Every day for three weeks we call the travel agent to find out if we are going to Hajj. Every day when we were lucky enough to reach someone they promised us that tomorrow we will find out. Two weeks of tomorrow promises later we get an email that a few people got visas and their names are attached- but there is no attachment. We write, we call, we wait. But the lines went silent. No e-mails, no calls, voice mail full.
Today I woke up and my first thought was “In a week I might be going to Hajj” I run down to check my email. nothing. I run to check my voice mail. nothing. I call all six numbers. nothing. In frustration I call. hang up. dial again. and repeat until I finally reach a person who tells me that they cannot help me and will call me later. I summoned all my patience and pleaded. This is my pillar in Islam that you are handling. No one is telling us anything. Send a mass email to all 200 waiting or call us individually. Tell us “we don’t know”, tell us “yes” tell us “no” but tell us something because the silence as we wait to find out is maddening.
She took pity upon me and transferred me to the lady herself. She began telling me she did not know and we must have faith and will find out soon. I ask her: Are our names on the list of recently accepted visas? She is quiet for a moment, and then says no. She begins to speak again about needing to get off the phone because she is very busy but I interrupt her, You’ve been doing this for fifteen years. You know how this works. Please tell us honestly, are we going to Hajj this year.” Silence again. Then I hear a sigh “No. I do not think you are going to Hajj this year” She then promises she will discuss this in more detail in two days and hangs up the phone.
At least there is an answer right. I thought I’d feel better once I knew but I don’t. The house seems darker, the silence seems quieter, and salty tears are beginning to form as the realization sinks in. You might tell me “Its God’s will” yes it is, I don’t deny it. “If it was meant to be it will” Amen to this. “This means you were not ready” Perhaps so. I am not angry with God. I am not doubting His plan. But I am sad and I feel disappointment and deep regret wondering why we didn’t go with a different agency.
The bitterest disappointment has been dealing with those who toyed with our hearts. Who took on more than they should. Who did not let us know when they were well aware of the situation. Who reprimanded us when we asked about our status implying that if we had faith we would not ask such questions. Telling us they would call or email with an update and never doing so. I wont’ get into the fraud aspect of the story, I pray they will do the right thing, but if not they will have to answer for what they did.
Someone is bound to tell me that I shouldn’t have written this. I shouldn’t complain about Hajj. Hajj involves patience. I dont deny the latter but I feel am rightfully disappointed. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was a business man known even by those who did not accept him as a Prophet to be an honest man. You should not have to be extra careful when dealing with “your own” if “your own” are supposed to be trying to follow in the steps of the man we say is “our own” greatest role model. Those who do not deal fairly with their fellow man no matter what faith should be accountable. It is only through speaking about it and taking action that this sort of thing can be prevented from happening again.