Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Beautiful Soul decides to stay on in Mecca - Umrah Pilgrimage Part 24

Commiserating with Zain
My Mecca journal continues -

A couple of days into our stay in Mecca, rumours started to circulate that someone from our jemaah (congregation) had passed away the night before. Later we found out that it was the mother of our friend, Zain (not his real name). He was in the pilgrimage together with his elderly father and mother. They must have been in their 70s - A nice gentle couple as you would find anywhere.

Next morning, Arjuna and myself went down for breakfast. We found Zain and his father there, both looking rather tired and shell-shocked. We gave them our condolences and sat with them for awhile, until the father begged our leave, and together with Zain, he went up to his room. A short while later Zain rejoined our table. He shared with us that he was ‘so’ not prepared for his mother’s demise. There was no indication of any terminal illness when they left Kuala Lumpur, about a week and a half ago. His eyes were tired and sorrowful, and finally tears trickled down his face, “I cannot stay in the room. Too many of my mother’s stuff… It is just too painful.”

Then he continued. “My mother has been on umrah pilgrimage many, many times before. Each time, she wanted me to accompany her, but I never really felt like it.” Arjuna then said, “Well my friend, now that you mother is peacefully resting in Mina (cemetery), you have more reasons to visit Mecca often. Not just for the Baitullah (House of God – Kaaba and the Masjidil Haram), but also to visit your dear mother.”

Zain replied, “I don’t know guys… I also feel bad because the truth is I didn’t have the proper intention to undertake the pilgrimage. Really, I am here because I was tired of saying No to my mother.” To which Arjuna replied, “But brother, to please your Mother is to please God… so come on... no regrets, my friend, only good has come from your pilgrimage with your mother.”

We continued talking for awhile, until I finally shared with him the reason for my own pilgrimage. I said. “My mother wanted to take me for umrah since 1991 (For managing to pass my 1st year in University - second time around. She must have been so relieved). And each year I made excuses telling her, "Not this year, Mama... maybe next year". Until finally, God's plan can wait no longer and my mother passed away in 2002, her wish unfulfilled. So you see, this umrah, belatedly, is for her.”

God bless all sons and daughters. And if there is something we have not done for our parents, then do it now. Because you never know when either of you might leave to return to the Divine Presence. Your parents have the highest hopes for you, and one day you will find out the depth and purity of their love. So why wait to find out? Don't be like me, be like Zain - Do it while your parents are still with you.

Have a thoughtful Tuesday, sunshine.

Pax Taufiqa.

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