We were one of first Hajj groups to get back to Boston, and that reflected in our treatment by the Logan Airport Immigration
officers. When they realized we were a group coming from Saudi Arabia, they took all our passports (after we had already went
through immigration and already got our luggage) so they could re-check them. It took a while because we were about 50 people,
but then they finally let us all out.
My Mom and Dad picked us up from the airport. From there, we went right to my
parent’s house, where Sumayyah and the rest of my family were waiting for us. I went into the living room and my sister
was holding Sumayyah. I said salam to her and hugged her and kissed her and she came to me, but without a word. She didn’t
cry but she wouldn’t smile, she wouldn’t laugh, and she wouldn’t speak a word. So she sat in my lap the
rest of our time there silently. She wouldn’t go to anyone else. I could tell she remembered me but I was confused why
she wouldn’t talk to me.
I can’t remember what happened the first night, but the next day I remember was
a struggle. Sumayyah finally decided to let out her frustration by pushing and throwing the end-tables, something she had
never done before, and in general behaving badly. But I understood that she was angry that I had left her. Slowly but surely,
we rebuilt the bond that had been broken.
But my cough… it just wouldn’t go away. I had caught this cough
in Makkah, it wasn’t that bad so I was just ignoring it. But it was a constant throughout-the-day annoying cough. I
week passed, 2 weeks passed, 3 weeks passed… then I said no this can’t be a normal cough. So I went to the doctor
and she said it was a sinus infection. She gave me antibiotics and it went away in a couple days after that. My theory about
getting sick in Hajj is that when you make Hajj your sins are forgiven, but it is the sickness that burns them off. I thought
of this from this hadith:
Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) quoted the Prophet (peace and blessings
be upon him) as saying, “Whenever a Muslim is afflicted by any hardship, whether it be chronic sickness, grief, harm,
a disaster, or even a thorn prick, Allah will wash out some of his minor sins.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
and After Hajj, a lot of thoughts were going around my head. I was so concerned about every aspect of my life that I was doing
it correctly. For example: the way I dressed, wearing eyeliner, the way I wore hijab, should I wear niqab, making sure my
hijab and clothes were not see-through or too tight, or too flashy or too fancy, wearing too much jewelry, gossiping or talking
about others, I had to re-think everything. I had to research some things too, like every detail about wudu and prayer. I
found out that I wasn’t pointing my toes towards the qibla during sujud. I found out that you can make personal du’as
during your prayers, not just afterwards. The Hajj, and particularly the stoning at the Jamrat that symbolized stoning the
devil, I felt cleaned my heart and now I could use it to ‘feel’ if something was right or not. So
to all this thinking… I started praying correctly. I was careful with talking. I established relationships with my Muslim
neighbors, I called all my Muslim friends and made sure to keep in touch with whoever I felt would be a good influence on
me. I tried to always see my parents and call them and keep in touch with my brothers and sisters. I tried to be a better
wife and mother. I stopped wearing see-through hijabs and I always kept the ends down to cover as much as it can. I wore only
muted colors of jilbabs and only the looser ones. I stopped putting eyeliner before I went out and instead put it on when
I got home for my husband. I had been doing the opposite, trying to look beautiful for others but not for my own husband who
had more of a right.
We should try to cover our beauty when we go out, not try to look more beautiful. And I saw in
the hajj that people thought I was beautiful and I didn’t have anything on at all. My husband had been telling me that
since we first got married but I didn’t believe him.
I saw that my life before the Hajj had been like ‘a show’ – clothes and shoes and jewelry and trying
to always look the best and be the best and have the best things…
I am still struggling with some of these issues though, b0ecause the Hajj feelings wear off after a while.
What I was reminded of in Hajj was that life is to obey God and the goal is Jannah. What i realized was
that Allah is the one that will judge us, not OTHER PEOPLE. So why should we care about them and what they think of us more
Allah is real, Islam is real, Mohammad (SAW) is real… there is a Ka’bah, there is a Makkah,
there is a Madinah, there are the footprints of Abraham at Maqam Ibrahim. That is the proof and when you see it, it will change
your heart forever inshaAllah. Your heart will change, but then it is up to you to change your life, your ideas, and
I am looking forward to taking my children with me for Umrah, if Allah gives us the opportunity inshaAllah.