|My wife and I in Mina|
It has been a week since my wife and I came back from hajj.
The memory is still fresh, but I can feel that it is fading away. It is similar to the feeling I get after Ramadan is over. The spirit is still high, but without any maintenance it will slowly dissipates with the passage of time.
To avoid the all-too-common downhill ride, we decided to write a book about our hajj experience. There is more than one intention behind it, obviously. But one of the intention is to make the book a perpetual reminder of our experience.
Kind of like the time when I wrote a letter to myself before I got married. To give you an idea of how forgetful I am, I posted the letter on this blog, included it in my bestselling book “The Other Side of the Coin“, and made a video about me reading the letter out loud on my Youtube channel, and still…I forget.
With this book, we hope to put ourselves in a situation where we have to continuously remind ourselves about it. The more people read it, the more we have to talk about it. The more we talk about it, the more we take ourselves back to Mecca and relive the experience.
But apart from that selfish reason, there are other reasons why we want to write the book. High among them is because we want more young people to go to hajj.
We believe that if young people set their minds and their determination to go to hajj early, then insha Allah they will be able to do so. If Tabung Haji long waiting list is their main concern, then there are ways to get to the top of the list faster.
No, you don’t need special cables to achieve that. (Malaysians will understand the “special cables” reference).
We found that the average pilgrim is twice our age. Imagine this, if you are 40, then you are considered a young haji by our standard. This is something that we heard from one of our hajj guides. This is rather disheartening, mainly because many challenges of hajj require physical fitness.
Now, I am not saying that old people shouldn’t go to hajj. I am aware that many people don’t have a choice. Whatever age you manage to go, you should be grateful. I am proud and excited to see all the elderly people going to hajj. Their determination fueled mine.
Having said that, it doesn’t take away from the fact that we need more young people to grab the opportunity before them. If anything, when we have more young people on board, then we can offer more help to the elders during hajj.
So, the book that we are writing is not just about sharing our experience. It is also about sharing our hope. We realized, from our own personal experience, that young people don’t usually talk about going to hajj. It is not that high on their list compared to, let’s say, getting married early.
It is true. When I was single, I talked more about marriage than I do about hajj. I am not proud of admitting that, but that reality gives me more reason to write this book. We do talk more about marriage than about hajj, don’t we?
When in fact, getting married is not an obligation. But performing hajj is.