By Adama Munu

I’ve often joked to people who find out that I have performed Hajj at the age of 21 that many young people go to Malibu and Ibiza but at that tender age, Allah destined that I would go to Hajj Masha Allah.

It’s encouraging to see many more young people becoming ‘Hajjis’. A generation ago or more, it was widely expected that you should be aged, and almost certainly you would have committed your life savings towards what is a breathtaking journey to Makkah.

Alhamdulillah, one of my male relatives, Uncle Minkailu, a government minister in Sierra Leone, decided that he was going to give me the money to go to Makkah (May Allah preserve and bless him). It was absolutely unexpected. But it demonstrated that truly Allah was inviting me as a guest to His house. That was incredibly special for me.

At the time that I went to Hajj, I was going through a particularly difficult moment in my life, which happened prior to the trip. I imagined that my trip would be completely spoilt. But in many instances, the greatest journeys are often taken at the most difficult points in one’s life. As such, we are being prepared for something great. The greatest journey ever undertaken by a human being was undoubtedly Al-Isra wa Miraj by the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, and this occurred at a time known as the ‘Year of Sorrow’ where the loss of two of his most beloved companions took its toll and the onslaught of persecution by the Makkans weighed heavily upon the Muslims. I sought solace in this simple yet illustrious example. Turning my experience into one from which I could grow and be shaped as well as enjoy.

Many people refer to the first time that they laid their eyes upon the Ka’bah. How riveting and exonerating it was for their very being. The truth is there are no words. But if there are any to describe that moment, I would say that it was like seeing an old friend. A friend I’d always had, a friend I’d always known. It might seem cliché and maybe even cheesy, but that was how it felt. As if this long standing friendship had always been. But the truth is, the Ka’bah is something that many of us visit 5 times a day-at least on a spiritual plane. Seeing it in person however, is a moment to be treasured.