From the news desk

SA hujjaj emotions high ahead of Arafat

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The time of the much anticipated haj period brings with it an overwhelming emotion that many simply cannot put into words. While on Mina at the “tent city’ at the start of the five day pilgrimage on Thursday, millions of hujaaj sit in prayers in a state of ihram during the hours leading up to the height of the journey, Arafat. For most, its been years in the making, with many trials and tribulations along the way.

Noog Abrahams from Cape Town gave a detailed account of the atmosphere, saying hujjaj were now preparing for the final moment where they would stand on the plains of Arafat.

“Here we are sitting in our Ihraam, sweating and making so much duah not only for us and our families but for the Muslim ummah around the world,” Abrahams said.

Fellow Capetonian Nathier Enos fought through tears as he told of the privilege to perform his first Haj.

“In this last moments on Mina, you sit by yourself and experience overwhelming emotions as your make duah. Here we are laying on mats in a space that is the equivalent of a Qabr (grave). It is small and extremely tight here. This is a huge eye opener for me. It makes you think about your death and reflect on your life. One can only be thankful for all the blessings Allah has bestowed in our lives,” Enos explained.

Maulana Ebrahim Dawood said that receiving the invitation to complete his Haj was a spiritually invigorating experience.

“The entire journey of Haj is the perfect foundation to encourage Muslims to do good and have their chance to perform this holy pilgrimage,” Dawood explained.

The sentiments most of the hujaaj had centred around the intentions for haj which begins long before any preparations are made for this journey. Haji Riedwaan Hassiem said that this experience is unlike any other in this world. He explained of the immense tranquillity one experiences even at the time it may seem most chaotic. Donning the Ihraam and going into a place of thikr has brought him to tears on numerous occasions.

Ultimately, the guests of Allah maintain that no words can justify the emotion and experience one feels during this time. Only a first hand experience can fully capture what the journey offers. VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)

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