This is the final instalment from one of our members who has been sharing her experience of the recent ^umrah trip led by Haj Hadi Fayed and her reflections on being back:
I went inside the masjid and whilst everyone else queued, I found a quiet spot that I thought was closest to where the Prophet was, and I spoke to him. I made du^a, I said salat and sang for a while, and without even realising I fell asleep, a deep satisfying sleep from which I gently awoke, not knowing how long I had slept for, nor how I was awoken. Had there not been people waiting for me I could have spent all night there at least. On the way back, I passed the green dome and could not walk by without sitting near it. Even though it was late and my feet could not carry me anymore, my heart would not let me leave anyway.
Most nights were similar, sitting in front of the dome in the blessed breezy air. Every now and then I would leave the group, to go and make du^a, to sing to the Prophet, to talk to him, and then return to the group, who in some form or another were present there most of the time, praising him and singing to him. My love for the company of good sisters and brothers was superseded by my desire to speak to my beloved alone, emptying my heart from all its woes and praising as best I could the best of the creation, our Master Muhammad. I had been hungry for so long to see this beautiful place and now I was feeling satiated.
My days and nights feel so empty now that I am back, and my heart is broken. Whilst I am no longer a za’ir, I feel like I am a foreigner, lost in this place I call home. “Yalla ya Za’ir!” The brother known for calling it would cry, and what a beautiful label it was. I would have treasured it more had I reflected upon the meaning that was so delicately chosen to reflect our temporary status, travelling this world to go to the two best cities where our honourable Prophet was born, and where he is buried, under the glorious green dome. I would no longer be called by this beautiful name, whilst hurrying to go to the next beautiful place to seek out our heritage, gain full appreciation of the efforts that our ancestors had put forward and take with graciousness the blessings from these blessed lands upon which these honourable heroes had walked upon and therein are buried. Indeed, wandering down the winding streets, who knows whose footsteps my own had stepped upon.
And when the time finally came, it hurt to leave Madinah. Indeed, it hurts more with each passing day; I fell in love with the city of dreams and I have left my heart there.
O my aching heart: if this is how I feel regarding days gone by, then how will I withstand the months and years being apart from the place in which I felt so alive?