Take a look at the following picture. What do you see?

Most people will say they see the black dot. Not the whole field of white dots.

That’s people for you! Despite all the white dots around us–our health, wealth, youth, our household, our family, our fine clothing–we only see the black dots. That guy at work who’s always talking on the phone. That punk at school who keeps stealing your cookies. That drip-dripping tap that never stops.

Perhaps this is why Allah says:

وَقَلِيلٌ مِّنْ عِبَادِيَ الشَّكُورُ

Translation: And few of My slaves are thankful. [Surah Saba, verse 13]

Subhanallah, how true this is! And never truer then on Hajj. Hajj is a time of hardship, no doubt about that. But one of the main ways to increase the quality of your Hajj is to focus on the white dots, not the black dots. Because Allah will test you–guaranteed–in ways you cannot imagine.

Say you’re in Mina, and you suddenly realize you have to use the washroom. So you rush out–only to find over a hundred people lined up across ten stalls! Subhanallah! That’s a big black dot–but what are the white dots?

  • You’re alive–that’s a big blessing in itself.
  • You’re surrounded by your brothers and sisters in Islam–and Hujjaaj, to boot!
  • It’s not a serious medical emergency–like someone dying–just a need to use the washroom.

And this happened to one of the Hujjaj in the group I went in. Subhanallah, they were literally almost jumping up and down, and some kind older person took pity on them and allowed them to jump the line–just in the nick of time!

The best way to prepare for Hajj is to start looking for all the white dots, now! Whether you’re at home, at school, at the mall, at work, at the dentist, think about all the blessings and white dots. And Allah says:

وَآتَاكُم مِّن كُلِّ مَا سَأَلْتُمُوهُ وَإِن تَعُدُّواْ نِعْمَتَ اللّهِ لاَ تُحْصُوهَا إِنَّ الإِنسَانَ لَظَلُومٌ كَفَّارٌ

Translation: And He gives you of all that you ask for. But if you count the favours of Allah, never will ye be able to number them. Verily, man is given up to injustice and ingratitude. [Surah Ibrahim, verse 34]

Here are some examples to think about. Post the white dots you find in the comments insha’Allah.

  1. Your group leader tells you the bus to Arafah is coming at 3am, so you should get up at 2am to get ready. You wake up at 2am. 8am comes, and the bus is still not here.
  2. You complete your tawaaf and sa’iee for Hajj, and return to your tent, only to find out they’ve already served dinner–because the group’s going later!
  3. You’re sitting on a bus to Mina. You’ve been sitting for 4 hours. The driver turns off the air-conditioning because the engine is overeating. The guy sitting next to you has someone standing next to him, so he jams himself into you to get more space.

These are just a few examples, taken from some real incidents that happened to people while they were on Hajj. What are the white dots in these situations?