My Sacred Journey To Umrah (Part 2)

Posted: December 20, 2015 in Uncategorized

Captain’s log                                    Stardate: 82012.5 (Dec 20th, 2015)

DAY 4: 11-12-2015

Continue from where I had left off. This is the day where we shall pack our bags and embark for Mecca. We all shall be in the ihram state where the men will wear a white, seamless garment. For the women, they are allowed to wear any form of clothing as long its covered from the head to toe. But the faces must be uncovered.

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I’m not going to lie. I was rather nervous and worried about it. I don’t know why. I just can’t shake the feeling off.

But then again, I had to tell myself. I’m here for a purpose. I have the intention to do so. I want to fulfil it. I have to believe in myself and have faith that I can make it through. Insya Allah….

Fast forward to the journey. The bus ride took us about 5 hours from Medina to Mecca. But at last we made it. By the time we reach was almost near 2200hrs. We check in to our hotel, named Hilton. And like the Oberoi Medina, the hotel was just next door to Masjid al-Haram with other hotels within the vicinity.

Yes. The Grand Mosque, the Great Majestic. Also called the Sacred Mosque. Its the largest mosque in the world and surrounds Islam’s holiest place, the Kaaba. Finally saw it for the first time! Its a beauty and stunningly majestic!

umrah trip 5

Our Umrah cycle will be guided by a Ustaz who shall lead us from the start to the end. He will guide us along and all be moving together.

The moment I saw the Kaaba, I was loss at words. Never did I expect to see the sacred Muslim site in the world. Also considered as the “House of God.” Wherever they are in the world, Muslims were to face the Kaaba when performing their prayers. From where you were, the point of direction facing the Kaaba is called the qibla. A fixed direction towards the Kaaba.

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Pilgrims will have to move seven rounds around the Kaaba. This is called “Tawaf” (circumambulation). Muslims are to circumambulate the Kaaba in a counterclockwise direction. Moving harmony together while reciting prayers and supplicating to God.

Once the Tawaf is complete, we will approached this crystal dome which is near to the Kaaba. Behind the sealed casing was the footprints of Prophet Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) that was been preserved in a cast. Also known as Maqam Ibrahim. The footprint was believed to have been made by Ibrahim when he was lifting stone blocks to built the Kaaba.

While there, we shall prayed two raka’at behind the dome. But because of the crowd, we had to move to an open space not far from the dome and perform our prayer. Facing the dome.

It is said that its acceptable to perform at any space if you find it impossible to pray near it. As expected, there will always be an overwhelming crowd everyday ever since. Once then, we shall drink Zamzam water before proceeding to the next task.

Its called the “Sa’i.” We shall travel back and forth seven times from two small hills located in the mosque. Known as Al-Safa and Al-Marwah. We shall start from Al-Safa and end at Al-Marwah after the rounds is complete.

We are actually reenacting as according to Islamic tradition, where the wife of Prophet Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) went in search of help and water. It was said that Ibrahim was been commanded by God to leave his wife Hajar and their infant son Ismail alone in the desert between Al-Safa and Al-Marwah with only basic provisions to test their faith.

This happens when their provisions were exhausted. To make her search easier and faster, she went alone. Leaving her infant son on the ground.

She first climbed the nearest hill, Al-Safa, to look over the surrounding area. When she saw nothing, she went to Al-Marwah, to look around. She was able to see her infant son and know he was safe.

However, while in the valley between the hills she was unable to see her son, and would run while in the valley and walk at a normal pace when on the hillsides. She travelled back and forth between the hills seven times in the scorching heat before returning to her son.

Her patience and test of faith was rewarded when she found a spring that had broken forth by the Angel Jibreel when he hit the ground with his wing. This spring is now known as the Zamzam. Its a miraculously generated source of water from God. Till today, the water keeps flowing.

And during the practice of the Sa’i, there will be a green fluorescent light along the ceiling. Upon reaching the light, only the men will have to jog. You can run if you prefer. The woman will move in a normal pace. This is to reenact and serves to commemorate Hajar’s search for water and God’s mercy in answering prayers.

Once we completed the Sa’i, we will have our hair shave or cut. There’s nothing wrong if you want it trim. But preferably shave. Shave is only for men.

umrah part 6

Once done, our Umrah is complete. Alhamdulillah. All of us drank more Zamzam before proceeding back to our hotel to call it a night.

DAY 5: 12-12-2015

No activity for this day. Its free and easy.

DAY 6: 13-12-2015

This day takes us to visit some of the interesting places within this sacred land. First stop was Jabal Tsur hill. It was said that Prophet Muhammed (Peace be upon him) and his companion Abu Bakar took refuge in a cave located there. They were trying to escape from the Quraish people.

When the Quraish reached the cave, they saw that there’s a spider web spread across the mouth of the cave. So to them, they concluded that nobody could go into the cave with a spider web spread across the mouth. And the web will be broken if someone had enter through. There’s even birds nesting near it. It turns out the spider and the bird nesting had save the Prophet and his companion from the Quraish, as commanded by God.

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Next we visit Jabal Rahmah. Its a rocky slope, and this is where Prophet Adam (Peace be upon him) meet Siti Hawa (Eve). A romantic story that starts it all.

There’s writings from people who visited here, where they wrote confessions of their love on some on the stones. Wow! Wish I had bring a marker along. Cause I too, had a love confession to share. Hehe…

It was said that when those people wrote their confessions of love on the stones, they will hope it will came true. Since this is the place where Adam meet Hawa, and hoping for each other’s love would last.

umrah part 7

The next trip takes us to the plains of Arafah grounds. Its a large open space and were specifically meant for pilgrims performing their Haj. They will stay here for a few days in tents.

This occur once in every year during the Haji period. Where there’s none, the place will appeared like a ghost town.

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We then visited few mosques. Then we visited Jannat al-Mu’alla, where we paid our respect to the wife of Prophet Muhammed’s (Peace be upon him) wife resting place. Named Khadija, she was the first wife of the Prophet, and also the first person to convert to Islam. It is also where Muhammed’s grandfather, and other ancestors are buried.

After that, we travel back to our hotel to had our lunch. Once done, we will commence our 2nd phrase of our Umrah cycle. Once its complete, its free and easy.

That’s the end of part 2. I will continue to share more in part 3. Stay tuned! =)

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