Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Standing in front of the Holy Kaaba and thinking 'Hmm. Not so big after all.' - Umrah Pilgrimage Part 22

After my last posting entitled "Medina is all about Muhammad and his Nation - Umrah Pilgrimage Part 21", this is logically Part 22 and long overdue extension of the Umrah story. The tale continues from the day the sinner and friends are leaving Medina, City of the Prophet, to make our way to Mecca, the City of God - From Soft Love to Hot Love (or so I thought). The notes below were written at 8pm in Mecca, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the night after I arrived in the Holiest City of Islam. Texts in brackets are my insertions to make sense of my abridged notes. What was I thinking?...

Athos, Porthos, Aramis and D'Artagnan - 7 hours to Mecca

- Trip from Medina to Mecca – Delayed for 2 hours - Left at 4.30pm and arrived about 10.30pm - Grouchy and tired (but on the way to Mecca, stopped by) a Lay-by (along the highway) and had roast chicken and rice...

Where is that damn chicken?
Before that we stopped by Bir Ali (Mosque) the place for Miqat to pray the sunat umrah ihram (supererogatory prayers to confirm our intention to perform the umrah / small pilgrimage and comply with the rules of the umrah, including inter alia, the wearing of the ihram, which by the way, was very comfortable)...
That doesn't look like an easy walk, o' Prophet!
Massive no. of Iranians and Turks and to a lesser extent Indonesians (at Bir Ali) - Dry and barren route (to Mecca). Imagine the tribulation of M + AB (Muhammad and His companion, Abu Bakar) making their secret way to Medina from Mecca (the famous Hijra / migration ordered by God for the Prophet and his followers to flee their enemies in Mecca and reinvigorate His prophetic mission in Medina, then known as Yathrib)

Bus was comfortable.


Finally. Hmm... Not so big after all.
- exhausted, made my way with Arjuna to the Masjidil Haram (the Holiest Mosque of the Faith, wherein sits the majestic Kaaba) - was still very busy at 11.45pm – Did the Tawaf (7 orbits around the Kaaba) – Mind Blank – Can’t think – Followed AA(Ariffin), Arjuna and Ijan from Tawaf to Saei - By this time my cracked skin of my sole painful and even considered wheelchair – but changed mind bec I wanted to walk – Tho each step I pray God will give me health and protect my feet, which is no joke for a diabetic – after one 1 hour – by 3.30am finally finished! – Couldn’t have done it without support of AA, Arjuna and Ijan (my heroes) – Cut my hair and finally I have completed the Umrah – dragged myself back to hotel but wandered first with Arjuna and had chai (tea), murtabak (imagine Pratha bread with meat inside) and kebab which we found – ate at hotel – fell asleep in my ihram – just too tired to even change …

4am... Don't these people sleep?
- I remember talking with AA, saying – if Nabi didn’t do this and ask us to do it, for sure I wouldn’t do it – Kaaba – BLACK SQUARE BUILDING – but I ‘feel’ emptiness – and I said I do not love you, but I love your Lord – a bit presumptious and rude – but I felt that…

People always say that it is 'easier' in Medina than Mecca - See earlier posting 'Dzikr & Salawat, Hot & Cold, Mecca & Medina, New York & North Dakota - Umrah Pilgrimage Part 5'. So I had my own preconceptions as to how my stay in Mecca would turn out to be. Surely nothing can trump Medina, I mused. Happily, I will be proven wrong, as you will later read.

Each day, is in essence a spiritual pilgrimage. So have a beautiful day, bright light.

Pax Taufiqa.

Footnote - Correction: 'Ben Ali' to 'Bir Ali' (Sorry, my handwriting is appalling during the trip!)

No comments: