Remembering Hajj 1


Abida Rahmani

Trip to Madina November 18th 2009

The Journey Begins

When we arrived at Jeddah airport from Makah on 19th of November 2009, it was scheduled that we will leave for Medina shortly. Our organizers decided to take us there by air and not by bus.

At the airport we learned that the flight is delayed. It kept on delaying for the whole night. Some technical problem was the cause and there was a total chaos and mismanagement in the hajj terminal.

Leaving for Jeddah through bus from Makah is another story. Due to some restrictions from Saudi government we had to join another group from USA. That was so chaotic and disgusting crossing over the heads of prostrating people in the areas around haram Sharif for Asr , that I could not stepped forward and was left behind. Alhamdulillah they waited for me and we joined that group in the luxury coach. Talked to some of them, they had better arrangements than us .

All of us were sitting all around at the terminal. Saudi Airlines served us with dinner. I put my bag under the head and lied down on the path. In the morning luckily we got boarded on a 747 jumbo jet which accommodated almost all the stranded passengers. To get on the plan in the line a group from Senegal tried to push us back and a brawl erupted. I talked to them, some of them a bit sane and understood. “We are here just to please Allah (SWT) . Are we pleasing him this way”? Actually it is a norm of pushing, intimidating and overpowering people. They very well know that they are physically strong and that is so sad and appalling.

Alhamdulillah Allah give me the chance to come to Medina again. We were taken to Hotel Golden Mubarak. The same hotel where I stayed with Asim last time.

We were impatient to reach Masjid- an-Nabwi (SAW). Arriving to Medina and spent time here is not a part of the hajj. That is just out of respect and love for the prophet (saws).

The sight of erected umbrellas around masjid is just amazing. They are spread out in lotus shaped flowers all around the outside of masjid at day time. In the evening they are wrapped up in the shape of a pillar with lights on the sides. Such a marvel of engineering and technology. Some of those broken were standing like aliens in a star war movie. Hope they get repaired soon.

Masjid-i- Nabwi is more strict and organized. May be that it is not that much crowded like Haram.

We were eager for salaam at Roza-e-Mubarak (SAW). That is just restricted to parts of Riadul jannah (The most sacred burial site for Muslims). (It means the garden of paradise). The prophet (SAW) said, “there is a garden of paradise between my house and masjid.” This area is called Riadul Jannah.

When I performed my first hajj women were allowed in front of the grave of Prophet (SAW). But later on it got stopped. Now the timings for women to enter Riadul Jannah (which is close to the grave but not visible) are after Fajar, Dhuhur and Isha.

When we went after Fajar , it was a kind of stampede inside. The crowd was uncontrollable. I raised my voice to handle them but no one listened. A lady shouted,” write in the newspaper how Saudi government treat women. “She may be right, if the women were allowed normally then the scene would be different than this one .Because this area is opened for a very short period of time and all this chaos and stampede is visible. A lady in our group told us that after isha the time is longer. Therefore next time we went after Isha and joined the Urdu speaking group. The Mutawwa ladies gave us lecture about hajj, its rituals but the ladies were getting impatient, all of a sudden they started running and did not listen to her. This time we had plenty of time to pray in Riadul Jannah which is decorated with green carpets.

Staying in Madinah

Madinah is a bustling city with lots of shopping centers and it is generally said that the prices are reasonable here. In our spare time we did some shopping. There were vendors all around selling different stuff. After our prayers we spared some time for arranging food and do some shopping for the loved ones behind and some of our own things. We all had cell phones. Actually I bought for myself from there. Made in china has flooded the market.

We did laundry and filled up the whole bathroom with washed clothes.  Anyway, we had a wonderful and memorable time there.

Our group went to Ziaraat by bus to masjid Quba,( the first masjid of Islam) Qiblatain( where the order to face Kabaa as Qibla was revealed to Prophet saws),Uhad and Khandaq area. I had been there few times earlier. This time our scholar was Abdul Hakim Green from UK (a white convert) and he was very specific about what to do and what not to do according to sunnah of prophet saws. He informed us that it is not a requirement to offer nawafil at masjid qiblatain. We did it as a respect for masjid.

On our 5th day we were supposed to leave for Makaah by bus for Hajj. Everywhere one could see the buses full of departing Hajis. The wait for bus took us the whole day. Madina was getting empty. Our hotel allowed us to stay for another night. Our trip back to Makaah was uneventful.

We arrived at a good speed at Azizia. There we stayed in a building .Ladies on one side, gents on the other. It was quite far from haram. Next day we hired a taxi for haram but on our return we were charged a lot. Taxis had a hay day. We spend the whole day at Haram sharif offered an Umra , did our salaahs . Makaah and surroundings were bustling with hajis.

On 8th of Zilhajj we were leaving for Mina to perform Hajj.