Although it was more than six months ago that we were there, when I close my eyes, it all returns and by Allah's Mercy, the late night visits to the Rawdah are forever etched in my being.
Eating dinner with the group, going upstairs, making wudu and meeting the sisters in the lobby.
I can still feel our excitement and hear our laughter as we walked quickly down the dark, tranquil brick road, passed the closed shops... hoping, praying for a chance to meet with our beloved Nabi (Allah bless him and give him peace).
Getting to the courtyard gates, bending quickly to remove our shoes and placing them in our bags.
Walking swiftly across the marble floor of the courtyard, reciting the du'as of entering the masjid in unison and sending salat and salam on the Rasul (Allah bless him and give him peace).
Getting to the doors wanting to get passed the guards as quickly as possible, and then rushing to the wooden gate from where sisters are allowed visitation.
Seeing it open the happiness that would bubble out from within, with a burst of energy to run as gently as possible before entry was closed to the rawdah.
Heart pounding, tears flowing at the very site of the green dome, knowing whom we were about to meet again.
Tears of love, of longing, of gratitude. The realization of one's unworthiness of this most mubarak place, and the Mercy of Allah upon one.
Oh the things that happen in the rawdah. The connection one feels to the Rasul (Allah bless him and give him peace) and of his welcoming one to his home, and the warmth of being enveloped in his mercy. Oh the things that happen in the rawdah.
I open my eyes and they are as moist as if I had just been there today. Is it any wonder that the love one feels for those who were with one on hajj is unlike any other? Their very being, their smiling face, it all takes one back to the most mubarak time of one's life.
May Allah Ta'Ala bless us with the company of His Beloved, the Chosen One (Allah bless him and give him peace) in this world and the hereafter. Ameen.
May Allah bless our Master Muhammad, his family, companions, and all those who seek to follow him, in this life and the next. Ameen ya Rabb, Ameen.