Photo Credit |  Jair Lázaro (on Unsplash)

By Anonymous

(External Content - posted on behalf of author)

Unlike others, my spiritual journey started quite late in life. As I began to read about Islam, I started to make changes in my life in terms gaining knowledge, praying, changing my dress sense, etc. Then came the realisation that it would be hugely beneficial to my spiritual journey to go on Umrah, which may be classed as a practice run of Hajj - one of the pillars of Islam. So, I took the plunge and booked my tickets. Within a week, the shopping had been done and the suitcases had been packed.

At the time, my dad's health wasn't so good due to kidney failure and his failing eyesight. Therefore, I was naturally very worried on how my parents would cope for two weeks whilst I was on Umrah. The reasoning behind my worries was due to the fact my dad found it very difficult to deal with losing his independence. Due to his poor sight it was unsafe for him to be outdoors on his own. Therefore, he begrudgingly agreed that he would not leave the house on his own and if he needed to go out, I would take him.

Two weeks before Umrah my dad went for a walk up the road on his own and broke his hip. He was admitted to hospital and suffered from a stroke. It was a truly testing time. All praise to Allah, my dad recovered from his stroke and was adamant that I shouldn't cancel my trip and that I shouldn't worry as he would be on his best behaviour due to being in hospital awaiting his hip replacement. So, I decided to go ahead with the trip with a heavy heart.

On the morning of the trip, I got a call from the doctor in the ward telling me that my dad's condition was not too good and to make my way to the hospital.As I sat in the waiting room, all sorts of things were going through my mind it was the longest 15 minutes of my life. The doctor came in and informed me that my dad suffered from a second stroke and didn't think he would make it.

I have been tested many times in my life, but this was on another level. After consulting with my family, the consensus was that it was my decision on whether I go on Umrah or I stay with dad.

I have been tested many times in my life, but this was on another level. After consulting with my family, the consensus was that it was my decision on whether I go on Umrah or I stay with dad. Throughout my life, my dad taught me to believe in myself and have convictions in the decisions I made and ultimately that he had my back. I decided to go on Umrah - the shock on the Doctors face said it all. I explained that I needed to go on a pilgrimage, and would be back within 3 days. The doctor and many family members must have thought I was delusional as I said that my dad would be waiting for me to get back from my pilgrimage.

I said goodbye to my dad and set off with a heavy heart. As soon as I got to Saudi Arabia, I phoned the doctor for an update on my dad's condition, the prognosis was not good and they advised me to prepare for the worst. But I had tawwakul in Allah that he wouldn't place a burden on me that I would not be able to bear. I completed my Umrah and came back on the third day...all praise to Allah I was able to keep my promise to my dad.

Whilst I was on my way to the UK, my dad became conscious and was improving. This was not what anyone had anticipated. As I came towards dad, he said I have been waiting for you. I kissed him on his forehead and told him, all my life you never let me down so why would you start now.

The point of my story is that if it wasn't for my faith and belief in the mercy of Allah and my upbringing, I would have never got through this trial. It is never too late to go on a spiritual journey that will strengthen your faith and give you the ability to overcome any difficulty that comes your way.

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