AFTER A LONG, long while taking my eyes off the TV radar screen, I escaped from reality for the last 48 hours or so — switching channels!😀
Live telecasts of the Hajj pilgrimage were fascinating and it was so amazing to see how this year’s Muslim pilgrims including Bruneians, numbering some 2.3 million from across the globe, braved the elements (rain or shine!) to fulfil their spiritual obligations. Frankly, my personal dream is to perform the Haj by walking all the way to Mekah from Brunei!😉
Al-Jazeera came up with a series of documentary featuring a few of the pilgrims who made the cut from the limited quota of travel visas issued by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to each Islamic nation. Imagine out of 100-odd million Muslims in India, only more than 12 thousand Indian pilgrims could perform the Haj annually. And how lucky can we, Muslim Bruneians, consider ourselves to be given that two thousand Haj visas are allocated each year for a population of over 300 thousand (of which Muslims comprise only almost 70 percent). For this year, slightly more than a thousand pilgrims from Brunei Darussalam are performing the Haj.
One of the lucky Indian Muslims being featured in the Al-Jazeera TV program, by the name of Babu Khan and his wife from Delhi, could be seen ecstatically happy to have been successfully drawn to travel to Mekah this year. Babu Khan’s great love for Allah was exemplary!🙂 With tears he expressed his utter and complete devotion to the Almighty by praising and thanking Him for the opportunity blessed upon him and his wife to become guests of Allah in the “Baitullah” this year.
Talking about love, Bollywood movies are full of it with box-office fantasies like Bobby and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (a couple of Indian films which I’ve seen over the decades). But that was a long time ago and not until yesterday did I come across another moving lovey-dovey Bollywood production (2007 release) entitled: “Namaste London” starring Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, Rishi Kapoor and Upen Patel, to name just a few. It was quite a mesmerising movie to watch, actually — straightforward love story interspersed with typical singing and dancing Bhangra-style plus some great on-location shootings made in India and London. Oh yea, how could I forget this real classic Bollywood movie, “Slumdog Millionnaire” which made it to Hollywood fame this year!🙂
Still, no Bollywood or even Hollywood classics for that matter could describe the Greatest Love of All as that expressed by the heartfelt love of the Indian Muslim pilgrim, Babu Khan as a simple servant of Allah, for his Creator. May he and all Muslim pilgrims this season achieve and accomplish the ‘perfectly-accepted’ “Haji Mabrur”. Allahuma Amin!