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To the source – Poems, Pictures & Prose by Saaleha Idrees Bamjee

To the source

Almighty willing, Naeem and I will be leaving for Hajj on Sunday evening.

We are  fortunate to be able to do this so early on in our adulthood.

It promises to be life-altering. If anything, the least I want to come back as is a nicer person with fewer hang-ups, closer to my Source.

Remember us in your hallowed thoughts.

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I am a writer and photographer (look up my work on based in Johannesburg, South Africa. I have an MA in Creative Writing from the university currently known as Rhodes. My writing accolades include winning the 2014 Writivism Short Story Prize and the 2020 Ingrid Jonker Poetry Prize for my debut collection, Zikr.

3 thoughts on “To the source”

  1. Thats wonderful! InshaAllah you’ll both have an amazing experience and benefit from it in uncountable ways. Be safe, have fun, and take in as much as you can! And then if you have time and remember, a little prayer for me would be nice too 😛

  2. It is indeed a blessing to do it early in adulthood. THe older you get, the harder it is to change for the better – so it’s best to take advantage of youth before old age.

    May Allah make your journey a successful and safe one, and grant you both the unbelievable spiritual heights which can only be possible on this trip. And may you come back as pure as the day you were born, with the motivation, strength, and consistency to retain as much of that purity as possible for the rest of your lives.

    They say that the real Hajj starts once you come home – so while you’re there, gather up as much goodness, strength, and inspiration as you can – so that you’ll have a stockpile for the rest of your years (or at least until you get to go again, if you do later in life).

    I’ve heard that the absolute, most important quality you need for this journey is patience. Things can and often do go wrong – so expect difficulties, but bear them with patience. Even the Prophet s.a.w. had a mis-hap before he left for his Hajj (his luggage was lost…but it was recovered later).

    And to remember that the essential element of all of this is your connection with Allah. Keep that in mind at all times – this is intensely personal; all about your bond with Him. It’s really incredible – to be striving on such a journey that’s as physical as it is spiritual.

    Travel safely and savour every moment of it.

    Oh, and if I were you, I wouldn’t force myself to keep a journal or write about it every day on the trip. It’s more important to immerse yourself in the entire experience and LIVE it, without losing too much time on WRITING about it. (At least, that’s the idea in my head – for when I go, insha-Allah). There’ll be plenty of time to write afterwards, insha-Allah – but while you’re there, in the moment, really let yourself experience the intensity, emotion, unburdening, and everything that awaits you.

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