My Hajj: Unforgetable Moment
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ;-)