About Me

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I am married to my loving husband for more than 37 years now. I am a mother to 3 beautiful children, until 10 years ago when I lost my youngest son. Since then my life is forever altered but yet unbroken....

My Travel Journal

"There isn't much I haven't shared with you along the road and through it all there'd always be tomorrow's episode" - Elton John

I started traveling around the world since early 80s when I had the opportunity to combine business trips with vacations. Then later when my rezeki is in abundance, there were numerous other trips along the way for vacations, most of the time with hubby and the kids when the timing is right. I have also started to compile the journal and photo-pages covering almost more than 25 years of world wide travel. Some destinations I visited just once, others many times. Many of those places are the obvious famous places people would like to visit but some, the casual traveler doesn't even think to try. I have placed links to my travel at the side bar of my personal page, My Life Reflections, and will be updating them from time to time.

My wish is to continue my travel and complete circumnavigate the globe, insyaAllah…

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

2017 Umrah: KL/Abu Dhabi

"I seek Allah’s forgiveness, besides Whom, none has the right to be worshipped except He, The Ever Living, The Self-Subsisting and Supporter of all, and I turn to Him in repentance...'

(Boarding the train at KLIA)

Day 01:
11 March 2017 - Saturday

We met with Sara, Sariah and hubby before we boarded our plane.

Our flight EY411 departed on time. We while away our time watching in flight movies in between naps during the 6-hour flight to Abu Dhabi.

(A few hours transit in Abu Dhabi Airport)
(Beautifully decorated Abu Dhabi Airport Terminals)

Abu Dhabi International Airport is the second largest in the UAE. It has three operational passenger terminals. We had a few hours transit before our next connecting flight to Madinah.

(International clocks for major cities)

2017 Umrah: Abu Dhabi/Madinah

“If you lead me astray, then my wanderings will bring me to my destination...” 
― Michael Bassey Johnson

(A new mosque outside Madinah Airport)

Day 02:
12 March 2017 - Sunday

We arrived in Madinah International Airport in time for Fajar prayers before we boarded a bus to Elaf Taiba Hotel in Madinah. Our guide and muttawif in Madinah and Makkah was Ustaz Hassan.

(Elaf Taiba Hotel next to Gate 15)
(A short distance walk to the mosque)
(The ladies filling up the space under the huge umbrellas)

Breakfast was served at M floor and our hotel room was at 12 floor overlooking the Masjid Nabawi. The morning was spent resting in the room. We performed our prayers in the mosque.

(The men entering the Raudhah and the maqam)
(The maqam of Rasullullah, Abu Bakar and Omar) 

Tonight after dinner we went to visit maqam Rasulullah, Saidina Abu Bakar and Saidina Omar to recite the salam. We prayed and recited the doa at the Raudhah led by a young Indonesian ustazah. The visit was brief and there were quite a large crowd at the Raudhah. We completed our ziarah before midnight.

(The ladies waiting to visit the Raudhah)
(The green kubah above maqam Rasulullah)

2017 Umrah: Madinah city tour

“He who purifies himself at his home and comes to Masjid Quba and offers two rakaats therein, will be rewarded the reward of an Umrah…” - Sunan ibn Majah

(A nice drawing on the wall at a date plantation)

Day 03:
13 March 2017 - Monday

The city tour included a visit to Masjid Quba, Masjid Qiblatain, Jabar Uhud and other important historical sites around Madinah.

(A big bus for the day tour)
(Masjid Quba for sunat prayers)

Masjid Quba was our first stop where we performed our sunat prayers. Quba is the place on the outskirts of Madinah where Rasulullah accompanied by Abu Bakar arrived and first stayed after emigrating from Makkah.

(A large crowd at the Kurma souk)
(A cup of ice-cream to quench the thirst)

We stopped at one of the popular date plantations and bought some dates, raisins and nuts. The kurma souk was crowded with jemaah from Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. There was a free flow of tea for everyone.

(A mosque and street vendors at Jabal Uhud)
(Bukit Pemanah at Jabal Uhud)

The weather was sunny and cool when we reached Jabal Uhud. Jabal Uhud is a mountain north of Madinah. It is 1,077 m high and the site of the Battle of Uhud between Muslim and Makkah forces.

We completed the city tour just before Zohor prayers.

(A variety of delicious food and desert at the hotel)
(The huge umbrellas are closed at night)
(The prayer hall of Masjid Nabawi)

2017 Umrah: Madinah/Bir Ali/Makkah

“In the beginning we seek truth. In the middle we seek reason. In the end we seek peace...” - L.M. Browning

(Infinity arches of Bir Ali Mosque)

Day 04:
14 March 2017 - Tuesday

After Fajar prayers, we recited the salam wida to Rasulullah and got ready to board the bus to Bir Ali for miqat. Dhu'l-Hulayfah or Bir Ali is about 9 km from Madinah and about 450 km from Makkah. Dhu'l-Hulayfah is the miqat for those who live in Madinah and for those who approach Makkah from that direction.

(Our group of 20 jemaah)
(The front facade of Masjid Bir Ali)

On the way to Makkah we stopped for solat jama’ for Zohor and Asar and had packed lunch.

We arrived in Makkah around 4:30 pm. The bus sent us to Saraya Iman hotel where the majority of our group will be staying. Four of us took a cab to Hilton Tower. As the road was blocked the taxi had to detour, we checked in Hilton Hotel quite late. We performed our Maghrib prayers at the dataran outside the main gate of Masjidil-Haram.

(A first glimpse of the Makkah Clock Tower)
(Arrived safely in Makkah)
(The jemaah performing the tawaf at night)

After Maghrib prayers we performed our tawaf and continued to perform the saie after Isya' prayers. Both the tawaf and Sa'ie were lead by a mutawif.

We completed our umrah before midnight. Alhamdulillah…

2017 Umrah: Makkah/Tannaim

“Evil originates not in the absence of guilt; but in our effort to escape it.” - Shannon L. Alder

(Ready to perform our next Umrah)

Day 05:
15 March 2017 - Wednesday

After Fajar prayers we took a taxi to Tannaim to miqat for our second Umrah. It cost us SR40 return trip. The taxi driver waited for us to perform our sunat prayers and recite the niat for our Umrah then sent us back to  Masjidil-Haram.

(Masjid Aishah at Tannaim)
(Our favorite mosque for miqat)

Masjid Tannaim is a mosque about 7 km away from the Holy Kaabah, acts as miqat for people living in Makkah. This mosque is also known as Masjid Aishah.

(Not so many people in the morning)
(Performing the sa'ei at the lower ground)

We completed our second Umrah by 11:00 am. We had early lunch of KFC. After Asar prayers we had roti canai at D'Saji Restaurant situated at 2nd floor of the Safwa Tower.

(The crowd after Asaar prayers)
(Having early dinner at Safwa Tower)
(The Hilton Towers, our lodging in Makkah)

2017 Umrah: Makkah/Ja’aranah

“The spiritual journey is one of continuous learning and purification. When you know this, you become humble…”

(Hilton main lobby, ready in our ihram)

Day 06:
16 March 2017 - Thursday

Today we went for a half-day tour of Interesting historical places around Makkah and had our miqat at Jaaranah for our 3rd Umrah. Places visited were Jabal Thur, Arafah and Jabal Rahmah, Mudzalifah, Muassim and Jabal Nur.

(Jabal Thur, at an altitude of 1,405 m)

Jabalt Thur is the mountain where the cave in which Rasulullah and Saidina Abu Bakar sought refuge for three days and nights from the Quraish as they left Makkah and emigrated to Madinah.

(The crowd at Jabbal Rahmah at Arafah)
(Climbing the steep slope of Jabal Rahmah)

Arafah is a plain about 20 km from Makkah. Jabal Arafah or Jabal Rahmah is a granite hill in Arafah reaching about 70 m in height and is also known as the Mount of Mercy, which is a meeting place between Adam and Eve after being exiled from heaven. There is a monument made ​​of concrete rectangular on top of Jabal Rahmah and the scenery of Arafah is beautiful from the top.

Jabal Rahmah is also a place for the historic journey of Rasulullah. It was there that he received the final revelation and delivered the Farewell Sermon to the Muslims who had accompanied him for the Hajj towards the end of his life.

(A walkway for the pilgrims during Hajj season)
(Tents at Muassim for the pilgrims) 

Masjid Jaaranah is situated approximately 24 km Masjidil-Haram and is one of the places where pilgrims miqat for Umrah. It was here Rasulullah camped a few days after the Battle of Hunain and entered into the state of Ihram and then proceeded to Makkah.

(Newly renovated Masjid Jaaranah)
(The Cemetery of Ma'ala)

Jannat al-Mu'alla, also known as the Cemetery of Ma'la and Al-Hajun, is a cemetery to the north of the Masjidil-Haram. It is the place where Rasulullah's wife Khadijah, grandfather, and other ancestors are buried. Muslim pilgrims who died in Makkah will be buried here

We performed the tawaf and saie on our own and completed our Umrah by 2:00 pm. We bought rice and some dishes from D’Saji and eat our early lunch in the hotel room.

We rested our tired muscles the rest of the afternoon. We performed our prayers in Masjidil-Haram.

(Pilgrims taking a rest at the corridor of Zam Zam Tower)

2017 Umrah: Makkah/Ta’if

“Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact...” - William James

(Masjid Abdullah Ibnu Abbas in Ta'if)

Day 07:
17 March 2017 - Friday

This morning, by 3:30 am we were already at the lobby of Hotel Saraya Iman. Our group of 16 was going for a day tour in Ta’if for SR150 per person. Ta’if is 120 km from Makkah. Ta'if is a city in Makkah Province at an elevation of 1,879 m on the slopes of Sarawat Mountains. It has a population of 1.2 million people and is the unofficial summer capital. The city is the center of an agricultural area known for its grapes, pomegranate, figs, roses and honey.

(A picnic by the roadside)
(Roti and dhal curry for breakfast)

We stopped for Fajar prayers at a mosque on the way. After prayers the driver bought bread and dhal curry and we picnicked by the roadside and had our breakfast at al-Hada.

We later visited the scenic area by the cable car station. Al Hada Mountain is a large nature reserve. Al Hada means tranquility and it is also a good location to catch the sunset over the mountains. 

(Cable car station at al-Hada)
(Cable car Station next to Ramada Hotel)
(A 30-minute ride for a distance of 9 km)
(A winding road through the mountainous terrain)

Ta'if is also known as City of Roses. The rose gardens and factories are mostly located in the cooler Al-Hada, Al-Shafa, Al-Dahia, and Al-Ghadeerain areas. Together, they produce around 233 million roses and comprise 34 factories for the plantation of roses and production of 19,000 bottles of rose essence.

(One of the famous Rose perfume factory)
(Watching video on the process of perfumery)
(A garden of strong scented Ta'if roses)
(The distillers to extract Rose Water)

Later we visited the famous three historical mosques, Masjid Qantara, Masjid Siku and Masjid Addas. We also visited Masjid Abdullah Ibnu Abbas and his maqam.

(Masjid al-Qantara with its unique minaret)
(A humble prayer hall)

Masjid Al Madhoon is an ancient mosque also known as Masjid Al Qantara. It is famous for its azan minaret which looks like a cylinder and ends with a spherical peak. The Masjid was built of stone and gypsum it is rectangular in shape and has an inclined ceiling. This Masjid probably dates back to the end of the Ottoman Empire.

(Masjid Al-Kou or Masjid Siku) 
(A small prayer area of Masjid Siku)
(The rock where Rasulullah rested his elbow)

Masjid Al Kou or Masjid siku is thought to be built on the approximate spot where Rasulullah stood and rested his elbow to leave a mark on a rock when he first came to Ta’if. This Masjid was built by the end of the Ottoman era and has been recently renovated.

(Minaret of Masjid Addas) 
(The prayer hall of Masjid Addas)
(Fruits gardens around Masjid Addas)

Masjid Addas is the place where Rasulullah rested after being assaulted by the crowd. Addas, a slave of Utbah bin Rabea brought grapes for the Prophet at his master's command.

(Masjid Abdullah Ibnu Abbas)
(The cemetery next to Masjid Ibnu Abbas)

Masjid Ibnu Abbas houses the tomb of Abdullah bin Abbas, the paternal cousin of Rasullullah. He is revered by Muslims for his knowledge and was an expert in Tafsir, as well as an authority on the Islamic Sunnah.

(The fruits and vegetables souk)
(Varieties of local fruits)

After visiting the four famous mosques, we bought fruits from the fruit stalls selling varieties of fruits. Later we went to the top most point of Jabal Dakkar for a scenic view of Ta’if and surrounding areas.

(Bikers riding the mountainous road of Ta'if)
(Sheep rearing on the mountain)
(The panoramic view from the top of Mt Dakkar)
(High altitude of Mt Dakkar)
(The naughty baboons of Ta'if)

We performed our Friday prayers at a mosque in al-Hada. We descended the hilly road and stopped at Qarnil Manazil as some jemaah wanted to miqat for their Umrah.

(Fruit juice and smoothies on a hot day)
(Beautiful fruit decorations)
(The three Jamraat from far)

On the way back to the hotel we visited the three jamra’at and a last minute carpet shopping. We arrived back in Makkah just after sun set.