Thursday, January 24, 2008

Puerto Rican imam returns from Desert

Hajj 2007
It was a Hajj that will stay with me for the rest of my life,in my 40 years as a Muslim i never expected nothing like this,hajj 2007 was my third time for hajj, the first was by myself and the second one was with my wife, but this one had a special meaning to it because i was making an historical hajj with brothers from the Latino community and i was making this hajj for a friend that had his intentions on making this hajj and died before he could accomplish his goal, we spent the last 6 weeks in an Imam Training Program, which i was an Imam but wasn't certified, it was Sponsored by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and as a reward for finishing the program was this beautiful gift of hajj.

We started our journey from AL AIN, UAE this is were the Imam Training Program school was, as we arrived in Abu Dhabi airport we were all in a state of anxiety on making this historical trip, checking our bags that were giving to us with just enough clothes and toiletries to make this a pleasant trip.We boarded on Qatar Airlines on one of their latest Airplanes, beautiful just seeing all of these brothers and sisters going on hajj from the UAE, our first stop was to Medina the city of the Prophet (SAW) when we arrived we were giving the welcome of Royalty, the rest of the brothers this being their first time didn't notice, but by me coming over to this side of the world so many times before i knew what was coming the waiting , the lines customs and sometimes the dislike for Americans, but by Allahs mercy we were treated good with plenty of love, when we got to the Hotel in Medina it was a brand new Hotel (AL Kareem Hotel)that we were the first occupants for the Hajj season, we put our bags up and we headed to the Prophets Mosque to offer 2 rakas and we had time to visit the Prophets (SAW)tomb along with Abu Bakr and Umar ibn al-Khattab (R.A.)tombs.Al-Masjid an Nabawi built by the Prophet Muhammed (SAW)himself next to his house and contains his tomb.After a well deserved rest we made Fajr prayer at the Prophets Masjid and ate breakfast at our beautiful Hotel we stared to go on tour to some of the historical places that were in Medina.

First on the list was Masjid Al Qiblatain, the Mosque with the 2 Qiblas situated in Madinah just a few miles from the Masjid an- Nabi. It is one of the oldest Mosque in the world, and it contains 2 mihrabs 1 in the direction of (Jerusalem)and the other towards Makkah, in this Masjid Prophet Muhammed received revelation to change Qiblah from Jerusalem towards the Ka'bah in Mecca.
"Verily! We have seen the turning of your face towards the heaven;surely we shall turn you to a prayer direction(Qiblah)that shall please you (surah al-Baqarah; 2:144).
Then it was on to Masjid Quba it is also about 2 miles south west from Masjid an-Nabawi, it is the first Mosque of the muslims, it is said that the Prophet Muhammed(SAW)and his companions built it with their own hands on his migration to Madinah, we made 2 rakats nafl, it is said to be equal to one Umrah.
Then it was on to Jabal-e-Uhud , which is about four miles north of Madinah,the battle of Uhud was fought at 3 A.H. Hamza the Prophets(SAW)uncle and other companions are buried here, then it was back to Madinah were we had time to shop for some extra clothes and to get ourselves ready for this hajj.

Labbayk Allahumma labbayk
Labbayk la shareeka laka labbyk
Innal hamda wan ni'imata laka wal mulk
La shareeka lak

Here I am at your service O Lord, here I am
Here I am. There is no partner to You, here I am
Truly , the praise and Favor is Yours,and the dominion.
There is no partner to You.

We headed towards Mecca to do our Ummrah, we got to a Miqat outside of Madinah to take a shower and put on our ikrams and do 2 rakats which we were performing Hajj at Tamattu (interrupted)Umrah and Hajj, it took us 3 hrs to drive to Mecca in the SUV's that they had contracted to drive us there,on our arrival we went to the hotel to take our bags then it was on to the Masjid to make our Umrah which consist of 7 Tawafs ,2 rakats at the station of Ibrahim,drinking Zam Zam water, 7 times back and forth between the hills of Al-Safa and Al-Marwah and then getting your hair clipped.
As we were making our (tawaf)and the end of each circuit,we would say.
Rabbana atina fid dunya hasanatan wa fil akhirati
hasanatan wa qina adhaban nar.

Our Lord give us good in this world,and
good in the hereafter, and save us from the torment of the fire.

After the Umrah we were able to go to our Hotel and change into our clothes and relax a little while we made every salats at the Kabah.

Then the big day came 8th of Dhul Hijjah , we wash our bodys put on our ihram and made our intentions by saying the talbiyah,

Labbayk Allahumma labbayk
Labbayk la shareeka labbyk
Innal hamda wan ni'imata laka wal mulk
La shareeka lak.

Here I am at your service O Lord, here i am
Here I am .There is no partner to You
Here I am
Truly, the praise and favour is Yours, and the dominion.

We went to Mina, again we had excellent drivers , Abdullah who was a Eng. Student and for hajj season they worked for the Hajji's, we prayed Dhur, Asr, Maghrib, Isha and Fajr Prayers at the proper times, shortening prayers with 4 rakats to 2 , but not combining the prayers.

Sunrise on the 9th of Dhul Hijjah, we proceeded to Arafat and made Dhur and Asr ,shortening them and combining them during the time of Dhur with one adhan and 2 iqamas 1 iqama for each prayer, we stayed in Arafat until sunset making duas all day for our friends family and members of the (Latino Community)but mostly asking Allah to forgive us and have mercy on us.then we proceeded to Muzdalifah were we combined the Maghrib and Isha prayers shortening the Isha prayer to 2 rakats, when we got to Muzdalifah we couldn't find the place that was reserved for us but we saw some of the brothers from the UAE and we decided after they gave us permission to camp with them , we made our Maghrib and Isha and layed out our sleeping bags and rested and let me tell you it was cold, then we proceeded to Mina before sunnrise were we picked up our stones (7)to throw at the Jamarah which is the pillar of Aqabah , the closest one to Mecca, with each throw saying Allahu Akbar, this year you could see the improvements that they made, to make it easy for you to perform, from there we went by SUV, to the surprise of all, to the slaughter house each one of us 14 of us ,had a sheep ready to slaughter, some could not see themselves doing it, so they gave permission to slaughter for them. then we shaved our heads and went back to the hotel to change from our ihrams to regular clothes , then we performed the tawaf's and sa'y and then went back to Mina we stayed for another 2 days finishing or stone throwing and getting to know eachother better , we went back to Mecca to do our farewell tawafs and we flew back to AL AIN UAE to pack our bags to go back to the USA , meanwhile we had gotten so close to each other during our stay at the school and performing Umrah And Hajj together that it was hard saying goodbye, but one thing that i can say that it gave us a sense of accomplishment (YES WE CAN).

Imam Yusef Maisonet

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Please notice my brother's elation at making Hajj and his testament to its' wonder. At the end of his journey he closes.. with YES WE CAN! Remarkable because it is even more relavant today than in 2007. Al hamdulilah.. Allas blesses those who journey to get closer to Him.