A pilgrimage to Makkah changed my perspective.
Start writing a post

My Life-Changing Umrah Taught Me The Importance Of Faith And How To Live Outside Of Society’s Expectations

The pilgrimage to Makkah that changed my view on life.

503
My Life-Changing Umrah Taught Me The Importance Of Faith And How To Live Outside Of Society’s Expectations
Hamna Zaidi

In the summer of 2018, my family and I went on an exotic trip to the country of Saudi Arabia. We were visiting Madinah, the city of the last Prophet, and Makkah, the house of the Lord. Because I was going during the month of Ramadan, it was so congested with faithful Muslims everywhere, that I didn't even have a breath of my own. With this trip, I felt as if my eyes opened up to the reality of life: give no importance to societal features (gender, color, ethnicity, etc.). Everyone there supported each other with everything, not looking at societal needs but because of their shared passion for faith. From then I knew that no matter what mistakes I made in the past, I had another opportunity to truly change myself.

The first stop of the trip was Madinah. In Madinah, there was one main mosque that we would spend all day in Masjid-an-Nabawi. We would spend our entire day worshipping: praying and reading the Qur'an (the holy book). This Masjid also contained the grave of Prophet Muhammad, the last and most adored Prophet. He is considered an idol to all Muslims. I went to Saudi Arabia during the summer months, and the temperatures were always above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Even with extreme temperatures, everyone there (including myself), was fasting: not eating or drinking anything from dawn to sunset. I realized that even with the sun beaming down on us, limited air conditioning with hundreds of thousands people in the Masjid, and no shoes to walk on the hot surfaces, no one could wish for a better place to be.

I was shocked to see everyone around me so exhilarated and helpful. The Masjid would provide the food, so right before the sun began to set, everyone gathered and sat down in rows. A plate filled with food was set in front of everyone. Not just in the Masjid, but outside it as well. I was astonished to see how much money, time and love was in the hearts of people that they were spending thousands of dollars each day to make sure that every person has enough food, if not more. I was intrigued because in the town I reside in, if you don't have the money to get a cup of coffee from Starbucks or fries from McDonald's, you just go home alone and figure something out. If I ask a friend for a cookie right now, they would hesitate to give just one, while in Madina, people gladly handed out bags and bags of food. In the span of three days, I learned how gracefully my faith makes us provide for one another, despite all our flaws.

My next and final stop was in Makkah: the heart of Islam. It is where I performed Umrah: a pilgrimage in Makkah. Here, as I fasted, I walked around the Kabah (the big bricked cube with a black velvet cloth) seven times with thousands of people near me, praying for forgiveness, their friends, family and all those who could not attend. Going around the Kabah was one of the two things a Muslim had to do to complete Umrah. These seven rounds changed everything for me. The rounds were done in 102-degree weather, heat waves blown in our faces and no air conditioning because we were outside. To ease the hardships, I watched as all the people threw water on each other's heads, air fans to have a bliss of wind, water guns to make sure everyone was alive and hold each other's hands to help finish off the rounds. No one knew each other, but because we all went there to repent for our sins and ask for sincere forgiveness, we all kept pushing to motivate each other.

As we moved to the second part of the Umrah, we had to walk from one mountain to the next 7 times: Safa and Marwa. These last seven rounds were the longest and hardest: approximately 2 miles. If you had not lost your energy while walking around the Kabah, you definitely lost hope and energy now. People struggled to keep themselves up but were able to continue for one reason only: their love for Allah. We loved and believed in our God so much, that I did not realize my seven rounds were over until my dad said we were done. Those two miles that I was dreading to do, became an ounce of water to do because of the passion and love I had. I learned that I really can do the impossible with myself. I can push myself, I can work hard, and I can help and motivate others, despite our differences.

Every action I had done in Saudi Arabia was based on the principles of Islam. With my ten day trip, I was able to learn the significance of providing for others before myself even if I do not know them, and that I can do anything if I put my mind and heart into it. My motivation is not someone, it is me itself. I am my own motivator and I can help motivate others as well, and that is what gives me a peaceful state of mind. I learned that every question and obstacle that comes in my way has only way direction to follow: principles of Islam. If I just think about the faithful way to come about something, I will never need to worry about the outcome. Allah has given the glory of such a guideline book: Quran, that others who struggle and regret their decisions in the future don't have to do. Your only struggle is satisfying and pleasing Allah. He has laid out the guide to this world, and I wish I had gone earlier, to have gotten that realization before.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

To My Fellow Girls With Resting B**** Face

A letter to my friends with RBF about understanding your own face and helping others deal with it.

724
Jupe du Jour

To the girl with resting b**** face:

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The Boyfriends Of The 2000s

Thank you, J14, for the Posters

3274
J14 magazine

Every girl remembers her first crush. Even if your first crush was the boy in your kindergarten class that ate crayons, your first true love will always be the one that holds the key to your heart. Growing up in the 2000s, everyone knew who your dream guy was. Your family probably still give you grief and your best friends probably still reminisce, so it is impossible to forget your first celebrity crush. You bought a Tiger Beat magazine every chance you could just to read up about what your favorite celebrity was doing. Your room was fully decorated with posters of them, and it wasn't unusual to have fights with your best friends over who was going to marry him. If you were a 90's baby, lucky you because the 2000s were full of boys that were easy to love. I hope you enjoy a walk down memory lane and quickly realize that Bieber was definitely not the first guy with that hair cut. Here are 15 90's baby's first boyfriends.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

20 Things I Learned By The Start of My 20s

No one expects you to have your life together by the time you're 20, because honestly, they didn't either.

14209
Allyson Foutty

We are all often faced with many life challenges throughout the time leading up to our 20s. Before this time, and throughout it, we often look back at the things we've learned and how they've influenced who we are as people today. Some of my biggest influences were some of the challenges I've faced, but they've taught me 20 important things by the start of my 20s.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The Boyfriend Recipe

The ingredients to build a relationship are a little more complicated than just a bouquet of flowers and a box of candy.

11522

Relationships. Long distance or not, significant others are much more than just that. I would be lying if I said I did not love the sweet gestures that only a boyfriend can give. The flowers, funny phone calls, hand holding, breakfast dates, and tight hugs are special but my relationship and many others out there exist on much more than just these little gestures. It is a tricky concoction that consists of one part boyfriend and two parts best friend and would not work without one part or the other. While having a relationship may not be quite as easy as baking a batch of cookies, it has its own recipe (with a few variations for flavor) to follow for a good match.

Keep Reading... Show less
google images

Fashion just keeps growing and changing and old trends are made new! Now, I'm no beauty guru, just a beauty guru wannabe, but personally I have compiled some stylish wardrobe must haves! These can be cute assets to go back to school or just to catch up on some of the latest trends...

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments