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Di Bawoh Rang Ikang Kering
Random Ramblings of A Retired Retainer

PILGRIMS PROGRESS-MINA

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Soon after sunset, we left Arafah for Muzdalifah. Traffic was very heavy with buses, cruisers and other vehicles as well as pilgrims on foot. We arrived at the special compound of the Ministry of Information and rested in the tents erected for the purpose while waiting for Isya' and dinner. We were to combine (jama') Isya' and maghrib prayers in one.

While lying on the carpet, I thought of my mother. She warned me to bring a torchlight along when collecting pebbles at Muzdalifah for the melontar jamrah (stoning the Devil). She didn't want me to inadvertently collect goat's droppings. I checked my sling bag to make sure that my pencil torchlight was inside. Then I discovered that there was no floor under the carpet. But there were pebbles. Lots of them. Alhamdullillah! I told other friends and we stocked up on pebbles.

After prayers, we were served dinner. It consisted of all kind of sweets. Did we miss the main course? I am not against sweets. I love my occasional jala mah, buah tanjung, lopat tikang, sekaya or even Haagen Daaz ice cream. Not for dinner though. I could not find anything savoury. I ate a little even though I was hungry. It turned out to be a mistake on my part.

We then moved on to Mina. The bus crawled along the choked road. The stops and starts began to take their toll on me. I am always prone to travel sickness on stage buses. Even on this chartered bus, I felt sick. With an almost empty stomach, it was worse. I consoled myself that at least my mabok would be halal.

We made it to Mina without me polluting the bus, did our melontar for the day (or night) and clambered back into the bus for the tawaf and sa'i at Makkah. We noticed 3 of our friends missing. Some of us tried delaying the departure of the bus by getting down from the bus. I smoked a cigarette, trying to quell my wooziness as well.

Our hosts saw through our ruse and told us to get to our seats. They left our friends to fend for themselves.

We ended our ihram at Masjidul Haram and clambered into the waiting bus and headed for the Ministry of Information's complex at Mina. The traffic was still bad. Starts and stops redux. I threw up in my sling bag and developed a splitting headache. They got a doctor to look me over. Of course doctors could not cure travel sickness. Sleep could though.

I missed subuh, my breakfast and the official tour to the Ministry of Haj and the abattoirs the next morning.

Our three friends, left behind at the Jamrahs eventually found their way to the complex and wanted to do their missed tawaf. They wanted Pak Masduki and me to accompany them. We agreed to go after dinner.

The Aidil Adha Dinner was at the King's Palace in Mina and we were invited.

The invitation.
Some Malaysian VIPs who were in Mina were invited too including The Minister in the PM's Dept thenYB Tan Sri Dato' Paduka Dr. Abdul Hamid Othman. So, in my baju Melayu and sampeng, I didn't feel too much out of place in the opulent Saudi palace. The food was superb but I could not remember or too ignorant about Arab cuisine to remember the menu. What was memorable that night had nothing to do with food. One was being shocked and frightened when while waiting to do our prayers in the special surau inside the palace, a group of fierce looking men in Bedouin garb dropped nasty looking swords and automatic weapons on the plush carpet right in front of me. The Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques, His Majesty King Fahd ibn AbdulAziz Aal Saud and H.R.H. Crown Prince Abdullah Ibn AbdulAziz, Deputy Prime Minister and Head of the National Guard were present. I found out later that those Bedouins were their special body guards. Mujo the guns didn't go off accidently. They would have ruined my nice new baju Melayu or the songket that originally belonged to my father.

(More soon, InsyaAllah)
| 12:10 AM :: ::
21 CommentsOldStyle:
  • The Saudi clerk had been lazy; your invitation card only says "Tengku Muhammad Tengku".

    By Blogger Kri, at 12:49 AM  
  • Kri: I noticed that too. No "bakshish" (tips) for the clerk.

    By Blogger Bustaman, at 1:06 AM  
  • Lucky no heart attack cases upon seeing the Bedouins. :)

    By Blogger Honeytar, at 7:26 AM  
  • this is an interesting entry. very unlike mastika-type readings you can read about hajj at the kedai mamak.
    dusyum.fotopages.com

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:40 AM  
  • I think people get left behind a lot during hajj. (Mama got left behind as well.. I don't know whether she told you). I wonder why that is.

    By Blogger elisataufik, at 8:33 AM  
  • Wah. Those Bedouins must have been a frightening sight!! The corporate bigwigs in Malaysia have Gurkhas as special bodyguards and the Custodians of the Holy Mosques have Bedouins .. with SWORDS and GUNS!! No prizes for guessing who wins in stand-off between Gurkhas and big big Bedouins!! Pok Ku menggeletar tak tengok diorang? If it were me, my solat would probably be all shaky!!

    And what happens to all those pebbles the pilgrims throw at the pillars? Do they just collect at the bottom of the pit, or do the authorities collect them and then scatter them all over Muzdalifah again for the next year's pilgrims?

    When I visited Muzdalifah in October during my umrah, I saw that they're now building a 3rd tier for the stoning. It's taking the impact away from the sight of the pillars which represent the devil. Good thing is, I guess that means more Muslims are performing their pilgrimage!

    By Blogger Ms.B, at 10:55 AM  
  • btw Pok Ku, is it Mudzalifah or Muzdalifah? I thot it's Muzdalifah.

    By Blogger Honeytar, at 11:37 AM  
  • Hm...That's absolutely wonderful reminisce.. Eh, do you stock up baaghlava (spelling..eh?)?

    By Blogger zaireen, at 1:00 PM  
  • Honeytar: Alhamdulillah I didnt. Some said I have a heart of stone.
    Thank you for the heads up on the spelling. I have updated the typos.
    dusyum: heheh.These are just my personal account, not fit for Mustika or Misteri Nusantara. BTW, you took nice pics. Well done!
    elisa: Yes, even how close you stick to each other, you still can get separated at certain points over there.
    Blabarella: Thank you for the nice coments. More on the stoning later.
    zaireen: Thank you. No I don't stock up on baklava or halwa Muscat.

    By Blogger Bustaman, at 1:33 PM  
  • Heh, even on a serious topic you manage to inject humour into your entries. I like! :-)

    Leen@xanga.com/ashburn

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:11 PM  
  • nice

    By Blogger The Child In Me, at 2:20 PM  
  • Leen and The Child In Me:
    Thank you.

    By Blogger Bustaman, at 5:36 PM  
  • halooo. i got your link from Bibi's blog! Nice blog you have here. I would like to go where you are too someday! =)

    Diana

    By Blogger AwfulViolet, at 6:59 PM  
  • "...a group of fierce looking men in Bedouin garb dropped nasty looking swords and automatic weapons on the plush carpet right in front of me."

    Aiyoyoo... mesti Pok Ku terkejut betul kan? hehe.. :)

    By Blogger hana_kirana, at 8:37 PM  
  • Diana: Thank you for dropping by.
    Hana Kirana: Terkejut! Sapa pun akan terkejut tengok senapang dalam surau.

    By Blogger Bustaman, at 9:18 PM  
  • EXCELLENT BLOGGING. AND VERY HAPP TO SEE THAT YOU ARE IN MECCA. LET US NOW PRAY THAT ALLAH GIVES YOU ENOUGH COURAGE AND STRENGTH TO ENSURE YOUR WIFE AND CHILDREN COVER THEIR 'AURAH AND WEAR THE HEAD-COVERS. PRAY MY BROTHER, PRAY THAT ALLAH WILL MAKE YOUR FAMILY A TRUE MUKMIN FAMILY THAT FEARS HIM.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:06 PM  
  • Anonymous: Thank you for the reminder. Allah knows best.

    By Blogger Bustaman, at 11:24 PM  
  • Anonymous at 11.06pm, may I remind you some net-ethics, if you type in CAPITAL letters, that means you are SHOUTING and that is very RUDE.

    Pray my friend, pray that Allah will make you a true Mukmin that knows how to communicate with others courteously.

    os

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:38 PM  
  • he has no nettiquette

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:43 PM  
  • I'll say "Amin" to that. Sheesh!

    By Blogger Kri, at 11:01 PM  
  • Mujo tu ado sokmo!

    By Blogger Kok Bi, at 1:16 PM  
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