It is almost 2.10 am in the morning and I am still working away. Feeling the hunger pangs, my instinct is to go downstairs and cook myself some instant noodles which I stash for the times I crave for comfort food, usually when I am under a lot of stress. I am not supposed to eat that stuff. It’s bad and I know it. But comfort food is comfort food. So to curb it, let me write for a while.
With 7 more days exactly before our trip, by right I should feel anxious about it. But right now, I just feel tired. And angry at myself. I had envisioned that a month prior to the trip, I would have been in a more ‘spiritual’ state to prepare myself as to what I would face there. I should be revising on what to do, the ‘doa-doa’, read up on the history etc to get more ‘feel’ of things when we are there, read the Quran more etc, etc. Instead, here I am, still running around like a headless chicken trying to settle day to day stuffs and neglecting all the other things I wanted to do–for myself.
Our last umrah trip was just last year. That was our first trip as husband and wife. My first was when I was 20, with my parents. We got married on my birthday. So every year, we celebrate our wedding anniversary and my birthday in April with a trip to anywhere. Last year, Amran decided to take us both for umrah. It was going to be his first time. It turned out to be a really meaningful trip. I would even call it the most beautiful trip that we had made together (and we have made countless) and it left such an impact that we wanted to be back there again and again, together. So we came back to Malaysia and decided we wanted to go for Hajj the next year i.e 2012. I went back to Singapore to register us both for Hajj (I can only go under the Singapore quota being a Singaporean and since he is my mahram, he gets to go under the Singaporean quota too, awesome or what?).
But as the saying goes, Hajj is by invitation from HIM. When it is time, it is time. This year came and we didn’t get the quota to go for Hajj this year. So we decided to go to Jordan, for a one month sabbatical and intensive summer program learning Arabic at Qibla Institute. The summer intensive program is for the entire month of June and the first week of July. When we registered for the course, we got an email from the institute that the summer intensive course would be postponed this year, until further notice as they were doing some upgrading process at the institute. So now what?
I suggested Ramadan Umrah. In place of the one month unpaid leave in June, I suggested to Amran that we push it to half of July/August so that we would be there for the entire month of Ramadan. Last year, during our Umrah, I was just sitting in front of the Kaabah taking in the sight and scene around me and secretly made a wish that, wouldn’t it be nice if I can spend the entire Ramadan here, just cut off from any worldly affairs for that month and concentrate on building my relationship with HIM?
Amran agreed to the suggestion and he went back to the agent we went with last year. Miraculously, they were looking into organising an umrah trip for people who want to be there for Ramadan and Syawal. We thought we would be gone for only 30 days (that was what we asked for), but the agent came back to us with a package offer of 38 days (excluding journey). 4 days in Medinah in Syaaban, 32 days in Makkah for Syaaban and Ramadan, and if the moon sighting falls nicely, 2 days Syawal in Makkah.
Just as we have confirmed everything, we got news from Jordan that they have reopened Summer Semester. Like seriously? Nevermind then, it was not meant to be. We were meant to go for this umrah trip insya Allah. When we think about it, had we gone for the Jordan trip, we won’t be getting Sarah as our student exchange foster kid. I looked at the date, the bootcamp I went to when Dianah announced about Sarah, that would have been our 10th day in Jordan if it had happened for us. No way our path would cross with Sarah then.
This reminds me of a verse in the Quran, in Surah an Anfal verse 30:
“Although they plan, Allah also plans..And Allah is the best of planners”
We planned for this Jordan trip since beginning of the year. We had planned everything that has anything to do with it. But Allah is the best of All Planners. He decided, we should not go and has a better plan for us. We accept.