Hajj: A Golden Dream

By Ishrat Ali

Once in a small town lived a beautiful Muslim woman named Aisha. Her beauty was the iman (faith) in her heart that completed her character. Her hijab was her crown, her excellent manners were her garment; Aisha’s gracefulness and compassion were such that they were like diamonds that shimmered inside of her.

Ever since she was a child, Aisha had dreamed of going for Hajj. Even though her family was very poor, it never stopped her from dreaming and hoping that one day she would have the wonderful opportunity to go on this blessed journey.

Once a week, Aisha’s father, Tahir, would give her one dollar to buy her favorite chocolate. He knew how much his beloved daughter loved chocolates. However although Aisha was very fond of them she rarely spent the pocket money she received on such treats. She was always aware of those less fortunate than herself and often times if she found anyone poorer than her family, she would give them her money as charity. The rest, if she had any, she would save to go for Hajj.

Many years passed by and Aisha had saved a good amount of money. In time, she also found herself a job and started to work to help support her family.

One day, Aisha’s neighbor, a widow named Salma, fell ill. Aisha had gone to check on her and found that she had suffered a heart attack. Having rushed her to the hospital, Aisha then stayed with Salma as the doctors tended to her. She would then visit her neighbor at the hospital everyday and bring her food. During her visits they would often talk and reflect on stories about Islam, something that gave Salma much comfort. She was very fond of Aisha and her love for her grew deeper from the care Aisha gave her.

After a few days, the doctor, whose name was Rashid, advised Salma to get heart surgery. Salma’s condition was getting worse as each day passed and it was important, he said. Salma however was not able to pay the medical expenses and told Dr. Rashid she did not want to go through surgery.

When Dr. Rashid mentioned this to Aisha, she simply smiled and went to the bank. She took out all the money she had saved for so many years and, without saying a word to Salma, gave it to the doctor with instructions that it was to go towards Salma’s expenses for heart surgery. This was the money that Aisha had been saving her whole life to go to Hajj. Aisha had sacrificed her one and only dream to save her neighbor from dying.

When the doctor found out about this, he immediately called his brother Salman, a very rich and successful businessman who had been looking for a pious woman to marry. Upon seeing the generosity and excellent character of Aisha, Dr. Rashid told his brother to consider her for his wife. Salman agreed and after meeting Aisha and her family, was able to see for himself what a virtuous woman Aisha was. They married soon after Salma’s recovery. Salman later surprised Aisha by taking her on Hajj that same year. Aisha’s joys were higher than the skies! She was very happy and thanked Allah (exalted is He) for everything.

Aisha said:

Labbayk Allahumma Labbayk!
O Allah I am at Your Service.
With a feeling of peace
In my heart, O Allah!

Here I come,
To Bayt Allah—
Reciting, repenting, worshipping,
To my Lord I offer Praise!

Facing the Ka`bah,
Doing Tawaf,
Drinking Zam Zam,
Moving at a pace

With one intention
in my heart—
Just to please You
O Allah, The Only God.

Every step I take,
I remember Your Prophets
Rasul Allah sallallahu `alayhi wa salam

And his Companions

Trying to grasp
how they performed Hajj

Making every moment
Trying to follow the Prophet,
Peace be upon him.

My connection to the world
is completely gone.
I feel I am connected
And close to My Lord.

My tongue makes Dhikr,
My eyes see the Great Ka`bah
My heart repents
My mind makes Du`a’
My body in Salah,
Bowing and Prostrating.

All I can say is Allah!
How beautiful is your House!
How thankful I am!
To witness your Oneness,

Seeking only your reward,
To be a sinless child again,
Asking for Your help,
Your love, and my steadfastness
In the religion of Islam.

Narrated Aisha (may God be pleased with her), the mother of the faithful believers: I said, “O Allah’s Messenger! We consider jihad (struggle in the way of God) as the best deed. Should we not participate in jihad?” The Prophet said, “No! The best jihad (for women) is Hajj-Mabrur (an accepted hajj).” )Al Bukhari)

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