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Di Bawoh Rang Ikang Kering
Random Ramblings of A Retired Retainer

PILGRIMS PROGRESS - THE WAIT

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

I didn't go for my pilgrimage through Tabung Haji even though I have an account with them.

I went as a guest of the Saudi Government. Every year, the Saudi Government, through its Ministry of Information invited senior officials from the media of Islamic countries (and a few European countries too) to perform the haj. Air tickets to and fro not included though.

I was offered to go when I was just transferred to Kuantan in the early 80s. I declined because I was in the middle of moving house and I thought that I wasn't ready to be a haji yet.

The year my wife wanted to go to Mekah, I was hoping that I would be invited like before. I wasn't and my wife went with her brother. On hindsight, I am glad. I wouldn't have been much use to her because we would have separate programs and I wouldn't be anywhere near the Tabung Haji pilgrims.

Early in March 1998, when I was heading Radio Muzik, I was called by my Director-General and offered the trip which I gratefully accepted. Since the haj was only weeks away, I had to make preparations fast. First and foremost I had to take a crash course on how to perform the haj. Tabung Haji held courses for all prospective pilgrims. The courses were over by the time I got selected to go. I sought the help of Ustaz Aziz who served under me when I was in Suara Malaysia (the overseas service). He taught me the best he can. To accelerate learning, my wife gave me her books that she used on her pilgrimage. My mother gave me pointers by phone.

I got the visa but I could not get a seat in Economy Class since there were no vacancies left. I had to take Business Class.

When I checked in at Subang on 22nd March 1998 for the flight to Jeddah, there were some slipups. No seats in Business Class for me. They upgraded me to First Class. Alhamdullillah! I got the seat right in front and enjoyed the "beyond expectation" service all the way to Jeddah.

I arrived at Jeddah airport at around 6 am just before subuh (dawn) prayers. In spite of several faxes sent to my host, no one was there at the airport to meet me and I simply had no idea where I had to go next. Probably it was too early and I should give them some time. I should wait. The MAS Manager for Jeddah, Encik Saad, a very nice man, offered to give me a lift to town. Not knowing where I was supposed to go, I had to decline and sadly watched him go for his much needed rest. I waited some more.

By 9 am, there were still no signs of my host. I had breakfast and made conversations with one of the Indian shopkeepers outside the arrival hall. He understood my plight and took me to an office manned by an officious young man who pored over my invitation letter and my passport. He then told me that there was an office of the Ministry of Information somewhere in the terminal. I thanked him and looked for the said office.

I found it but there were people playing cards on the floor. They waved me away. I didn't think they were able to help me anyway.

I waited again at the shopkeeper's shop.

By 10 am, I thought of going home but Ustaz Aziz said I must be extra patient on pilgrimages. I phoned the Malaysian Consulate and talked to several people. One man scolded me for not informing the Consulate of my arrival earlier. I had a tough time holding my temper but I managed and thanked him. Another officer was more polite and sympathetic but did not promise anything.

I waited again. Will I be haji Jeddah like those Haji Colombo or Haji Sangkut? Little did I know of what momentous events that lay ahead.

(To be continued on Friday, InsyaAllah)

| 12:04 AM :: ::
27 CommentsOldStyle:
  • Pokku:

    suspen sunggoh cerito demo, ambo tok sobar doh nak dengar.. napoknye keno tunggu sambungae esok la.. aku suko sunggoh denga cerito bab2 Mekoh ni... harap2 ado la rezeki ambo satu ari nati.. sorang arwah guro ambo dulu dok royat ssokmo ko ambo yg ambo ni gi ko merato tepak doh (the fact is I have only been in states and here..but he used those words) tapi tak sapa2 lagi ke tempat suci Mekoh & Madinoh.. malu sungguh ambo, I always envy people who have chance to be in MakkatulMukarramah & MadinatulMunawarrah..

    SK

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:33 AM  
  • Pokku:

    suspen sunggoh cerito demo, ambo tok sobar doh nak dengar.. napoknye keno tunggu sambungae esok la.. aku suko sunggoh denga cerito bab2 Mekoh ni... harap2 ado la rezeki ambo satu ari nati.. sorang arwah guro ambo dulu dok royat ssokmo ko ambo yg ambo ni gi ko merato tepak doh (the fact is I have only been in states and here..but he used those words) tapi tak sapa2 lagi ke tempat suci Mekoh & Madinoh.. malu sungguh ambo, I always envy people who have chance to be in MakkatulMukarramah & MadinatulMunawarrah..

    SK

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:46 AM  
  • Haj is a journey full of "expect the unexpected". Tell us more! Tell us more Pok Ku! ;-)

    By Blogger Jane Johan, at 12:53 AM  
  • I NOMINATED you too! and I will definitely VOTE for you when the time comes *wink*.

    By Blogger TGSheril, at 1:00 AM  
  • i like this entry. pls continue che'gu.

    your student,
    joe

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:32 AM  
  • laaaa...citer separuh jalan..mana second halfnye citer pok ku? bersambung lepas iklan penaja? :p

    By Blogger shay, at 8:30 AM  
  • (trying to type in trengganu oso) hok aloh.. gapo tak abihkan cerita hok nih jugok.. tokleh kongsengtret keja lah ginih tepakso doktong..
    note: i am just trying to apply the knowledge

    By Blogger yatot, at 8:41 AM  
  • i agree that if we are invited by Him to perform the haj or even the Umrah, there will be some test waiting for us..

    tell us more

    By Blogger tynn, at 9:00 AM  
  • PokKu ni pernah jadi penulis ke? Gaya bahasa begitu menarik sekali.
    Semestinya saya akan vote for PokKu.

    By Blogger napaloh, at 9:29 AM  
  • I'm waiting for the continuation anxiously....

    By Blogger Yeen Hashim, at 9:39 AM  
  • My mom's ustazah told her that in Mekah, the syaitan2 yg nak ganggu kita semua pangkat2 Leftenan, tu kena sabar lagi banyak :)

    *waiting anxiously for the next installment*

    btw, congratulations Pokku, on your nomination. I will also vote you until I get banned from doing so :)

    Leen@xanga.com/ashburn

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:43 AM  
  • Bakpe la skerak jalang je...... PokKu, please continue..can't wait for the next one..

    By Blogger zaireen, at 11:21 AM  
  • This is a suspense! Fuyo dahshat Pok Ku naik first class. I hope I can control my temper as good as you did.

    By Blogger Lollies, at 12:38 PM  
  • Assalamualaikum Pokku..

    I've been wondering, apa perbezaan between gelaran@panggilan pokku & ayohku. Pok sedara sy..anok2 buoh panggil Ayohku sbb dia ada title syed..(even my Tok pong panggil menantu dia ni abid@habib??)Kalu Pokku ada title Tengku..ok gok la.. :)bakpe hok ada title syed ni beloh kiter (Ganu) dok panggil pok syed ke? Confused la ..
    **Sorry dei Pokku..dok relevant dgn Ur latest rtikel nie..& correct me if I'm wrong.. :)

    By Blogger ceklong, at 12:46 PM  
  • *Seronok baca pengalaman Pok Ku* :)

    By Blogger hana_kirana, at 1:59 PM  
  • pok ku, awat half way jer..saspeng doh nih! Btw, I voted for you too..

    By Blogger atiza, at 2:05 PM  
  • sambung-sambung pulak..drama jugak po ku ni!

    By Blogger hyphenated L, at 3:58 PM  
  • wah! tis is better than waiting for Lord of the Rings part 1, 2 and 3. ;) suspen betui!

    By Blogger Buaya69, at 5:03 PM  
  • SK: Kena kerat-kerat, kalau tidak panjang sangat posting.
    Honeytar: InsyaAllah!
    Joe: More to come.
    Shay: Ada lagi. Sabar!
    kokoro: Dabo mek weh, sabo!
    tynn: Agreed, lots of tests.
    napaloh: Terima kasih!
    Yeen: InsyaAllah, Friday sambong.
    Leen: Terima kasih! Tunggu posting yang akan datang.
    Zaireen: Kena tunggu Jumaat.
    Lollies S: I am sure you can.
    ceklong: Tak berapa pasti. Ada seorang ulama masyur di Terengganu yang dikenali sebagai Tok Ku Syed Saggaf. Simpang Tok Ku tu dinamakan sempena nama beliau.
    Hana-Kirana: Tunggu ya!
    atiza: Pong kena tunggu jugok.
    hypenated L: Too long for one post.
    Buaya69: LOL! You only have to wait until Friday.

    By Blogger Bustaman, at 6:05 PM  
  • waah....suspen suspen...ehe

    -riza

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:21 PM  
  • wait!!...pok ku, kalu ada masa cerita sket pasal Tok Ku Paloh... ada orang kate dia wali..

    -riza

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:24 PM  
  • riza: Tok Ku Paloh ialah ayanda kepada Tok Ku Syed Saggaf. Nak tau lebih lagi, jenguk kat sini:
    http://aspirasi.net/board/viewtopic.php?t=1009

    By Blogger Bustaman, at 7:07 PM  
  • In performing the Haj,everyone has the same road map,but everyone has his/her own personal journey. I went for my Haj two years ago and wrote a daily journal when I was there in Makkah and Madinah for 42 days.It will take hours to tell the whole story.

    That may bee the reason why I have not posted anything on the Internet.

    In the mean time ,I will read Pak Ku story first.

    By Blogger Berisman, at 10:24 PM  
  • ups sorry delete plz [url=http://duhum.com].[/url]

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