Just got back from Hajj today, so many thoughts and reflections, may take a while to sort out in my head. I won’t share everything as some things are just too personal. SubhanAllah, the experience was amazing. I had the the whole range of experiences from the amazingly good to the despairingly bad, from the generosity of ordinary and poor people to the incompetence, unprofessional behaviour and the unscrupulousness of [dodgy] Hajj tour operators — this experience I will share since there are lessons to be learnt and action to be taken.
All in all, it is true that when you embark on this journey every instance is a direct lesson from Allah for the Hajji to reflect on and looking back on the three weeks as a guest of God, there were many lessons, some blatantly obvious whilst others subtly discreet that one only realises the lesson in a quite moment with one’s thougts.
I took some photos too but my lens had dust on the inside so some of the shots are spoiled 🙁 and nearly got my camera confiscated by a shurti (Saudi Police Officer), also tooks some video footage of various places as well. I didn’t dwell too much on my photography since I was there for another reason and took pictures now and again.
Met some interesting people and there was great camaraderie in our group and with others from the same Hajj tour operator (seemed we were united by adversity!). Went to visit Dr. Mostafa al-Badawi and spent a few hours discussing the significance and symbolism of Islamic architecture, spent most of the time discussing the symbolism of the minaret (for starters). Will try and relate some of what he related to us (it was deep and heavy and mind blowing!). Went to Jeddah to give salams to Shaykh Abdullah Bin Bayyah at his residence and had dinner with his son and our friend Cheikhna and his wife Habiba, bumped into Abdal Latif Salazhar (director of the Ghazali film The Alchemist of Happiness), he is in Saudi shooting his latest film on the Muslim explorer ibn Battuta, was going to hook up with him and get an interview but just could not get the time. Bumped into his son Yasin Salazhar at Jamarat with his film crew.
Anyway, that’s it for the time being, will try and write more of the coming days insha’Allah.