Saturday, 13 October 2012

Makkah Part 4: Daily Routine of Mine

This is how my daily routine in Makkah would look like.

3:00 am
We did not sleep since Isya` prayer the day before. The duration between Isya` prayer and Subuh prayer was too short. In fact, the whole Arab community in Makkah did not seem to fall in slumber too. Usually 3:00 am was an hour after we got back from taking a walk by the streets of the city of Makkah or shopping. 

And 3:00 am was an hour before the azan of Subuh would be on air. I got myself refreshed, wore my nice jubah, and surprisingly, I wore a perfume I bought in Makkah (while my Mont Blanc remained untouched in my luggage). I am not sure why, but I happened to be comfortable with the smell of it. I would have to admit, I kept a small bottle in my drawer at the office. The smell of it would remind me the beautiful days we were in Makkah. And I missed the place even more. 

Together, we walked to Masjidil Haram, which was about 200 metres from our hotel. Along they way, it would be a usual view to spot some kids lined up in the middle of the lane, begging some money. Some of them seemed to be amputees (with no arms), but I am not sure whether they were truly amputees. Because I saw one of the girls hiding the remaining parts of her arms under her hijab and only showed her elbow, pretending she was one of the amputees, in an attempt to beg for better amount of money. 

My uncle said it was a syndicate. He saw all of them running towards a van, upon arrival of the local authority officers at the spot.

As I walked along the lane, in between the hotels and shopping lots, I could see clearly the majestic lighting of masjidil haram. The lighting was so bright, it seemed that we were walking from a dark alley towards the centre of the city. 

Unlike Masjid Nabawi in Madinah, Masjidil Haram was not strict when it comes to segregation areas for men and women. I could still see husband and wife holding hands, while each of them carrying a son and a daughter, just as I could still walk side by side with my dear mother, holding hands, the way she held my hand when I was a little boy. 

It was a remarkable feeling inside the masjid. There was nothing else on my mind. Only the love for the Creator and the love for my family. 

My uncle, my cousin (Aman) and I left the female members of our family at the female designated praying area and we headed to the second floor, where I took a spot, prayed and recited verses of Quran. 

4:11 am
Finally, the azan for Subuh prayer was on air around 4:11 am. 

5:40 am
Sunrise. I did not know of any specific ideal spots to see sunrise from the middle of the city of Makkah. But to witness the transformation of the color of the sky was simply magnificent. Sometimes we would leave the masjid 15 minutes after Subuh prayer (5:15 am) whereby the sky was still dark. Sometimes we would leave the masjid the moment we could see early ray of sunlight penetrating the earth of Makkah. Either way, leaving masjidil haram after prayer was an interesting mission. Thousands of people making their way to the exit doors and to the hotels via narrow lanes and roads. 

Upon arrival at our hotel, we would immediately go to the canteen to have our breakfast together. I enjoyed the meal each time. (Or perhaps, I was too enjoying it that I gained few kilos?) Attempting to go to our room via elevator was definitely NOT a great idea. Two elevators. For hundreds of hotel guests. And am intolerable of some barbaric behaviour in front of the elevator by some people. 

Often, after making sure that my mom and my aunties were safe and sound in the elevator, my cousin and I would climb from ground floor to our room at the ninth floor. 

6:30 am
Lights off. Good night everyone. Good morning actually. But we were off to bed. 

11:00 am
An hour before Zuhur prayer on air. Again, got myself refreshed and prepared for prayer. I took my sunglasses before leaving the room. Did I tell you how scorching hot the city of Makkah was? It was like stepping into an oven. If I did not wear any sunglasses, I would not be able to open my eyes. It was so hot that you would not even sweat. I would usually carry a small mineral bottle in my bag, and filled it with zam zam water at the entrance of the masjid

The first few days we walked under the hot sun. After that, my uncle spotted a nicer route to the entrance of masjidil haram. We turned right and walked in the air-conditioned Zam Zam Tower Shopping Centre. Nicer and cooler...

12:23 pm
Azan for Zuhur prayer in the air. And it has been a usual practice in masjidil haram for them to perform salat al-janazah (or known as funeral prayer, to pray for pardon of the deceased), each time after five time congregational prayer. So make sure you equip yourself with some info on how to perform salat janazah before you leave for umrah.

Masjidil Haram, in terms of its architecture and design, might not be as beautiful as Masjid Nabawi in Madinah. However, there are some parts of it I found to be attractive. Well, to me it is, coming from a person who has no expertise on architecture. 

And yeah, exiting masjidil haram posed the same challenge as before. I would rather spent half and hour after prayer by reciting Quran or praying than queuing for exit doors.

Lunch was served at the canteen. I might have to spend some time after prayer to avoid long que, but should not be that long or the canteen might be running out of food.

3:00 pm
About 45 minutes before azan Asar on air. Refreshed and prepared, we headed to the masjid

3:45 pm
Azan for Asar prayer on air. 

And the same challenging exit. 

But I enjoyed the scenery after Asar prayer around masjidil haram, nearby the shops, stalls and malls. Sometimes we would take a walk along the shops, surveying things we would buy later at night. Or sometimes we would just hang out outside, eating ice creams (not the best one, but definitely the coolest thing would able to find in Makkah) by the shops or eating kebabs from the nearby stalls. I could see the doves flying above. Searching for food.

Or, even, the best moments would be buying some food from the nearby shops and eating the food together in our room. Just us. 

6:00 pm
An hour before azan for maghrib on air. Refreshed and prepared, we headed for masjid

7:05 pm
Azan on air. After maghrib prayer, we would spend our time reciting Quran, tawaf or praying. Often I spent my time at the second floor. When my eyes were tired of reciting Quran, I would relaxed my eyes by standing by the corridor, watching the holy Kaabah and the people surrounding it. And I would find definite peace. Yes. 

At times I would take a glance at the people pushing one another nearby hajar aswad. I wish I could go nearby. But I would not want to force myself to barbarically do something evil just to do something recommended. 

8:36 pm
Azan for Isya prayer on air. Again, to avoid the chaotic exit, I would spend half an hour after performing Isya prayer. 

While heading to our hotel, I would listen to a song played out loud by a nearby shop, praising Prophet Muhammad SAW. Everyday the same children song. And the sound of people bargaining for things. Yeah, I would join them later, after we had our dinner at the canteen. 

9:30 pm
Shopping mission began. There would always be some items to be bought for someone. Hence, shopping at night was a necessity. Until today my dear mother kept on saying that we should have bought the camel dolls for my nieces. 

Prices for items sold in Makkah are definitely inflated. Haggling is a must. 

Items sold include:

Dates. nuts, sweets etc
We couldn't have enough from what we have purchased from Madinah. Surprisingly some of these items were cheaper here than Madinah.

Praying Mats
Various design and colors. Nice gifts for beloved ones in Malaysia.

Jubah, abaya and veils
Yes, various designs and colors too. My dear mother and aunties would spent hours searching for these from one shop to another. One for my sister, another one for my another sister, one for my eldest niece, one for my another niece, one for another niece, owh, that cute one for my nephew. Owh, that one would be nice for my auntie. I felt like being dragged from one shop to another. And don't get me start with their cruel haggling skills.

See what I had to deal with?

Tasbih or beads for zikir
Interesting choice of souvenir too. Especially for officemates.

Number displayed in arabic numerical format. I bought one in Madinah. So I did not purchase a new one in Makkah.

Well, I got mine already. I'm good.

I thing I noticed about the local people, that they love nice perfumes. Many shops selling various kind of perfumes with various smells. 

I noticed few shops selling gold. It was said that gold sold here are cheaper. Well, none of us dropped by at the shop. 

Known as a twig of tree used to cleanse the teeth before prayer. 

Seriously mother?

Rolling Luggage
When you purchased too many items, definitely you will need a new luggage. 

We would return to our room at around midnight. We would have supper together. And chatted until 3:00 am where we would have to prepare for Subuh prayer the next day. 

Stress free. Serenity. I want to settle down in Makkah one day. Can ah?


Hairi Tahir
P/S: sakit gila gigi geraham bongsu nak tumbuh weh. Dah tua tua perlu ke tumbuh gigi lagi?

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4 Nukilan:

R.a.W | Ramble and Wander said...

Laaa baru nak tumbuh ke? If you're old, then what does that make me? *terasa mcm dinasour*

Hairi Tahir said...

The last one. Tumbuh senget tak pasal pasal kena operation. Tumbuh gigi ni bukan kanak-kanak aje ke?

R.a.W | Ramble and Wander said...

Wisdom tooth mmg tumbuh umur 20an. Mmg biasa tumbuh senget & kalau dibiarkan, akan affect geraham sebelah dia. Kalau lelaki, mmg tak boleh nak elak, kalau perempuan yg kahwin (atau pernah melakukan aktiviti2 org kahwin, haha) pada umur awal 20an atau lebih awal, biasanya gigi ni tak tumbuh.

Hairi Tahir said...

Ooo... No wonder... This one cause nak kunyah food pun painful gila. Baru satu. Another three are yet to erupt. Should schedule for minor surgery soon... Blergh...

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