Gosh, so many memories, it would be difficult to choose just one!
I think over time, the mere fact that one undertakes this journey becomes memorable in its own right.
Hajj is ultimately a journey of self discovery complete with moments of pure joy as well as hardship.
The oft repeated refrain is one of 'Here I am Oh Allah and here I come'
Only when we really internalize these words do we appreciate that Hajj is in effect a 'dry run' for the ultimate journey of meeting Allah for real and not just being in His presence as on the Day of Arafat.
The goal of every Haji is to perform a Hajj Mabrur and we don our Ihram and bring to the Divine presence on the Day of Arafat something which we hope will be of pleasure to our Lord. We forget the trivial nature of the world for an instant and dedicate ourselves purely and solely for Him.
In this world, however, the journey does not end with Arafat and we have to continue to cast off Shaytan from our lives. In the Hereafter, there is no such second chance and our journey will have reached it's conclusion, whatever that may be.
Hajj, therefore, is a constant reminder of where we were, where we are and where we are going to and as with all journeys no matter what the ups and downs we may face, true success lies in being patient in completing it and eventually reaching our final destination safely.
The day you leave Makkah for the last time, tears stream from your face as you see the Kaabah for the last time and you ask as in the words of one du'a:Oh Allah, do not make this visit to your sacred house our last one. And if You do, then reward us with Paradise in return
Perhaps when we learn to don the ihram of our heart, we may never actually have to bid farewell ever again?
I have written way more than I had intended but would absolutely love to hear the experiences of others be it spiritual, practical or as is sometimes the case,downright funny
And as for those who have never been, what do you think you would most look forward to?
May Allah give us all the ability to visit His House at least once in our lives.