Yan’s Hajj is a beautiful book about a farmer’s journey to achieve his dreams in seeing the Kaaba. Honestly, I got teared up the first time I read the story. The story was so meaningful in so many ways. How Yan, a farmer who loves Allah more than anything, lived a simple life as a farmer and worked hard simply because he had this one big wish of seeing Allah’s house, the Kaaba. He was poor. And as he finally managed to earn enough money to start his journey to Kaaba, he had to had some detours, and that’s what makes this story beautiful and touching.

The story started with a simple introduction of Yan who was a farmer and loves Allah more than anything. When Yan finally had enough money to go, he came across sad children. He came over and asked them why, to which they answered because their school was burnt down. This part is touching in a way that if you are poor, and your ONLY dream is to go on hajj, what would you do now? You worked hard all your life to save up money to go on hajj (it’s not cheap), would you stop and donate your money to this kids?

Yan decided that donating his money and helping the kids to build their school back is also another way to please Allah, so he set aside his dream, and went on helping others build their dream. The other point that I’d like to mention is that sometimes we think that by just donating money is enough. Not with Yan. He gave his money away AND stayed back and did the hard work of building the school back again.  What a beautiful moral story to tell our children.

After helping the kids, Yan realized that his money were all used up. He was sincere though, and asked help only to Allah. A friend of mine once shared some story from a halaqah, in which the conclusion was, whenever we are in difficulties, if we are facing a problem or some sort, first thing we need to do is to ask Allah. Ask Allah before you utter a word to anyone else about your problem. Before you talk to the whole world via social media. Before you ask other people’s help. Ask Allah first. Because if everyone is to gather and help you, it will not be possible if Allah doesn’t allow it. So first things first. Ask Allah.

Yan also didn’t give up, he had hope that he would go to see the Kaaba, inshaAllah. So he came back to the farm and did some more work. Many years went by, and now he was ready to go again with enough money. On his way, he met a boy who was being abused by a someone else because apparently the boy owed him some money. In seeing this Yan realized yet another way to please Allah. So Yan paid money to this bad guy, and took the boy back to the farm because this boy was in pain and couldn’t go back to his hometown yet. This boy, Habeeb, ended up being a big help for Yan around the farm, however one day Habeeb said that he misses his parents, and Yan sincerely let him go.

Yan continued working hard and set off on his journey to hajj again. What do you think will happen now? He passed a village where people wanted to build a mosque however they don’t have enough money to buy the materials needed to build the mosque. Yan found another way to please Allah by donating his hajj money, and stayed at the village helping the people built the mosque. I love this part because through this story we can always remind our kids (and ourselves too) the reward for people who build a place to pray.

Uthman ibn Affan reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever builds a mosque for Allah, then Allah will build for him a house like it in Paradise.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 439, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 533

When the mosque finished, Yan went back to his farm. He prayed to Allah and said “Dear Allah, I will work hard and save my money. One day I will do Hajj.” But Yan was old now and he could not work fast. He looked at his money bag, and it wasn’t enough. Yan was sad realizing that he couldn’t do hajj.

Allah’s promise to people who do good deeds are true. At the end of the story, Habeeb who has grown into a fine young man visit Yan to take him to go to hajj. On their way to Kaaba, they met people that Yan had helped during his lifetime. They gave him money, white sheets to wear on hajj, food and water, and showering him with rose petals. Yan was sincere when he was helping these people, and when you were sincere in doing good deeds then Allah will reward you with something even bigger than what you expected, whether in this dunya or in this akhirah.

Such simple story book, with so much lessons on faith. Fawzia Gilani has done this one really well. Definitely a keeper in our household.

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