Old Woman at Hajj

I went to Hajj in 2012. The entire thing went very smooth, honestly one of the best experiences of my life. I don’t get these Hajj horror stories, I had a perfect time.

Except one.

During the walk to the Jamaraat, where Muslims symbolically stone Satan, I had separated from my group to help escort an older couple from our group who were a little slow.

While I was walking, I saw an old woman completely collapsed on the ground, as if she was dead. Other people were just walking by her…

I went up to her and asked if she was okay. She was an older woman, probably in her late 60s or so, dark-skinned, looked Indian, missing a few teeth. I asked if she was okay, but she gave me a blank stare. I picked up her ID card, which identified her as Indian. I wish I still knew her name. I think it was Aisha? I don’t remember!

Clearly this woman needed help. She looked as if she had been separated from her group and just collapsed from exhaustion. I had to do something.

I asked if she spoke English. No response. Arabic? No. Urdu? I thought Urdu was like the official language of Muslims India…No Urdu either. She was probably south Indian. I even tried Pashto! But we could not communicate.

I looked around for some water, but I did not see any water anywhere. Just at that moment a Saudi guard came and spoke to me in Arabic. He said she could not lay here like this, I think he presumed I was with her. I told her I did not speak her language, that she was from South India and she was not from my group, but she needed help.

I don’t remember if I asked him for water? Did I? I hope I did? All I remember is looking at her with a face of “I don’t know how I can help you…” It wasn’t my fault, I needed to get back to the group I was escorting, who I almost lost in the sea of people.

I keep playing this scene in my head again and again. I wish I had gone to my group and said I will meet up with them back at the tents, and then gone back to her? I could have carried her to her group, navigated my way around. I spoke Arabic and maybe I could have carried her back to her tent. Maybe the fact that I’m also Indian would have helped her feel comfortable?

I wish so much I had done more. It still haunts me to this day. I was just praying Maghrib and it came to my mind. I wish I had done more.

Maybe I will meet her in the next life and apologize, or just laugh about it and talk about that day.


About Nahraf
Providing interesting insight into the world of Economics, Theology, Computer Science and Social phenomena.

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