My husband and I have made Hajj together twice, al-hamdu lillah. The first one was in 1984, and the second in 1989. I would like to share an experience from our first Hajj.
My husband was working for a company in Riyadh called Siyanco. Our employers sent a bus with 42 single men and ‘Abu Rabab’s family; we went in our private car.
The trip was 16 hours of driving, but with stops for Prayer and food, it was more like 20 hours. Abu Rabab, his wife and 4-year-old daughter were in the bus. My husband and I, along with our three daughters and son were in the car. Most of the trip was rather ordinary. The usual Hajj fires took place and the beggars were never ending. From the time of our arrival at the campgrounds in Mina, Rabab and I started reciting with the children, “Clinic 12, Road 11, Water Valve 1.” It was the
“address” of our campsite, which included one huge tent for the men, a smaller one for the women and children, and a latrine tent.
At the Jamarat, our 11-year-old daughter was “fondled” by a Pakistani
man, whom I soundly bashed with my umbrella! I was very angry at the abuse, and during Hajj of all times. Afterward, as we came down the ramp at the end of the Jamarat, we all opened our umbrellas and held them high, a signal we had chosen in order to identify ourselves in the crowd. When we reached the bottom of the ramp we stopped for a head count. Ya Allah! We were one head short.
My 7-year-old daughter, Nuha, was lost. Several of the men circled around us and the others went to look for her. For two frantic hours they searched. Finally, my husband returned in tears. Our baby was lost! The police actually laughed at us. They said, “You expect us to find one child, and a girl at that, in this crowd? Be grateful that you are okay and go home.” My husband was frantic and I was nearly catatonic. We walked back to the bus without even realizing what we were doing. We arrived at our road and I started crying, I came down from the bus and started walking. Once we reached the water valve where we turned to enter our camp area, people started talking to us.
In my condition I could not understand what they were saying, I just prayed that wherever my baby was, Allah would care for her. My husband took off, running ahead of me. When I reached the campsite, the people were all standing around crying. I panicked. I could not imagine what was happening. I entered the campsite and saw my husband kneeling on the ground. When I walked closer, I saw my daughter, sitting on the ground in front of him eating an ice cream. I fell to the ground in prostration of thankfulness to Allah (Sujud Ash-Shukr).
My daughter had not panicked as I had. When she realized she had been separated from us she stopped. When she heard people speaking with an accent similar to that of her father, she stopped the man and told him, “I am lost and can’t find my family, can you take me to our campsite?” The man asked her where her campsite was and she answered, “Clinic 12, Road 11, Water Valve 1.” He took her and bought her an ice cream on the way. When my husband arrived, the man asked Nuha, “Is this man your father?” She said he was. The man handed her over to her father and left. To this day we do not know who he was. To this day, we pray to Allah for him.
Nuha is now 22, married and the mother of two children. Everyday I
thank Allah for that blessing and the lesson He gave me.
By Umm Nuha