A Multigenerational Hajj – How a Family Who Does Hajj Together Grows in Faith Together
Jun 29, 2023
From L-R: Inshirah (Djamila's husband), Thelma (Djamila's mother) and Djamila
Hajj, the sacred pilgrimage to Makkah, takes on an even more profound meaning when experienced as a family or a multigenerational family. The journey of Hajj with loved ones creates a deep bond and strengthens the ties that connect family members spiritually.
As families take this sacred journey together, they navigate the rituals of Hajj hand in hand, supporting and uplifting one another. Parents become the guiding lights, imparting their wisdom and knowledge to their children. Parents and children find solace and strength in their shared faith. And often, witnessing one’s children learn and absorb the rituals of Hajj and find meaning in it can bring more meaning back to their parents’ faith journey as well.
The unity of the family is beautifully demonstrated during the tawaf, as they encircle the Ka’bah together. Their collective voices, raised in prayer and supplication, reverberate through the sacred space, creating a symphony of devotion and gratitude. Each family member's connection with Allah (S) is strengthened as they witness the devotion and piety of their loved ones.
A friend of mine, Djamila, was fortunate enough to go on the sacred Hajj twice and take the blessed journey once with her mother, Thelma, and the second time with her teenage daughter, Baiyyina. She shared what her pilgrimage experience was like with her mother and daughter and the blessings and lessons they all collectively gained from performing the Hajj together.
Hajj With Your Mother
Hajj pilgrims making tawwaf around the Ka'bah during Hajj. Image source: Pexels
Djamila went on Hajj for the first time with her mother, Thelma in the early 1990s. At the time, her mom was in her 60s.
“My mother became Muslim in 1958, under Elijah Muhammad,” Djamila explains. “Then she left the Nation of Islam and followed Malcom X. There was a point where there wasn’t any sunnah Islam for African American Muslims established where she lived. She ended up leaving the deen and coming back many years later. In the 90s, she took her shahadah in Sunni Islam and was able to go to Hajj [with me].
“She was struggling financially. She got divorced after a 30 year marriage. One of the believers in the community gave her money to help [my mother] go on Hajj.”
Djamila tells Haute Hijab that it was a blessing and a mercy to go with their mother on Hajj despite the challenges they encountered.
“My mother had recently taken her shahadah. She wasn’t familiar with all of the prayers. A sister told [my mother] that if she didn’t even know a certain surah (chapter of the Quran), she shouldn’t have come. We got past that.
“A lot of people got sick from the food and the Hajj flu. We had a sister, who gave us a 30-day regiment [of vitamins and herbs] to build our immune systems. Alhamdulillah, we didn’t get sick.
Hajj With Your Daughter
Thelma says that despite the obstacles, Hajj with her daughter was one of the best experiences of her life, and her own age was not a hindrance. “I was in my 60s, but I was still doing it,” she said. “The living was hard,” says Thelma. “There were 17 people in two large rooms and only one bathroom. We had very little food. We had the energy to do all the walking, praying and sleeping outside.”
From L-R: Inshirah (Djamila's husband), Thelma (Djamila's mother) and Djamila; image source: Djamila.
Thelma describes the excellent treatment she and her daughter received: “It was like we were Queens,” said Thelma. “The hearts of the people were beautiful.” She says that she would go back even now in her 90s if she could.
Djamila went on Hajj again a second time, this time with her teenage daughter, Baiyyina. She told me that Hajj with her daughter was different from when she went with her mother but still wonderful.
“There was a large group of sisters,” says Djamila. “So, [my daughter] had people her age to be with as well as my husband and me.
“That was the year there was the big fire. That was a big challenge. Alhamdulillah, we made it through. The fire made it a health hazard, and we spent the night in the burnt-out camp.”
Djamila says witnessing her young daughter perform the Hajj rites and worship Allah (S) inspired her.
“Seeing her go through all the trials and tribulations, I thought of her as one of the youths under the throne of Allah (S) on the Day of Judgement who worshiped Allah (S).”
The lessons Djamila, her mother Thelma, and her daughter Baiyyina earned during Hajj become a foundation for their family life, shaping their interactions, priorities and outlook. Families continue to uphold the values of faith, unity and perseverance of our faith, carrying the spirit of Hajj within their daily lives. They inspire one another to strive for righteousness, support each other through challenges, and cherish the blessings bestowed upon them.
Hajj with family is a journey that transcends physical distances, fostering a deep spiritual connection and strengthening the ties that bind them. It is a shared experience that reminds them of the importance of faith, unity and love, as they navigate the joys and trials of life together.
Have you gone for Hajj with your parents, kids or other family? Do you plan to? Share your experiences with us in the comments below!

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