How do I begin to speak of my internal rihla?
Photo: Class with Shaykh Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi. © Fareena Alam. Please do not re-use without permission and proper credit.
All praises belong to Allah, the Most Merciful and Generous, and may the best of blessings and peace be upon our Master and Beloved Rasulullah and his families and companions, and those who follow them until the end of time.
It has been almost two weeks since I returned from the Rihla, and I’m still struggling to recover from the ‘Rihla Fever’… Like other participants, I’ve been bombarded with many questions about the Rihla.Unfortunately, I can only talk about my ‘external’ Rihla… The amazing lectures, field trips, the great hospitality, the feasts, the physical beauty and structures of the mosques, the destruction of the holy places and historical sites and so on.
For some reason, I’m having great difficulty talking about my ‘internal’ Rihla. I've resorted reading the stories and reflections written by fellow Rihla-mates on this wonderful blog to soothe my sick heart and search for some answers…
As I reflect on the other posts, I’m slowly beginning to realize what is happening to me… I feel very lost and disheartened because I left my heart and soul in the Haramain, Makkah and Madinah. Ya Allah! How do I retrieve them now? When I was there, I felt like I was on seventh heaven and I was going to stay there forever… How do I bring that heart back to earth again? How do you explain these experiences in words or any human language? Ya Allah!
I don’t know the answers to these questions, but one thing I know for sure is that I must strive harder and harder to improve my state – ‘cause going back to my old habits and routine is going to cause me more and more pain and grief. I also pray that my Lord, the Most Merciful and Generous, will not leave me alone wandering aimlessly after bringing me this far… Ya Allah!!!
I must continue to learn how to increase and carry my love and devotion for Allah ‘Azza wa Jjal and His Beloved Prophet, many blessings and peace be upon him, whatever I do and wherever I go…
According to a Hadith, we will not be truly grateful to Allah unless we show our deep gratitude to the people whom Allah chose to send His blessings upon us. So I would like to take this opportunity in my first post at this blog to thank all our beloved shuyukh and their blessed families, the organisrs and their blessed families, our tour guides, our hosts, our bus drivers, and all those who served us and tried to make our stay in the blessed cities a very pleasant one. May Allah subhanahu waTa’ala preserve them and immensely reward them in Dunya and Akhirah, and join us all with our Beloved in Janatul Firdous. Ameen!
I would also like to thank all the aunties, uncles, brothers and the sisters who blessed us with their company at the Rihla, including the children (our little angels :), for their wonderful companionship. I learned a lot from you all…
Last but not least, how can I forget all our families, friends and supports from all over the world. It was because of your constant support and du’a that we were able to experience what we’ve experienced at the Rihla. Jazakumu Allah kulail khair!
O our Lord, grant us the best in this life (Dunya) and the best in the next life (Akhira), and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.
May Allah Subhanahu waTa’ala grant us all with many Rihalaat to return back to Him again and again, before our final Rihla to Him. Ameen!
- Your Sister-in-Islam