A Look Back on 2011 – Hajj Times

I realize today is the 2nd day of 2012 and that maybe I missed the window of time when one is allowed to reflect on 2011 but I’ll just ask for forgiveness and move on…

Looking back on the year in which I turned 30, hands down the greatest, most awesomest thing that happened was that I got to go for Hajj. For a Muslim who is financially and physically able, going for the Hajj is a requirement and must be completed at least once in one’s life. It was truly a blessing that I got to go on the pilgrimage at this age.

After I got back, someone asked me if I was going to write about my experiences. At first, I wanted to but realized I wrote all that I needed to say in my Facebook update on my way back from Saudi Arabia:

“Hajj went well, Alhamdulilah. Hoping to now institute some change in my life for the better, InshAllah. ”

I know, I know, not exactly the most insightful statement but I felt like that was all I had to say in written form.

However, when anyone asked me in person how my trip was, I would tell them about it. I talked about the mosque in Medina and how I couldn’t get over how beautiful it was, about saying my prayers in front of the Kaaba, staying in tents in Mina, and how really cool a lot of the people I met turned out to be.

Funny enough though, I do feel the need to write about one aspect right now…

Like I said above, I came back with the sense of wanting to change. Because, I have to be honest with y’all, I felt like my flaws were exposed during the trip. There were a few times where I took a step back from the situation and couldn’t believe myself. I wanted to be as perfect as possible but who knows how many mistakes I made and how many defects in my own self manifested. At some point though, I realized that I was just going to have to try to do my best and quit worrying. Beyond that, I could pray that my pilgrimage was accepted and start incorporating changes in my life – I want to be a better person, be more charitable, be more spiritual and religious, more patient, more everything. Essentially, I wanted to improve myself.

Having said all of the above, more than 6 weeks have passed and I feel like I haven’t gotten on any of the things I set for myself. I keep on thinking about all that I want to do but never actually do them (Hey, I guess that’s another one of my flaws!).

So with the new year, I want to take the opportunity to start fresh. Just because I haven’t done something yet doesn’t mean I can never do it. I still have a lot to reflect on from my pilgrimage and I don’t want to lose the momentum that came from it. Therefore I will:

– Start all the things I said to myself I would do when I got back Hajj
– Quit procrastinating on a few other things that I’ve wanted to start/continue for a while now (Man, remember when I was learning Arabic? Exactly!)

Here’s hoping for a successful 2012 for all of us, InshAllah.

Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!

Lady in front of me praying in Medina

8 thoughts

  1. Hey Bushra,

    (My sis is named Bushra!) Performing the Hajj is probably the greatest joy a Muslim can hope for! I haven’t been for Hajj myself but have been for Umrah and it was enlightening.

    Loved reading about your experience. Hoping to read more of your work.

    Take Care!

  2. Bushra,

    Go Get’em. Great post. This is the most important thing you can do for yourself and you said it, “I was just going to have to try to do my best and quit worrying.” Do your best and God will take care of the rest, especially if you do your best with honesty and integrity. Like I mentioned. If you look at your list of lifestyle changes and improvements on a daily basis, it is easier to keep the focus in the now. Good luck. Not sure how you could be more awesome, but I know you will try.

    1. You are way too kind Tony! I’ll have to write down what I need to do to achieve the above and try to do a bit each day. I think it’ll be easier to hold myself accountable that way.

  3. Hi Bushra,

    I feel just the same way about my goals. I don’t usually write private goals for myself, let alone put them on my blog, but that’s just what I’ve done this year because my biggest goal is to change the way I think about things. So God be with you as you fulfil your goals, let us know how you are doing with each of them and thank you for sharing.

  4. I’ve always found you to be spiritually insightful. I enjoy these posts and musings.

    I think what is most important is developing your drive. Not so much making a list of things you want to be or want to do, but find that certain something that gives you oomph, whatever it may be, then develop it. Everything else simply falls into place. :)

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