My Hajj: Unforgetable Moment

Saudi Arabia Travel Blog

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Qiblatayn Mosque or The Mosque of Two Qiblas (prayer direction)in Madinah

Alhamdulillah, thank God, in 2005, I could perform my Hajj. It was an important trip for me as a muslim and also become an unforgettable one. Since only Muslims can enter the cities of Makkah and Madinah, I really would like to share about my experience to my TB friends.

I departed from Jakarta on 6 January 2005 and arrived back on 2 February 2005.

My pilgrim route was:

Jakarta --> Jeddah --> Madinah --> Mina --> Arafat --> Muzdalifah --> Mina --> Makkah --> Mina --> Makkah --> Jeddah --> Jakarta

 

7-18 January 2005: Al-Madinah al-Munawwarah [The Radiant City]

My group arrived at Madinah just right before the Friday prayer.

Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (Mosque of the Prophet) at night
We were late than the plan because we were lost in between Jeddah and Madinah. The worse was we couldn’t communicate with the driver.

Nani [my room mate] and I went straight to the al-Masjid an-Nabawi to perform the prayer. Our ustadz told us to go inside the mosque and not to pray outside. So, even the mosque was very full, we insisted to go inside. We were looking around for space to pray while walking without certain direction. We had to pass many person. I was desperate and tired. But Nani was not, so I just followed her. So, we decided to stand up at one of the corners and wait until all the people stand up for praying. A group of Turkish ladies offered their space to share with us. I was so grateful. Since then, I decided to share my space to whoever need it.

We stayed at Dallah Taibah Hotel. I share the bedroom with Nani, Mbak Beti, and Ibu Fatimah. The bedroom was big and comfortable. We stayed there around 12 days peacefully. Even we didn’t know each other before, it could be said that there was no friction among us, not a bit. Alhamdulillah.

During our stay in Madinah, we were supposed to perform salat arbain.

Al-Masjid an-Nabawi or Mosque of the Prophet in Madinah
We had to pray 40 times in a row. As muslims we are obligated to pray five times a day. So, it takes 8 days to perform the salat.

We also tried to visit and pray at Raudah. It is an area between the Prophet’s grave and the old pulpit. Since, it is in the male praying area, so females can only enter between Fajr [early morning] and Zuhr [midday] prayers and between Zuhr and Asr [afternoon] prayers. It was so crowded. The askars [attendants] had tried to manage all women who wanted to pray there. But, still it was not in order. I tried twice, but only the second time I could pray there. I had to struggle among the big women from Africa.

The food served was nice. The coordinator of the group had ordered a caterer to cook Indonesian food. So, we didn’t have any problems with that. Besides, going to the mosque to pray or recite Quran, we also had time to buy souvenirs for our family and relatives in Indonesia. Usually, we did it between breakfast and Zuhr prayer, after washing our cloths. The Hajj rites had not begun yet.

 

18-24 January 2005: Mina - Arafat - Muzdalifah - Makkah 

After Isha prayer, we prepared to go to Beer Ali, our miqat, to put on ihram before doing the Hajj.

Pilgrims' tents in Mina
Before  we went there, we took a special bath for ihram at the hotel. Actually, we could take a bath at the miqat. But, to anticipate the crowded we did it at the hotel.

From Beer Ali, we went to Mina. At Mina, we stayed at a complex of big tents. Women and men from our group stayed at 2 different tents. Since there was still a space, we have to share with women from another group. The space for each person was only 60 cm x 150 cm mattress. We slept, prayed, dined, and kept our belongings there. Can you imagine? My mattress was at one of the corners of the tent and very far from the door. So, if I wanted to go outside or back to my mattress again, I had to pass many mattress. Sometimes, the mattress were occupied, so I had to jump on the people.

At the meal time, we had to queue up. My friends who came with their husbands were fortunate. Their husbands queued for them.

In the tent in Mina
And me? I had to queue by myself, sniff L. Since, I took the Hajj Plus package, there were many facilities. One of them was that we were provided with cool beverages in several coolers and hot beverages at evening. We could take as much as we wanted. Besides that, the distance from the tents to the Jamarat was closed.

Another thing that was not too easy here was the bathrooms. The quantity was not enough. So, we needed to queue before we take a bath or doing anything else, you know what I mean here J.

Me in Mina
My friends and I had a trick. It was not the best one I think but it could avoid us from queueing in a long line. We took a bath at 2 AM! In the afternoon, we took a bath between 1 and 2 PM.

At Mina, besides doing our daily activities such as eating, taking a bath, and washing, we were supposed to pray as often as we could. Here, I was getting closer to other friends. At Madinah, mostly I only hanged out with my roommates. But, here I could hang out with most of them 24 hours a day for 5 days!

After one day staying at Mina, we moved to Arafat. We stayed there for one night, before noon until the next day after 00.00 AM. Every hajj pilgrim has to stay at Arafat. If they are sick and hospitalized, they will be brought by an ambulance. Because Arafat is Hajj.

Arafat is the important place during Hajj.

Outside the tent in Mina
There, everybody prayed and asked for God’s forgiveness, including me. We opened the tent, so I could feel the desert wind blew on my face. Since it was winter, so the wind was cool. I also could see the change of the color of the sky, from blue to orange. Under the tent, faced to Kabah, Makkah, I prayed and asked for His forgiveness. Most of the time I cried in my prayer.

From Arafat, we moved to Muzdalifah to collect small pebbles to throw at the Jamarat in Mina. Since it was still dark, only men did it. The women only waited in the bus. The coordinator assistant helped me to collect them.

In Mina, we went straight to the Jamarat for stoning. I was a little bit afraid here and also nervous. Stoning is the hardest part from all the hajj rites. There were many people died in this occasion. Because hundreds people throw pebbles to Jamarat at the same time. Indonesian people are small in size compare to Africans, so we have to struggle to be closed to the Jamarat. But, alhamdulillah, thank God, my first stoning was fine. There were not many people did it at the same time with us.

Me in Arafat
Besides that, the Jamarat [the stoning pillars], became the stoning walls now. You can see the pictures at the Hajj at a Glance entry. So, it is easier to do the stoning. If we do the stoning at 10 to 12 in the morning, there are lots of people do it too. Because that period of time is considered as the best time to do the stoning. But my ustadz [teacher] suggest us to avoid that time. There were many people died because they wanted to do the stoning at the best time.

After doing the stoning, we went back to our tents to take rest. But, some men from our group wanted to go to Makkah straightaway to perform tawaf and sa’y. It was 10th Dhul Hijjah. So, when they were doing it, Makkah people were performing the Id al-Adha prayer in Al-Masjid al-Haram. They also wanted to see the slaughter of our sacrifice.

The rest of the goroup members, including me, went to Makkah to perform tawaf and sa’y after the midday prayer. There were lots of people performed  the tawaf around the Kabah. I followed my ustadz to perform the tawaf at the second floor of Al-Masjid al-Haram.

In the tent in Arrafat
The perimeter was of course much longer than if we did it closed to the Kabah. But, the crowd was less densed. Then, we went around the Kabah seven times. We were praying while we were doing it.

After that, we performed salah. It was my first time performing salah faced to the Kabah straightaway. The Kabah was in front of me. It is the qibla for all muslims around the world. Now, I saw it with my own eyes. I couldn’t stand not to cry. Here I am, O Allah, here I am - Labbayk Allahuma labbayk. I’m here to pray to you and ask for Your forgiveness.

After performing tawaf, we performed sa’y. We were going to and fro betwen Safa and Marwa seven times. We followed what Hagar, the prophet Ibrahim’s wife, did when she was looking for water for the prophet Ismail who felt thirsty.

After doing those rites, we went back to out tents in Mina.

Jamarat or (Stoning Walls)
Alhamdulillah. The most part of the Hajj was performed. We stayed there for 3 more days to do the stoning. Now, I had friends who took care of me in doing the stoning. They were Ibu Tuti and her husband, Bapak Sidik. I was so grateful that  I met them.

 

24-31 January 2005: Makkah al-Mukarramah [Makkah the Blessed] 

On 12th Dhul Hijjah, we went to Makkah to perform tawaf, then drank the water of the Zamzam. That ended the Hajj. Alhamdulillah.

In Makkah, we stayed at Hilton Tower.

In front of the Stoning Walls
I had more roommates here and also larger bedroom. My roommates were Nani, Sarah, Diyah, and Imul. The last three were sisters. The bed was bigger and more comfortable than in Madinah. My bed was nexxt to the window. But, unfortunately, the view from the window was another hotel that was being renovated.

My bedroom was at the sixth floor. The dining room was at the 22nd floor. I think it was a suite room complete with a living room, a dining room, and a kitchen. We were served with Indonesian food such as sayur asem, sambal, and others. The food was more delicious here than in Madinah. We dined together on the carpet. My routines here was going to Al-Masjid al-Haram for 5 times prayers and performing umrah.

The hotel was very closed to Al-Masjid al-Haram. It was only 5 minutes walk. We could see it from the dining room.

Before we leaved Makkah, we were recommended to perform tawaf al-Wada (the tawaf of farewell).

Al-Bayt al-Haram (The Sacred House) from above
I did it with Ibu Fitri, the group leader, and her son Arham. After we performed tawaf, Arham asked whether I wanted to touch Hajr Aswad (the black stone) or not. Of course I wanted it. So, three of us tried harder to get closed to the Kabah to touch the black stone. But, it was not an easy thing because everybody wanted to do that too. Twice or three times, I almost touched the stone. Maybe it was about 20 or 30 cm from my hand. But, suddenly the crowd pushed me back away from it. Ibu Fitri could not stand it anymore cause we were squeezed by the crowed. So, we decided to give up our intention to touch the stone. Arham still wanted to continue trying. Of course I was sad and dissapointed. But, I thought that God did not allow me to do that and I accepted His decision.

Besides performing a religious service, we had a chance to buy souvenirs. I didn’t shop much since my budget was limited ;-). The favorite place to shop is Pasar Seng [Zink Market]. I don’t know why it is called like that, maybe it was covered by zink plates once. We didn’t miss the opportunity to go there. Technically, I just accompany my friends. Even to a friend of mine who was much older than me, I offered her to buy her spoons and forks made of brass.

Al-Bayt al-Haram (The Sacred House)at night from above
She ordered about 4 or 5 dozens. I didn’t know how heavy they were until I brought it. Fortunately, Diyah helped me. But, we had to cross the long side of Al-Masjid al-Haram and it was not a short distance!

We also had a chance to visit some important places. The one that I remembered most was Jabal Rahmah or the Mountain of Mercy. It was the mountain in Arafat on which the Prophet Muhammad preached hsi Farewell sermon. It was also the place where Adam and Hawa [Eve] met after separated for hundreds years.

 

31 January – 1 February 2005: Jeddah 

It was time for us to go home.

Al-Bayt al-Haram (The Sacred House)at night
We went to Jeddah and stayed there for one night. We stayed at Crown Hotel. Diyah and I took a walk and had a sightseeing.

On the way to the King Abdul Aziz Airport, we droped by at the Floating Mosque.

We had to arrive at the airport 6 hours before the departure. Our flight was delayed. But, I didn’t mind. I used the time to enjoy the aechitecture of the airport which is very amazing and chatted with my friends.

 

2 February 2005: Jakarta 

At last, I arrived back home.

In front of Jabal Rahmah (The Mountain of Mercy)

After I performed the Hajj, now I understand why people who want to go to Makkah again and again. I feel that way too. Because, the place is sacred and magical. I will go there again with my family, Inshaallah, as soon as possible.

 

Notes:

  • I didn't take many photos that time so I complete this blog with the photos I took from my friend and other sites.
  • The quality of my photos are not good because I have to scan them from the printed ones. I didn't have digital camera that time :-( snif
  • Please check the entry of "Hajj at a Glance" for the places, the rites, and the glossary if you are lost in translation ;-)
YantiSoeparno says:
Thanks Pak ;-)
Posted on: Feb 17, 2010
syahriri says:
Masya Allah, Subhanallah, Walhamdulillah. Your blog really remind me when I perform Haj in April 97. Thank you so much for your sharing. It is really the most very beautiful moment. Unforgettable. Keep up good job..
Posted on: Feb 15, 2010
dieforu says:
so we dont have this Yanti,we are really light ones here:-D..just the old people go to Haj also,or try to go,cos need money and health
Posted on: Dec 04, 2009
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Qiblatayn Mosque or The Mosque of …
Qiblatayn Mosque or The Mosque of…
Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (Mosque of the…
Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (Mosque of th…
Al-Masjid an-Nabawi or Mosque of t…
Al-Masjid an-Nabawi or Mosque of …
Pilgrims tents in Mina
Pilgrims' tents in Mina
In the tent in Mina
In the tent in Mina
Me in Mina
Me in Mina
Outside the tent in Mina
Outside the tent in Mina
Me in Arafat
Me in Arafat
In the tent in Arrafat
In the tent in Arrafat
Jamarat or (Stoning Walls)
Jamarat or (Stoning Walls)
In front of the Stoning Walls
In front of the Stoning Walls
Al-Bayt al-Haram (The Sacred House…
Al-Bayt al-Haram (The Sacred Hous…
Al-Bayt al-Haram (The Sacred House…
Al-Bayt al-Haram (The Sacred Hous…
Al-Bayt al-Haram (The Sacred House…
Al-Bayt al-Haram (The Sacred Hous…
In front of Jabal Rahmah (The Moun…
In front of Jabal Rahmah (The Mou…
The Dome of The Prophets Grave
The Dome of The Prophet's Grave
Raudah, a small part of the interi…
Raudah, a small part of the inter…
Mosque of the Prophet at noon from…
Mosque of the Prophet at noon fro…
Mosque of the Prophet at night fro…
Mosque of the Prophet at night fr…
Jabal Nur (The Mountain of Light)
Jabal Nur (The Mountain of Light)
Jabal Uhud (The Mountain of Uhud)
Jabal Uhud (The Mountain of Uhud)
Camel riding
Camel riding
Makkah City from Hilton Tower
Makkah City from Hilton Tower
Going shopping at Pasar Seng (The …
Going shopping at Pasar Seng (The…
Dates Shop
Dates Shop
Busy picking
Busy picking
Ooh yummy...
Ooh yummy...
7,443 km (4,625 miles) traveled
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