Monday, 17 September 2012

Madinah Part 6: Farewell Madinah and Journey to Makkah

The journey that lasts forever had ended so soon. We were scheduled to leave for Makkah an hour after Juma`at prayer. The blended feeling of joy and sadness made me realize that I could not have two great things at once. Makkah and Madinah.

Juma`at Prayer in Masjid Nabawi
We were advised to be in the masjid two hours before the prayer time as it would be more crowded than usual. Knowing that we were going to leave soon, I decided to spend more time in Masjid Nabawi. Any corner of Masjid Nabawi would do as long as I could feel the serenity and peace of Islam. 

The khutbah was in Arabic. Having some basic skill in Arabic language, I managed to capture few salient points. Like solidarity of brotherhood. End war. Unity. I attended a Juma`at prayer before, where the khatib deliver his khutbah in Urdhu language, and I did not understand a single word. 

Unlike Juma`at prayer in my country, I could see women participating in Juma`at prayer too. 

Final Farewell
I stood there, metres away from the tomb of Prophet Muhammad SAW. I could only see the compounding walls, in between of people heading to the front part of the masjid where Raudhah and Tomb of the Prophet was located. I chose not to join in the madness of the crowd, but to stand there still in silence, while other people had started to leave the masjid. 

Disheartened to leave, my heart whispered few words to Prophet Muhammad SAW, as if he was listening. 

I was far from the Prophet. Far than where I was physically standing at that particular moment. There is absolutely nothing special about me I could offer or show. In between those people leaving the masjid or heading towards the front part of the masjid, there were hundreds who were better than I am. Hence I truly understand if I was not visible. Your love to us is great that no one else could repay. And even if I do not deserve it, I seek your blessing and love to make it easy for me to become a better person. And I wish to come back again. Someday. 

I left Masjid Nabawi. I did not turn back. Because if I do so I would feel sad. Even more. Because I was going to leave Madinah soon. 

Preparation for Umrah
Our bags are neatly packed. My mother bought another bag to fill in things we bought in Madinah. After lunch, we prepared ourselves for umrah in Makkah. Complete in ihram outfit, we left Madinah for Makkah. A journey of five hours hereby began.

Journey to Makkah
As the bus was passing by the dusty road, I truly embraced every moment I was on the journey to Makkah. I looked back into my past, for all the small good things I have done, for all the sins I have committed, for nice things I have said, for nasty lies I have told, for the people I helped and the people I hurt. For once, I became a humble slave of Allah, seeking His forgiveness and mercy. 

The strong wind hit the bus once in a while, causing terrifying noise. We were told that minor sand storm was taking place. At least we were safe and sound inside the bus. Imagine what did the people before us had to face, just to perform Hajj or umrah in Makkah. 

I felt a sleep for a while. After half an hour of journey, we arrived at a masjid named Bir Ali, or known as a miqat place for Hajj and umrah. A place where you expressly put forward your intention to perform umrah. A place where you begin umrah. A place where the following prohibitions came into force upon those who seek to perform umrah:

1. Shaving the hair of the head, or any other hair on the body, and cutting one's fingernails;

2. Using perfume after the miqat place, where one had intended to perform umrah;
3. Sexual intercourse;
4. Touching wife with desire;
5. Hunting animals on land;
6. Wearing sewn garments (for men); and
7. Wearing niqab form women.

After approximately three hours of travelling, we stopped by at a local restaurant to perform Maghrib and Isyak prayers. It was windy and the sun was already setting in the west. As the day was getting darker, we got ready for Jama Qasar prayer at the nearby praying hall. There were also buses arriving, carrying hundreds of Muslims in ihram attire to perform umrah. 

After prayer, we had dinner at the restaurant. Nothing fancy. Plain rice and chicken. Tasteless as it may be, but given we were in a noble mission, we were more than grateful. 

By the time we left for Makkah, it was dark. Two more hours to go. 
Again, not that much picture. This was my first time performing umrah, I was really focusing on performing the ibadah. 

Till then, 


Hairi Tahir

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