When Auntie Kia announced that she'll perform haj this year, warm tears of gratefulness and happiness for her streamed down my eyes.
From the money earned selling 'kueh' for breakfast, she beats those who's forever with excuses that money is never enough to perform the final pillar of Islam.
Living in a wooden house with only the very basic necessities with an odd-job labourer husband and 3 school-going children, putting aside RM16,000 to travel to Mecca is no mean feat. But as the saying goes, where there's a will, there's a way.
I remembered well the first time I attended the pre-haj class, the ustaz said, so long as we have clear intention of going to visit the Holy Kaabah, the invitation card from the Almighty Allah was already put on the table. Fulfilling it depends on our faith and determination. There's always means and ways to meet the financial needs. More often than not, money comes from sources we never think of.
There was once an elderly lady who, for 2 years, never fail to attend the pre-haj class performed at a madrasah along Ipoh Lane. Although financially insufficient, she was determined that she too will congregate at Masjidil Haram and Masjidin Nabawi.
True enough, she found S$7,000 wrapped in a handkerchief at the bus-stop while waiting for a bus home from Geylang market.
For a year she would sit for an hour without fail, at the same bus-stop, after doing her marketing, waiting for someone to claim the S$7,000 in her hand.
When nobody make the claim, she turned to the 'ustaz' for advice. Knowing her burning desire, the 'ustaz' asked her to wait for another year before she flew to Saudi Arabia.
For me not invited this year, tinge of sadness is in me. I know I will be the guest of Allah s.w.t. again and again.
For now, Surah Al-Haj is a must read and selawat for haj will always be in me.