…Leaving home for Madeenah…
Recordings are at the bottom of this story and sprinkled in the Makkah parts. *
We left from California around 6:30 am, and took us 5 hours to reach Washington D.C. (We were going from here to Washington D.C., to Frankfurt to Jeddah. The flight was 27 hours.) In Washington D.C. we were in the airport for 5 hours waiting for our flight to Frankfurt. (Ain’t fun at all to be in that airport when you’re wearing niqaab…sheesh.) Anyways finally at 6:30pm we boarded the plane, and the plane took off safely alhamdulillah. And then this person needed medical attention. There was a doctor on the plane, but the person needed to get to a hospital. The plane was already in air for 30 minutes when this happened, so we had to turn around and land in New York’s Kennedy Airport. That took an hour cuz the pilot had to be guided around and it to land in an empty area, etc. Bleh. Anyway, then after the plane landed it had to re-feul, the pilots had to re-route, and do all that stuff. It took 3 hours by the time we took off for the second time. The great thing was that when we got to Frankfurt, we didn’t have to sit around in the airport waiting for our airplane. Our connecting flight was 20 minutes after we arrived there, so we got to board immediately. ^_^ From there to Jeddah was 11 hours.
We arrived around 8pm or something in Jeddah (I can’t be expected to remember exact timings, sheesh, fuzzy numbers ppl. 😉 ) Things were a little easier for us because we were not with the rest of our group. The ‘problem’ with the group is getting from Jeddah to Madeenah you’d usually have to wait a lonnnnng time waiting for a bus where all the group members will fit in. Since there was only my sister, brother, and I they could put us on any bus. And we managed to get a bus in a few hours. (It wouldn’t have mattered waiting in the Hajj Terminal, but we got lucky..) It took 8 hours from Jeddah to Madeenah…thought it would longer, but whatever. The drive was awesome. I fell asleep in the beginning, but then bus driver turned the Quran radio station on, and we were driving through the desert under the quiet moonlight listening to Sheikh Shuraim. It was the most beautiful, serene moment ever.
We arrived in Madeenah around Fajr time. (The bus drove past Masjid Al Nabawi on the way from the Muasassa place to the hotel, and we could hear Sheikh Thubayty saying “asalaamu alaikum wa rahmatallah…” bleh..) Anyways, the bus driver got lost a couple times and ended up circling Madeenah a few times (looool) and then finally dropped us off at our hotel. Actually, it was good that he got lost, cuz then he had to back to the Muasassa place, and then we realized because the rest of the people on the bus were from Syria, our passport would end up being in the wrong Muasassa. So while the bus driver got someone to help him find the hotels easily, we spoke to one of the people there to have our passports transferred to the right place. Then the bus dropped the rest of the people at their hotel. By the time we arrived and checked in our hotel it was 8:00 or 8:30. The hotel was right opposite the Haram. We even had a great room, cuz we could see the Haram minarats from the window. (Not that it really mattered to us about the hotel or the windows, cuz we spent most of our time outside the hotel anyway. lol)
We went for Dhuhr salaah, and after that we went to give salaam to Rasulullah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam). I didn’t go inside the area where you can see the gates to where the qabr is.. (I dunno…do they even let women there during Hajj season? I know we can go to the Rowdah Mubarak…but are we allowed by the qabr? Well…I wouldn’t wanna go there Hajj time anyway, the frenzy people get into the closer they get closer to Rasulullah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is unbelievable and a little scary..)
On Saturday, my sister and I plucked up some courage and decided to get into the Rowdah Mubarak. My brothers got in there relatively safely, so we figured it may be easy for us too… I mean there are only women, and you wouldn’t expect women to be wild, innit? Well the crowd was crazy there as well, and I seriously dunno how I made it in and out without any injury. I saw a couple people fall from being pushed. But anyways, naturally the Rowdah Mubarak was beautiful, and we were right next to the pillar where Rasulullah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) told Sayyida Aysha (Radiallahu anha) that if you make dua in this certain spot it will be accepted. And yeah, before you even ask, I did make dua for you all.
For those who don’t know, the Rowdah Mubarak is the area that is in between the minbar and where Rasulullah’s (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) house lay. When you’re in the Masjid Al Nabawi though, it’s easy to distinguish which area is part of the Rowdah Mubarak, because the rest of the carpeting is red, while the Rowdah is olive greenish..
Anyway, that afternoon we went for Ziyarah of Madeenah with Qari my dad knew from last time. He really did a great job. My siblings and I kinda freaked out when we got in the car at first though. Cuz he spent the first five minutes reading dua after dua and then started reading some Quraan.. And we were like… “Err, is he gonna be reciting for us the whole way, or pointing out the important areas?” :unsure: He took us past the Masjids Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, and Bilaal (Radiallahu anhum). The masjids were originally built by the Ottomons, cuz those were the areas where those Sahaba’s lived, and the Ottomon’s build the Masjids there as marking so that everybody would know where the Sahaba’s lived. The Saudi’s had demolished the Masjid Bilaal though a long time ago, and so a Saudi businessman bought the land off and re-built the masjid and put a shopping center below the masjid.
We also visited Masjid Quba, which was the first masjid that was built in Madinah after the hijrah. In the Quran it was referred to as Masjid Taqwa.
“There is a Masjid whose foundation was laid from the first day on piety; it is more worthy of thy standing forth (for prayer) therein. In it are men who love to be purified; and Allah loveth those who make themselves pure” [at-Tawbah; 9:108].
After that we went past the area where Sayyidina Salmaan al Farsi (Radiallahu anhu) used to live, and past where his date valley was…his house was torn down by the Saudi’s… I guess it was crumbling apart as it is anyway. I kinda do think they should have left whats remaining. Just so that people could see what type of house the sahaba’s lived in, and what humble settings they were in, even though they were offered the best of this world.
After that we went to Masjid Qiblatain. That was the masjid where Rasulullah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) received the command regarding the Qibla changing from Bait al Maqdis to the Kabah. Thus it has two mihrabs, one facin Al Quds and the other facing the present qibla, Makkah. I think he said it’s big enough to fit 2000 peopl at a time… He also took on the road which used to be the trench during the Battle of Khandaq, Masjid Fatah, the gutter where the wine was poured down after the ayah came down forbidding it, Masjid Ijaabah where Rasulullah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) made 3 dua’s, and 2 were accepted and the 3rd rejected.
Anyways, several years ago, a local masjid here in Cali needed a a Hafidh to teach the kids Quran. To make a long story short, they contacted the Saudi Embassy, and the Saudi’s sponsored for a man from Madeenah to come and teach here. My brother had already become a Hafidh by then, but he wanted to improve his tajweed, and everybody was saying his tajweed was pretty much flawless…thus my brother went to learn by him. When he left back for Madeenah he gave my brother his phone number and all that and told my brother that we have to go for Ziyarah with him, etc. Anyways, on our second to last day in Madeenah my brother called him up and asked him if we could meet in the Haram.. He insisted we go to his house, cuz he can’t bring his wife…the kids will get sick cuz of the pollution with the buses and stuff. So we agreed he’d pick us up after Asr Salaah. (He lives opposite of Jabal Uhud.) His wife was waiting for us (I really do state the redundant, innit?!), and she thought me and my sis would stay with her till after Isha, while the men leave for the Haram Maghrib time. She was sad that we only called them on our last day, and that we didn’t let her husband take us for Ziyarah.. (We woulda called ‘em sooner, but my brother lost his phone number, and our parents only managed to get it to us at the last possible moment. We were happy though, cuz I’m sure he had enough things to do anyway!) Then she was talking about her kids, and education, and stuff in general. Gotta give one thing to the people of Madeenah for sure, they’re totally classy in the topics they talk about and the way they treat their guests… No gossip, complaining about anything, and that junk alhamdulillah. Oooh, and he has a son and daughter. We knew the son, cuz he was born in Cali, but I swear the daughter was the most precious lil 2 year old I’ve ever seen. (And I’m used to 2 year olds throwing tantrums over nothing, but she was all sweet, cute and charming, mashaAllah!)
Then on last day or so we were wandering around Madeenah after Dhuhr salaah and if you go behind all the big hotels and cross the street, 5 minutes down is where the older areas are. Meaning that everything over is not as commercialized as it is right next to Masjid al Nabawi. I like the new buildings…but at the same time it doesn’t quite do justice to the city they’re in, considering Rasulullah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and the Sahaba’s so adamantly abstained from luxery. Ya know…kinda seems weird to have five star highly commercialized hotels standing side-by-side Masjid Al Nabawi. (And no, I’m not picking on the Saudi’s, because in the end the Hajji’s do like the five star hotels more than living the rough life for a couple weeks.) I really wonder at times how Rasulullah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) would react to us if he were alive… *sigh*
Oh, so in that area there were stores…ya know selling the usual stuff. Abayas, Thobes, Prayer Mats, Food *grin*, etc. Anyways, it was cool, we were pratically stopping at each store and looking stuff.. (Okay, why I am I saying random junk…) And then it was around Dhuhr time, and we were about to head back to the Masjid Al Nabawi… As we were walking we saw a bookstore. It wasn’t the regular bookstores you usually see there. It was like an older shop, and had it sooo many old kitaabs, and nobody was even bothering to stop by it.. And the man sitting there must have been in his late 60s or so.. He had a big white beard and a pleasant smile and so much noor on his face mashaAllah. Anyways our oldest was telling us earlier that day when we look for kitaabs look for stuff by Imaam Suyooti.. So we asked him if he had any. And at first he looked at us like are we joking.. I mean, we’re young “confused” hajji’s who don’t know Arabic, how on earth did we manage to know who Imaam Suyooti is. LOL. Then he took of a tafsir of Imaam Suyooti’s and there was soo much dust on it, it must been sitting there for ages, he lightly touched it and a cloud of dust blew off. Anyhoo, after we paid him, he told us he was from Yemen and he moved to Madeenah in his teens. Then he asked us where we’re from, and we were like Amreeka. He smiled and started a lil dua for us that Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) accept our Hajj, and protect us from fitnah and give us barakah.. Awww… It was so sweet.
* I recorded some of the salaah while I was there, but when I wrote the story after I got back, I hadn’t felt many people would be interested in it so I didn’t incorporate it into the story. Here are they are.
Sheikh Hussain aal Sheikh Maghrib:
Sheikh ‘Ali al Hudhaify ‘Isha:
Sheikh Faisal Nu’maan Fajr Adhaan:
Sheikh ‘Abdul Baari ath Thubayty Fajr:
Sheikh Salaah al Budayr Maghrib
Sheikh ‘Ali al Hudhaify ‘Isha:
Sheikh ‘Abdul Baari ath Thubayty Fajr:
Sheikh ‘Ali al Hudhaify ‘Isha:
Sheikh ‘Abdul Baari ath Thubayty Fajr:
Sheikh ‘Ali al Hudhaify ‘Isha:
…Leaving for Makkah…
That Dhuhr was our last salaah in Masjid Al Nabawi. *sigh* We checked out of the hotel a lil before a Asr, and then went to the Muasasa office and then to the Bus station. We were supposed to leave for Miqat half hour after Asr. We ended up leaving half hour after Maghrib. Anyhoo…I think they lost the passports of one the people on the bus, so they had to look for it, and that took almost forever. It took 11 hours to get to Madeenah, and the bus made only one stop at around 1 am or something so that we’d read our Isha. It was really windy out, and I was feelin kinda sick already on our last day in Madeenah (kinda served me right though, cuz I had been going for Fajr in Madeenah with a sweater, and it was coooooold Fajr time, thus I got sick). Anyway the windiness wasn’t very good, I ended up getting sand in my eyes (you’d expect these silly glasses to help some) and I got a sore throat after that.
When we got to Makkah it was humid in the bus, and there was that point were the bus stops and they hand out ZamZam to everybody.. The bus had to wait there for like 30 minutes (and thinking about how many buses there were 30 minutes wasn’t bad), and then they took us to the Muasassa office. Since there was only 4 of us (not our whole group), they made us wait for a lil van to come and take us to the hotel. We waited for 3 or 4 hours, but they were really nice and offered us tea and stuff. (To tell you the truth, oddly the only place I’ve ever drank tea and it actually tasted really nice was Makkah.) Oh yeah, so around 9ish am they came and took us to our hotel. My oldest brother was totally knocked out, he got sick and his bones started hurting really badly, so he ended up sleeping non-stop until Isha. He didn’t even hear the adhans going off, which totally freaked us out, cuz the Haram adhan is kinnnnnnda hard to sleep through, in addition to like 10 others going off in the same street!
Anyway, for Dhuhr we went to the Haram on our own (my 2nd brother, my sis, and I)… We left the hotel at like 12:00, and that wasn’t quite the wisest time to leave. We should have left at 11:00, but really how were we supposed to know? Anyways, the crowd was really huge outside, so we performed Dhuhr outside, by Makkah Towers. (Our hotel was on the same street as Makkah Towers. *rolls eyes*) After Dhuhr, we decided to wait an hour more for the crowd to come to a somewhat halt, so that we don’t have to deal with the crowd. In the mean time we looked around at stuff in the Makkah Towers…cool place, but is it just me or the stuff in there is the same quality as elsewhere, just the price is more and the stores are “better”? (Sorry, but everybody makes a big deal out of Makkah Towers, and I was like “Uhh..okkayy..”interesting.” Although the architecture and marble and stuff is cool about it, but then marble is all over the place in Makkah and Madeenah, even on some of the sidewalks!) After Makkah Towers, we got side-tracked first by a juice stand, then by an abaya store, and then something else or the other. Loq. We ended up going inside the Haram about hour and half before Asr.
Maybe it’s just me, but the Masjid al Haram is really more intimidating and magnificent compared to Masjid al Nabawi. Makkah has intensity and vibrancy, while Madeenah has serenity and calmness about it.. Anyways, we kept our heads down and walked towards the Kaabah. When we got close to the area where the steps are to go down closer to the Kaabah, we looked up, and I swear when you look up and see the Kaabah for the first time its totally incredible. There are really no words to describe it, you really gotta be there to feel it.. ❤ We kinda stood there dumbfounded and speechless for a like half minute… Oh yeah, then a guard came and was like “Yallah ya haajj!” to break us out of that daze. Hehe. Anyways, we did Tawaf, and uh, wasn’t too good an idea to do it on the first floor. It’s a great feeling to be that close to the Kaabah, but the crowd is in a frenzy, and a lot of the pick-pocketers are there.. Alhamdulillah, we stayed safe though. (Well, actually, my sis almost got pick-pocketed, but then somebody pushed her away, so the other person had to leave her alone and continue on. The only time I think she didn’t mind being pushed. *chuckles*) Anyways, it took us about an 1 ½ hours to complete the tawaf. We finished precisely right before the Asr adhaan went off! (And for anybody who might be curious, Sheikh Saalih aal Talib led.)
After Asr salaah, we did Sa’iee (7 times between Safa and Marwa). That took like 2 hours, which wasn’t soo bad. After that we waited for Maghrib salaah, no use leaving and coming back, cuz there was only 30 minutes left, and the crowd was coming in the Haram. Then there was this one guy who sitting next to my brother, and during Tawaf somebody tried to pick-pocket him.. And he didn’t have anything on him, and they used a knife, and they ended up cutting his stomach a lil. 😮 He came for Hajj alone, and he was sad and lonely, so he was talkin to my brother until Maghrib. Aand..Sheikh Sudais led Maghrib! It was awesome to stand behind him…
And after Maghrib, we left and my brother shaved his hair, and then we went to the hotel room to check on our oldest brother.. Wasn’t pleasant.. Anyways, we went back for Isha, again led by Sheikh Sudais! We went to the third floor to perform Isha, cuz its not as badly filled as the first floor. After Isha, we waited for the crowd to lessen before we could leave… Anyways, my brother ended up falling asleep, and we didn’t wanna wake him, cuz a wheelchair had knocked his leg right as we were walking into the Masjid al Haram, and he almost fainted. (Which was pretty bad, cuz he doesn’t faint usually in pain…) He only woke up around 12 tho.
Then we headed back to the hotel. And you’d think cuz I was so tired, I’d get sleep immediately. Well, below the hotel, there was a tape store. And they played Sheikh Sudais’s khatam dua on repeat, LOUD! I mean, loud is an understatement. Oh well, it wasn’t so bad, his dua was great anyway even if it killed my sleep. The lack of sleep and the loudness gave my sister a headache, and Fajr time Sheikh Sudais led and obviously he was calm compared to the dua when he was crying, and she was like “Ohhhhhh…why on earth don’t they play his calmer times?!” looool.
Anyways, the rest of the days, went without incident really alhamdulillah. Sheikh Sudais was on a roll, leading all the aloud salaah, and it was just a dream to pray behind him, hearing all those emotions like. On Tuesday we left for Mina with our group, and the night before in ‘Isha he prayed the Hajj ayaah from Surah Baqarah.
…The days in Mina…
The Hajj days in Mina were the only days we spent with the group, we didn’t even in spend time with them in Makkah, cuz me and my siblings stayed to ourselves, unless we were talking to random people in the Haram. Speaking of random people, you know what’s really cool? Some Arabs try to talk to you regardless of the fact you don’t know Arabic. They’ll figure out how to get their point across through sign language and stuff…its sweet. Back on topic, we were supposed to leave at 10:30am, but the Saudis had assigned guides to buses and stuff, and our guide didn’t get to us until 12:30ish. And we were cool with that, cuz when you think of the traffic naturally it’s going to take the guide a while to get back. Unfortunately the others in the group didn’t think of it that way, and start picking on the Saudi govt for always doing things wrong. lol. Sorry, but sometimes when people complain its hard not to laugh. It took like 2 hours to get to Mina. And when we got there…things weren’t quite what anyone expected.. The Saudis gave the American tents those foldable mattresses, blankets, and pillows. That’s cool, I guess.. But it’s not as though they gave it to every other countries tents, so on a personal note my siblings and I felt that they shouldn’t have put it for the Americans. (Our group leader didn’t ask for it, my brothers said he was surprised by it.)
Our first day in Mina went great overall alhamdulillah. I will admit that a few ladies got on my nerves cuz they were talking non stop a lot of the day, and it sucks when you try to talk about Islamic things, and it goes in one ear and out the other. In their defence, I understand it wasn’t their fault because I presume nobody told them specifics about the days of Hajj. Finally, my sister after Isha saw I would loose patience, and I told her I’d be back in 5 mins and she was like where are you going? I replied that I’d go for a walk so she called my brothers and we took all took a walk outside. It was cool, cuz there were mountains like 15 minutes away, and we sorta climbed it (not too high, too scared to, hehe), and sat there for a while and did ibadah.. Alhamdulillah when we got back everyone but one lady was asleep. And thankfully, the lady who was up was sweet. (She was 8 months pregnant, and she couldn’t get sleep, and she started talking to me about Rasulullah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and stuff. We found out later that Sheikh Nuh Keller was in our group and her and husband were his students mashaAllah!)
On Wednesday was the Day of ‘Arafah, and we made it there without event. Our group leader was supposed to have somebody talk about the importance of the day, but he didn’t talk. *blinks* But that was okay, we still did whatever we had to do. Our mother gave us a lecture on that before we left Amreeka anyway! What was really nice was that were Turkish and British tents close to ours. And the Turks had some really nice dhikr going on, and we wandered by their tents and sat there for a while and listened. The British had some sheikh talking about how the day of qiyaamah will take place on the plains of Arafah and basically how Muslims should try to emulate the lifestyles of Rasulullah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and the Sahabah, because that’s the only thing that’s gonna help us when we come back to Arafah on the day of Qiyamah… It hits home more when you actually hear those words right there.
Our group leader warned everyone that we would leave ‘Arafah for Muzdalifah at around 11 or 12 at night, cuz that’s when we were supposed to leave. We couldn’t leave immediately after Maghrib, cuz the traffic would be jammed, and we wouldn’t get anywhere anyway. We didn’t mind, cuz well, who would mind more time in ‘Arafah? It’s a once in a lifetime moment. Well, around 9:30 pm people started getting impatient, and told the group leader to get us onto a bus ASAP. (Almost three years later, and I still don’t understand the purpose behind the rush..) After 45 minutes minutes, he gave in, and agreed to take the next bus. The group was split in two now, cuz the bus that came next wasn’t big enough. Anyhoo, the bus driver didn’t know what he was doing (or maybe he did, but that’s a scarier thought *blink*) cuz he was driving us around in circles, and then he didn’t drop us off at Muzdalifah. He took us past it and headed straight on to Mina. *double blink* So one of the Afghani and Arab brothers were like “Hey, wait! Stop the bus” and they jumped up. So he let them and some other brothers, including my 2nd brother get off the bus. And then the buses in front him started moving, so he closed the doors and started driving. Anyways for a few of us, our family members had gotten off, so we panicked that the driver would go too far and we’d loose our family. He had to stop thanks for traffic, and the brothers at the front forced him to open the door, and almost everybody got off. There were six people who still didn’t make it off in time.
Anyway, back at the area where my 2nd brother was, him and the others who got off had grabbed the luggage that was on the bus and put it on the sidewalk. Well, the others were tryna figure out what bag was theirs, etc, and our sub-group leader got annoyed and said whoever wanted to pick up luggage will have to head to Muzdalifah on their own without the group. So my brothers and three other brothers were like, well, 6 people’s luggage are here, and we dunno if there anything valuable here, therefore we might as well split from the group and drag the luggage on our own. So that’s what we did… (The sub-group leader was upset, but if he had listened to the main leader about leaving ‘Arafah at the right time, we wouldn’t have been in this mess to begin with. Qadar of Allah SWT, s’all good.)
After we picked up our pebbles, we walked to the border of Muzadalifah and performed Fajr and went back to the tents. We did the pelting after Asr, when the crowd was less, and calmer.
We went to do our Qurbaani after that. The place to do it wasn’t close to our tents, about an hour long walk, so we walked and walked and walked. By the time we got there though, it was closed. The sun was setting and the sky was beautiful. There was a man there selling Vanilla ice cream. It was only SR1 for each tub! We bougt one of each of us and it was the best ice cream ever alhamdulillah. We got a ride back to Mina after that. The next day we went to do our Qurbani, and that place was an hour’s walk away. It was nice anyway. And we got to see the goats too… And the one that I got was a pretttty white one. (I’m serious, it was really pretty. Lol) And amazingly I didn’t even gag by the blood.
After that we took a taxi to Makkah to do our Tawaf and get out of Ihram. It was after Asr when we left and got to Makkah. Anyway, obviously the crowd was less in Makkah (I’m SO great at stating the obvious! *grin*) and we did Tawaf on the first floor easily alhamdulillah. If we had more time we could’ve touched the Kabah and the Hajar Al Aswad, but we did Tawaf in between Maghrib and Isha, and the Isha adhan went off. And after Isha we tried to get back to Mina immediately. We finally got a taxi, and he was gonna charge us SR 120, but my brother bargained him to SR 80. He was annoyed but agreed. He was charging the most out of most but we had no choice. Anyway, after that he rode around Makkah for about 30 minutes trying to get more passengers.. And he was not successful. Well, finally we were rescued from him, cuz the police were randomly stopping people, and they stopped him and asked him for his legal papers. And he was totally acting dumb as though he didn’t understand them, and after a few minutes of gentle questioning the younger police officer got mad and yelled at him to answer. At that point we freaked, cuz I mean they’re police officers and they’re angry, what will they do with us. Well, the police officer, just calmly opened the door smiled at us and let us out. And then they went back to yellin at the guy. Lool. Anyway, we decided enough with the buses and taxi’s, and we’ll just walk it.
As we were walking, there was this car with two Saudi ladies in the back who had their windows rolled down. They were just handing out a package with a cheese sandwhich, cake and juice to everybody they could! Then the driver stopped, got out and opened the trunk to get more for them to hand out. They actually had a whole trunkful. It was amaazing…!
On the last day in Mina, the group leaders told us we’d all go to Jamarah together after Dhuhr, and then come back to the tent and leave immediately for Makkah. (The other two days everybody went separately in their own time, but since we had to get back to Makkah that day, we all had to go together.) Also it was drizzling on and off, and it was sunny one minute and threatening to rain the next, so we were kinda freaked that something bad may happen. After Dhuhr we all went, and the weather was pretty good alhamdulillah. Well, as we got closer to Jamarah, we lost the group in the crowd and ended up by ourselves. There were loads of people sitting by Jamarah and they had camped outside there for only Allah knows why. And everyone who was trying to get in to pelt was tripping over these people, it was crazy. The police were trying to evacuate them from there, but they were fighting with the police. Nice scene that was, seeing the hujjaj fighting insensibly with the police. (Pardon my sarcasm.) Anyways, we made it through, and the closer we got to the pelting area, the more scary things got. One guy almost tripped me, and my brother caught me in time, and the guy started fighting with my brother for saving me. He actually was yelling at my brother telling my brother to let go of me so he could pass through. 😐 My brother almost started arguing right back, but we made him keep quiet. He was a bit riled up the man was arguing with him, and he didn’t realize he could possibly loose life.
After a few more incidents like that within the next few minutes, we gave up and we might as well just stick to going after Asr. We went back to the tent… The rest of the group wasn’t there yet, and when they got back, they were surprised we made it back so early. Anyways, they were packing up and doing some last minute ibadah and stuff, and it was around 3:30 and it started raining.. First it was just the usual drizzle, and then it started pouring. The tents close to ours started flooding and the area where the steps are which lead to the road was flooded knee-high. The water was flowing like a rover, it was scary. We were fortunate though, as our tent was in a perfect area, so we didn’t get flooded much. About 20 minutes or so after Asr, it let up though and went back to drizzling, and the group took a bus to Makkah, and we were left alone. *sniffle* 😉 Anyways, it stopped raining fully about 30 minutes before Maghrib. It was totally easy, cuz mostly everyone was gone, including the people who were sitting outside Jamarah outside previously. Although, sadly, we heard at the time a few dozen Hajji’s and several police officers died by Jamarah, cuz of the rain and they were in frenzy not to get drowned. May Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) grant them Jannah al Firdaus. Ameen.)
My brother had lost many pairs of sandals during our trip. Two in Madeenah, and then we lost count of how many in Makkah. Anyway, in Mina, one of the brothers in the tent took my brothers sandals which he had just bought, and my brother was without sandals! So it had just poured in Jamarah, and the water was still a bit high as we trudged through and my brother was barefoot. We looked around to buy some sandals, but all the sellers had packed up and left. We tried to ask the Saudi Army men who were there for help on where there may be some person selling sandals. And they looked at each other and didn’t know. They were looking at my brother and felt bad for him too. So this one man looks at my brother, and takes off his sandals and insists on my brother taking them. They were realllly nice too, and my brother was embarrassed and tried so hard to say no, but had to take it because well, do Arabs accept no for an answer to their generousity? May Allah reward that man abundantly. Ameen. It’s amazing how people insist on picking on the Saudis when they return from Hajj, yet I can remember the most beautiful things being done to us by the Saudis.
The hujjaj were trying to get out of Mina as it was after Maghrib now. They were desperate to get out, and many were elderly and couldn’t make the long walk. The taxi drivers benefited from this of course. They put their prices up to SR 200 for 4 people. A trip that would be regularly SR 5-10! I understand they want to earn money, but over charging elderly hujjaj is wrong. L We decided to walk to Makkah. Alhamdulillah on our way to Makkah it didn’t rain…
It took 2 ½ hours to get to our hotel. Although that seems long, it was not so bad at all. It was pleasant, and it is a lot better then sitting a car in the middle of traffic and honking horns. At least with walking you’re moving and not restless. The only odd thing was that it was kinda cold. (I mean how weird that is… Makkah being cold?!) hehe. Anyways, it was nice walk. And the way there were Saudi’s who were standing by the street handing out coffee, tea, and ginger in milk. It was so sweet. ❤ I think the ginger in milk kinda helped my cough actually.
We reached the Haram about an hour after Isha.. It was exciting to see the minarats of the Haram and realize we maade it back. We were happy to be close to our hotel, our destination to catch up on ressst. Alhamdulillah we made it safely to our hotel. Our parents called to check up on their crazy children to see if we’re okay and made it safely. We had called them quickly when it started pouring in Mina, but our battery had been going low, so they were thinking about us that whole time wondering we got up to. After that we slept… The cassette store was at it yet again, but I put the pillow over my head after an hour. I mean I like Sheikh Sudais’s dua, but it being on repeat for hours on end was a bit much, even for me! 😉 Besides, after that they switched to the Muhammad Nabeeuna nasheed. Arg! How can I get sleep to a cute child singing?!
We stayed for a week after Hajj. And the rest of the days in Makkah are a total blur to me now. Things happened kinda fast and I got badly sick among other things. The cassette store guys did switch over to Sheikh Jaabir and Sheikh Naasir al Ghamdi’s recitation for a while, after my brother had asked them a few times if they had any unique recitations of theirs. We did a bit of shopping. All I remember now was making Tawaf and looking at the Kaabah.. (That’s all that matters though, innit.) Oh, and Sheikh Taalib did the last khutbah, which was nice mashaAllah.
The trip back home was muccch more pleasant. Came from Jeddah to Germany and from there straight to Amreeka. Didn’t have to wait long in the airports either. It only 20 hours instead of 27.
I have to say, leaving Makkah and entering the International Terminal to be surrounded by non Muslims through me off guard. You get used to being surrounded by Muslims, people always saying salaam to you, dressing modestly, having a kindness about them, and then you see non Muslims for the first time after a month, you feel like fish out of water. It was even weirder arriving in California, when the police officers get fussy over tiniest things, while in Saudi Arabia the police officers are a bit relaxed. Okay, maybe too relaxed at times. I don’t blame the Cali police for being that way at all though. But yeah, being in California again really made me appreciate Makkah and Madeenah more. ❤
Here are the recordings from after Hajj. Sheikh Taalib was leading Fajr, ‘Asr and Maghrib and Sheikh Khayyat was leading Dhuhr and ‘Isha alhamdulillah! 🙂
May Allah have mercy on us and take everyone of us there! Ameen.