“You are such a mean mother to bring me to this crowd, I want to leave now”
My teary eyed 6 year old daughter said to me as we just about finished the second out of seven rounds of Tawa’af around Allah’s house – the symbolic, holy, larger than life black cube in Makkah. She was squished, nudged and severely pushed by zealous Muslims who wanted to passionately circle around the Ka’aba, touch the thick black fabric with real gold scriptures, thrust themselves in the Hateem for a special application for entry into Jannah, brush against the Hajra e Aswad and plead, beg and repent to God in their own language, mannerisms and adornments.
After getting similar push around my son disappointingly said “if only they would say excuse me before pushing”
Wrapping up the last three years of our lives amidst emotional tsunamis, uncertainties, and hoping for a better change we thought it was best to apply for a spiritual armor, regain mental strength and re charge for a new chapter in life by visiting the holy land and performing Umrah. Exhausted beyond measure, a sick child in tow, and with a fatigued glutes muscle the moment I stepped onto the hot white marble floor of Haram the undetectable force of healing began. Every step towards the center of the world was determined, strong and beneficial.
My heart must have skipped at least a dozen beats the moment I lay my weepy (nothing new by the way) eyes on the beautiful magic that stands proudly in the center of the earth – giving gratification, radiating restorative waves, and supremely engulfing mankind in its kind fold since the beginning of life. As the seven circles around the ka’aba finish all Umrah performers proceed for Saye’e – a symbolic walk in the memory of a strong, resolute and determined mother who ran between the hills of Safa’a and Marwa looking for water for her thirsty infant son. The same son whose desperate heels hit upon a spring of water that was to serve mankind till the end of time. Buckets full of Zam Zam water are gulped down hoping for the Divine faculty to wipe us clean of physical and mental ailments. The end of seven rounds of Saye’e followed by clipping an inch of hair brings the Umrah to an end, yet the brilliant, majestic and invisible relief and healing stays with you for a long period of time.
It was in Singapore one early morning that I gave my friend, Mehrunisa, a three-hour notice to make me a simple, Middle Eastern dish that has its own subtle healing powers. Apart from food and spiritual healing, some people possess the innate quality of healing others and Mehrunisa is one of them. The supportive silence, the mammoth hugs, the expressive tears – are all mending tools that she generously and graciously extended to me.
Clad in black running crops, an apple green top and Adidas trainers, a young fulltime working mother of two adorable sons she was sweating in the kitchen (instead of running on the road) when I got there to take photos and taste her scintillating dish of moist chicken pieces grilled on skewers served with plump green olives and thick baked wedges of egg plant with warm toasted pita bread.
The magnanimous visit to the Holy Land, or a simple “hmmm”. Silent praying or understanding a friends’ silence, hugging the Ka’aba or getting a tight hug – or even eating a healthy meal of protein, carbs and essential oils everything heals – and healing is always resplendent!