The crowd has surpassed last year’s 3 million pilgrims in Makkah and this number was supposedly record breaking. It got so bad that the government stopped giving out any more umrah visas sometime mid last week even to the neighbouring Arab states and my friend who wanted to come in from Dubai was denied the visa.
Those pilgrims who are on local prepaid sim cards and data plans constantly get reminders from the civil defence or the government agents, updating us on the traffic situations and reminding us of safety precautions. We also get notices on how much the crowd had swelled and it has reached a bit more than 3.5 million by immigration’s statistics— which do not include the Saudis themselves. Like seriously, who wouldn’t want to be here to do umrah on the last 10 nights of Ramadan. One Umrah done in the month of Ramadan is equivalent to the merits of one Hajj. Coupled that with laylaturqadar which makes that deed equivalent to 1000 months. That’s like free spiritual lottery by the grace of the Most Compassionate the Most Merciful.
Which brings me to my own waiddaminute moment. As I sit and reflect, I remember that I was quite sad that we didn’t get to go to Hajj this year as we were denied this year’s quota. And I remember I had begged HIM earnestly in last year’s tawaf wida’ ie the compulsory farewell tawaf around the Kaabah before we left Tanah Haram. When we didn’t get to go, I said oh well, our prayers for this are not answered, so never mind. How could I forget what the Prophet pbuh said about doa? That when a believer makes a sincere prayer to HIM, 3 things can happen.1) it gets answered immediately 2) wait or no, and one will get something better than what we ask for because our Creator knows what is better for us 3) it gets answered in the hereafter, waiting for us in Jannah.
Dang! How could I think negatively of HIM that He had deprived me of something we wanted badly? He had obviously given us no 2. He had said wait, not this year but I will give you something better. Had we gone for Hajj this year like how we yearned to, we will only get the merits of ONE Hajj. But so far, I have done 5 umrahs in Ramadan and insya Allah 2 more before Ramadan ends. And if by His decree He accepts all 7 umrahs that I made, that would mean I have been counted for SEVEN Hajj. And if one of those umrahs fall on laylaturqadar, that one hajj merit multiplies by 1000 months. Masya Allah!
Ya Tawwab. I feel paiseh now towards You, for being sad that You turned down my one request, only to realise You have given me a million times over in return.