I was soon told that we would be travelling on 16th June 2012 and that I should report at Masjid Fazl by 8am. I was very anxious, that God forbid, I sleep‐in and thus be late to report. I set more than ten alarms on my iPhone to make sure I was awake in good time and I also asked my wife, who was in America visiting her parents, to call me to make sure I was awake! The night was very disturbed because the fear of not waking on time was such that it actually stopped me from sleeping the majority of the night!
As it turned out, thankfully I did wake up early and was ready in good time. I went and dropped my luggage at the Mosque before returning home briefly to lock up my home for the next month. As I left my house I did a dua in which I thanked Allah for the opportunity and prayed that on the tour I did not do anything that would displease my beloved Khalifa and I prayed that I would never conduct myself in a way that could ever reflect badly on Hazur‐Aqdas and his Qafila.
All Qafila members, except for Hazur‐Aqdas and Hadhrat Begum Sahiba, left early for the airport.
As we attempted to pass the first security hurdle, both myself and Mahmood Khan Sahib (Security) were red‐flagged and were asked to report to a separate counter. Whilst we were being dealt with, I saw that Hazur‐Aqdas and Hadhrat Begum Sahiba had arrived and had passed through to the Departure area. At that moment my heart sank a little and I was internally panicking. My heart was racing with fear that due to the security delay we might miss our flight.
Thankfully, after about ten minutes we were told that everything was ok and that we were free to go through. And so when we entered the Departure area, I saw that Hazur‐Aqdas was sat on a bench waiting. I felt so much love for Hazur that he was waiting for the entire Qafila, rather than proceeding ahead.
Much later on in the tour I jokingly reminded Mahmood Khan Sahib about the incident and I said that in my heart I feared that my tour was over before it had even began! We both had a good laugh about this and he shared that at the time even he too had been a little concerned!
We proceeded towards the airplane. First we had to take a train and then a bus. It seemed as though British Airways wanted us to sample all forms of transport that day!
Just before getting on the bus, five or six of us were once again stopped and given an extra security checking. I had travelled to America a few times in the past few years and so I was quite used to such security measures, however I think for some others it was a new experience.
As I finally made it through the final security checking I walked towards the bus and, as I entered, Hazur asked me with a smile what they had been asking me. I answered that they did not ask me much, but they did search me very thoroughly!
Due to the many checks some of us faced at Heathrow, I was quite sure that when we arrived in the United States we would face extra security on that side also…
I could not have been more wrong.