For the last two days I have been feeling increasingly anxious. The gnawing, uneasy feeling you get when you know that you are going to experience loss.
My time here in the Prophet’s ﷺ city has drawn to an end and I feel a fraction of the emptiness that the Sahaba must have felt when the Prophet ﷺ departed this world.
How strange the Prophet ﷺ wasn’t born here in Madinah. He didn’t grow up here. Revelation didn’t start here. And yet this is his city.
He came to it when the Madinans accepted his call and when all else denied him. When they protected him when no one else would. He ﷺ made it his city by establishing Islam as a living, breathing practical way of life revealed by the Creator ﷻ, a beacon of how mankind can and should live. And then he ﷺ took it to the world. He fulfilled Allah’s ﷻ ayah:
هُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَىٰ وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى الدِّينِ كُلِّهِ ۚ وَكَفَىٰ بِاللَّهِ شَهِيدًا
‘It is He who sent His Messenger with guidance and the deen of truth to make it (Islam) superior over all other ways of life. And sufficient is Allah as Witness.’ [Al-Fath 48:28]
Those that followed him understood that call and continued to take Islam as far as they could. I am a Muslim today, as are many of my forefathers, because of their endeavours.
Of course our history has had its ups and downs. We experienced significant decline, particularly in how we think about Islam, which holds us back today.
So here I am and it is now time to take my farewell.
Makkah humbled me. The hajj cleansed me. Madinah inspired me.
The fire of Islam that ignited in me some two decades ago has found new fuel, new understanding and new strength. For in the Prophet ﷺ we find the best example.
لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا
‘There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent example for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often.’ [Al-Ahzab 33:21]
My solace today are the words of the Beloved ﷺ:
“I wish I could meet my brothers.” The Sahaba asked, “Are we not your brothers?” The Prophet said, “You are my companions, but my brothers are those who have believed in me although they never saw me.”
I ask Allah ﷻ that I am one of those who he ﷺ wishes to meet as a brother.
I ask Allah, al-Wadud, that He fills my heart with love for His Rasul ﷺ so that I can obey him. I ask Allah, al-Aleem, to fill my mind with clear knowledge of his Message. And I ask Allah, al-Aziz, to fill my chest with strength so that I can carry his mission till the day I die.
They say that every moment of happiness or sorrow in this life will pass. Here I am feeling both. Happy at completing the hajj. Heart broken at having to leave.