We had reached Makkah. Our hearts were shivering with fear and anticipation. Perhaps Farhan was fearful due to other reasons, but for me, I was fearing the distance between me and Kaaba. Only the ones Allah allow can see it.. Am I one of those? What if I will die in these last few steps? What if I become the victim of some car crash or heart attack or whatever and people will remember me and say, Allah ka bulawa nai tha. At that moment I was frantically assessing my worth. What have I done to earn Allah’s approval to see His Home? I had hope in His Mercy hence I had ventured on this brilliantly spiritual experience of my life. But those last steps were the heaviest for me. The burden of my sins were weighing on my shoulders. My legs felt like heavy iron that I could only drag. My senses started to lose me. In those last few steps, the fragility of my life was the most overpowering feeling. My heart was more alive than it had ever been. My eyes were dazed to see everything and nothing all at once. A kind friend Mr Ismaeel was leading the way through the masjid as we both, me and Farhan , walked with lowered eyes towards Kaaba, the symbol of our ibaadat and faith. And then I heard him say, “Mr and Mrs Farhan, please look at the most magnificent sight of your life”. That was the moment I had dreamed of for months and months. All at once my heart felt like it would burst with love, happiness, anticipation, fear, and so many other feelings that I am not capable to express in my rather limited vocabulary. I looked up and felt arrested. There the Kaaba stood, magnificent, magnanimous, brilliant. It stood as it always had stood and I watched it as I had always stood rooted at the spot all my life. I had never seen something so naturally healing, so welcoming, so full of love. I had never seen a place so alive. It seemed as if all the hearts beating around it had a rhythm. And the miraculous part was, your own heart would resonate perfectly with it. Anywhere my eyes would wander, if my eyes could ever wander from Kaaba, I saw love completely centered at one place. Hearts all connected to that one epitome of our faith; the place where all our prophets came and prayed, the supremely blessed ground around Kaaba where all prophets had made tawaaf.
All my definitions of what love is broke at that moment and I felt, oh, this is what it feels like to be home. I had never felt so much at peace. I had always asked Allah to show me His Mercy. At that moment, I realized what His Mercy truly is when He invites sinners like us to His Home to perhaps reform us, and send us back full of blessings and bounties.
My mother asked me to write about my Umrah experience. I have been unable to articulate one single such feeling. This post is dedicated to her and her constant prayer for me to be someone better than today.