldn't know about flight details till the 3rd week of Ramadhan, I have 2 sketches of movements of activities, but we really hope that we can manage to perform Haji Ifrad, insha Allah. (I will try to upload the sketches once I have sorted the non-charger issue of my camera, insha Allah)
Secondly, what I learn is to make a compilation of prayers (du'a) to be learned and recited during Hajj (or wherever you are). Since we have ample time to think of what to ask from Him now, find those prayers, preferably in Arabic with Malay (or other) translation for full comprehension of what we asked for and more in depth feeling when we ask directly from Him.
I compile the prayers and put it all in one, single book in order for me to manage them easily. For practical reasons, I dont think it would be convenient to open 3-4 books in the mosque (or even at home, too), so I literally cut and paste (and sticky tape) the du'as onto one book. I also inserted the prayers recited after all the sunnah prayers, i.e, Tahajjud, Tawbat, Hajaat, Ishraaq, Dhuha, Witr, Istikharah; (since I don't memorise any of them!).
The other du'as comprises all, from broad hopes of mine to teeny weeny wishes and dream that I want to ask from Him. I list them all, and I mean everything that I want to ask. When it's on paper, I find that my prayers are more concentrated, since I didnt have to sit and think hard to recall of other du'as to recite (I have this problem of think and think of more du'as while my palms are still at par with my chest!!)
Compiling is an issue, but practice reciting them is another. I find it useful to go through my 'compilation of du'as' book to ensure that I'm fluent in reading the Arabic verses of the prayers. These Ramadhan nights do help in offering fantastic practice sessions. Furthermore, by going through it often, it gives me ideas to add more prayers. What I learn is, when you plan things, and the time is in your hand, you don't find doing anything stressful, insha Allah.
Another matter that I learned from those who have performed Hajj is, rehearse on sunnah deeds as early as possible. The sunnah deeds includes, sunnah prayers, giving charity (sadaqah), Monday and Thursday fasts etc. This will make the Hajj process more beautiful and less burden as we have learned and 'mastered' those sunnah deeds, and we don't have to start from scratch while we are in the University of Baitullah, insha Allah.
Start a routine exercise. Not a huge, Biggest Loser regime, but only 20-30 minutes brisk walking daily. This is to ensure that we are prepared to endure the many steps that's going to be taken in the events of tawaf, sai'e, stoning of the Jamrah, and even the routine trips from the Masjidil Haraam to the hotel. The lesson is to be prepared.
We dream of a high quality Hajj, filled with fantastic times connecting with The Creator. I know that my preparation may not be as great as others, but I pray to Allah that He'll accept my prayers and allow us to be His VIP guests at Baitullah... aamin ya Rabb!