Taken from the wiki,
‘The ʿUmrah or (Arabic: عمرة ) is a pilgrimage to Mecca performed by Muslims that can be undertaken at any time of the year. In Arabic Umrah means “to visit a populated place”. As a technical term used in the Shari’ah, Umrah means to perform Tawaf of Kaabah and Sa’i between Al-Safa and Al-Marwah, after assuming Ihram, either from a Miqat or a place in Hill. It is sometimes called the ‘minor pilgrimage’ or ‘lesser pilgrimage’, the Hajj being the ‘major’ pilgrimage and which is compulsory for every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it. According to some schools of Islamic thought, the Umrah is not compulsory but highly recommended.’
Later today, mum will leave to perform her umrah. I won’t be able to send her to the airport as usual because she’s there back in my hometown on a sunny island set in the sea down south while I am here, facing the mock exams organised by Gothe Institute.
She had announced this umrah trip to us on her last visit here, intently stating it is really not for her, but actually she is going for me. Me? Why me? She gave me that look and said, ‘ Yes you. I have so much things to pray for you !’
Mum does that each time she thinks there is a big problem she cannot possibly solve on her own- go Umrah. At the very least, she says that if the problem still persists, she still gets her own time out in a peaceful place. And it seems that the fact no babies popped out of our marriage is indeed a big problem she couldn’t possibly solve on her own, so she has decided this trip is imperative 🙂
I did my umrah in 1998. With her of course. It was my first time, it was her 2nd time. I was blur on what to do and where to go but she was there like an army on a mission. My relationship with her then was, to say the least, volatile. Amongst the things I remembered so well then was to pray please, please, please God, don’t let us bicker or argue in of all places, YOUR holy abode.
Through the years after that, she made more trips there, usually on her own and also I notice, whenever she felt helpless on how to help her children with certain matters pertaining to our studies, our personal lives, our careers… us, generally. It is her subtle way of teaching us that when you really do not know what to do, the answers are all in HIM. Furthermore, she reminded us that the prayers of a mother has no barrier i.e HE promised that HE will grant all prayers of mothers for their children. So the very least she could do is to pray for us, without any distractions, by performing the umrah.
I had hoped to go there myself for really, of all the traveling we have been doing, it is there I wish we have been as a couple. However, the husband is not ready for it at this moment and I have to respect that. The time will come, he said, insya Allah soon. Because he too, knows that for all the challenges we have gone through together, good times, bad times, nerve wrecking times, turbulence times…. we both badly need time out to spend in solitude with HIM.
I pray mum will have a safe trip and I really hope amongst the things she prays for me later when she is there is to ask HIM to invite us there….
…..and oh, some new abayas for me would be nice too, heh 😛