Assalamu'alaykum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuhu,
Many people I know, myself included were not permitted to make Hajj this year. What our Shaykh told us, and what I've been hearing, is that the Saudi government was in the midst of massive construction at mina and muzdalifah in order to accomodate larger numbers while ensuring the safety of all hajjis, but they miscalculated timing and weren't able to finish in time, thus the Hajj Ministry is allowing fewer people in for Hajj this year (and more have applied because of the holiday season). This is the outward reason for our being denied the hajj this year.
Before we went to the hajj meeting to find out whether or not we got the visas, Salik asked me to pause and promise that regardless of what happened, our hearts would not change with Allah -- that we should be content with whatever He has ordained, and if it is that we cannot go this year, we should pray that Allah make us worthy of such a sacred journey of purification.
I know a lot of people that were intending to go this year, but have been denied have been down...so I thought I'd post something to remind us all that the invitation to Allah's Home is when He wishes to have us, not always when we want to go...and ultimately, the time He ordains is the best of times for us.
Mawlana Rumi, who we had the honour of visiting at his resting place in Konya this past summer, writes:
Do Not Despair
Say, do not despair because the Beloved drives you away; if
He drives you away today, will He not call you back tomorrow?
If He shuts the door on you, do not go away; be patient
there, for after patience He will seat you in the place of
And if He bars against you all ways and passages, He will
show you a secret way, which no man knows.
Is it not the case that when the butcher cuts off the head of
a sheep with his knife, he does not abandon what he has slain,
but first slays, and then draws?
When no more breath remains to the sheep, he fills it with
his own breath; you will see whither God's breath will bring
I spoke this as a parable; else, His generosity slays no man,
rather it rescues him from slaying.
He gives all the kingdom of Solomon to a single ant; He
bestows both worlds, and does not startle a single heart.
My heart has travelled round the world and found none
like Him; whom does He resemble? Whom does He resem-
Ah, silence! For without speech He gives to all of this wine
to taste, He gives to taste, He gives to taste, He gives to taste.
-- Translation by A. J. Arberry
"Mystical Poems of Rumi 1"
The University of Chicago Press, 1968
May Allah make us all worthy of the Hajj and bless us with the journey of purification and return. May He Most High grant us and all those we love, long, healthy, happy lives of 'ibaadah spent in the service of the deen and the ummah of the beloved Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him, his family, folk, and all those who seek to follow him until the Last Day). Amin, Amin, Amin.