Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pigeons and Ice Creams in Mecca - Umrah Pilgrimage Part 23

Some chaps in Mecca are deeply concerned about my health, and they would grunt loudly, "Haram! Haram!" (Forbidden! Forbidden!) as I enjoyed my cigarettes in the Holy City. In my high spiritual state of my pilgrimage, I would reply (in my head), "O' my brother... thank you for your concerns, but please, just shove it."

In my earlier posting, I think I mentioned that pigeons are always about in holy places. So this little fella must be the cousin of the birds I made acquaintance with in Jerusalem and Medina. It is cooing outside the window sill of our cramped quarters. He must be thinking, "Why is this pilgrim in his room while the faithful are making their steadfast way to the Masjidil Haram?" I hate pigeons, they are such nosy-parkers.

Wonderful, mad, chaotic Mecca. Even in the throng of humanity and God-awful diesel fumes of the big buses and SUVs that clog the streets, you are often moved to sit. To find a spot and simply contemplate and reflect.

What an ornate door, I thought. This is the old part of Mecca with tiny alley ways and small little townhouses jostling for room with mini-hotels, kebab shops, laundrettes, watch stores and jewellery shops. Looming over the old city is the new development sitting on the hill directly adjacent to the Masjidil Haram. Starbucks within 100 meters!
Continuation of Umrah Journal in Mecca…
- Umrah feeling – tried to recall what I learnt about prophet’s life pre-hijra (before his migration to Medina) – then it dawn (on me) the love for this mad chaotic city and its people - It is a mess and I am not surprised that the Jews and Christians were so shocked to even consider that a prophet can come from such people – but they have BIG HEARTS in their cunning and hard-working ways…

- spent time Monday morning – woke up early at 6 am after just 3 hours sleep – Just wanted to have a fag outside but wandered (the city) and bumped into Syful (my loyal companion in Medina) – we walked around and shopped for a couple of hours – and we talked about Nabi + Mecca + Hajja Amina Adil + her Beautiful book about the Prophet …

- Tuesday 10am – Visited Kaaba early morning / midnight. Said sorry for being cocky (see Posting entitled "Standing in front of the Holy Kaaba and thinking 'Hmm. Not so big after all.' - Umrah Pilgrimage Part 22" Click Here) the morning before – (Imagined) it answered “That’s okay, Taufiq. I knew you were grumpy and boy, were you tired that night! And after all, I never asked you to love me…”

The Kaaba is right, of course. It never asked to be adored. And Mecca also never asked to be adored. But the longer I stayed, the more I fell in love with the place. For wherever I am in the city, I cannot contain my emotion thinking, "He was born here. He lived, breathed, worked and married here to Khadijah the First. And it was here that one auspicious day he returned to his beloved wife and confessed to her that while doing seclusion, Gabriel the Arch Angel came unto him with a message from God."

Have a wonderful day, sunshine. God bless you.

Pax Taufiqa

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