I didn't get to visit the Prophet's Tomb after subuh the next day because there were too many people. The procrastinator in me told me to try again after Friday prayers.
Right after breakfast we were herded into the mini bus again and taken on a tour of the historical mosques around Medinah such as Masjid Qubaa, Masjid Qiblatin and a few other mosques. Then out of the city to visit the grave of the Uhud Warriors. I recited fatihah for Saidina Hamzah and other syhuhadas.(Pak Masduki & Me in Madinah)
We went back to the hotel just in time for Friday prayers. More people were in the mosque and we had to pray outside under the sun. Thank goodness the marble was cool. Masjid Nabawi has air conditioning UNDER the floor too.
We were told to hurry back, have lunch and check out of the nice Oberoi Hotel. We broke a record of sort by having the shortest stay in Madinah for any group of pilgrims. We were in Medinah for less than 24 hours. The visit to Prophet's Tomb had to be aborted. Only the hajj protocol prevented me from letting loose nasty invectives. I could almost hear my late father telling me "Bustaman, when there is no programmes given, play by ear and prioritize!"
The good news was we were finally going to Makkah Al Mukaramah to begin the hajj rituals.
It began just outside Madinah. We stopped at Bir Ali (The Well of Saidina Ali), one of the 5 meerqats of the pilgrimage. The meerqat is the boundary where pilgrims have to put on their ihram and abide by the ihram rules. Among the rules are you are forbidden from having sexual union with your spouse and no shedding of body hair all over the holy land. Remember, when you are a man in ihram, you are not allowed to wear any sewn apparell and that includes underwear. There was no danger of the sexual intercourse. Wives not around. Everyone trooped into the bathroom area of Masjid Shajarah with their ihram, belt, nail clipper and razor in hand.
I was warned earlier and had myself defoliated (defollicled?) at home with the help of a tube of hair removal cream. Not sure if it was a wise move because people noticed that I wasn't busy and started showing me their pubis and underarms seeking my opinion on whether their remaining body hair were in danger of falling off. I played safe and told them to shave all.
After a refreshing shower and prayers we boarded the bus and headed for Makkah. Even though all of us were in high spirits, there were no usual banter and jokes. We were busy reciting the talbiyah led by the Palestinian editor from Ramallah whom we have started to call "Ustaz".
"Here I am O Allah, (in response to Your call), here I am. Here I am, You have no partner, here I am. Verily all praise, grace and sovereignty belong to You. You have no partner."
And how we meant it.
When we saw the roofs of the building in Makkah, The Ustaz taught us another doa and we stopped at the Holiest of the Mosques, Masjid ul Haram where we have to do our tawaf and sa'i. We were given 2 hours.
Pak Masduki, the Indonesian and I decided to go together. We both realized that we had no more air sembahyang. We didn't know where the ablution area was. I spotted a row of faucets outside the mosque. We turned on the tap. Ice-cold water trickled out and we managed to take our wudhu'. Later we learnt that those were for drinking. They were air zam zam. There were tin cups attached to the taps. Definitely not for air sembahyang. Duh! We were lucky not to get caught.
We then rushed into the nearest door. Bad move. We stumbled into the women's section. That's what we thought anyway because we saw only women. We treaded very very carefully between the masses of women towards the Kaabah.
You have to be there yourself to know the feelings of seeing the Kaabah for the first time. My words would not do those feelings justice. Those who have been there would know.
We made our way through the throngs of pilgrims doing their tawaf looking for the starting post. We went the wrong way. The crowd went anti-clockwise and we went clockwise. The phrase "Go with the flow" suddenly seemed very wise.
We found the starting point and did our tawaf without getting anywhere near Hajarul Aswad (the Black Stone) although we didn't intend to kiss it. We also did not get to pray the sunat prayers at Abraham's Tomb which is at one corner of the Kaabah. Instead we prayed near the entrance to the well of Zam Zam.
I found out how out of shape I was while doing the sa'i between Safa and Marwah (also in the mosque compound). I ran out of breath especially at the section where I was supposed to trot. Pak Masduki, who is younger wanted to rent a wheel chair for me but I declined.
I huffed and puffed my way all the way.
(Lots more. Sure you want this continued?)
Pok Ku: please do continue :)By Jane Johan, at 12:27 AM
Pok Ku: please do continue :)By Jane Johan, at 12:27 AM
I believe ppl call u Pok Ku...well, I am a newcomer to the blogging scene and have enjoyed your writings..please do continue..ZeroBy , at 1:09 AM
Buaya69 is learning. ;)By Buaya69, at 1:46 AM
Pokku:By , at 2:52 AM
Kindly continue pls. May Allah reward u accordingly.
Pok Ku, I have enjoyed reading your blog, but this is the first time i'm posting a comment. Please continue coz this entry bring tears to my eyes. It reminds me so much of the time i did the umrah in 2001. Right now rasa rindu sangat pada Baitullah.By , at 8:34 AM
Salam, NH (Penang)
encore encore more more! Hehe funny about the air zam zam (by the way what is it used for, is it something like holy water?) Anyway funny incident, me and dad were driving along Karak highway when we stopped to relieve ourselves, went to a through with taps so figured it's a new urinal system, after taking piss went out and to our horror and shame saw the small hidden surau sign, think it was for washing the hands, feet and face of worshippers. Oops for anyone that uses it after sorry, blame it on ignorance and also PLUS for not putting bigger signs nor clearly marked toilets!By Kervin, at 9:09 AM
A question Pok Ku, .. so the 40 rakaat of prayers in Madinah is not part of the Haji routine, lah, is it? There I was thinking that it was. :)By Ms.B, at 9:33 AM
Your postings are REALLY making me miss the Holy Land. I must blog my own experience soon!!
Keep it coming!!
Note to Kervin I wanted to respond to your question about what air zam zam is all about, but I thought we'd leave it to this wonderful penglipur lara to do the honours. Give Kervin the full story, Pok Ku!! :)
i can't get enough of reading your postings pok ku, but please do continue. i'm sure everybody is anxious to know the whole story.By 3six7, at 10:40 AM
"(Lots more. Sure you want this continued?)"By hana_kirana, at 2:21 PM
Yessss, pleeaaseee.... :)
More... oh please more......By Sham, at 2:57 PM
By the way, aren't you the gentleman in that bush jacket? You do look sharp in it. ^_^
The more i read, the more the wantings of being there grows. Thanks Pok Ku. Its better than having kepok gete at kemaman? I do miss having it tho...its been a long time. ^_^
a great experience you got there..! and like the others, 'please do continue pok ku'..^^By najwa ab patah, at 4:47 PM
Honeytar: InsyaAllah, I will.By Bustaman, at 5:50 PM
Zero: Thank you for stopping by!
Buaya69: Learning is cool.
SK: InsyaAllah kalu demo nok.
NH: Thank you for the comments and welcome to the gang.
Kervin: I will try to mention air zam zam in my subsequent posts. Your story is funny but next time look for the toilet!
Blabarella: The 40 waktu (not rakaat) in a row at Masjid Nabawi is not part of the rukun haji so it is optional. However, most pilgrims would plan to be in Madinah for at least 8 days to be able to perform the 40 waktu there.
Hana Kirana: Ok, you asked for it. Heheh!
NonameBaka: Yes, guilty as charged. Kuala Kemaman has good kerepok gote, sata, otok-otok and other yummy stuff.
Najwa: Oke doke!
I know how you feel, seeing the kaabah for the first time...quite unexplainable feeling...you really have to experience it yourself..By , at 6:27 PM
I'm not keen to get online on weekend, but your postings attract me. More please Pok Ku :) --mdBy , at 6:39 PM
Anonymous: Yes, the Kaabah can invoke a lot of different emotions that are not easily described. Thank you for visiting.By Bustaman, at 9:44 PM
md: YOu are too kind sir. More on Moday, InsyaAllah.
assalamualaikum Pok Ku... have been a frequent visitor to your blog but never introduced myself before this.By , at 10:16 PM
anyways, just wanted to say YES, PLEEEASE CONTINUE!! :)
Welcome! InsyaAllah, it will be continued on Monday.By Bustaman, at 10:43 PM
Eeep! Yes! 40 waktu!! 40 rakaat is just over 2 days!!! *doinks her head* :pBy Ms.B, at 12:21 AM
you have a photographic memory. (mine is pornographic...)By , at 1:37 AM
Blabarella : To err is human. No problem.By Bustaman, at 4:29 PM
riza: Lol! I do not have a photographic memory. Lots of holes in them that is why I am writing them down before I become "nyanyok".
PokKu - I remember getting started with the circumbulation in the large crowd. We have to do the flying kiss (isti'lam)at the Mekah Greenwich line.Thats when you make use of the flying kiss besides doing to your child from the car. I remember climbing over two or three fellow hajjs trying to kiss the hajar aswad ( remind of your blog on the Trengganu cinema ticket rush). I remember seeing lots of hajjs especially from Pakistan who cling to the Kaabah like Spiderman. I remember praying on the top of the small orange zam zam container ( still wondering how I was able to balance on it during ruku"and sujud. I remember getting squeezed from the back, front, sideways (in the ihram) during the exit of the Grand Mosque after prayer. I remember loosing the slippers after prayer. I remeber not able to identify from which door ( Babul's) we came in. I remeber the brisk walk and light troitting at the sai.Those were sweet memories that cal again and again to go back to the Mecca.By , at 9:20 AM
PokKu... many things happened there. We went to Umrah with a friend who was a first timer. We rushed for the Maghrib prayer at the Grand mosque and managed to sit at the back row.Then we rushed by taxi to Tanaím to the starting point for the Umrah and managed to get back to Grand mosque and prayed Isya at the back row again. After the the prayer ended, my friend looked very sad and worried ( petrified). So I asked him why? He said " I saw the Kaabah during the maghrib prayer but I cannot see the Kaaba during the Isya" prayer - may be it was a sign that he is going to die. He was very releived whe I told him that during the maghrib prayer we were on the first floor and during the isya we entered by different door and were on the third floor!!By , at 9:34 AM
is it comfortable to wear that ihram? pls continue...this is a great story..normally i heard / read the malay version of this..keep it comin' pok ku..By shay, at 6:18 PM
Pok ku, your writing of the Holy Land has imbued a longing on my part to be there. When is probably the next question.Thank you. Kawe oghe kelate, guano demo, segar koh tuh?By NajMie, at 7:29 AM
Anonymous (Both): Just saw your comments. The stories are good enough to warrant a blog of their own. Thank you for sharing.By Bustaman, at 9:26 PM
Shay: The ihram is very comfortable although the top part tends to slip occasionally and gives one the "off shoulder" look. Heheh.
NajMie: InsyAllah, one you will. Kawe tuo doh, sega balah mano sangak.
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