Our arrival in the USA was a little more complicated and delayed than was expected. Having missed our direct flight to Washington, we were handed alternative boarding passes for a connecting flight from New York to DC. A further misfortune was the fact that our beloved Aunty had boarded our initial flight… without us. It’s safe to say the air hostesses got an earful once she realised they were nearing take-off and she was still seated amongst three empty seats. On the other side… we sat watching from behind the airport windows as our flight began to take-off… praying our Aunty was alright. Nevertheless, eventually we reunited at the DC International Airport and it’s safe to say, we had never been happier to see our Aunty.
The rest of our stay in DC was eventful, to say the least. We stayed with my Aunt’s family in Maryland, who are extremely blessed to have a house right by Bait Ur Rehman Masjid. Taking us from central DC to every shopping mall possible, our family sure kept us moving and entertained. Seeing the White House in real life felt surreal, although it was rather difficult to get a good glimpse of through the dozens of security measures surrounding it. Capitol Hill as we hear it in all the American shows, had the inner tourist in me going wild- it felt as though I could finally draw a personal connection to all the American TV I had watched. The food and the portion sizes lived up to their expectations and certainly did not disappoint!
With the grace of Allah, we also had the opportunity to attend our second Jalsa of the year after having attended Jalsa Salana Canada only a few days prior, we were now blessed to be making our way to Pennsylvania for the 70th Jalsa Salana USA 2018. The American Jalsa Salana was a different kind of experience altogether, but regardless, the sense of familiarity I felt despite being from across the globe, remains very close to my heart. From sitting amongst sisters listening to the inspirational speeches, having duty holders request us to stop talking, estimating what toilet queue will end faster, to queuing up for the delicious langar food; the sense of familiarity was comforting, to say the least. But that is the blessing of our Jamaat, no matter which part of the world you travel to, you know one thing will always remain the same, and that is the love and unity of Khilafat. Alhamdullilah for a mesmerising trip.
Author: Aneela Mahmood