بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم
Thin and white smoke poured from a pile of brownish white rice. Right on top of it was a large brown is fragant lamb meat, evoking the taste anyone near. Do not forget the sweet onion slices or cardamom that exudes a distinctive aroma. Four large men surrounded the white tray while a Bengali waiter arrived with another tray of briyani rice plus grilled chicken.
“Please,” Mr. Uri invited us to dig in a fine dish either with spoon or hand. The sense of happiness is clearly reflected in the face of the businessman who had just received approval from an agency for the development of his housing project.
“A moment, sir!” Jumali interrupted. The Madurese youth deftly spreads a white plaid on a green carpet and then pours the contents of the tray on top. Briyani lamb were ready to eat.
While laughing funnyly, Mr. Kusnadi distributed bowls of sauce althrough not spicy but tasty; as for distributing drinks is part of mine.
What a night I can not forget. Not just because of the delicious cuisine or the unique atmosphere of the restaurant in Jeddah. The rumble of people chatted in Arabic as well as Urdu, the clear night sky was visible from the windows, or the heat of the furnace even though we sat a little way from the kitchen.
A few hours earlier Mr. Uri had ‘ultimatum’ us not to have dinner in the hotel because he wanted to share happiness recently arrived. And after prayer isya ‘we were guided by Jumali to one of the finest restaurant in Jeddah that provide briyani rice.
There is happiness and sorrow in that warm atmosphere. I am happy to be sharing time and experiences with those very nice people. And to be honest, maybe this group is the best among groups I’ve ever guided.
Mr. Uri explained how he suddenly called by a certain agency to immediately return to Indonesia to sign the agreement. Mr. Kusnadi adds to the crowded atmosphere with his unique and elegant jokes; it’s cool for a chemical engineer. Jumali only responded occasionally with a smile, I’m sure because he still missed his newborn son.
The sadness part arises from the fact that tomorrow I will part with them. And indeed 90% of the pilgrims I once guided were so precious and continue to live in memories. There are some fraudulent and arrogant people who are not worth remembering but there are very few. I realized when returning to our homeland we will return to their respective lives and not necessarily be able to gather again. Mr. Uri returned to his project in Lampung, Mr. Kusnadi returned to Cilegon to take his wife and then fly to his company in the United Arab Emirates, as well as Jumali who immediately wanted to hug his son in Makkah. As for me, of course back to my beloved South Tangerang; where precious people await.
Happy ending. That’s my wish for each group I lead. And this happy ending is not only for the world but also for the Hereafter. Because someday we will come home to a place our father (Adam) ever lived.
No matter where we live, but in the end we will all return to the same place of the Hereafter. Did not our ancestors -Adam and Hawwa-come from heaven? And has not God promised that every son of Adam will return to the Hereafter and then be placed in heaven or hell?
Hopefully Allah makes us the one who welcomes his warnings with sincerity and itiba ‘(following the instructions of the Messenger of Allah); because whoever does it, God will relieve sorrow for the inaccessible world and dispel the fear of the afterlife to be faced. May Allah facilitates our way to the endless hometown filled with the eternal blessings of His heaven.
قُلْنَا اهْبِطُوا مِنْهَا جَمِيعًا ۖ فَإِمَّا يَأْتِيَنَّكُمْ مِنِّي هُدًى فَمَنْ تَبِعَ هُدَايَ فَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ
We said, “Go down from it, all of you. And when guidance comes to you from Me, whoever follows My guidance – there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. (Al-Baqarah: 38)
And may God save us from spending time turning away from His warnings to a bad ending, in the world and the hereafter.
وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَكَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِنَا أُولَٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ ۖ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ
And those who disbelieve and deny Our signs – those will be companions of the Fire; they will abide therein eternally.” (Al-Baqarah: 39)