Reflections on Hajj from pilgrims on the road

How pilgrimage can help to lead a peaceful and harmonious life

Anas Misri (L) with his wife, and Abbas Misri, also with his wife. They recently got married and are performing Hajj together as a family. Photo: Mariam Nihal / The National
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Pilgrims performing Hajj have shared their thoughts and reflections with The National, while carrying out their religious duty.

Abbas Misri, a Jeddah resident visiting Mount Arafat, said the occasion was special.

“The highlight was seeing the plains of Arafat," he said.

"A realisation that it's on this plain of land that we will be all judged. Seeing that very plain of land and knowing we'll be back here again, perhaps in this life, but for sure in the afterlife.”

Pakistani pilgrim Usman Saeed also said one of the most memorable moments of Hajj was being on Mount Arafat.

He described the journey as "easy and comfortable, with all our needs being looked after by the Hajj operator and volunteers".

For Egyptian pilgrim Hajer Abou Soliman, seeing the Kaaba in person was something she would never forget.

"I became overwhelmed with emotion when I was able to touch the marble around the Kaaba and be that close to it," she said.

Despite temperatures in Makkah and Madinah hovering between 42°C and 44°C throughout Hajj, the heat did not faze the pilgrims, who felt lucky to have been able to perform Hajj, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It was challenging — in a good way where you can test your limits and know that it’s a test of forbearance and that is such a strong reminder for Muslims that we must practise this beautiful religion and spirituality at all stages in our lives,” said Faisal, a pilgrim in Mina. "It feels amazing to be celebrating Eid here with my brothers."

Ariba, another Pakistani, who was taking part in the pilgrimage with her husband and best friends, said they had enjoyed the services offered by their Hajj tour company.

“I have amazing friends here, the closest with whom I performed most of my Hajj rituals,” she said.

Ariba said the Hajj organisers in Mina made sure pilgrims were welcomed to cool rooms and fresh food on the morning of Eid.

“I feel special and happy after going through the heat and tough journey I went through performing rituals,” she said.

"We were warmly welcomed with amazing breakfast, staff greeting us everywhere we reached and clean, chilled rooms.”

Hajj pilgrims perform the stoning ritual at Jamarat

Hajj pilgrims perform the stoning ritual at Jamarat

Mr Saeed also said he was "pleasantly surprised" to see more Saudi Arabian women working during Hajj, including at the airport.

"I was here four years ago and when I came now, it [had] changed so much," he said, praising the Saudi female workforce.

Sheikh Amir Ismail from the UK said he was performing Hajj on behalf of his mother.

"Hajj has changed over the years, it's become so luxurious and we barely even feel the heat with such great arrangements available to us throughout the journey," he said.

Hajj pilgrims find interesting ways to avoid the sun and soaring heat

Hajj pilgrims find interesting ways to avoid the sun and soaring heat

He said Hajj had been a spiritually enlightening experience and provided numerous life lessons.

"Hajj gives us the most profound and most powerful message on how to live our lives," he said.

"It makes us realise that life is a journey of patience and forbearance. You know you are moving with a large number of people and you will get inconvenienced, but you have to learn to let go of those situations rather than having confrontations and altercations.

"That's how we should deal with situations in our daily lives, be it with family, work or neighbours. We should forgive and live a harmonious life."

Updated: July 10, 2022, 10:10 AM