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The Imam's Daughter

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HAJJ JOURNAL
Mother's Prayer Manual

The what, when, why, how, and where of my Hajj Trip.

In the course of moving, I found my Hajj Journal. It had been 3 years since my Hajj trip. Hajj was something almost completely new to me. I had not made Umrah yet. Sure I learned about it in Sunday School and from books, but it was much forgotten through the high school and college years. I was 24 years old, had been married for 5 years, and had a small daughter. I was home being a housewife, after many years of school and 1 year experience in the working world, which I left to raise my daughter. My husband had also recently finished is MBA studies. For the first time in our marriage, we had some free time on our hands. We also gave up on buying a house, so financially we were free too in a sense.

 

We had been thinking about Hajj for a while, from some of our friends that had went. Our only obstacle was in the form of a little person – our daughter. But with my parents nearby, that fear was easy to push aside – in the beginning that is.

 

Of course not everyone has the option of leaving their kids with someone since hajj is 2 weeks or more, so it needs someone really trustworthy and someone who the children see often. Even so, some still may decide to take their small children and i know of a sister who took her newborn with her for Hajj. Allah helps anyone who has the sincere intention of doing good deeds for His sake. So even though you would imagine it as impossible, of course it can be done.

 

I decided not to take my daughter because I felt that I wanted to concentrate on the Hajj. At that time my daughter was only 15 months and she was walking and getting into everything and needed help in eating, dressing, and constant entertainment and attention. Not to mention that she still took 2-hour naps during the day and slept 10 hours at night - for which she needs a special bed that she can't fall off of. Alhamdulillah, I had my parents nearby and I saw them often. It was I would say the hardest decision of my life.

 

As the day of the trip approached, I was getting cold feet. I almost cancelled the whole thing because I couldn't imagine leaving her for so long, when she wouldn’t understand that I would be coming back, she was still too young. So I called a special friend of mine to ask her advice. She had been to Umrah, so I think it was this that made the question of going or not very easy for her to answer. She said:

-         You have the best person in the world to take care of your daughter

-         It’s better to go now instead of later when you might have more children

-         You never know when you are going to die

-         If you have the opportunity, you have to go

 

She was right. I didn’t cancel the trip. (Jazaki Allahu khair!!)

 

We went with a Hajj Group from a Masjid in Boston. The package was 4 star hotels, breakfast and dinner buffet, a/c buses, a/c tents in mena and Arafat, free workshop before the trip, and info halaqas during the trip by the Imam. It was a 2 week trip: Madinah for 3 days, then Makkah for 10 days, with the Hajj days in the end of the trip.

 

I am putting my journal online to benefit those who are preparing to go for Hajj, thinking about going for Hajj in the future, and also for those who are curious about Hajj in general.

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