Saturday 6 December 2008

Hajj Journal 2005 – Part 3: In Makkah

27 December 2005 - Left Madinah last night after Isha. Drove past Masjid Nabi on the way out and took one last look at the green dome. Drove past Jannat-al-Baqi and prayed fatihah. Made intention for ihram and prayed two nafl in a mosque in outer Madinah. There followed a long journey which stopped at various checkpoints. We received a parcel of food on the way which said “Hadiyah [gift] from Madinah Manawwarah” and contained water, croissants, juice and dates. How sweet. Every stop on the way we were given water and people would buy bags of fruit to share with us. Finally, eleven hours after we set out, we arrived at outside our hotel – the Qurtoba Palace, which faces the Madina Gate of the haram sharif. Stowed away our baggage then went with my husband to do Umrah. Entered from the Umrah gate and made seven tawaf. Touched the Kabah and circled near, but could not touch the Hajr-Aswad (Black Stone).
The Hajr-Aswad (Black Stone)

Prayed two nafl, then made saee between Safa and Marwa. A long walk! Gives you a new perspective on how far Hajra (RA) had to walk to look for water or help for her crying baby. It was her concern and sacrifice that led us to be given zamzam. Prayed two more nafl, then prayed zuhr. Came back to the hotel and cut my hair and had a bath thus completing umrah and removing my ihram.

Will try to go and see the Kabah at 1pm tonight to see if I can get near insh’Allah. At the moment I am completely exhausted.

28 December 2005 – Got up at 12.30am this morning to do tawaf hoping it would be quieter. No chance. Couldn’t get near Hajr-Aswad, but did tawaf easily. Prayed nafl behind Muqaam-e-Ibrahim and then tahajjud. So many people all going in the same direction, praying, crying, pleading, praising. Heard something squeak, looked up and saw bats circling.

The haram sharif complex is enormous. The first thing I noticed that surprised me was that in this ancient place there are elevators to take you everywhere. More space for women here too so less likely to get trodden on than in Masjid Nabi. Very easy to get lost though, so have to remember where you came in from. Our entrance is the Madinah gate. Watched the cleaners. Hilarious. They seal off a section of the haram sharif courtyard whilst everyone is still doing tawaf then drop a load of water and all slide across with their squeedgees. Like synchronised ice-skating.

28 December 2005 – Just got back from doing tawaf. Worked as a team with husband and managed it in half an hour (usually takes an hour). We pulled each other into gaps and he made sure no-one pushed me. So satisfying to do dua in tawaaf and feel confident that Allah (SWT) will accept.

So interesting to see the different people. The Indonesians and Malaysians form chains or huddle into groups so that they don’t get stuck and just keep going with one loudly repeating prayer and the rest following. I like them because they don’t push. The Turkish, Algerians and Tunisians tend to be older and on the outside of the tawaf circuit. They cry a lot when doing their shawts (circuits).

The Africans dwarf everyone and go around quickly in a group and then leave quickly. I think I saw a lot of Africans in Madinah (smiling Senegalise, beautiful Nigerians, dignified women from Niger all in matching red burkha’s), they don’t all seem to have arrived here yet.

The Chinese also tend to be older and fairly tall all in matching Mao coats in beige or blue (it’s hot!!) and still seem to be coming in from Madinah and elsewhere. The Bengali’s are very sweet and the Indian’s just seem grateful to be here, the Pakistani’s look a bit bewildered. Have seen Balochi’s with massive turbans and enormous Pathaans with big white turbans. Also saw Pathaans with black turbans, my husband asked one and he confirmed he was Taliban. Lots and lots of Shia’s from Iran and Iraq, who you can recognise from their chadors which they hold in front of themselves. The Irani’s are incredibly beautiful.

May Allah (SWT) accept all of their dua’s, accept their Umrah’s and Hajj and make it easy for them. May he make the poor rich, the ill and weak healthy and strong, the disabled able, the faithless faithful and set us all on the path of correct deen. Ameen.

1 comment:

  1. Subhan Allah, your writing style is very interesting and charming and the wording of Dua at the end of the article is something very calming and soothing. May Allah Almighty accept your Hajj and Dua you made. Ameen.