"It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters, in the end..." - Ernest Hemingway
(19 25 September 2004)
The state of ihram
By 2.30 p.m. everyone was ready in their ihram to start the journey to Mekkah. Miqat at Bir Ali. Performed the solat sunat ihram and niat for the umrah. Ustaz lead the group to recite the talbiyah together.
Here I am at your service,
Oh Lord, here I am - here I am.
No partner do you have.
Here I am.
Truly, the praise and the favor are yours,
And the dominion.
No partner do you have.
It was quite a long journey. Need to stop for prayers and dinner along the way. Reached Hotel Farah, Mekkah around 9.30 p.m. After settling the rooms and baggage, went to Mesjid-el-Harram through Babul-Salam with the niat for ittikaf while constantly reciting the talbiyah. Performed the tawaf around the Kaabah and the sa’ee between Safa and Marwah. Completed our first umrah with the tahlul.
Monday, September 20, 2004
Tannaim - Wholeness with God
|(Masjidil Haram Makkah)|
While the rest of the group wanted to rest today, we took a van and paid 5 Rial each to go to Tannaim. Completed our umrah around 10 a.m.
Every time we completed the tawaf, we solat in front of the Multazam and recited our doa together. We prayed that Allah would grant us goodness in this world, and goodness in the hereafter and save us from the punishment of the fire. We asked Allah, for beneficial knowledge and abundance in provision, and cure from every ailment.
And in front of the Ka’abah we promised that we would love and care for each other forever. And we believed that this would be a place and time when our prayers would be heard and accepted.
True love is a sacred flame
That burns eternally,
And none can dim its special glow
Or change its destiny.'
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
Search of solitude
By 6.30 a.m. everyone was ready to go for ziarah to the religious and historic sites around Mekkah. And at the end of the ziarah we would be going to Ja’ranah for Miqat for those who want to perform the umrah. I was quite surprised and disappointed to see that none in our group want to perform the umrah today. Not even the Ustaz. They had actually rested whole day yesterday!We stopped at the foot of Jabal Thor and Mount Hira, which is sometimes called Jabal Nur. Mount Hira contained a cave that Prophet Muhammad would go to in search of solitude.
Visited padang Arafah and Jabal Rahmah. Some of the ladies got a chance to ride the camel and had some photo shots. We passed Mudzalifah and did not stop at the three Jamraat at Mina as they were under construction. We solat sunat ihram and niat for our Umrah at Ja’ranah mosque. Completed our Umrah near noon. Tonight we slept quite late. Earlier I was feeling very very sad…
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Tannaim - Listen to my prayer
|(Masjid Aisyah Tannaim)|
We went to Tannaim for our 4th umrah. Today, in front of the ka’abah I was feeling very lonely and sad...
Thursday, September 23, 2004
In the morning, we followed Ustaz and the rest of the group to Tannaim. Completed our 5th Umrah. After Asar, we were supposed to go to Hudaibiah but because of a miscommunication between Ustaz and the driver, the plan was cancelled. As we were already in ihram, we took another van to Tannaim. The rest took this opportunity to go shopping. Completed our 6th Umrah after isya’. Later, a session of soothing deep tissue massage helped relaxed our tired muscles. Tonight, though dead tired, we slept quite late feeling unperturbed and happy.
Friday, September 24, 2004
Hudaibiah - The peace treaty
|(Masjid Hudaibiah with the Imam)|
Rested well in the morning. Went to the mosque early. Lately, the air-conditioned area has been our favorite spot. At least we could sit and recite the Quran together without being disturbed by the Mosque’s officials. When it was near noon, the Mosque was packed with jemaah who came from all over Mekkah to perform the solat Jumaat.After Asar every body gathered at the lobby. The journey to Hudaibiah was quite interesting. The driver stopped at a few historical places and narrated the history, in Arabic. We learned about the Treaty of Hudaibiah, between Muslims and the enemies. We understood the jeez of the story. Would not be surpised if some facts were lost during the impromptu translation.
|(The Camel Farm Hudaibiah)|
Visited one of the camel farms. Some have the opportunity to drink fresh camel’s milk. We bought a bottle to taste later. Along the way, stopped at the Muzium but it was closed because of Friday. Visited the place where they made the tapestry for the kiswah for kaabah. Miqat at Hudaibiah Mosque, solat sunat ihram and niat. Completed our 7th umrah after Isya’.Thronged along with the crowd at the souk with nothing special in mind to buy. Need to start packing our things tonight.
Saturday, September 25, 2004
Goodbye, we'll be back
|(After zohor prayer and tawaf wida')|
After breakfast, went to Tannaim to miqat for our last umrah for the season. Went for last minute shopping after completed our 8th Umrah. After zohor performed the tawaf wida to say goodbye. In front of the Kaabah we solat and doa together and Insya-Allah we will come back to this holy land again in two years time. And again in front of the Kaabah we exchanged our vows, we promised to each other that our love would remain true forever…
|(The floating mosque by the Red Sea)|
Because of some technical reasons, we started to Jeddah quite late. Almost lost our passports this time. Had time to stop for a short while at the Floating Mosque at the Red Sea for solat and some photos. The flight to Dubai was at 8.45 p.m. Reached Dubai around 1 a.m. The rest of the group took the next flight to KL. For the next three days we are going to explore Dubai, one of the world’s most exotic destination.