This is one journey that I want to have in my memory.... forever! Ok, other than the birth of my children and their growing up stage and some other random stuff. But *this* right here, is an event that I will never want to forget! Inshaa'Allah.
It's best for me to start from the beginning, right? So, how did we even plan on going for Hajj? Well, we didn't really. See, every year during Ramadhan we will get flyers being sent to our house for Umrah and Hajj packages. Of course during that month you would only want to read sacred things and that is considered as one of them. As I was going through the Umrah packages for year 2011, I told Iskandar how it would be amazing to bring the kids for Umrah as we have visited Malaysia and a few other countries. It'd be nice for them to step foot in Mekah at such an early age. Iskandar, being the thinker and "financer" in the family was not too keen with my plan. So I thought how cheapo can my husband be! Yes the umrah packages aren't as cheap as going for holiday to Malaysia, it was double the price. I gave him the chance to explain his points. Then he said, "why not we do the mandatory first before taking the kids for Umrah". It didn't occur to me that he meant Hajj. He then suggested for us to save up for Hajj and try to do it as soon as possible.
Hajj was not something I talk about everyday. Haha Duh! But you know what I mean. Hajj is looked at as an Ibadah for the elderly rather than youngsters. Of course we don't talk about it until we are about 40 years old, at least. So when my husband suggested Hajj, I had to ask "Are we even allowed to go?" because in Malaysia we'd have to wait for our name to be called before we can do Hajj with Tabung Haji. Iskandar then showed me the price list for Hajj and how to go about booking it. Obviously the procedure of booking it is the same as booking any other holiday, at least in the UK.
Without hesitating, I agreed to his plan and started planning on how much we have to save monthly in order to reach our goal. Truth be told, he wasn't earning a lot (+-£1500/month) and with one income we really had to make sure we took everything into consideration. Some way some how, after we have decided on going for hajj we were receiving funds from various source. At this time we haven't even told anyone about our plan. But money was coming in non stop. Alhamdulillah. We manged to save up at least £3000 within 4 months. The ticket per person was approximately £4000. I was so optimistic that we will be able to get the whole sum before the booking date.
Then we started telling our parents the plan to make sure there will be someone to babysit the kids. The initial plan was for my parents to come over to the UK to look after the kids since it'll be cheaper that way. However, we had to change all the plans when we found out we had to move to Malaysia for good. The plan from then on became bumpy and distorted! Everything we planned wasn't going OUR way!
To be continued.....