By Mujib Abdur Rahman
My interest for Hajj came back in 1996, when my dear beloved father (Rahimahullah) undertook the journey. When he returned he got all sorts of gift for us and that’s when I got to know more about Hajj.
One of the things my father bought back with him was video tapes of Hajj. Though it was in Arabic, I used to frequently watch them with my father and began to develop some love for Hajj.
In 2003 Channel 4 were showing a series of programs on Hajj called ‘Hajj the Greatest Trip on Earth’. That year one of my friends also went for Hajj so it really appealed to me. I really enjoyed the program and would watch it every time they showed it. About a week later Channel 4 decided to show the whole program together. I took my chance and recorded the whole series, that time the old VHS players were around, I really enjoyed it and was really moved by it. There were couple of people on there who inspired me greatly namely Brother Saffraz Qayyum from Middlesbrough and Sister Kousar Sheikh from London.
After recording the series I used to watch it regularly. One morning, I was watching the program with my little sister when I made the intention to save money to perform Hajj. I went downstairs to the kitchen and got an empty jar of Canderal sugar which my father used to have. My mission for Hajj has begun!
Somehow my mother knew about my mission, because when I asked her if she knew why I was saving money she said “Yes, because you want to go for Hajj”. Seriously I didn’t tell her, nor did my sister!
Once, after seeing my enthusiasm to save money, my father said that when the time comes her would provide the funds for me to go for Hajj. I was struggling to save the cash, being only around 15 years old, I only saved around £20!
The beginning of the year 2005 was heartbreaking. My dear father passed away, whilst I was in my first year of college. My father was like a real friend to me, teaching me a lot of things, my first teacher. He used to take me to Salah with him, to the Masjid. I remember that every time we used to walk together to the Masjid for Jummah he used to always question me on how many rakah I am supposed to pray for Jummah and each week I used to forget! My father was a great role model, Rahimahullah. My Mother and Father were both a great inspiration for my Islamic upbringing. May Allah reward them both, Ameen.
In mid 2006 my Mother told me to go and check my bank balance. When I put the card in and entered the pin, I was most surprised to see the amount of money in my account. I didn’t know where this came from, later on to find out that my beloved Mother had deposited most of the amount, secretly! What can I do with all this money, perhaps open a business? I rushed home and told my mother… my mother on the other hand made the best suggestion ever…she suggested to use the money for Hajj! I couldn’t believe it, Hajj? My dream…inshaAllah now a reality!
I was only 18 when I embarked on the greatest journey. I was studying at Tower Hamlets College at the time and I never thought I would be able to perform Hajj in my life and Alhamdulillah I have now performed Hajj twice, the second time coming in 2010. As if Allah had given me another opportunity to seek forgiveness for all the sins that I have committed, I was blessed again to visit the Sacred House in May 2011 and February 2015. A journey that I can never forget inshaAllah.
I hope this inspires you inshaAllah