“I attended Rizq Factory: Fiqh of Worship and there Sheikh Niamatullah announced that he was leading the student package. I really wanted to go and Allah made it so. As someone who didn’t get a lot of time to travel (due to work) I was very nervous about travelling. Alhamdolillah, Allah made it easy. Sheikh arranged to meet at Heathrow, we wore our ahraams when Ustad instructed (which turned out to be a really good move as we were not scrambling to do it in the aeroplane). I was lucky to sit next to sheikh on the airplane and I felt very comfortable getting to know him. Again, Sheikh made it very easy to get through the airport and haj terminal. We soon got to the hotel (took a photo of the hotel and address which I would recommend everyone to do). Sheikh recommended we rest and then do the Umrah. I stuck with the Sheikh and Umrah was completed – I had a wonderful and memorable time. Thank you Ustad.

One of the most memorable occasions when I look back was walking with Ustad between safa and marwa where we completed the rituals but also had deep, personal discussions. Also, Abu Eesa is an extremely funny person and so there were so many funny occasions. In the following days, I would naturally want to go the mosque on my own so Ustad personally took me there and back. He explained which busses to get on and where. That really helped. Sheikh was always caring – I got the customary illness, flu/stomach pains but Ustad kept looking in on me. All through the major ritual stages, Ustad was there and gave us talks and advice. Hajj is hard but with Ustad’s assistance it was memorable. Alhamdolliah, Hajj went very well even during all the scaring moments (Muzdaliffa). Ustad was always looking over everyone. Moments when walking in our group with the throngs of people e.g. through the tunnels to the jammarat etc. was fantastic. When looking back, I believe attending the course allowed me to maximise my preparation for the Hajj. Ustad being there along the way was comforting. I learned so much and really don’t think there were much more I could have asked for.

On to beautiful Madina – I still remember walking to the Prophets mosque and then Ustad pointing – suddenly there was the mosque in all it’s beauty – it was an awe inspiring sight. I felt so lucky to be with Ustad Niamatullah, e.g. events such as praying in the mosque and then Ustad explaining the parts of the mosque. Great tips such as joining a janaza into Baqi cemetary etc. My only regret was that I couldn’t stay longer due to work and so had to come home earlier then most. Despite this I felt extremely blessed to have done my Hajj with Abu Eesa.

Off the record: Lots of laughs over day old Al Baik – damn that was good. Oh and finally, your dream Hajj may come true but it might entail you breaking your back by carrying some of Ustad’s luggage. Uff Hajj is hard. =)