Sunday 7 December 2008

Hajj Journal 2005 – Part 5: Yawm-e-Arafah

08 January 2006 – In Mina!! After a sleepless night, prayed Fajr in the haram and nafl for ihram and proceeded to walk out of Makkah through various tunnels and onto Mina reciting “labbaik” on the way. Reached our tent approx three hours later feeling great only to sit down and feel completely drained. Slept until 12pm then made wudhu and prayed qasr Zoher. Still tired but Lucozade tablets a big help. Only been here three hours and already look like the great unwashed. Praying that Allah (SWT) makes this easy for us.

08 January 2006 – Alhamdulillah – got through the first day of Hajj. Had to make wudhu a few times – not nice, so being very careful about what I eat. A fire broke out in the Europe camp, doesn’t seem like anyone has been hurt thankfully. To Arafat in the morning, then to Muzdalifah.
09 January 2006 – 9th Dhul-Hajj, the Day of Arafah and oh my Lord what a day. Woke up in a tent in Mina; a great big valley neatly split into camps for different countries with each camp joined by tunnels. Felt like death warmed up (snots, sore throat, sore joints, powerful nausea, bloated stomach). Stayed like that on and off most of the day. Packed up for Arafah and didn’t manage to get on a bus till nearly 11am. If you don’t get to Arafah by Zoher (noon) then your hajj become void – so we were cutting it a bit close.

Got to Arafat and decamped into two large rickety tents, a shut one for the women and open one for the men (felt like a Bedouin). Was very hot, but loos and wudhu facilities were better than in Mina so again spent all day making wudhu.

Prayed Zoher and Asr here and engaged in dhikr, tilawat and much dua (both individual and communal). Recited Talbiyah at intervals. Started the day exhausted, unwell, scared of what was to come, wary. Ending it exhilarated, energised and just amazed. The whole group went and stood on Mount Rahmah and cried and prayed. We came doen before Maghriband all kissed and hugged and congratulated each other on completing the biggest milestone of hajj.

It was this day last year that my parents were in Arafat and I was listening to the khutbah (without understanding a word) and crying my eyes out and asking Allah (SWT) to let mejoin such a blessed gathering.

At about 8pm we took a bus to Muzdalifah, a big valley circled on three sides by mountains with one side being open. I cannot make head nor tale of this place. When we got here we set up our baggage and sleeping bag in the open air, then read our combined Maghrib and Esha as is the requirement here. Then proceeded to pick stones to pelt the shaitaan tomorrow. This led to lots of messing about, throwing stones, laughter and a good mood. But it began to sink in that this is a special place and a special night. Some ulema say that it is as blessed if not more than Lailat-ul-Qadr (the Night of Power) and dua’s are accepted here too, so making dua.

Looking around there is a pylon with the wires running over us and at intervals there are balls threaded through, so when you look up and see them against the night sky you feel like you are in planetarium. The whole place is surreal. There are ambulance sirens going off, a tractor sitting unmanned in the field with people camped around it. People climbing up the mountain, talking, snoring. Group leaders yelling down loudspeakers looking for people who have gotten separated from their groups. Mobile phones going off (now I am convinced they have become part of our anatomy), busses STILL arriving (its 2am). People praying, watchig the sky, just looking around. Will try to get some sleep (imagine if it rained. I wonder if that has ever happened).


  1. Assalam alaikum
    I discovered this blog only a few days back and I must say I have become an addict to this. How beautiful is your perspective on each of life's situations.
    I am a mother of 3 children(under 7), working with the IT industry. Struggling to improve my iman, wondering on each situation if I am following the path shown by Allah(SWT). Gotten very ill of late, and had been confused. Your blog has shown me some interesting perspectives.
    Thanks for sharing your life self-lessly.
    I plan to do Hajj next year InshaAllah. I would love to do it with my children. Not able to decide on if it is possible, will I be able to do dhikr, prayer and make full use of this valuable time, if I go with my children.

    Please share your thoughts/suggestions on this.

  2. Walaikam-assalam Sister Afeefa,
    Thank you for stopping by this blog and for your kind comments.
    3 under 7? I have been there, hard work isn't it?
    I hope and pray that you get the opportunity to do hajj. I left my children behind when I went and I am glad I did. I left my 2 year old daughter with my mum and my 11 month old son with my aunt, not everyone has this kind of help available. The thing is, I forgot about them completely and immersed myself in my hajj. Once the hajj was complete I could not stop thinking about them for the last few days before returning. I have heard similar from others. It depends on what help you have, but hajj is so physically and emotionally demanding, that with children it might be too much.

    Now my children are older, I really want to take them for umrah, although I suspect that the rush is so much that it would still be challenging.

  3. For 14 hundreds of years, plenty of an incredible number of Muslims, men and ladies from the four sides of our planet, have created the pilgrimage to Makkah, the homeland of Islam. In undertaking this responsibility, they meet one of the five "pillars" of Islam, or main spiritual responsibilities of the believer.

  4. Assalamu Alaiki
    If you don’t get to Arafah by Zoher (noon) then your hajj become void – so we were cutting it a bit close.
    If you correct it or reword it, it would be great.
    Zuhr is approximately the starting time for Arafah stay, not the end time.

    The actual ruling from Al Fiqhul Muyassar/Simple Fiqh is this:
    There are only two essential parts of Haj:
    1. 9th Zul Hijjah Stay at the ground of 'Arafah between the sun’s descent from the zenith on the 9th and the dawn-break on the 10th of Zul Hijjah.
    The obligatory Stay at 'Arafah is established by staying there for a moment between the two aforementioned time-limits.
    2. Circumambulation of the Ka'bah seven times after the 'Arafah Stay.
    This circumambulation is called the visit circumambulation.