“Once you see it, whisper your innermost prayer and it will be answered.” People’s advice kept ringing in my ears all the way to Your Bait*. I walk on the friendly white marble yard looking at the moderately high minarets. Charmed, as if in a dream, I cross the high gates, many steadfast pillars, countless arches, and crowded passageways with lovers as myself. I raise my sight to the ceiling enjoying the neat designs and huge domes.
I approach the central open area with steps heavy with trembling anticipation. I saw it! My steps grew heavier that my mother literally started dragging me. My sight froze and my lips went numb. Words refused to be molded. I utter meaningless letters that form non-sensical words. I blink and try to gain self-composure and open my mouth but my will is no longer mine. I thought I would cry but no tears watered my barren, thirsty cheeks. I draw closer and join the sea of lovers softly circumambulating around Your Bait. It was not that crowded. I drew even closer and closer. I miraculously found an empty space at Al Multazim Door. I rushed and clutched the edges of the black cover of Your Bait. Once I touched it, all the dams before my tears were abruptly and strongly opened that I was surprised at the flow that flooded my soul. Only then things made sense. Words made sense. I do not remember what I said. All I remember was that I felt so weak … vulnerable and poor … hollow that my words echoed inside. I vaguely remember saying words of love and subservience. When I reached the point of asking for Your forgiveness for my past follies, I could not name one. All memories of my sins were erased as if I had been granted forgiveness even before asking for it. I rested my forehead on the black cover laying all my burdens down. Burdenless and sinless, I felt very light that I barely felt my feet touching the warm marble. I reluctantly leave my place by the Door for another lover and start moving again.
Approaching the Black Rock gave me hope that I could kiss it, that I could lay my lips at the very same place that Your most beloved prophet (PBUH) kissed. I drew closer and with a feverish tremble I grasped it with both hands, inserted my small head inside, told You my innermost, deepest wish that nobody knew, and placed a kiss of love, awe, and submission on the honorable Rock. I was willingly and gently pushed back to leave a space for other lips to whisper their secrets to You.
I finished the seven rounds, headed to where I could fill my body with the blessed water that sprang long time ago beneath the feet of a crying baby**. Then I prayed behind the footprints of the child’s father ***, raising my eyes to see Your Bait to assure myself that this was not a dream. I moved to walk along the ways that a lamenting mother walked to and fro seven times. At the end, I secretly revealed a part of my hair for a lady to cut its tips marking the end of the journey; a journey of rebirth. How exhausting yet generating! I came here with flesh full of ulcers, rotten spots and infectious diseases; a soul full of black holes, hungry snakes and cancerous tumors. Now, I am as pure as the light radiating from Your Bait. The pilgrimage of my heart has turned me into a creature of light.
** Prophet Ismail
*** Prophet Abraham