Lab Bayk … – answering the summons – III

assalamu aleikumas 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 giant 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 .

Mina

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 (SubHana Wa Ta`ala) 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.


azizah
————————————————-
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
it’s signifigance?

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.

————————————————-
jannah

————————————————-
Wa ‘Alaikum Assalaam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

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.

http://www.jannah.org/hajj/diary/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.
___________

timbuktu

————————————————-

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
it’s signifigance?

sister azizah, thanks for the response, and the prayers.

My account has not ended yet.

We started for Mina on the 8th of dhul-Hajj. 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, because so far I have not attended to anything else. And now I have to. When I reach home, there will be even more delays. So, please be patient.

jannah wrote: Quote:umrah is a walk in the park compared to hajj so just know that u all

jannah, the word for you is diffident . 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.

Back to the topic of leaving Arafat for Muzdalifah

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.

Do you know the story, or do you want to hear it?

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 Hajj. We have to go for Ramie Jamaraate Uqba, then get the Halaq done, and then the sacrifice (Qurbani), go to Makkah for Tawafe Ifada.

These I will describe later, insha`Allah, but it may take some days.

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