A R C H I V E S
Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|02/04/05 at 09:25:31|
They came, in response to the summons!
Hajj is made obligatory at least once in a lifetime for every one who is able to perform it. And the ability includes monetary, mental, health, etc.
So they came:
male and female,
young - some even infants, and old - some so old their back is bent so they are doubled up
outside the toilets in our Mina camp, an old man comes up behind me
after a while, he says:
hamri baaree hai
(it is my turn)
note: hamri, not hamari :)
I smile and say: well it isn't but don't worry, you can go first
He is speaking the village dialect of UP or Bihar, so I ask: are you from Bihar
No, I am from UP
I say: Subhanallah
After some interval of time, he beams: I am 106 years old
Amazing, wonderful! I say, Mashaallah
Then he confides some more:
Hukamat ney hamein aik khitmatgaar diya hai
(The government has provided me a helper/servant}
good for the government, I say. I am happy for him
Now he becomes talkative: The big doctor came to see me with the top government officials. He checked me himself and asked me if I am fine.
wow! you are a celebrity, I say. I know he is refering to the Director of his country's Medical Mission.
Imagine the publicity value of an 106 years old man performing Hajj.
His name: Salamatullah, if I remember correctly.
So they came:
black, brown, white, ash-colored, brunettes and blondes,
every nationality, from all over the world, places you did not know of where Muslims are present
where are you from?
you mean Marakesh, I smile
you know Marakesh? - this said with a beaming smile
Maaldeep (the Maldive Islands)
Republic of Guinea
so we greet each other with duas, and hugs
A boy in early twenties approaches me;
can I ask you a question, he says.
Sure, go ahead.
well, we are from Kazakhistan, and we weren't allowed to pray. Now we are allowed to do so, and I want to make up for lost prayers. How can I do it? My uncle says it isn't possible in the Haram.
I explain that the best way is to say extra salaat with every Salah, like four extra rakaat with asr for the missed asr, and three extra ones with Maghrib for the missed Maghrib.
He has good command of English, but after struggling with his vocabulary for a while, he wants to know what the sister of his father is to be called.
aunt, paternal aunt, I tell him.
Yes, he smiles a big smile, that is what I want to say. My aunt is having an argument with me over this. Then he turns and speaks to his aunt in his native language. Their argument continues.
I feel a tinge of remorse. I never thought of making up for lost prayers, although I ws never prevented from praying. Rather, I was encouraged.
My cousin's husband who lived near us, a couple of empty plots away, asked me to pray regularly in the mosque, which was just opposite his house.
I just smiled, and went my way, away from the mosque.
I heard him lament: the son of a Hafiz, and from such a family, and he doesn't pray!
I was 15, an orphan for 3 years, mother also asked me to pray, but did not press me too much, perhaps afraid of being too demanding, just in case this teenager rebels; elder brothers a good 1000 miles away, earning to keep body and soul together
so I was free not to do what is obligatory. And that freedom is what spoilt me.
So they came:
on planes, by ship, by motorised transport, some even on foot, setting out months and maybe even years ahead, for this is what they had been commanded to do.
they cross the Meeqaat with:
the males in two unsewn white sheets and slippers with at least the ankles uncovered
and the women in whatever clothes observing the rules of modesty, but with abayas and Hijaab with faces either uncovered or with a veil that does not touch the face, an innovation in the view of some ulema.
and many display the flag, or name of their country and group. So it isn't always necessary to ask the nationality.
every registered pilgrim wears a metal bracelet on which is engraved with his/her name, passport or other identity (if Saudi) number, nationality.
2.5 million registered Hajjis
0.8 million unregistered ones.
total 3.3 million
The tents of Mina extended into Muzdalifa
They were supposed to stay in Arafat during the day, but there was no space left even on the roads of Arafat, so they found place in Muzdalifa and had to climb on Jable Rehmat in Arafat.
Some others estimate that this number a lot higher, from 4.0 to 6.5 million.
They came, first tricles, then in streams, then a flood!
|02/05/05 at 11:31:19|
|Re: the summons|
|02/04/05 at 11:57:06|
forgive and correct me if I make mistakes,
[quote] but with abayas[/quote]
or is it jilbabs?
very poor vocabulary, mine :)
|02/04/05 at 13:18:25|
|Re: the summons|
|02/04/05 at 18:45:47|
|Jazak Allah, brother for sharing with us parts from your wonderfull journey!|
May Allah accept your Hajj and reward you richly!
|Re: the summons|
|02/05/05 at 07:15:48|
Oh...tell us more Hajji...
like the tawaf...did you get to see the black stone...the day of judgment will arrive when the black stone will shine brightly
what was the flood like? other hajjis reactions...
describe the view of Haram and Makkah....
did you see the Prophet's [saw] grave sight? Hamzah's?
|the Hajjis come, but why?|
|02/05/05 at 11:06:33|
[quote]Oh...tell us more Hajji...
like the tawaf...did you get to see the black stone...[/quote]
all in good time sister, insha`Allah. :)
If you were to receive the news that you had been selected to answer the call to do Hajj this year, what would your reaction be?
Wouldn't you want to know what it involves?
How would you get the visa, make the travel and stay reservations, which agency or tour operator to select, don't we know there are operators who fleece you and give little in return? do you need to learn Arabic, how to stay out of trouble with the police, etc.
Have I frightened you yet? :)
But don't give up, read on. In good time all will be revealed, with tips, insha`Allah. and you would long to go even more. :)
Is it fard to look at the Hajre Aswad †and to kiss it, or to embrace the Multazim. Or better still let us start from the beginning. What are the steps in sequence. What is ihraam and what are its binding rules? When does a dumm become wajib; how to avoid invalidating one's Hajj, or find that you have made such mistakes that you cannot pay the price of the dumms incurred? What, when and how is the Tawaaf-e-Qudoom done, the stay at Mina, the travel to and repentence and wuqoof until sunset in Arafat, the overnight stay under the cold sky at windy Muzdalifa, the return to Mina, the rami-e Uqba, the Qurbani, the Halaq, the Tawaafe Ifada, the return to Mina and stay every night while performing the rami of the three Jamaraat every day until exit from Mina on 12th or 13th of dul-Hajj.
and how to avoid the crowd, and the infections it will be bringing?
and how not to get lost?
frightened? :) but read on ...
Among those who were selected this year, some had satisfaction written on their faces: They had been preparing for this very occasion. They had taken extensive lessons in the fiqh of Hajj. They had studied the geography, the weather, the logistics, the maps, the layout of the Haramain, the surrounding areas, the hotels and restaurants, the prices and the quality of food, the things to buy and when to buy, and more .....
They had conducted interviews with returning Hajjis about the distribution of the population in various areas of the Haramain at different timings.
They had made charts and knew their plans by heart.
Some were happy. They knew they would face problems, yet this had been their one burning desire for a long time, so they did not focus on the problems.
Others were unconcerned. It was no big deal. Just another or at most two more places to visit. No need to study anything. Everything can be bought or rented, all you need is dollars, and they had plenty of dollars. They thought this would be no different from other tourist sites.
and some were special. They were the Royals, or invited by the Royals.
Still others were unhappy to receive the news. They knew little of the fiqh and the logistics etc. and were afraid of everything. The returning Hajjis had warned of the difficulties. There would be bottlenecks at many places. The natives did not speak English, and they themselves did not know Arabic. The Saudis are known to be arrogant and insensitive to foreigners, except perhaps the Americans. Everyone knows the story of the Hajji who was found without his documents and sent to prison for a month, no questions asked, with immediate deportation on completion of the sentence. Only the same shurta (policeman) who had jailed him could let him out. what if the shurta becomes incapacitated, and did not come to let him out after a month?
would one rot in jail for his/her entire life?
And the Saudis are Wahhabis. [shudder] Aren't Wahhabis extremist fanatics? and isn't the mighty US of A displeased with them, and even at war with them?
and isn't there some sort of internal violent conflict in Saudi Arabia, bombings and the like!
What a feared country to visit.
They wouldn't be able to cope with all this, they thought with sinking hearts?
ahh, the mighty US of A. Why is life so difficult? Why hasn't Allah placed the Ka`aba in a civilised place like New York or San Francisco or London even? Don't many of our politicians and businessmen go there or to Disneyland, Florida, for their annual pilgrimage.
Well, there would be Hajjis from NY, and CA and FA, too.
Now answer these questions:
[i]why does Allah (swt) summon the pilgrims?
and the Hajjis came, but why? When they had ignored other religious obligations in the past, why couldn't this one be ignored by them?[/i]
|02/05/05 at 11:18:07|
|Re: the summons|
|02/05/05 at 21:22:56|
|... and why haven't i been invited? :'(|
|Re: the summons|
|02/06/05 at 15:37:46|
sis Kathy, a very pertinent question indeed: why are some invited, and others not, while among the invitees you may find atheists, and among the non-invitees those with a very strong desire to be there.
But I want my brothers and sisters here to ponder over what I write, and attempt answers to these questions.
So I skipped some religious obligations from boyhood. Most of my life I have congratulated myself that my sins were of omission, not of commission. I don't know why I thought the [i]former[/i] were excusable. Hajj seemed so difficult that I felt convinced I could skip that as well.
Looking at the physical aspects only, I read of accounts of fire in Mina tents, of stampedes at Jamaraat, of infections, of inconsiderate Saudi officials, and unlistening Saudi policemen who lock you up, of the physical strain (no details were obtained) involved, of being fleeced, etc., and I looked at myself and thought - me, no way! I will send someone for Hajje Badal. And I let that be that.
But it is me who thought I was being logical, while Allah (swt) had other plans, and [i]indeed He is the best of planners.[/i]
As I narrate the story of Hajj, can you see the hand of Allah in shaping my circumstances towards making the Hajj, and making it painless?
Three years ago at Karachi my cousin's son (the same cousin I have talked of earlier), who once was my classmate, asked me to perform Hajj. I had already become visibly more religious, quoting Quraan and Hadith and rulings in my discussions, and I had a beard now, so this was a logical thing to ask.
I felt nervous. In my heart, I had decided Hajj was too dangerous for me, yet I couldn't say no to the son of the man who had asked me to go to the mosque, and whose advice I had not paid any attention to. So I said yes, I want to go but there are some problems. When they are taken care of, I will go, inshallah.
My cousin's son inherited Tableegh from his father, and they have a softly, softly touch. Thus he kept at me to make the niyyah. Eventually I did make the niyyah, not convinced in my heart that I want to take the risks involved, so I promptly forgot about this. My friend gave me a light ¬†prayer mat, and some copies of a booklet published by him on how to make Hajj (from the fiqh of the ihnaaf). I put the book aside, and put the prayer mat at the bottom of my clothes in my cupboard, just in case.
Six months later I was asked to take up a job which was very demanding, but which paid well. ¬†I worked for two years and saved enough in a current account to pay off my interest-bearig loans, and start building the first floor of my house. It occurred to me that perhaps now I had a purely halal income untainted by interest, so maybe Hajj is possible.
But medically I had problems, which make it impossible for me to stay or travel anywhere longer than one hour. I need many modern comforts to survive. So, Hajj still seemed an impossible task.
Others who have made the pilgrimage told me [i]the medical problems either diappear or become tolerable during Hajj times[/i], so I felt better. I had a doctor work out a regime of preventive medicine and controls, and felt perhaps this could be attempted.
Next year, I thought, I will apply for Hajj.
Then I found some friends filling in Hajj application forms. Either our own government or a private operator will arrange the administrative, residential and travel facilities (some even include meals). I applied, and my group was approved.
It was a good group. The leader had performed Hajj last year ¬†with a view to performing it again with his wife. So he knew the procedure. He and his deputy knew some Arabic, and are active in the Tableeghi Jamaat, so know the fiqh of Hajj, although insisting on the Hanafi angle. Still, better than ignorant me.
Because there cannot be facilities for an unlimited number of pilgrims, the Saudi government allows generous quotas from countries, but often from the Muslim countries there are more applicants than the quota. So there is a draw for who will go. In my knowledge the last date for the applications had already passed, but I was wrong, and I was persuaded to apply within a group which had only one vacancy. Groups here could only be from 5 to 20 people.
The Saudis have a system for everything. Since we do not know the system, and we are impatient, we do not make queues, we get delayed, and grow more impatient. I think the officials who put up with the impatient Hujjaj are to be congratulated for keeping their cool. If we learn basic Arabic, if we are patient, if we seek redress only when really there has been a problem, things will be more easy for us.
So the ingredients are:[i]niyyah, and asking Allah (swt) to make it easy for us. This is what will be needed over and over again. And learn to be patient and forgiving. Do not seek out other people's faults. Even when their faults are obvious, do not make derogatory remarks.[/i]
Then look up the procedure for your country. Ask the Saudi Embassy. Go to their site. Private tour operatives charge more, sometimes double the amounts for government schemes, with half the times. We left on the 25th Dec, and came back on the 3rd Feb. so we had about forty days in SA, while my nephew went through DarasSalaam (Madison Ave?) and reached Madinah on 10th Jan, leaving Makkah on 12 or 13 dhul Hajj, hardly 15-20 days. He stayed at Hotel InterContinental at Madinah, and at ash-Shuhada at Makkah, which was a good 20 minutes walk from the Babe Fahd. They were accomdated 4 to a room. 4 males in one room, and 4 females in another. The hotel is good. Food was included in their package. DarusSalaam had hundreds of clients.
For us in the Pak government scheme, the government rented reasonable accomodation. We were 7 in a room meant for five. Basic facilities were available: like beds, sheets and blankets, hot water, ZamZam one litre per person supplied at the hotel, vacuum cleaning of the room, airconditioning, and maintenance of the facilities. Although we did not need the air-conditioning until the last two days at Makkah.
Food was our own. We were lucky - in Makkah 3-1/2 minutes walk from the Babul Fath, and at Madinah, a walk of five minutes, This despite the fact that we had applied for ¬†a scheme with 1300 metres distance from the Haram, while others had applied for 800 metres distance, and were farther away, or billeted with us.
We got a refund of $400, while they received a refund of $220 only.
[i]my Hajj went like a song, as further episodes will reveal.
Do you know what it means?
It is not us who make the decision and the arrangements for our Hajj, which is actually a time Allah (swt) is showing us His powers. and moreover, we are Allah's guests.
Remember this point: Although we are His slaves summoned to perform this obligation, and to be cleansed of our sins, we are treated as His guests.[/i]
Because of drug problems in SA, the SA government has placed restrictions on what can be taken into KSA. Thus our Hajj Ministry issued such directives as not to take toothpaste, soap, etc.
At the Madinatul Hujjaj (the town of the pilgrims) near Islamabad/Rawalpindi, when we went in 10 hours before departure, I found a woman teaching patiently the others what to say in the Tawaf:
She says: "come, I will help you. say: Subhanallahi"
the other women: "Subhanallahi"
She repeats three times with the women after her. Then she proceeds to say "wal Hamdulillahi"
as the women repeat this afetr her, she repeats this word three times.
and she goes on to teach the rest of what one is to say.
It turns out she is the wife of a teacher, and probably teaches the deen to children at her home.
Subhanallah and may Allah give her many merits.
Then there is an old couple, who come closer to us when we are discussing and reviewing what our steps would be. They cannot even speak Urdu properly and know nothing about what next step to take so they can get on the plane, or performing the Hajj, yet they have embarked on this journey, trusting Allah to help them. And help them He does!
To get medicine that I use regularly, I have it prescribed in a medicine book, then buy the medicine. I have some more prescribed as preventive medicine (mainly some pain-killers and antibiotics, because I will certainly get secondary respiratory infection), some medicine for upset stomachs. This has to be checked and sealed at the Madinatul Hujjaj by the Ministry of Hajj's own doctors.
Somehow others are denied antibiotics, but I am asked if I am taking so much medication for the whole group, or only for myself. I reply that I need this medicine and my medicine is sealed without further comment.
Every country with a large Muslim population has a Hajj facilatory and free Medical Mission at Makkah and Madinah, and the Saudis have enough free dispensaries and Hospital too, near the Haramain. The Saudi facilities are the best.
|02/13/05 at 08:13:44|
|Re: the summons|
|02/08/05 at 10:18:57|
|assalamu'alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhu|
May Allaah accept your Hajj inshaaAllaah...mabrook.
|Re: the summons|
|02/11/05 at 11:46:06|
| [slm] thanks jannah for the restoration (why does it sound like the restoration of the Tudor monarchy)|
and thanks sis Reflection or shall I call you niece. I think I will use these interchangeably here. Most here qualify to be my nephews and neices. :)
So let us see. The Pak Ministry of Hajj gave us a list of what to take, and what [i]NOT[/i] to.
anyway, my medicine was very helpful to everyone. When you go, take a lot of painkillers, The muscles ache like never before. And do take along a course or two of anti-biotics, together with vitamin B complex, or better still multi-vitamins, because antibiotics somehow remove the B-complex from your system, causing stomach upsets. So a supplemental dose helps.
[i]remember: every medicine needs to be prescribed by a registered medical practioner, and sealed by the immigration authorities of your country. For those in the USA and other countries where the authorities probably do not provide such support for Hajjis, seek info from the Saudi Embassy, or the Hajj and Umrah operators. It is compulsory to have a meningitis vaccination backed up by an official certificate. It is also adviable to get a flu shot.[/i]
We had obtained our airline tickets, foreign exchange (I had bought an extra 1500 Riyals from the open market, to make sure I do not run short). Lugged our luggage (without trolleys - how I wish I had gone and bought a trolley despite my wife's making fun of me: "don't they have trolleys in Saudi?") Well, for now this was Pakistan's Madinatul Hujjaj, and there were no trolleys here. As I would discover later, no trolleys in SA either. Still, my group mates helped. May Allah (swt) accept their Hajj and give them ample rewards, here and in the Hereafter. Lug your own luggage through customs and boarding. Is this why it is called LUGgage? :)
Here our metal bracelets are handed over to us. We have to fasten tem to our wrists, jsut in case there is an accident which destroys the body, this will serve as an identification. Then through customs (for cabin baggage) and immigration. This is the arangement at Islamabad, could be different elsewhere. At the airport, the trolleys are in abundance, but not at Madinatul Hujjaj.
At the airport lounge, we changed into ihraam and fasten a document/money belt. I also carried a document bag . Stories of being robbed abound, so it is best to have duplicate documents and money split in two or three places. Although I found that this was more headache than a facility. I forgot whether I had left my Travellers cheques at Makkah, or whether I had brought them to Madinah, so on finding them missing at Madinah, I was temporarily upset. Not much, because [i]I prayed to Allah (swt) that since I was His guest, it was His responsibility to see me through, not my responsibility. And then I forgot about this. Everytime I faced a problem that looked like I was stuck in for a while, I would say istaghfaar, and pray like this, and be calm, and the problem would be resolved[/i].
We were going to do Hajje Tamattu - Umrah first and then the Hajj. We pray two nawafil after changing (not necessary according to Salafis, according to them it is better to put the ihraam after fard prayers)
we say the LabBayk
ahh, the LabBayk, how I loved to say it ...
Taking a bath. Facilities do not exist at Islamabad airport, so do it at home.
Using perfume if possible (for men , women can use color only).
Wearing Ihram attire, which consists of a loincloth and an apparel, with the head uncovered for men, whereas women are to wear their Islamic custom, wearing neither face cover nor gloves. However, a woman may cover her face with a slight veil only if her beauty is tempting enough to cause seduction.
Declaring intention to perform Hajj and saying Labbayk:
Here, for the Umrah we say:
[i] Labbayka-Allahumma-Umran . [/i]
Later, when we don the ihraam for Hajj, we will say:
[i] Labbayka-Allahumma-Hajjan [/i]
After taking these steps it is prohibited for the pilgrims to wear sewn clothes, remove or pluck hairs, clip nails, cover their heads, use perfume, hunt, enter into marriage contracts or talk of them even for others, have sexual intercourse, or cut the trees of the Sacred Precinct.
Men should raise their voice while saying Labbayk, which is:
Labbayka La Sharika Laka Labbayk.
Inna Al-Hamda Wan-Ni`mata Laka Wal-Mulk.
Laa Sharika Lak.
Here I am, O Lord, here I am!
Here I am, there is none that is a partner to You, here I am!
Surely, all praise; all bounty is Yours, and all power, too.
There is none that is a partner to You. [/i]
But women should let their voice be audible only to theiselves.
How did I feel when saying this?
answering the summons from the Lord, in anticipation that He has called us to forgive us and to listen to our supplications:
why has He called us?
what will happen?
will we be forgiven, or will we return apostates?
for the whole process step by step, see this:
[i]So, when we rely on medicine, on our status in life, on our wallets or bank balances, on our helpers, we are ascribing partners to Allah (swt). During Hajj, Allah shows us how helpless we are despite our taking precautions. When we acknowledge this and bend before Him alone, giving up our reliance on these worldly things, He performs miracles for us. I would see this over and over again, and I pray I never rely on the goodies of this world[/i].
We go through immigration control, board the bus to the plane, and on boarding the plane, I say the prayer for travel:
[i]Subhanalladhi Sakhkhara lana hadha wa ma kunna lahu muqrineen. wa inna ila Rabbina la munqaliboon[/i]
please make it a rule to say this prayer whenever you travel, even on a car or a bus or a bicycle. Elsewhere I have described how Allah (swt) has saved our lives in travels.
PIA and AeroAsia have the pilot or one of the airhostesses say it over the plane public address system. Maybe other airlines have adopted this too.
We reach Jeddah Madinatul Hujjaj, and while moving towards immigration, I lose an umbrella given to each of us by the airline. Never mind. Not such a great loss. Travellers get confused there, but I think the officials are sensible. They follow a procedure we do not know. It would be helpful if the instructions were written in different languages, or at least the main ones, and people employed understood the language of the pilgrims.
Our meningitis certificates are checked. Have I mentioned this is a necessity? Some people are sent for extra vaccination, and eventually we are admitted to immigration, where some confusion occurs because of our impatience. We are not accustomed to the queue system. The officials are mostly young Egyptians. More checks.
Once outside immigration, we find ourselves facing a lot of desks, where more young Arabs sit, and process the passports of the pilgrims, attaching some transport tickets, and tearing away a page from our passports.[i] This is the United Agents Office, and this tearing away will occur at every stage, until you fear you will only have the outside cover left of your Hajj passport. This will not be the case for international passport holders. I do not know what is done to international passports.[/i]
Then we move out with our hand baggage (no trolleys in evidence here either. I wish these were provided), to locate the Pakistan Hujjaj area. We find it, and the search for our luggage begins. No real need, because the United Agents will dump it at the necessary area. People are nervous because luggage can be misplaced. However, our luggage is dumped near us, and then the wait for our Maktab begins. This seems a slow process, but here too the officials and employees are following a reasonable procedure. They make sure that all Hajjis of a particualr maktab are colected in a queue with their luggage. Again we have to lug it, and again I wish for a trolley.
Anyway, after a long wait, our queue is formed, and we are told to board a bus. Our passports are now taken away from us. We make sure our luggage is loaded first, we note the number of the bus, and we board it. We will pass registration and checkpoints where the driver will get his passengers cleared. It is his responsibility. At times someone will board the bus and check the passengers against a list., both the names and the numbe rof passengers. We won't see our passports again until we are back from Makkah to Jeddah on our way out, but passports these will travel with us for every officially sanctioned journey.
An event takes place at Jeddah. It is Zuhr and my group, staunch Tableegees that they are, want to say the Zuhr prayers, and then obtain a guarantee that the bus will stop for Asr. I quietly go and pray both Zuhr and Asr with Qasr. It is allowed. The Maktab people argue with the group organiser, and some people from the group go and say a lot of rakaats, so many that the group also loses its patience.
Away we go in the bus, saying the LabBayk at intervals. We stop twice. Saudi Arabia is a wonderful country. It has some strange formations of rock and mountains. I wish I could study its Topology and Geology, but I have missed my chance. Sheikh Yemeni once asked me to come join SA. I was young and foolhardy. I refused on grounds that SA is a kingdom. So what? Are democracies any better? Not to my knowledge. I do not remember being able to make a difference in the Western democracies I have lived in.
They love mosques. And they love cleanliness. So, mosques are at every stop. and they are beautiful, have ample area for cleaning washing oneself, with running warm water, and even facilities for taking showers at some mosques - something that the Indo-Pak subcontinent lacks. On the way, at one stop, we are given one box each of eatibles, mostly biscuits, a gift from Khadimal Haramain Sharifain. The rulers and some other families provide these to Hujjaj. The government of Saudi Arabia takes great pains to provide facilities. They truly consider these Hujjaj as guests of Allah. No wonder they are able to ride out the political storms in KSA.
Makkah begins and we see a lot of modern high-rise buildings, not as high as the Empire State or the more modern attempts of vain humans to reach the heavens, but high nevertheless. Most are Fandaqs (hotels), and most are called palaces. Why this fixation with palaces? I also notice some gold color in kettles and thermos flasks, but the buildings are sober in design and in color. That means good taste. I am already beginning to like the Saudis.
When we reach our hotel at Makkah, we rest a while. Then we go in a group. We are in the Shamia neighborhood, and I notice that Makkah is mountainous (or at least hilly). It is a modern city. and when we go to the Haram we find the road is sloping down towards it. Then we come across a lot of steps, leading further down. Then we enter the Babul Fath (the gate of victory), from which the prophet [saw] entered on the day of victory over the pagan Makkans. Our group leader explained that the duas on seeing the Ka'aba the very first time are accepted. So we are to keep our eyess focussed near our feet until he tells us to raise them. When looking at the Ka`aba, [i]I ask Allah (swt) to accept all my present and future jaez duas provided they are for kheir. This is the dua I will make at every point about which the acceptance is said to be guaranteed. :) [/i]
The Babe Fath is situated such that as you enter, the door of the Ka`aba is towards its left, while the Hateem is to its right. The Ka`aba is draped with its black cover, which looks lovely on it.
I have heard so much about Makkah's commercialism that I fear I will not feel its spiritiuality. There are hotels and restaurants (called Mut`im - plural = muta`im) all around. There are buses and their noises and the pollution. I have also heard that Hajj changes a person, making him/her a better Muslim, or throwing him/her out of Islam. I am afraid: what if I become apostate? What a terrible thing it will be. Ka`aba is only a cuboid made of stone by man. It isn't to be worshipped, yet a spirituality is attached with it. Strange, when I look at the Ka'aba, I do not feel awed. Instead, I look at it trying to understand if it attracts me, and if this attraction is inner, or on the surface.
The mosque is unusual, because of Ka`aba at the centre. How to describe its layout? I don't have the vocabulary. There is this open area around the Ka`aba where the Tawaaf is made. And then up a flight of stairs is a roofed area going all around the Ka`aba, where we find carpets, on which people say prayers,a s well as rest. I think it is wonderful. One can sit or lie in comfort, and watch the Ka`aba, and say nawafil, or get up and do the Tawaaf. On top of this roofed area are two floors, where too the Tawaaf can be made. Eevntually I will find that the best places for saying prayers and doing Tawaaf are the basement and the first floor.
The King's palace dominates the skyline when in the mosque. Why has he made such a folly. It is on top of a mountain, the sides of which have been covered with white slabs. I would have liked all sides of the mosque to be kept from urban development, except moving walkways for the pilgrims. But I have to admit that design and color sense prevails even in this palace. The surroundings of the Great Mosque aren't gaudy.
I sit and watch the Ka`aba. So do many others. Turkish women are the most prominent among them. On occassion you will find some people weeping while watching it. I pray to Allah (swt) not to let me go astray, not to abandon me to Satan or to my own nafs. Again this is a dua I will be making for myself and for everyone, including all of you. I pray to Him to plant the seeds of love for Him and His prophet [saw] and of His "Sha`aer" in my heart, and to make it grow so that it is greater than any other love. And as I watch the Ka`aba, I find myself falling in love with it. And now I know I love Allah and His prophet [saw].
This would become my favorite activity at the Haram - while others would be doing nafli Tawaf, I woud be watching the Ka`aba, and praising Allah, and feeling my love for Him grow.
Do you remember when I asked a question on this board about feeling love for Allah? I have the answer to that question now, and I am happy and at peace. When death comes, I now know that I will die with His love in my heart.
[i]I have not come across the following piece of information about the Ka`aba: that it is situated below everything around it. Normally I have seen places of worship that are at a higher ground than their surroundings. Ka`aba is an exception that astonishes me.[/i] All roads lead [i]down[/i] towards it.
I think we should rest to take the ihraam off the next day, but my wife has asked a husband and wife in the group to take care of me, and the gentleman says to me: come and I will help you with Tawafe Qudoom and Sa`ee, and he helps me, may Allah (swt) grant him ample rewards. He does the counting of rounds on a tasbih of seven. Fairly high up on the wall of the roofed area, is a green tubelight that indicates the direction of the Hajre Aswad. There is a brown marble area, 5-6 inches wide, running through from the base of that tubelight to the Hajre Aswad. On this brown area, at every Shawat (round) during the Tawaaf, we stop and do the Istilaam, saying [i]Bismillahi Alalhu Akbar[/i], and adding [i]wa lillahil Hamd[/i], when doing the Tawaaf for Umrah or Hajj. Most people do the istilaam by facing the Hajre Aswad, and raising their hands with the palms towards the Black Stone. I read somewhere that only one hand is to be so raised. Anyway, I will sometimes use one and sometimes the other method, and the ihraam can now be taken off.
During one of the rounds I try to pull my friend towards the Hajre Aswad, but he resists, and he is right. The Hajre Aswad most probably has perfume rubbed on it, and we are in the state of ihraam, we must avoid perfume. Plus, getting to the Hajre Aswad would involve pushing other Hujjaj, and that is wrong, so it is betetr to give up this Sunnah.
After the Tawaaf, we do the istilaam aagin, and go to find a place where we can pray two rakaa`h of thanks. It is better if you can find such a place at Muqaame Ibraahim, but since a lot of people are doing Tawaf, that isn't possible. I wouldn't find a peaceful spot there during this Hajj, so I would pray elsewhere. Many insist on doing this near the Muqaame Ibrahim, causing themselves and the others undue congestion and lack of concentration.
We now go drink up the ZamZam. This year the ZamZam well is out of bounds. We can drink, but not go to the well. One warning I remember is to avoid drinking cold ZamZam. Most of the water is cold. There are some (not so many) containers (water-coolers) on which is written (in Arabic) "[i]ZamZam gheiru Mubarrad[/i]" meaning uncooled ZamZam. Barad means cold. ghair means not. It is a good advice. Those who drink cold water or soft drinks, invariably get a throat condition. I also get it when I cannot find uncooled ZamZam. And we drink it up, standing, facing the Ka`aba, and I repeat my dua that every jaez dua for kheir may be accepted. This is my favorite dua. I know I want to make duas for many people, and I want Allah to accept these).
At one of these occasions, I find a man trying to fill his bottles with ZamZam. He is doing it by filling up the plastic cup, and pouring this cup into the bottle. So I say to him: I have a better way. Then I tilt the container backwards, and there is ample space for him to place the bottle under the cooler valve. His labor is now greatly reduced. After filling his bottles, he makes dua for me: "May all you duas you ever make, be accepted". Subhanallah, how does he know this is my wish?
After the two Nawafil, we go for Sa`ee, before which we do the istilaam again. At the Safa, we make dua, and walk towards Marwah while running between the green lights. Later at one of these runnings while doing the Sa`ee for our Ifadah, I would hear one man say to another "Look, even these fellows are running". It is clear many pilgrims do not know the fiqh of Hajj. We will find women running in the Tawaaf and the Sa`ee. Whereas it is only for men (the first three rounds in istabaagh = right shoulder bare, and in Sa`ee between the green lights). The Sa`ee is seven walks. One from Safa to Marwah, second from Marwah to Safa, third again from Safa to Marwah, and so on. Every time I get to Safa, I make dua. My friend makes it at Marwah as well, as written in the Hajj guide from Pakistan's Ministry of Hajj.
I am tired by the end of the Sa`ee. So I rest at a place I can watch the Ka`aba. I love the Ka`aba. How I wish I could stay here and the Masjide Nabawi for the rest of my life. But maybe I will get bored like all thsoe who live nearby.
Makkah is truly blessed. So many people here, but the system has been devised such that the litter is quickly swept away and collected. There is a rubbish dump near our hotel, but no smell there either. There are restaurants all over the place, yet no smells. Alalh has arranged a breeze that blows all the time, and takes away all smells. There are millions of people here, and the shops/restaurants are so small, yet everyone can buy a meal within 10 minutes.
Throughout our Hajj, the sky will be overcast. We won't feel the heat of the Makkan sun beating down on our heads. No risk of a sunstroke.
Subhanallah, and alHamdulillah!
The Masjid has many gates. Find the one nearest you that is convenient for your requirements. There are some gates reserved for women. The basement always has enough space, and mostly the first and top floors, too. The problems arise because people sit in the walkways, or just as they enter, blocking the way to inner areas. The guides could help by insisting that everyone moves inwards until the inner rows are full.
The Saudis have arranged so that people from the same area, (and usually the same country) are housed near each other. There is little language problem. The employees and the shopkeepers understand Urdu. There are buildings hired by the Bangladeshis, with Indonesians, Malaysians, the Turks, the Iranis, ...
At the Haram, the people employed to keep it clean are mostly Pakistanis and Bangladeshis. They do it with a speed and an enthusiasm that are truly amazing.
The Tawaaf is getting difficult in the Mutaaf at ground floor. There are too many people and they jostle with each other, pushing and trying to make room for themselves. Why can they not do things in an orderly fashion? I decide not to make any Nafli tawaaf here, as also not to seek touching the Black Stone, or getting to the Multazim, because that would involve pushing other muslims, or getting in their way. So my other Tawaafs will mostly be done at the first or the second floor which means about eight kilometers for every Tawaaf.
|02/13/05 at 03:16:53|
|Re: the summons|
|02/11/05 at 15:13:11|
|Re: the summons|
|02/11/05 at 15:13:11|
This reminds me of the time my parents took us to perform the Hajj (five children ranging from 13-7years of age, my dad is clearly crazy).
My geography teacher expressed concerns for my safety when I told him I was leaving to go on Pilgrimage;
Teacher; 'But people die there every single year'
me; 'Oh sir I doubt I'd be quite so lucky only the chosen few pass away in such a sacred place. Only the very lucky have thousands of pilgrims pray for their forgiveness... Maybe though I might get lucky who knows?'
Teacher ' :o Er I do hope to see you again next term Fozia, you're rather a good pupil... even if you do spend my lesson reading material which has nothing to do with geography'
I returned safe and well, and left a piece of my heart in Makkah Muezzima and another in Madinat Munawarah.
|02/11/05 at 15:27:43|
|Re: the summons|
|02/12/05 at 07:23:59|
| [slm] ahh, sister Fozia, that was so nice of your father to take you there when you were 13. Ask sister Reflection. Her husband took his family for Umrah in Ramadan, and the children loved it. Perhaps you can tell us some of the memories from the time you were there.|
here is some more on my thoughts as I discovered my love for Allah (swt):
[i]How I realized that I love Allah (swt)[/i]
As I looked at the Grand Mosque, my first question to myself was, more marble!
I donít like marble anymore. In Pakistan I have come to associate it with graves. Many people have marble covering the walls and floors of their abodes. (My house too now has a marble floor, but I have said no to the walls).
But as I looked at the stone arches, at the columns of the Grand Mosque, that feeling of revulsion was not there. Instead it was one of curiosity.
I hate commercialism, and at Makkah I saw blatant commercialism, yet there was no hate in my heart. Instead I thought these people have at best three months in which to earn enough for a whole year.
I did not like the presence of the Kingís Palace, and the hotels so near to the Mosque, yet I did not feel anger or hatred towards them. Instead I noticed how these blended in with the sober atmosphere.
I hate people begging, and in Makkah I found some black people, mostly young women, begging. Among the black males I saw an abnormal concentration of people with deformed limbs, and some with chopped off limbs.
Who are they? Are they from a war zone, like Eritrea, Somalia?
Alas, I do not know Arabic, or I would have asked them.
The children give it away. Clearly they have been taught how to beg. There might be an organized group exploiting them. Yet, they have needs.
Yet I did not think of them as a disgrace. Instead I thought about who they might be, and how someone should make a study so as to ease their burden.
I hate people spitting on the roads. And here some people were doing it, yet I did not feel angry towards them. Instead, I still loved this jahil Ummah.
What has come over me? Surely this change is from Allah.
Why has Allah (swt) called me to the first building on Earth built to worship Him?
As I looked at the Ka`aba, I reflected on how at every stage in my life He has protected me, even though my own actions were responsible for my problems in life.
And I recalled how this wasnít for this life alone, but how He has looked after me so that I do not go so far from Islam that I am lost forever; how He has always brought me back to Islam whenever I have strayed a little too far.
I look at this change in me that doesnít criticize everything, but tries to explain it, and seeks ways of addressing the problem.
This is not a change towards apostasy that I had feared, and sought protection from. Allah has listened to me here as well.
What then is the purpose, I ask myself? Thus I realize that Allah wants to forgive me, and He wants me to know that I am being given a new life. I know that He will see me through all stages in this strange journey, the severity of which I still do not comprehend. Yet in my heart I know that He will guide and help me through all this, because He does not want to cast me into Hell.
What then should be my attitude towards the One who has created and sustained me, brought me up in Islam, allowed me freedom, yet protected me and forgiven me so many times I have lost count; One who has sent down little chastisements so that I realize His existence and His attributes; One who has summoned me, His servant, yet treats me as a guest. And why has He called me?
[i]To forgive me! Amazing.[/i]
Should I then not love Him?
But I should not be so vain as to think only I have been so fortunate. Everyone of His servants gets a special treatment, and is forgiven, insha`Allah.
Think of a child who has gone out to play in the mud despite his motherís prohibition. After having his fill, and getting tired and dirty, he heads home Ė a little nervous that he has defied his mother and will be scolded, but the pleasure of playing has worn off, and he needs to get the dirt off and into clean clothes, not least because the insects he has picked from the mud are now biting his sensitive skin, and are enjoying the feast.
So I pray: [i]O Allah, I am grateful for all You have given me so far, but now I am growing old and weak, and I do not want to go astray again, so protect me from future misdeeds. I love You and the prophet [saw]; and donít ever let my love wane, but keep increasing it so much that all other loves are nothing before it[/i].
And as always: I make dua for family, friends, you all :), and the whole of the Ummah.
|Re: the summons|
|02/14/05 at 00:44:55|
|[slm] a litle more about tawaaf, and then on to Madinah Munawwara|
but before I describe that I want to pay a tribute to jannah, whose "Diary of an Umrah Story" I have just glanced through. I want to read it, but I think I will savour it later. Wish I had seen it before going to SA, and of course after reading some of it I feel jannah is so ... when she said mine was a beautiful thread. Some masters are simply [i]generous[/i].
Reading such powerful words, looking at these photographs, I do not feel jealousy, but what in Urdu is called "rushk". Masha`Allah jannah, may Allah (swt) increase you in everything that is good, and reward you in Firdawse a3alaa, aameen.
I do not feel like I have a right to add my amateurish attempts at describing Hajj after reading that masterful story on Umrah. Imagine what jannah would have written and how much richer with pictures her account would have been if she had had the chance of my 40 day stay with Hajj. I guess people must be able to compare and see that at least in this field jannah has surpassed me. Not that I will take my chances at competiting with her on anything else. I do not like the idea of being placed in the category of "also ran". :)
just a little bit of correction to jannah's account. Women are not supposed to run or increase their pace either during Tawaaf or during Sa3ee between the green lights. To be fair, jannah has added a disclaimer that hers is not an account which is either accurate fiqh-wise or historically. Despite this disclaimer, the only thing I found was the little bit I have mentioned.
Some people do tawaaf in groups. Some of these groups are harmless, and meant only to keep the members together, particularly mihrams, or old people with their helpers. Other groups are more sinister. They are formed with just getting their way. e.g. a group decides to go to the hajre aswad, it will push and jostle its way with elbows, without regard to any injuries it may cause. It sometimes may look more like an attack, piercing through the others doing their duties of Tawaaf and Rami. And then there were some scenes whereby the women got pressed too hard between men. Some women actually pushed their way in to get to the Multazim and Hateem and the Hajre aswad, and the Muqaame Ibraheem.
So far what I saw were Indonesians, Malays, Turks.
Of course, no damage was done to me. I always ask Allah to protect me. Not many were involved. This is a minority that creates this disturbance. I think the matter should be brought to the notice of the ambassadors of the countries involved. And since the Saudi authorities kept everything under constant surveillance, it should be no problem to identify the sponsors (tourist operators - they had their names on the scarves etc.) and to penalise them by refusing them permits to arrange Hajj and Umrah next year.
We went to Madinah just after two days at Makkah. On our return after eight days we will find the crowd too large. But the trip to madinah:
I don't know why, but the Muallim's men (they call him Mutawwif in SA) tell us that the bus will be ready much earlier than it is. This apparently is an old custom, for a very old book also warns of this practice by the Muallim's men. Anyway, we are ready after ishaa, and after a long wait the bus takes us to Madinah, stopping at points where we get some rest, food etc. [i]it is advisable to keep a note of everything, your hotel room and location with phone number, the company and number of the bus, etc. When you have to get down from the bus, you have to make sure you come back to it, and of course keep a watch for your luggage. It is known to get loaded on another bus, and although you will eventually find it, time and energy are precious commodities.[/i]
We have to say Fajr before reaching Madinah, and since our package allows 40 prayers at Masjide Nabawi, we will leave exactly after 40 prayers (eight days). I wouldn't be able to say them all in the Masjide Nabawi, because I will fall sick. Reservations have been made at a Madinah hotel, again not a high-class one, but clean and convenient, only 5 minutes walk from the Masjide Nabawi. Across the road from the hotel is AlJazeerah Towers, a residential and commercial centre, no apparent link to the AlJazeerah TV channel. A group of Turks with the "Diyanet" operators are staying there. This must be a place worth staying in, but the same group has other Turks staying in even more mundane buildings than ours.
Here I will be persuaded to eat together with the others in the room. I do not like the habit of eating with one's hands and not using forks, particularly eating from a common utensil where the novices do not observe the Islamic practice of eating from the portion just before them, and not using fingers all over the plate. However, throughout this journey, I won't feel revulsion from these habits of my group mates, in which I have to join.
Madinah seems more peaceful. This is perhaps because one doesn't have to do the Tawaaf or Sa`ee, and it is more laid out such that one can stay in one place without much disturbance. Only near the prophet's grave, and the rodatul jannah is there much pressure of the crowd.
We go there on our first visit, and we have to cross others who are saying their prayers, both when we visit the grave and when we enter the rodatul jannah to offer a couple of rakaahs.
Many people make the mistake of calling the prophet's grave the Rodae Mubarak. Actually the roda min riadul jannah (a garden from among the gardens of paradise) is the area between the prophet's residence, and his minbar.
I am dissatisfied with the way I find people pushing, and not having enough space or time to pray properly, so I ask Allah (swt) to let me have some more time at the two places, and to give me indication that I, as a non-Sufi, gheir-muqallid Salafi do indeed love the prophet [saw] and am not a Gustakhe Rasool (as some of our friends are prone to call us).
I find myself in a crowd that pushes me towards the prophet's grave, and since I do not want to push, I try to ease myself away from it, and then I find I am trapped. The grave is in front of me, I am in the rodatul jannah, and there is a wall to the left. There is no space to move, let alone offer nawafil. I want to get out, when someone sensing my discomfort tells me to take it easy. You are in rodatul jannah, why do you want to get out? he says, and I understand the import of this. So I do some dhikr.
I wait, and after about fifteen to twenty minutes, the top of the wall is removed, and we see over the remaining wall the green-carpetted rodatul jannah on the other side of the wall as well.
All of the Masjid is carpetted with red carpets. The rodatul jannah has green carpets to distinguish it from the rest. Women are allowed some hours each day to visit this. At the end of their visit, when they have left this portion of the rodatul jannah, it is cleaned and the partition between the two portions removed.
Subhanallah, now when the partition is removed, there is so much space, and so much time, I am able to say nawafil, and read the quran, and make some duas - all in rodatul jannah! I asked for space and time at this place, and Allah has answered this prayer, while I did not think the crowd will ever let me have it.
One dua I make is [i]O Allah! thank You for admitting me to one of the flowerbeds of Jannah. You are true to Your word, and You have promised that whoever enters Jannah will not be expelled to Hell again. So Allah, do not cast me into Hell fire ever.[/i]
Similarly, once I join a crowd which I later find is going to the grave of the prophet [saw]. This time the crowd neither pushes me, nor do I have to push anyone, and I am in the first lane, closest to the grave. Near the grave the queue slows down, and when I reach there it halts for a while. That is answer to having time at the second place.
I try to look through the "jali" as we call it. Jali is the hollow metalwork which leaves some space for us to peep through, except that later I am told there shouldn't have been anything to see. That room is empty.
Subhanallah, I don't know if I should tell you what I saw. First of all there isn't any light behind the jali, and with the cataract, I am never able to see anything in even less darkness than this. Yet I see something, and I see it clearly. That is a miracle. What I see confirms to me that I have not been rejected. That is enough to satisfy me, and I wouldn't disturb the peace of the prophet any more. Instead I will sit outside, and look at the green dome. Previously I used to wonder about the dome, as this was a later addition, and hence wouldn't it be a bid3a? Yet since it is over the prophet's grave, I did not know what to think of it. From this day on, I would find its attractiveness no longer troubles my conscience, and it gives me peace, but I wouldn't go near the grave again. I want to give others a chance. I will sit outside in the compound, and like the growth of love for Allah while looking at the Ka`aba, I will find my love for the prophet [saw] grow while looking at the green dome.
I catch the flu, and then a secondary bacterial respiratory infection, for which I have to take antibiotics. I go to the Pakistani dispensary, where the doctor prescribes vibramycin, an antibiotic. I take a couple of capsules, and then forget whether I have taken the rest or misplaced them. I find the Saudi dispensary/hospital, and a young Egyptian doctor sees me. He can converse reasonably well in English, so I have no prblem, although there is a Pakistani doctor as well in that room. They are out of antibiotics, and the condition isn't cured, so I decide to take my own Ciproxin capsules on reaching back to Makkah.
There are things to see and buy, the Madinah dates and the clothing and the perfume and the gold markets, but I don't go anywhere. I would rather spend the time in the Masjid. Towards the end of the eight days I would become bolder, and venture to see more of the Masjid. One evening, a vendor will come with mabroom dates at the hotel, and thus my problem of buying dates from Madinah is solved. He promises to get 3ajwah dates the next day, but he doesn't come, and we have to leave soon afterwards. Never mind. Allah will later provide me an opportunity at Jeddah, courtesy of Salem.
The Iranis start arriving, and they come in groups, and control/monopolise whole sections, particularly the area near the grave, but the Saudis are alert to them, and subject them to greater scrutiny. The Turks are also treated similarly, althought to a lesser extent. As I have said, everything is under surveillance, so while the Saudi authorities will not deny any one the ¬ right to visit and perform rites at the holy sites, they will control those who make trouble for others.
We go to the jannatul baqee, the graveyard where many Sahaba (ra) and prominrt men have been buried, and have the graves pointed out. Subhanallah, all graves are in accordance with the Sunnah.
Madinah is a more accomodating place than Makkah. The Bilal mosque is quite near our hotel, walking distance, a kilometer at most. One of our favorite activity is to negotiate a ride to masjide Quba, and go there to offer a couple of nawafil, as it is reported to carry the thawab of an Umrah.We are able to go there for six days out of the eight we spend at Madinah.
We approach a pickup that can seat five.
How much for masjide quba?
I am flabbergasted. As I am about to leave, the driver motions me to say something:
I just say: laa (no)
he climbs down:
3ashra (10) riyal
thaman riyal (I show him eight fingers so he gets the message)
he motions us to get inside.
My mates are pleased. This is the first time we have been able to hire it for less than ten riyals.
and I get to see a couple more masaajid near the masjide Quba. No other Ziarah for me. As I have said, I want to spend most of my time in the Masjide Nabawi, or near it so as to get there as soon as it is time for prayers. For me the markets and the hotels and the roads have no attraction, and the Ziarahs would, if I were actually living my life here.
Then suddenly, it is time to leave Madinah. Eight days pass so quickly. I want to be back here soon, with even more leisure time.
|02/19/05 at 00:29:05|
|Re: the summons|
|02/15/05 at 09:22:07|
|[slm] some more on Madinah, and on to Makkah|
at the Masjid, ZamZam water is available, trucked from Makkah, and placed in plastic water coolers, like at Makkah. We drink it standing while facing Makkah, and pray our prayers. My favorites prayers you already know :)
My mates do not realise the difficulties I have. They take me to a place once, and expect me to find my way myself next time. They asked me to recognise the gate from which we enter, and a nearby reference building or sign, and that I should be all right.
Near the Masjid, on one building, painted in large letters, I read a long name ending in "Zuhra", and decide to make it my reference point. Should have no difficulty getting to our hotel from there, I think.
After 3ishaa I come out, and look for that name on the building, but there is no building.
I search, and search, but in vain.
I guess I have come out of the wrong end of the Mosque, so I walk to the other end, yet it isn't there. It was quite a walk.
I walk back and forth between the two ends. It has to be one of them, but no success and my legs complain.
I approach a young man in a stall, and ask if he understands English.
He does, he is an Egyptian, and I ask him the way, and I go the way pointed out me.
No success, and then I recognise I have made a mistake. I go back, and show him the hotel card, with the map on it.
He points at the al-Jazeera Tower, and directs me again.
This time I am successful.
The reason the building vanished was because of my eyesight. At night that building was in darkness. While the others had signs and lights on them, this one's sign wasn't illuminated.
However this isn't the only time I get lost. After a few such events, I look carefully at the gate I enter and exit from. It is Babe Makkah, opposite end to the old (original) Masjide Nabawi. From now on I don't get lost, unless I venture into previously unexplored territory, from where negotiating back my way invariably results in more exercise than intended.
But I am happy. This is Madinah, and I am not in the markets, I am in the Masjid or its courtyard.
Througout my stay at Madinah, I think only of Allah (swt), the prophet [saw], and the prophet's mosque. and I make dua for all.
My mates have begun to talk more than a fair share of food, and prices, and other people's shortcomings.
I say to them: I wonder about people who have spent so much money, and have taken such a long time off from work, and are away from the comforts of home, so as to come to the holy places. To me it seems stupid that such people should waste time in the same talk as before. I would rather we spent the time in the Masjid, or did things we cannot do at home.
It strikes home to some, and now they are more to be found doing the ibadah or ziarahs.
In the al-Jazeera Towers is a supermarket, and some books, in a few languages, including Urdu and English, between 12-14 riyals each. I buy three, but in Urdu, on the histories of Makkah Muazzamah, Madinah Munawwarah, and either Nasjide Nabawi or Masajid in Madinah. I don't recall now.
The shurtas stop the traffic for us at every prayer times. They seem better organised and able to control the crowds than at Makkah, but I like the ones at Makkah as well. The women have separate sections with separate entrances.
I find ¬†the library, with difficulty, and it is the ¬†Arabic library. I ask for directions to the Urdu and English sections, but all I get is waves in vague directions. They exist, but I will not be able to find them. I was also supposed to get a copy of the English translation of the meanings of the Quran, from the Masjid's offices, but here too I had no luck. Perhaps next time, or I may find it in Islamabad.
At the Masjid, when the Indonesians come, there is a little unease felt by me. I discover that this is because of the perfume they are wearing. Indonesia is the land of exotic spices, and they are wearing these spicy perfumes, which is too much for my sense of smell.
I have brought some warm clothing, including an anorak, and I am made fun of, by my mates, but first at [i]Islamabad[/i], until we change into the ihraam, then at Jeddah where there is a cool wind, then at Makkah, and again at Madinah, they say I was smart to bring these clothes.
I was told at Islamabad by a friend not to worry about washing clothes, or the expenses, get them washed by the laundry. By and large I do that. At Makkah washing and pressing a pair of shalwar qamees costs 4 riyals, at Madinah, it costs 3. Similarly for food. It is cheaper but time-consuming to cook your own food, so better to get it from outside. My uncle survived on fruit when he came for Hajj. His mates insisted on home-cooked Nahari etc., and he thought that was a waste of time.
There are people selling clothes, sandals, perfume, jewellery (imitation, I presume), on the grounds,a nd others stop to buy. I have no need or understanding of these material things, so I move on, only observing the faces, and trying to read into them. My brother-in-law bought some real atr when here, but I cannot see anything like it on display, and I have forgotten the name of the manufacturer, so I leave these commercial areas quickly.
Madinah is cheaper than Makkah in every respect. And if you can get into the alleyways of either city, you will be able to get even more cheap deals. Jeddah is, of course, cheaper than either.
when I leave Madinah, some of my heart is left behind. I don't want to leave, but I am going to Makkah, the blessed city, the city of peace, and to ka`aba, and to perform Hajj, which is what we have come from.
Throughout these times I remind myself: the aim is to perform the Hajj, and to do it so it is accepted. If I get tired, fall sick, or do something taht invalidates the Hajj, then it would be the greatest loss I would have ever incurred. So that is what I must guard against.
|02/16/05 at 00:45:39|
|to Makkah, Mina and Arafat|
|02/17/05 at 01:00:06|
| [slm] I think some may have missed the previous post. If so, please read it before this one.|
We embark on the bus to Makkah after Fajr, and after some time we are at the Meeqaat. Be`ere Ali. It is a wonderful place. Plenty of washrooms to take a hot shower. We shower, and change into the ihraam. The Tamattu` has just begun. I am anxious to see the land of SA. I think I have described it earlier.
We reach Makkah, and after prayers and resting one of my mates says he will take me around for the Tawaaf and Sa3ee, and thus this Umrah is over.
As I hear the qirat, I recognise it to be that of Sudais. And later in one prayer, it is Shuraim. Subhanallah, to be led in prayer by these Imams!
Some from my group will now spend 14-18 hours in the Haram. I also try to, but as the pressure of the crowd increases, and the washrooms are crowded, I decide to come back to our hotel when I need to go to the washroom. I am told there are other washrooms that aren't so crowded, but I never found them. Making a round of the Masjid just to find which are relatively easy to get into, is an experiment I do not want to put time and energy into.
The number of people increases every day, and if we aren't in long before the times of the prayers, we cannot find a place to enter the Masjid.
Then we discover that people occupy the walkways. The shurtas and the administration have been asking females not to sit in front, but the Iranis and the Turks, and now everyone seems to think they must. Still the adminstration keeps trying, with less effectiveness than before.
We discover that if you can cross the rows of those sitting in the walkways, you can find places even in the Mutaaf. However, the disturbance of the mutawifeen is distracting, and we find a shorter alleyway, that lands us directly onto the top floor at Marwah.
Then we take the other street at the fork where we used to go for Babe Fath, and this street takes us to babe Madinah, and Babe Hudaibyah. One can go down the stairs and into the basement, where there is always plenty of space, or one can go up the Babe Hudaybiah onto the First Floor. Eventually I will settle for the latter. The Babe Madinah, and some others are for women only, and clearly marked thus.
Once or twice I had to pray on the streets, and a few more times in the hotel.
The streets are crowded by beggars and sellers of trinkets, etc. That too makes these roads congested, but as soon as they hear the sound of a shurta's motorcycle, they collect their wares and disappear.
We say our prayers at the Haram. We read the Quran. I conserve my energy for Hajj, while the others pile up more and more good deeds by doing as mush as four tawaafs a day. Even the females in our group do three tawaafs a day, but still I am not jealous. I have come so far, and it could easily have been worse.
So I wait for the big event.
Our group leader comes up to tell us that the Qurbani through the bank will cost a lot more, and the time whaich is stamped on your ticket when you pay for Qurbani isn't when it is done, but much, much later, may even be next day. So, you would never know when to get Halaq done. According to their ulema, you must be sure that teh Qurbani has been done.
The Saudi Ministry of hajj and the Salafi ulema say it is not necessary to wait for confirming that your Qurbani ahs reached its place. I voice a little voice that we should go along with the Salafi ulema. This is such a huge undertaking, and the prophet did say to people who ahd not been able to follow the sequence that it was all right. However, the group leader is adamant, and I decide to stay within the group's decision.
So, they go and look around, and negotiate a deal that cuts out the many intermediaries, and it is decided the animals will be looked after by the sellers, and that after our rami, we will phone them and either come ourselves or instruct them to carry on wiht the sacrifice.
When questioned about the goats, the group leader says: Oh, they are deer, not goats.
and he has asked them to keep a whole "deer" for us after slaughter. My group goes and even negotiates a deal with the restaurant downstairs to cook that deer for us.
Something is wrong, I have this gut feeling, but I keep it to myself. I press my group to make only 50% payment until the day of sacrifice, but they do not agree. They do, however, keep about 1/7th of the money with them.
some deer, and some sacrifice, as we will discover later.
The tent city of Mina
The buses take us to Mina, to our Maktab's tents, where our group leader and his deputies locate our rooms within the tents. The Mutawwif has allotted two rooms for our building, and in one room we have at least 32 people, barely room to lay a 2 ft wide by 6 ft long mat for sleeping. The leader tries to have one room reserved for men and the other for women, but some men are adamant that they will stick with their females as mihram. The same is true of three women who insist on staying with their mihram in our room. That spoils the day for our leader, a stauch Tableeghi.
He complains to the Mutawwif's men, who say: "we have given you two rooms. The internal arrangement is your own affair."
He complains to the Pak Hajj Ministry's rep, who on seeing the adamant attitude of the other Hajjis, retreats.
So, brawn wins.
We have spread out our mats in our rooms, that were available in Madinah for 5 riyals, but that we have mostly bought from Islamabad Madinatul Hujjaj.
Meals are to be provided in our rooms, and we have been issued our meal tickets, but soon the servers run into trouble, as people hijack the food from the way, of course trading in the tickets.
At Mina we rest, read the Quran, and review the steps we have to take next.
Then the question of going into Arafat comes up. It will be eight kilometers at least. and we have already paid for the bus ride and the accomodation there, but buses take forever to reach, and someone tells us they disembark passengers wherever there is a blockage.
We decide to go on foot. It will be a long tiring walk, but it will be worth it.
We have to prepare for a daylong stay at Arafat, and then overnight stay at Muzdalifa. The latter will be evry cold, and my friend has given me a woollen sheet for that particular night. I take along another woollen sheet, an extra pair of ihraam, and extra pair of slippers.
My companions again make fun of the amount of luggage I am taking, but when they face the cold, they praise my foresight.
Onwards to Arafat we go. It is a wonderful walk. The road is wide and paved. First we pass through Muzdalifa. There are valleys and mountains at both Muzdalifa and Arafat. There are many toilets along the way, both for men and women. There are concrete benches on the way. We rest when we are tired. Shurtas give us a smile. They are there to make sure the vendors do not block the road.
We have been instructed to locate the shed under which a road goes on for the ramie jumaraat. On the way back we must avoid the road that takes us to the shed, and instead try to get to the one that is just next to the farthest on the right.
We need to go on foot so that we can see our way in Muzdalifa when we come back for a night's stay in the open, and also so we can avoid that dreaded shed.
Along the road to Muzdalifa many vendors, again mostly black sisters, sell food and some other items. We ask one for tea, and she says 2 riyal each, but we say one, and she agrees. We ask her to clean the mat we will be sitting on, and she does that. It is wonderful how she maintains purdah while serving us, and not saying anything more than is required.
The start and end of each area (Mina, Muzdalifa, Arafat) is marked by signs in different colors. Long before Muzdalifa ends we can see the Masjide Numera. Arafat begins here. Part of this mosque is outside of Arafat, and if we do not enter Arafat before and stay upto sundown, Hajj will not be complete.
As Arafat is about to begin, we notice some people sitting outside of Arafat, and even in Muzdalifa. We edge our way, in and then the road is closed by squatters.
The way in please, we ask, but there is no way in.
We have to get into Arafat, without the wuqoof here the Hajj is not valid. In desperation we elbow our way in, jumping ver other people's mats. They complain, but I stop and tell them they should not have occupied the road. At last we take off our shoes and here and there one person or two can get in. I am offered space by some, but I want to stay with my group. We come to a clearing, which although occupied clearly has more than enough space for us. Here we ask permission to spread out our mats, and do so.
As I look around, I see that we have reached the end of the masjide Nimurah, and we are in what are the prayergrounds of the masjid. Far away at the back in the Jabale Rehmat, but so is the sea of people, and I am not interested in losing this convenient place. Neither is our party. Soon afterwards the khutba begins. This is the hajj khutba.
I forgot to mention that our group had split up before leaving Mina. We were without females, while the others who had to look after their women were separate.
Had we taken the Maktab bus, we would have been in our tents, more comfortable perhaps, but without the benefit of the khutba, and we would have to say our prayers in the tents.
So after the khutba and the prayers of Zuhr and Asr together and Qasr, we rest a while, and then stand up and pray.
You are hungry, and suddenly a trailer opens up and the men start handing out fruit. Another trailer is distributing biscuits and dates from the King's Foundation. At one place someone is handing over biryani. Over in that corner you can have yoghourt, free.
and then there are vendors, too, who sell food, and the necessities for this and the next stage.
Ask whatever you will, and it will be granted.
So we ask for forgiveness, and the Ummah's relief, and much, much more.
My greatest worry is the toilets. There so many people. I need to visit one, but the queue is just too long. I pray astaghfaar and then to to Allah (swt) to make it easy, and suddenly th pressure is gone.
I am tired, so sleep for a while. an hour after I get up I again feel the urge to go, but the queues have grown at each toile to 25-30 men. Well, I go and join the queue, and the presure is just too much. I say the istaghfaar again, and pray, and once again the pressure is gone. After an hour and a quarter, my turn comes, and I ama fraid I won't be able to pass urine, but I am able to.
This would happen at Muzdalifa, too. I will have this strong urge, and seeing there is no chance, I would pray to Allah, saying istaghfaar before that, and the pressure would just disappear.
I take this as another miracle from Allah, and whenever someone is in pain or compalins, I tell him my method. he uses it, and he is OK.
Performing the wuddu again, I come back, and we continue our duas.
After sundown we depart for Muzdalifa.
and once again we face the crowd.
|Re: the summons|
|02/18/05 at 08:12:31|
as ususal, I have forgotten many things, and rushed through these posts.
Oh, Makkah and Madinah, how can I do justice to them.
The Haramain are simply beautiful, wonderful, I could spend my entire life there. The architecture of the Haramain is sober, soothing and awesome.
I read the Quran there; I lay there and stared at the ceilings; I looked at the intricate workmanship of the decorations; I watched the ceilings at Masjide Nabawi slide; I watched the ginat umbrellas in the courtyard open and close. I walked a little, and wondered why eight days are so short, for I did not do enough. I had let many things unexplored because of the crowd, and others in order to conserve my energy, and yet others because of my age.
At Madinah, one of us buys "roghane balsaan". I look at it, and tell him it isn't the real thing. It is very fluid, and has very little color, while the real thing is highly viscous and dark brown. Also it is very, very expnsive. If the original thing can be found, I am ready to buy it, whatever the price.
The roghan is a wonder drug. It turns old men into young ones. It rekindles the desire of youth, and cures the ills of old age particulalrly the premature one.
I spent more than 30 days at Makkah, near the Grand Mosque, and it seems such a small interval. I did not explore the markets, the Ziarahs, the hidden treasures of the alleyways, and sadly I still know little of the Haramain.
How I would have loved to climb the mountains.
How I would have loved to go for the Ziarahs.
I want to be back in both the harams - for life, with time and energy and maps to explore. I want to be back when there are few pilgrims, so I can touch and kiss the Hajre Aswad, embrace the Multazim, pray at the Muqaame Ibrahim, touch the stones and the pillars and let my eyes feast at every nook and corner of the Haramain. I want to do the same with all places at the masjide Nabawi.
I know there is no tabarruk in this. I wouldn't be doing it for tabarruk. I want to do it because these house the Ka`aba or the grave of the prophet [saw].
As you enter Mina, you see a Masjid - the Masjide Kheef. I did not go there, as that would have meant quite a climb, and it is difficult for me to climb. I think the persistent pain in my legs is due to this. Walking on plain ground is tiring too, but much, much less than climbing stairs and hills.
As usual, at Mina too our abode is near the entrance point. Allah (swt) is making it very easy for me. Our Maktab's tent is within a kilometer or two of the Rami. We walk there in the evening to have a look. The Saudis have enlarged the bridge, changed the pillar to a 60 foot wall, and built emergency stairs at three places, thus rami is safer if we obey the rules, but ...
The tent is huge, and somehow houses another Maktab. The toilets and wuddu places are crowded at prayer times, and we discover that another set of many toilets exists where the occupants of the other Maktab have established control. When some from our Maktab want to get in there, even for wuddu, they are stopped by a security man from the other country. These toilets are not for the Pakistanis, he says. The paksitani so stopped is furious. Has your country built these, or has the Saudi government built them. Or have you bought or rented these toilets? he asks.
The security man does not say anything after that. Behind these are some more toilets where the commodes (Indian style, most of these public commodes are Indian style) have been covered by wooden planks. Thus these are used as shower rooms.
When we start for Arafat, first we have to cross Mina. We were at the start of Mina, so we have to cross the entire length of Mina before we get to Muzdalifa. As I said in my first post, the tents of Mina extend into Muzdalifa. We had our second breakfast at Muzdalifa, as described in the previous post. There are at least three wide roads, probably four, taking us from Mina to Arafat. One is for motorised transport (buses, wagons, etc.). The others are for the pedestrians, we guess.
The walk is long, very very long. You see the minarets of Masjide Nimura, but it takes ages to get there. And fortunately we had croosed over to the road where the boundary of Muzdalifa and Arafat was the nearest - part of the Masjid is outside Arafat, and that division runs diagonally across the masjid.
I get tired, but I have loved it. I wouldn't have taken a bus ride, but I do think I could have prepared myself better by building up my stamina.
|02/18/05 at 08:19:35|
|Re: the summons|
|02/18/05 at 17:17:35|
|Brother Timbuktu, I have a request of you if I may.|
Please please please
tell us more about your last hajj day, the day it rained.
What was it like? What were you doing when it began to rain?
What were you thinking? How did the people react?
I have heard this was an amazing thing to rain and also so hard.
I hear it is a sign. Please tell us more about this and
I am soooo glad Jannah brought back this post.
Everyday I came to read more and it has
left me hungry for more.
To hear of your hajj experiences is sooooo awesome.
I hope you are able to go back when it is is less crowded to be able
to do all the things you wanted but were unable to.
MORE,,,,,, Tell us more.
|Re: the summons|
|02/19/05 at 00:36:16|
Some very undeserved praise up their bro...I corrected the URL however in case anyone wanted to see pics about umrah... umrah is a walk in the park compared to hajj so just know that u all :)
timbuktu - people are invited by Allah to visit His House, there is no doubt in my mind of that... i was invited once but I think my sins are so great now... maybe inshaAllah one day in the future.. for now I will read blessed people like yourself's stories :)
btw the hajj seminar I went to talked about the running for women and they said it was optional if women wanted to...
[quote] a litle more about tawaaf, and then on to Madinah Munawwara
but before I describe that I want to pay a tribute to jannah, whose "Diary of an Umrah Story" I have just glanced through. I want to read it, but I think I will savour it later. Wish I had seen it before going to SA, and of course after reading some of it I feel jannah is so ... when she said mine was a beautiful thread. Some masters are simply generous.
Reading such powerful words, looking at these photographs, I do not feel jealousy, but what in Urdu is called "rushk". Masha`Allah jannah, may Allah (SubHana Wa Ta`ala) increase you in everything that is good, and reward you in Firdawse a3alaa, aameen.
I do not feel like I have a right to add my amateurish attempts at describing Hajj after reading that masterful story on Umrah. Imagine what jannah would have written and how much richer with pictures her account would have been if she had had the chance of my 40 day stay with Hajj. I guess people must be able to compare and see that at least in this field jannah has surpassed me. Not that I will take my chances at competiting with her on anything else. I do not like the idea of being placed in the category of "also ran".
just a little bit of correction to jannah's account. Women are not supposed to run or increase their pace either during Tawaaf or during Sa3ee between the green lights. To be fair, jannah has added a disclaimer that hers is not an account which is either accurate fiqh-wise or historically. Despite this disclaimer, the only thing I found was the little bit I have mentioned.
|02/19/05 at 00:37:08|
|Re: the summons|
|02/20/05 at 01:43:54|
|[sli] [quote]Brother Timbuktu, I have a request of you if I may. |
Please please please
tell us more about your last hajj day, the day it rained.
What was it like? What were you doing when it began to rain?
What were you thinking? How did the people react?
I have heard this was an amazing thing to rain and also so hard.
I hear it is a sign. Please tell us more about this and
sister azizah, thanks for the response, and the prayers.
My account has not ended yet. :)
We started for Mina on the 8th of dhul Hijj. We spent the day and the night at Mina. On the 9th we started for and stayed the day at Arafat. That day is called the Arafat Day, and the Hajj khutba at Nimera Masjid is on that day. There was some light sprikling of water, the source of which I am not sure were the clouds, or the sprinklers.
After sunset on the 9th of dhul Hijj we went to Muzdalifa from Arafat.
That is where we had gotten to in my last post. We would spend the night in the open at Muzdalifa, and on the next morning (the 10th of dhul-Hajj) we would go back to Mina for Ramie Jamarat-e Uqba (throwing of Stones at the last Jamarat). It rained here in the morning.
The actual rain in torrents came on the 12th of dhul Hijj.
So there is a lot to describe yet before we get on to the rain.
I want to tell all, but I am trying to do so in sequence. There will still be some things out of place, but let me try to remember things as they come. My coming posts will take more time in writing, so please be patient.
jannah wrote: [quote]umrah is a walk in the park compared to hajj so just know that u all[/quote]
jannah, the word for you is [i]diffident[/i] :). much How you underestimate your work? I guess that is a good trait.
I do agree with you about the difference between Umrah and Hajj, but here I am talking of the power of expression. I tell you in all sincerity: yours (and some other people's) writings are simply wonderful.
Let us go back to the time when we came back to Makkah from Madinah. I have forgotten to tell you of another experience. While in the Mutaaf (not doing Tawaf, but exploring the possbilities of what to do there) I look at the Ka`aba, and amazingly there is some activity near the door of the Ka`aba. I go there to see what is happening. I take up a position a safe distance from the Ka`aba so that my presence does not impede what is to take place. Stairs are brought and placed next to the door. Some people ascend the stairs, and the door is opened. Some more people climb the stairs, and a few go in. The lights are switched on, and although I cannot see much, after a while someone is offering prayers.
We stand there, transfixed, trying to see, and I am sure others have seen more, much more. People make duas, people weep, some read the Quran. No one had expected this, although it must be known that the door is opened for cleaning at certain times. Those inside the Ka`ba take up a golden broom, and dust the door. I am told the inside is also dusted.
After a very long time I leave.
[u]Back to the topic of leaving Arafat for Muzdalifah[/u]
At Arafat, we wait after sundown, to see if the crowd thins, and then we realise that the crowd is extended upto the top of Jable Rehmah, and if we let the crowd through, it will not thin enough for us to get into Muzdalifah, and spend the night there, and do a wuqoof (wait and pray) in the morning. So, we start for Muzdalifa. The lights have been turned on. It isn't as illuminated as in the Haram, but we are able to say our way. The whole of the way from Jable Rehmah is lighted up by Sodium and Neon streetlights. I forgot to say that on the way to Arafat, we had seen people with their belongings on trolleys, and we had seen many camped in little tents, which they loaded on to their trolleys. There are wheelchairs, and carts that the vendors have brought to carry their wares. Everyone is trying to get out.
One of our mates suddenly gasps for air, and saying he is not feeling well, makes his way through the crowd. Two other follow him, to keep company. By the time we try to do so, they are out of sight. That man has a high blood pressure, and has a tremendous fear of the crowd. After some searching, we decide it isn't possible in the crowd, so we say our duas, and the ayatu kursi, and keep moving witht he crowd. The wheelchairs, and the carts and th etrolleys sometimes hit our legs or feet, and it hurts a little, but we keep moving.
It isn't all very visible, maybe it is dark just for me. The road is also full of litter, which sometimes comes under our feet, and makes them messy. Still, the trick is to keep moving with the crowd.
We are four, and soon we come out and there is enough bit of road to keep moving. We decide that instead of camping on the road, we must try to move inwards, and try for an opening. My mates see one. After jumping some campers, we find a suitable opening, and say our Maghrib and 3isha Salaah together. We had spread out our mats, and now we try to rest. The gentleman next to me extends himself onto my mat, and let him stay. Then he invites one of his compatriots, and gradually the two of them have displaced me enough to realsie that this position will cause me illness by the morning. So, I tell that group the story of the Arab and the Camel.
[i]Do you know the story, or do you want to hear it?[/i]
They joke, and eventually give me back some space. I try to lie down and rest.
Muzdalifa is where most people are exposed to the cold. According to the fiqh of Hajj, here you are to stay in the open. There is always a cool breeze. This is winter, so it is a cold one, may even be called wind. In addition, I had read that the feet and the face are to be left uncovered, the requirement of ihraam. Somehow, at almost the last moment, before leaving Mina, we are told that the feet can be covered, but not the face. And wnder of wonders, the two alims in our group agreed with that.
I had been told to find a spot shielded from the wind, but we had no choice. As I lay down, I could feel the breeze. I put my cabin bag and tried to use it as a shield. Some success. After an hour of so, ther is some commotion, and I see some young men jumping over us to get to a trailer, and soon they are returning with food (biscuit) handouts. The gentleman who has been given space by me has again pushed me, and I tell him it won't work, and he must leave nme some space. At long last, he decides to find a better place, and he moves on.
The hills nearby are dotted with campers.
Surprisingly, the night is peaceful and resful for me. There is some breeze, but I have been able to stand it. In ther morning, though there has been a little drizzle, and it starts getting cold. As we wake up, there is a need to go spend a penny, and I have related how the pressure was stopped for me, until I managed to get into the washroom. I made the wuddu, and then came back to say the prayers.
After the prayers, we have to stand and make dua until sunrise. We do so. Some Arabs come runnig, see us, and realise that this is to be done, so they stand and also start making duas. Then the drizzle starts in earnest. Soon we are drenched enough to want to go ahead.
We continue marching to Mina. The walk from Mina to Arafat had not been eight kilometers, but more like thirteen. And we had to march back at least the same distance. On the way we pick up 7 pebbles for the first day of Rami, and 21 for each of the subsequeb=nt two days of Eid-ul-Adha, if we have to throw the stones on the 13th of dhul Hijj as well. A total of 49 pebbles, but some more in case we miss. The size should be about that of a pea.
We lose our bearings, but manage to come back safely to Mina. Along the way we had seen a map on display, but my mates would not stop to look at and understand this. In any case, I would have taken a long time to understand. Although I love maps, and was able to walk my way in my youth, I am not as young as I once was, and not that quick on the uptake.
Here, however, if the maps are available to the Hajjis beforehand, through their Mutawwif, or the Hajj Commission, or in the market, things could be simpler.
Maps do exist. Only they are not widely available.
This is the 10th of dhul Hijj. We have to go for Ramie Jamaraate Uqba, then get the Halaq done, and then the Qurbani, go to Makkah for Tawafe Ifada.
These I will describe later, insha`Allah, but it may take some days.
|02/20/05 at 21:27:23|
|Re: the summons|
|02/20/05 at 08:26:36|
I do not know the Arab and camel story... post it in another topic.
|Re: the summons|
|02/23/05 at 11:23:34|
I think at times my account of Hajj may look disjointed. I have not remembered eveything in a logical sequence, and I have used words and expressions as if the reader is familiar with everything. He isn't likely to be, but writing in a fashion that is logical, in sequence, and describes everything before introducing it would take me ages, and perhaps I would give up before posting.
Maybe someone who has been to the holy cities and performed Umrah or Hajj, will take this account, and reorganise and rewrite it. :)
Here is a more logical Hajj Diary, from Dilshad D. Ali:
and of course, an online sourcebook
I want to withdraw a little of what I wrote in ę Reply #15 on: Feb 18th, 2005, 8:12am :
[quote]I want to ... touch the stones and the pillars and let my eyes feast at every nook and corner of the Haramain. I want to do the same with all places at the masjide Nabawi. [/quote]
[i]Actually, this might start a bid3a, so I shouldn't comtemplate it.[/i]
But I do want to see all the historical sites at Makkah, Madinah, and elsewhere.
The 10th of dhul Hijj
We got back to our Maktab at Mina. We got wet as it rained intermittently, but I had this woollen sheet around me (You would perhaps call it a shawl, but in my mind shawls are for ladies only), so I was all right. Before reaching our Maktab, we had bought tea and biscuits by the roadside. The kitchens of the Maktab are next to the road, and the Kitchen staff earned some extra money by selling these.
One of my mates, the one with a high blood pressure, offers to take me along for stoning of the third jamarah, and both of us go there. I find on reaching that he is a nervous kind, and while I want to get to the wall so that any stone I throw, actually hi the wall, he pulls me back and throws stones n a hurry, and makes moves that are stupid, and can land us in trouble.
All we need do is to keep the wall for stoning on the right, thus stay on the left of the crowd, and moving on, looking for an opening to get close to the wall, and then throw the stones one by one, saying Allahu Akbar, and then move on, finding to the right or left our exit.
I am not surprised that on the way back we have lost our way. The tents are organised quite well, and marked, but as I said, if we had maps, if we had been told what the various numbers on the pillars stood for, and in which sequence to expect them to increase or decrease, life would have been simpler. At Mina I got lost a couple of times, and invariably, saw much more of Mina than I had set out to see. :)
Now we have to wait for the Qurbani of (sacrifice of the Hady). There is another group in our room in the tent, and they are agitated about something strange that has happened to them.
What happened? I ask.
We bought goats for sacrifice through the caretaker of our building (we are staying in the same building, but we had bypassed the caretaker in buying the goats). We had arranged to have the sacrifice after we go to the the sellers at Makkah after our ramee, but when we tried to contact them, there is no one but the caretaker, and he says our sgoas have been sacrificed.
"No", I ay, "you have been sacrificed".
I ask our group leader to listen to this story.
He listens, and then the whole group is concerned.
They try to contact the sellers, but there is no reply, instead the caretaker answers the phone after many attempts. Our group leader refuses to talk to him, as we have had no business with him.
Some members of our group are sent to Makkah, to sort this out. When we contact them on the mobile, they have no success in fnding the sellers. The sellers place is deserted, and there are no animals.
My group had done a smart thing. They had asked a hairdreeser to be a surety. And obtained his signature on the receipt. This hairdresser was also one of the intemediaries, but that role had been denied to him.
Now our emissaries go to that hairsaloon, and try to contact him.
Eventually he comes out after 8:00 pm, and condemns the sellers, saying he has stood surety, and he will stand by his word. How about waiting until tommorrow? Our reps do not agree, and take him to the marekt, from where he buys the goats for our group. These are sacrificed in front of the reps, which reports to us that we can now get the Halaq done (shaving of the head for malees, cutting of a small length - about 1.5 centimeter - for women).
Now the Halaq can be done.
As usual, amateurs have taken this profession up to make money. They are charging exorbitantly - 10 riyals for a head have. We look around.
I have a member of our group with me. There is an old man shaving someone's head. My friend approaches him and asks how much? The guy replies whatever anyone wants to give. He hasn't come over here for making money. His son was selected as Khadime Hujjaj, (helper of the pilgrims), and he has sponsored his father's Hajj. The old man says he saw what cleecing was being done, and since this is his profession, he decide he would do it for the pilgrims. If anyone pays, well and good. If no one pays, then too its is good.
jo dey uska bhala, and jo na dey uska bhi bhala
if someone pays, May good come to him, and if he doesn't pay, then too may good come to him.
There is sincerity in what he says. The old man is crying, when he says he isn't worthy of being called to the holy places, and after such a blessing, he doesn't want to soil it with asking for money.
The guy who head got shaved, stood up, and left. After a while, my friend recalls that the previous guy hadn't paid anything to the hairdesser. He mentions this:
"jo dey uska bhala, and jo na dey uska bhi bhala", says the old man, unperturbed, and continuing with shaving the next head.
We decide to stay.
[i]As I hear the old man talk and weep with love of Allah (swt) and this blessing he has received, I wonder why I haven't an iota of that love.[/i]
Our heads are shaved. Then I go to the showerroom. It is cold, but the water is hot. After the shower, and change into comfortable clkthing. Most of the restrictions of ihraam are now over.
next, the 11th of dhul Hijj, and the first rami of the three Jamaar.
|02/23/05 at 11:24:57|
|Re: the summons|
|02/26/05 at 11:31:03|
After the Halaq, we showered and put on normal clothes - actually Eid clothes. My wife had specifically told me: "these are for the Eid day". Well, soon it is bedtime, so I fold these away. will use them tomorrow for Tawaafe Ifada.
The 11th of dhul Hijj
This is also one of those days when one has to be very active.
First we have to do Tawaafe Ifada with Sa`ee. So we have to go to Makkah from Mina. And Makkah will be full of people who want to do this Tawaaf. After the Tawaaf and Sa`ee, we have to come back to Mina, and do the ramee at the three Jamaar after Zawal. That is also where most stampedes have occurred in the past.
We set out for Makkah. We get on to the road where transport is available. The charges are huge, but I think it would be worth it to save some energy for the Tawaaf. However, we are with a wheel-chair ridden old lady, and her companions want to walk the way.
So we walk.
It feels good to see the sights. Although it would seem mundane to a non-believer, or to someone keen only on the Ziarah, I am interested in seeing the land from Mina to Makkah. The road is paved, we pass through two tunnels, and along the way we see the hills.
I feel satisfied.
When we reach Makkah, we find we are at the Babe Fahd end, near the Daarut Tawheed hotel. We have to walk to the other end, to get to our hotel in Shamia. And here I find that the person I am with has climbed up a narrow street, full of people, and which also houses some restaurants. Eventualy we do manage to come out of that bottle neck, but what a diffficult negotiation it was!
[i]Look before you leap.[/i]
We get to the hotel. Rest a while, then we have to do Tawaafe Ifada. My friend says we will do it on the top floor.
Boy, is the Haram crowded!
It is very difficult, as the wheelchair wallahs seem to like wherever we go, and they invariably hit you with the metal footrests on the wheelchairs. When doing the Tawaaf, we have to make sure we do not cross the line into the Sa`ee area. The round in which you do part of the Tawaaf in the Sa`ee area is not valid.
We do the Sa`ee on the top floor as well. At the end, I am still not limping, but tired, and thirsty. We get to the hotel, rest awhile, and now we must get back to Mina for the ramee. We decide to take a wagon, or bus. We get in front of the Haram, and tracing where they are coming from we come to a fork one route of which leads towards something that looks familiar. I tell my friends that this is the way we came from Mina, and it is one way. Trying the wagons, we find the wagons are charging from 30 to 50 riyals for the ride back into Mina.
We check the other fork, and it leads behind the Daarut Tawheed Hotel. Here are buses, and after much bouncing about we and chasing people with tickets to sell, we are told there is a kiosk you have to buy tickets from. However, the people sitting there aren't interested in selling tickets. Eventually another official enters the kiosk and gets a load f tickets, and comes out. Now he is chased for the tickets. Success at last. Normally the tickets are for 2 riyals, but today these are for 10 riyals. We buy them, and then it the struggle to get inside a bus begins.
A few buses stop where we are, and the rush to enter begins. In front of me a man manges to get inside, but his wife is outside. He looks very agitated, but the ife is calm and composed. She is handing over her bags to him for carrying into Mina. He says something furiously, probabaly wnating to know how his wife will get to Mina. His wife waves him on, and tells him she will be all right. She will get in the next bus.
I get scolded for staying behind when my two campanions have managed to get to the front of the queue, but had to give up because I had turned back. I had done that, because I had lost sight of my friends. To calm them down I buy them icecream. Two riyals each for a large cup. They aren't exactly mollified, but the criticism and anger is toned down a bit.
A bus arrives, and people flock towards it; then another arrives on its heels, and we get a chance to get in. What a relief. The bus moves slowly; obviously there are problems on the road.
Eventually we all get down. It seems we are near the bus stand at Mina. We still have to walk some way to the bus stand, and then on to our camp. We rest here, as we are near the Jamaar. After we have recovered, we pick up 21 (actually two or three more, in case we miss) pebbles, and go for the ramee.
Our camp is quite close to the Jamaar, and the first Jamarat is nearer to Makkah, and farthest from our camp.
My companion is taller than me, and also very afraid, so he insists on pulling me back away from the crowd which is the thickest near the wall. I need to get there, otherwise I wouldn't be able to hit the wall with the stones. Throughout this exercise, and later too, I face the anger of my companion. These are people much younger than me. They also get very agitated and angry on facing some obstacle, or on my slowness.
I keep my cool, smiling or laughing away the hardships. After the Hajj is over, I will give them a piece of my mind, but not now.
We come back after the ramee, tired but grateful two major tasks in Hajj have been completed today. We still have to do the ramee again next day and we have to get out of Mina before sundown if we do not want to do ramee again ion the 13th, but at least no Tawaaf and Sa`ee on the 12th.
|Re: the summons|
|03/04/05 at 07:50:40|
|[slm] sorry for the delay. This interval between my posts is likely to get longer.|
the 12th of dhul Hijja
This is again expected to be a very strenuous day. We are told that the Muallim's men will shut down the tent accomodation in the evening, and those who want to stay for rmee on the 13th will have to camp out in the cold.
The leaders of the group are adamant that ramee will be done after zawaal, but we have to be out of Mina before Maghrib, so that leaves a very small time window. I manage to convince one from the group to do the ramee before zawaal, but I discover that he is procrastinating, eventually it turns out that he had no intention of doing ramee before zawaal. I need soemeone to accompany me, so I am stuck. There has been intermittent rain.
Just after zawaal, my mate asks me to accompany him, but I refuse. I think that we have missed our chance of a safe exit from Mina, and we may have to stay the 13th, so we must escape the just-after-zawaal rush, and wait. I find someone who thinks the Muallim's men's threat to throw us out of their tents after Maghrib, is an empty threat. We decide that if there is chance of staying for the night in the tents, we will saty and go to Makkah after ramee on the 13th.
Then the rains come in torrents, and we are trapped in the tents. Someone goes out for reconnaissance, and reports a flood everywhere. The closed circuit TV tells us ramee has been suspended. There were vendors and squatters on the roads. We can imagine and hear of people's belongings being swept away in the flash floods. Then we hear of a stampede on the Jamaar, around 30 lives lost. Then the figure is quoted to be more than 100, with the Saudi police losing 14 men. There is panic all round.
The Maktab closes the doors of the tents.
"Let us out", some people force their way out of the tents. After half an hour, those who have left come back. No success. The shurtas have closed the bridge. There is water flowing everywhere, upto the knees. Some old man was seen being washed away with the flood, but he was saved downstream.
"Istaghfaar, do astaghfaar", I tell people who ask me: "what is happening". I do it too. I ask Allah(swt) that this rumor of such loss of life comes out to be untrue.
The rains continue, sometimes light, sometimes strong. After a couple of hours, two from our group get brave, and go for ramee. One comes back after a while. He is afraid to go for ramee, but the other one has gone. Later, the other one returns, and now both of them ask me to accompany them for ramee, and then a quick exit from Mina.
We leave to do ramee. I have my shawl around me. Don't want to get wet, or catch a cold. As usual the cowardly one does ramee from a distance, but the brave one takes me along further up, and I get closer to the wall, and do the ramee. On the bridge (we have done all ramees from the bridge, as this would be easier and safer), we see a lot of slippers in two places, indicating a stampede. We would see similar collection of items along the way to Makkah, obviously people having been forced by the flood to abandon their belongings.
After the ramee, we leave on foot for Makkah. There is mud and litter on the road. We go through the tunnels, and come out near the haram. Once again my companions jump into the narrow street where we were stuck earlier. I manage to break free and tell the others that we all know the way now, so we should be on our own, and get to the hotel. They say yes, but perhaps are not listening, because when they reach the hotel, they ask me why I haven't waited.
Later, when everyone has assembled, I will tell the whole group off for losing their wits so easily.
"Why don't you keep your senses around you? Why do you get frighetened? Are you afraid of death? Isn't there a time and a place and a way for it to come? Can you ecape it? NO! Then why make your lives and of those around you miserable. If we Muslims feared only Allah (swt), if we did not take leave of our senses, if we kept our cool, wouldn't we be better off?"
And then I will list some of the times they have behaved as idiots.
They will take it to heart. There is silence for a couple of hours. Then they ask me: "How do you keep your cool?"
I laugh, "Fear Allah alone, remember that death will come when it is due, and have faith in Allah that all will be well".
but inside I know I am not that brave. I too get a fright off and on, but I try not to let it cloud my judgement.
The Hajj is over, what do we do next?
|Re: the summons|
|03/13/05 at 05:43:01|
The Hajj is over. We discover that there are now too many people and we have to go earlier to enter the Haram, or we won't find a place inside.
The cost of every thing and every service has doubled, tripled, and it won't come down until after the pilgrims leave.
There are framed pictures of the Haramain - the Ka`aba †and the Masjide-Nabawi. These pix are different from what I have seen in the past. There are holes cut in the pictures where there are lights. Behind the pictures is a tubelight (fluorescent tube). So, when the fluorescent light is switched on in the dark, the picture looks very real. These are in three sizes, but the cost is 60 riyals each for the smallest one. The medium sized one is for 70 riyals, and the largest is for 80 riyals. I am thinking of buying when the prices go up again. Salem advises me that these would be cheaper at Jeddah.
The visa for Hajj is given only for Madinah and Makkah. And knowing of the horrid tales that we have been fed, I am afraid to venture out of these two cities. But I discover that the visa is for these two governorates, not cities. Jaddah and Taif lie in the Makkah governorate. So, I can visit Jeddah without violating any laws.
I buy the medium sized pix from Jeddah for 40 riyals each. These are packed very carefully by Salem, and I come back to Makkah. I love chidren, but Salem's children are busy with their new brother. Only his eldest son shows himself.
Salem is a wonderful Muslim. Wish we are all like that.
At Makkah, the prices keep climbing. We abandon using the laundry. From 4 riyals per shalwar Qameez, it ha gone up to 7 riyals. My colleagues won't let me throw money like that. Instead they wash my clothes together with theirs.
I don't remember the following happened before the Hajj, or after it. But if I have told it, it is still worth repeating:
The crowd makes it difficult for me to get in. I have not done any nafli tawaf. One day I ask Allah why is it that every one has made so many tawafs, while I haven't. Then I try to get in, and am able to do so, but these are times when I am squeezed.
Once I get in to do Tawaaf. I ask Allah why have people been able to pray Nawafil in the Hateem, while I haven't been able to do so. In the second round, I find mysself being pushed inwards nearer the Ka`aba. As we get near the Hateem, I find myself pressed against the outer semicircular wall of the Hateem. II try to break away, but can't. The crowd pushes me. I move with it. The entrance and exit to the Hateem lie near the ends of that semi-circle. The crowd moves into the Hateem, taking me along. Then the crowd rushes towards the wall of the Ka`aba, and I find myself in an empty space where three hefty men can stand and pray Nawafil. I realise that Allah (swt) has given me this opportunity. I sieze it, and stand i the middle of that space to offer two rakaahs. Two more men come and stand beside me. We offer out prayers in peace, and when we have finished with the dua as well, I think I shouldn't monopolise the space in Hateem. Praying here is the same as praying in the Ka`aba, although i the book on the Ka`aba by Dr. Ilyas Ghani, it says the area within Hateem for Ka`aba extends upto 3 meters from the wall of the Ka`aba. As soon as I have thought of this, the crowd fills up the space, and starts moving again. It moves out, and throws me out of the Hateem as well. Subhanallah, you think of something, and it is granted immediately. I complete the Tawaf.
Similarly, I ask Allah during another Tawaf that I haven't been able to get to the wall of the Ka`aba. I want to go there and †seek forgiveness, and make duas. Intermittently in that tawaf, I keep asking ALlah to grant me that wish. In the seventh round, after we have passed the Rukne Yemani, suddenly some space opens up in the shape of a segment of a circle, with me as center, and towards the Ka`aba. This is impossible in these conditions. There are so many people, how come no one is rushing to fill up this place? And how did this opening take place? Is Allah providing me this opportunity to get to the Ka`aba's walls. No, it cannot be, I tell myself in disbelief.
As soon as I think that this cannot be, the arc widens and deepens so now it extends up the wall of the Ka`aba. There can be no hesitation now. It is a clear sign. I go to the wall of the Ka`aba. There a rope about 2.5 to 3 feet up on which people are standing, and clinging to the wall. How will I get there? There is no space, but starngely enough, as soon as I think of this, the man just in front of me on that rope, jumps down, and there is space for me. I try to climb up to the rope, but there is a new obstacle. There is a slippery tilted piece of marble running all through the base of the Ka`aba's wall. I keep slipping. Then the man standing next to that vacancy on the rope, extends his hand and pulls me up. I cry, I weep, I offer dua. Allah (swt) is so Kind, so Merciful, He grants every wish.
A long time passes. The man who has pulled me up asks me to move on along the rope. I do so. Then I think I have had my wish fulfilled. I must leave this space for others.
As soon as I think of this, I find it becomes difficult for me to stand on the rope. I jump down, and make my way towards completing the Tawaf.
Two days pass before I realise my blunder. I could have got on to the Hajre Aswad, and to the Multazim, but I had forgotten that just ahead of me lay these two places I should have visited.
I ask Allah to provide me another chance, but I am not particularly insistent this time. I have stoped going into the Mutaaf. How can this wish be fulfilled without going there.
I will be called again to do everything including the things I missed doing this time, insha`Allah.
I tell of this experience, and my colleagues get angry. They mock me. One of them says: "You are a wali of Allah. He listens to you. He grants your wishes."
"All Muslims are walis of Allah (swt). You are, too", I reply.
"But He doesn't listen to us", he complains.
"Maybe you don't ask Him", I say.
"But we do, we do", he emphasises.
"Ask Him again. Do Istaghfaar first. Then ask Him", I advise.
He isn't convinced, but he says he will do that. "I want to do a Tawaaf now. I will see if He grants me that wish", he says and goes out.
I pray: "Allah, please grant him his lawful duas, aameen".
When he comes back, he is ecstatic. "You were right, Allah listens. I was able to do two tawaafs."
When I came back from Karachi, he met me and said: "You are so right. I asked Allah before leaving Makkah to call me again, and my brother has just promised to send me money for doing Umrah in Ramadan".
This post, I think, concludes an account of the Hajj Allah was pleased to call me for. If there are any questions or observations, I am here.
May Allah (swt) call all of us to Hajj and Umrah, (again for those who have been there earlier), and shower His blessings upon us here and in the Hereafter.
|03/23/05 at 09:00:56|
|Re: the summons|
|03/14/05 at 09:52:34|
Jazak Allahu Khirun. Subhannah Allah, may Allah swt answer your dua.
If you have the chance, Insha Allah, can you tell us how it has changed you?
|Re: the summons|
|03/15/05 at 11:18:21|
:) yes; Hajj, it is said, changes one, for the better or for worse.
I wish I could say I have changed into a model Muslim, but sadly I have not. :(
There is some very small change - a reinforcement of what I was already metamorphing into, but I am not sure if it is permanent or even induced by the Hajj.
perhaps it is too early; perhaps others can better judge me; perhaps the jannah family can tell over a period of time.
I would need at least six months to evaluate if there is change to report. One change is †that there is this wish to be in the holy land again;
at the Ka`ba to do the Tawaaf over and over again, to do all I have been able to do and to do what I wasn't able to:
to touch and kiss the Black Stone, to embrace the Multazim and make duas, to pray behind the Muqaame Ibrahim, to visit every gate and every corner of the Grand Mosque, to visit all the mosques and places of historical value in Makkah
and at Madinah, to visit the Masjide Nabawi and the historical sites as above, to sit and learn in the duroos, to sit at the grill of the prophet's grave, to pray and read the Quran in Riyadul Jannah to one's heart's content,
and to visit archeological sites in SA
Did I tell you about the strange black burnt look of a lot of the stones on the hills we saw during our travel on the roads.
Why is that?
At first I thought this was pollution from the black petroleum or remaking of asphalt roads. Then I read again about the signs of Qiyamah, and one of these was the great fire which had already occurred.
Could these stones have been burnt from the fire?
|03/15/05 at 11:19:53|
|Re: the summons|
|03/23/05 at 08:52:22|
How could I have not narrated this part.
We had to leave Makkah for Jeddah in the morning. Completed packing a day earlier, but because of the timings, many of us did not go to the Haram for Fajr, instead praying near the hotel.
Lugged our luggage down the hill on which our hotel was situated. Fortunately, this otel's lift was in working condition. Some of the hotels had faulty lifts, and even faulty plumbing. We were luckier. There was an odd-jobs man, who made necessary repairs.
We are handed over our passports, and the bus takes us to Jeddah Madinatul Hujjaj.
We have trouble locating the Pakistan departure area. Then eventually our luggage is taken to the airline counter, by some exra payment to the driver of the luggage trolleys. I am detained by the deputy leader of the group because he needs more money to pay. When I get to the counter, my 10 litres of ZamZam is gone. We search everywhere, but it is nowhere to be seen. Obviously someone has mistakenly booked it on his ticket, and I will be going home without it.
Going without ZamZam from the holy land is unthinkable. I am not taking anything from the holy land except 11-1/2 kilos of dates, which I am carrying with me as hand baggage, and this ZamZam, and now I do not have ZamZam,. But wait, I have a 1-1/2 litre bottle given by the foundation of Khadime Harmanin Sharifain. This is where I do complain to the deputy leader of the group. He has more than 50 litres of ZamZam stashed away, and under a bench in the departure area, he has a ten litre can of ZamZam. He donates it to me,with the provision that if somehow mine is found, I will return his 10 litres.
After a long wait we again walk to the next stage of immigration control. There, too, we have to wait. It doesn't bother me. I sit on the pavement, resting my back against my hand luggage (it feels heavy. I cannot lift the dates and a little extra that will come to hardly 15 kilos.
Even as we enter customs and immigration, a PIA official asks me to pay 50 riyals.
"Why", I ask.
"because you are carrying too much hand luggage".
"But that is because I wanted to carry these dates with me. My normal luggage isn't even 20 kilos. and you are allowing 35 kilos plus hand luggage, plus 10 litres of ZamZam".
I have no way of ascertaining that your luggage is within the limits. This hand luggage is over the limit.
I tell him, this is highway robbery, and I won't submit to it.
This is an impasse.
Eventually I ask him, how much luggage he will allow me to take in the cabin.
10 kilos, OK, 12 kilos at most, he says.
I take out the ZamZam bottle. They aren't allowing bottles to be taken as hand luggage. The only way has been to smuggle it past them. "Kindly drink this water. It is ZamZam", I say. Then I take out my ihraam towel. "This is ihraam towel", you can keep this as well, I say to him. "All that remains in this bag are eleven and a haf kilos of dates, and this roll of pictures. Does that satisfy you".
He winces at the ihraam being taken out. "Put the ihraam back in the bag", he says. He asks for a decision from his superior, and I am flagged on.
Some people have booked over 80 kg of luggage, free.
Well, this is life. My expectations are few, and I have achieved them.
after this Hajj, will all my duas be accepted from now on?
At Islamabad airport, a close friend meets me in the lounge. How come you are here? I ask. Amyway, he helps me find and load my luggage, but first he asks me to make dua for is mother and his family, and for all of the Ummah. A Hajji's first dua on reaching his town is likely to be accepted. :)
|03/23/05 at 08:58:12|
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