Wednesday, 2 December 2009

My Journey of the Qalb - Hajj 1430 (2009)




My Journey of the Qalb


My journey started well before the dates of travel below. I cannot pin point the exact date that I made the intention to go to Hajj, however I was so every grateful that the call from Allah came and Alhamdulillah I answered this around May/June 2009. It was then left to Allah swt whether I will be able to make this journey this year. ShukrAllah I was able to make and complete the journey of a lifetime.


  1. Saturday 14th November 2009

Last minute preparation in the early hours of Saturday morning, which was not so much packing but was really trying to get my dua book all completed. This had been recommended by previous Hujjaj and one that will come in handy from time to time. There was so much to write in this A5 book, it was beginning to become a periodical with many volumes. In some ways my relationship with the All Mighty has been like a journal to date, with many volumes and leafs and a new chapter begins as soon as one comes to an end. Alhamdullilah my bond with Subhanawata'Allah is strengthening, And May Allah swt provide me, my family and the Ummah with His hiddayya and strengthen our link with Him. Aameen.


With only fours sleep, I was up at 04:45, Alhamdulillah! It was ready to be a Hajji! (This term is so over used and very much easier said than practically applied, as it takes a lifetime to work on oneself to a complete worthy servant of Allah, just read on and you will know what I mean, nevertheless the Road to the Hijaz had began).


After a really nice last minute ghusl, and all the necessary cutting, I performed my Fajr salat followed by two rakat nafl salat.for the journey. As I was to go to Medinah first, I did not have to put my Ihram clothes on, this was one of the benefits to a package that goes straight to Medinah first as most tend to go to Makkah (the other benefit being one did not have to experience the Jeddah Hajj Terminal shananigans!).


After a light breakfast, was on the way to Gatwick Airport, which was mileage from where we lived. Abba was already very awake to see us off. Amma was not feeling too well and it was very unlike her not to be up. I gave her a warm hug whilst she was asleep, and she responded with a mur! Well that’s good enough for me I said. Amma is a diamond and she requires all the rest she desires. Having said that two minutes later she was in the kitchen making us breakfast again, my hug had really woken her up!


So it was Abba, Amma, Sister Neha and Sister Shilpi (as well as the two large suitcases – both red for easy of spotting in luggage lounges) all in the car on the way to Gatwick Airport South Terminal (confirmed on the nth hour – as there was nothing on the old departure ticket would you believe).


The anxiety of Hajj had really crept in already and was getting to me by this time and especially more so on the way to the airport. The calls and texts were coming in fast, from friends sending me their salams, best wishes and their duas to read on behalf of them. I had noted most peoples duas on a notepad and those I had not I confessed to Allah swt that he grant them what they have asked for if it is good for them. (This is my dua disclaimer in some way, in the event of loss of memory, of course Allah knows All that is to know so what better database to use than the Oracle of Oracles!).


Once we got to Gatwick Airport (which took around 40-45 minutes, which was pretty good going), the check in was pretty swift, was all above board with Haj & Umrah Ltd (H&U) staff at all pivotal locations directing all the Hujjajs, was well impressed thus far. Alhmadulillah.


The Monarch Airline Flight MON9106 departed on time. I prayed dhuhr qasr on the plane, which was in a very tight space. With all the other 358 passengers it was no surprise that the water ran out on the airbus would you believe! These carriers should no better to have extra load of water for budding salat enthusiasts.lol It was reloaded with water in Cyprus where we had to stop over for 1.5hrs.


The Airbus had a full house Alhamdulillah and mostly just looking at appearance it contained a lot of Iranian Hujjajs. After all H&U are Iranian and Shia, so no prizes there for that observation. With the Iranians, Hijab wearing is a Persian art in itself. Firstly, the Hijab is fully on, then fully off and then half on, then all off, sometimes you see dyed hair coming from the sides; it’s all a lit bit confusing for thee and more so probably for non-Muslims! Iranian Brothers on the other hand had a boys club, full of chatter with loud vocals!


My sister and I were in the middle Isle of three, with me sitting next to a brother who was very much focused on reading, which I later found out was the book “The Road to Mecca” by Mohammed Asad. The brother named Shujjah confessed it was a must read book, so one for my novel list Insha'Allah.


I started the Qur’an on the flight and the aim was to finish this by the end of the year. The Qur'an was the Yusuf Ali translation which Brother Ahsan so handsomely gave to me as a gift on the plane. May Allah reward Brother Ahsan for his generosity.


  1. Sunday 15th November 2009


It was early morning in my new location,and I was in no better place than Madinah Munawwarraa, staying at the Hotel Dar Al Taibah. The group arrived there at 01:00 or so. The hotel was conveniently located, 5 minutes from the Prophets (PBUH) Mosque, and to my sisters joy this was ideally placed for shopping with the amount of souks around it.


Once I saw the courtyard from a distance on the bus, my heart skipped a beat I was in love, and the memories of when I was 18 on Umrah started to flood into my blood vessels. The feeling was so raw as if it was yesterday.


How I so remember the peace and calm of Madinah, this character of this city remained unchanged. May this continue. Aameen.


I was sharing a room with 3 other Brothers. These were twin rooms, so was in a room with a Brother who confessed he was a Makkan and more so a descendant of the Prophet (pbuh), who am I to validate this, so took this as given. Though did find out that the Brother was Algerian married to a desi (who coincidentally or otherwise) was sharing a room with my sister).


The other two brothers in the other twin room were in fact actual Blood Brothers originally from Nigeria! Though their looks and characteristics were like salt and sugar! This is only an analogy as they were both Alhamdullilah great room Brothers and were great company, help and comfort during my stay in Madinah and Makkah! May Allah reward all the Brothers I stayed with. Aameen.


Fajr was very busy after 2 very comforting hours sleep was up with a room call from Brother Shujjah (the brother I was sitting next to me on the plane and coach).


After Fajr, Shujjah and I attempted to get into the Roda Al Jannat (the Gardens of Paradise) thinking it would be emptish and this ish would have to be stretched to a few hours wait. It was extremely difficult to get in even at this time, waiting upto 08:00 in the early hours of the morning to only get into the outer section area of the Roda, and then whilst all hell broke lose getting in, there was a massive sprint to get in first. With my Britishness of gentle queing, Shujjah and I were pushed out like a pinball exiting out of the pin ball machine for a no win – try again! At least I send the Salutation to the Prophet (peace and blessing upon him), Syedena Abu Bakr (RA), and Amiral Mu’mineen, Umar Ibn Al Khattab (RA).


We had to roughen up if we wanted to enter the Roda. So awfter Asr we tried for Attempt #2. I tried to strategically to place myself outside the Roda area for the Asr Salat, however the Brothers who were already sitting, were well versed with the protocol, they were not prepared to give you a sniff at the Roda entrance. And if looks could kill, I would have been a Martyr writing this from Barzaaq library archives department now!


Once the Asr Salat went Shujjah and I were perplexed as to where we should pray. Some brain wave seconds later, we were prating on a 0.5 by 0.5 sq metre with us having to perform Sajdah on other fellow Brothers backs; this was an experience probably for me and the Brothers in front of us. Once the prayer finished it was like the Flag for the Battle to commence had been drawn, and we were definitely not in the best of positions, we were getting squeezed from all angles, the only option was to duck and literlaly jump out in order to get out unscathed.


We rested up until Maghrib with some ZamZam water, this was such a relief and ZamZam taste was like no other, Alhamdullilah can imagine the Springs of Jannat, May Allah grant me and my family Jannatal Firdaws. Aameen.


Attempt # 3 for the Roda was very dangerous with the crowds going wild, there definitely needed some cold showers hoses in this crowd. Brother Shujjah and I got out before we got any hurt or witnessed anyone else getting hurt. Getting out appeared more difficult than getting in!


With breakfast and dinner all included in the package, with lunch only for one to fend for, this was ideal, as now can spend as much time in the souks and of course the Masjid An-Nabawi as possible. This is where Shujjah and I continued to read the Glorious Qur’an.


  1. Monday 16th November 2009


Once again I was an early riser, with the call of Adhaan for Fajr which can be heard from my hotel room; it was perfect get up and go to the Masjid. Fajr tended to be one if the busiest Salats and getting into the Masjid can be hard, persevere and one can so I did.

The different types of Muslims, with their flags on their backs, bags or anywhere where it can be identified was a great taste of feeling of unity more so when we all prayed in Jammat. Bangladeshis, Kazakhstanis, Burkina Faso, South African, Indonesian, Malaysian, Pakistanis, Black, White, Yellow, Cream, Ivory you name it, it was truly beautiful, as the Prophet (pbuh) said it was one Ummah! Ummaty (My Ummah).


We went to the Ziyyarat in Medinah that day. Between Fajr and Dhuhr we went to various Masjids, Masjid Quba, Masjid Qiblayatayn (praying twp rakat nafl salat in each). Jebel Uhud and the graves. Sent blessing to the Martyrs who dies Fee Sabilillah in the Battle of Uhud. May Allah reward them with Jannatul Firdaws. Aameen.


A women on our bus almost delayed us missing Dhuhr, when we almost left without her, she was eventually found by Ghuffar (who again was not a happy bunny) shopping in the markets for dates and fruits (classic). There were other visits around the 7 Masjids however this was on passing by as we were running out of time as time for Dhuhr was coming up. nb: The reward for praying in the Masjid An Nabawi in Jammat is 1000x more than any other Masjid (except the Masjid Al Harem which carried 100,000x multiple) so no one wanted to miss the Jammats.


I met a Brother around my Abbas age, from Bangladesh whilst reading Asr salaat at the Masjid An Nabawi. Bangladeshis were easy to spot as most of them carried their flags on their chest pouches which were a give-away not to mention that they do have a certain Abba look about them too! The Brother or Sassa more culturally correct term to use, told me about his story of getting to Hajj, it was a sad story which in summary he was left to his own devices for 48 hours after his agent left him with no Visa!


Meeting Brothers was an everyday thing and was a great way to feel like you were part of one Ummah. Another Brother I met after the Maghrib Salaat was an Arab student from Madinah University. With either of us not being fluent in each others respective languages, we struggles to commnicate at first. However, where the All Mighty wants good for you, he provides you with Hidaayyah. So we ended up in some form of communication which lead to the Brother bluetoothing me some Qur’anic recitation from the Imams in the Harem, Alhamdulillah. The brother requested us to recite Surah Al Fatiha (The Opening) to him, which Shujjah and I did, think he was trying to give us a Tajweed lesson.


Late night shopping with elder sis, this was painful! Some inscribed pens purchased from a bangladeshi stall near our Hotel we were staying at.


After that it was Jilbaabs galore…and the irnonic thing was that they all looked the same - Black!(maybe this was a man thing). You would think this was a trend due to the Hajr Al-Aswad (The Black Stone)! Hope the Jilbabs don’t get the same treatment as the stone does at the Harem. I ended up getting to bed around 01:00. The shops in Medinah do not shut so be warned all Brothers if you are taking your wives with you.


  1. Tuesday 17th November 2009


The shopping did not end last night or rather the early hours of the morning. I was back up for Fajr and out of the door by around 09:00 with Afa once again. She did say it won’t take more than a few minutes, All women all say this, so be warned Brothers, this quote really means, “Just come with me, shopping is far more important than sleep” If it was up to the Sisters the Iqamaat would have “shopping is better than sleep” replacing “As-Salatu Khayrun Minnaan Naawm”.

(Only joking for all sisters reading this, you know a sense of humour is important in Islam)


I met Ahsan for Dhuhr Salat, this was the first time since we entered the country that we met. Having had the group split into two, as a result of two hotels in Medinah, Movenpick and Dar Al Taibat it was difficult to get hold of each other as the hotels were on two different sides of the Medina Munawarrah.


It was good seeing him, he looked fresh and ready to go with his white thobe, sandals and traditional Saudi red and white headscarf.


We met later in the evening around 22:00 for a last session at the Masjid. To see it for the last time in its full glory in the night. Ahsan and I went round it and then without a moment hesitation when I mentioned the Roda we went through the gates, and into the “holding” positions before the guards let go. After 30 minutes or so the crowds rushed to the Roda area, which is marked by light green carpet and had the old décor and artwork, the traditional Prophets Minbar can be viewed and touched there too. SubhanAllah.


I was into the Roda, thanks to Allah. Alhamdulillah. Brother Ahsan helped a great deal in getting the crowds near me calm (May Allah reward him in abundance) as emotions were hot real hot and swear was pouring across each of the faces in the Roda you can almost see their hearts through their eyes.



Ahsan helped me using his 6.2’ frame to hold the crowd by creating a cradle for me so I can pray my 2 Rakat Nafl in the Roda area. I did this Alhamdullilah and was so relieved and did likewise for Ahsan (with my 5’7’ frame!).


To my surprise I was able to get into the main Roda area too with little effort and prayed an extra 2 Rakat Nafl there and make all the duas I can (with the crowds round me and the guard getting ready to push me out).


The trick is to make your duas within your Sajdah this is highly recommended for normal Salat and more so for a Salat within a busy area such as the Roda.


  1. Wednesday 18th November 2009 (1st Dhil Hajj 1430)


This was the day the group had to leave Medina Munawwarra. It was going to be very emotional and it was.


Brother Shujjah and I visited Jannatul Baqi after Fajr.


There was approximately 10,000 graves here. None of the graves were marked.


It was well known by most people especially more so for some weird reason the Iranian contingent that, the Wives Prophets were buried here, including Aishah (RA) (with the exception of Khadijah (RA)). Also Uthman bin Afwan was also buried here.




Other notable Sahaba are: The Wives Aunts. Abbas Ibn Abu Muttalib. The women were not allowed to enter this, due to them being far too emotional. It was rather sad but I suppose their must of been some wisdom behind this. Allahu Alum.


I went to the Masjid to perform Dhuhr, this would be the last time on this journey praying at Our beloved Prophets (PBUH) Masjid. After the Dhuhr Salaat I went to the visit the Prophets (PBUH) and the Sahabas (RA) graves to send my Salaams and Blessing to them for the last time (for now). First sending my Salams and Blessings to Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessing Upon Him) followed by Abu Bakr Siddique (May Allah Have Mercy on Him) and then to Umar Ibn Al Khattab – “Amir Al Mu’mineen”). (May Allah Have Mercy on Him).


I went back to the hotel as soon as I finished my the visit, as we all where required to be ready in our Ihram clothes and to check out by 14:00 as recommended by our H&U group Amirs. The wisdom being that the Masjid at the Meqal point, “Barber Ali” will be swamped by other Hujjaj who would want to do the same and thus will be chaotic.


I had some unusual visitors whilst I was in the shower having a ghusl, all I hear is someone coming in and a women voice, I was in shock as I had my Ihram sheets on the bed waiting! I thought oh no, this must be a mistake, with new peeps coming into my room before I checked out. I made us much noise as I can with the shower hose and the water, and then with at the last resort, I knocked on my own bathroom door and put my head out.


Thankfully it was Modir (my room mate) think he may have been with his wife and her uncle (well hey if they wanted privacy I could only leave them but I needed to be in my Ihram, so no can do this time). After struggling with my Ihram sheets the top taking more of my time then the bottom which was surprising. These sheets I had brought near London Muslim Centre, East London and they were large bulky towel ones as well as a sheet version too. You could put two people in the towel version!


We left to got to Madinah at 14.30 and ended up praying Asr, Maghrib and Esha at the Meeqat point where we made our intention for Ummrah (as I was intending to do Hajj Tammattu). The journey was not free from trouble. Out of the 8 buses we were the only bus that broke down with clutch problems! Doh So we were stuck for about an hour or so waiting for an alternative coach to take us to Makkah.


We ended up getting to our hotel around 04.00 in the morning. Our luggages were already there before us waiting for the owners, that is a first!


  1. Thursday 19th November 2009 (2nd Dhil Hajj 1430)

Soon as we got to our hotel, 20 minutes later we were out on the way to the Masjid Al Harem.


I was so excited I could not believe I was in Makkkah, the Sacred City, Where All the Previous Prophets made Tawwaf, where our Beloved Prophet (PBUH) was born. The vast history from Adam (AS), Ibrahim, Ishamael and the our beloved Prophet (Peace and Blessing Upon Them All).


On the way to the Harem, there were so many people, it was truly an amazing sight and quiet intimidating at first too. My sister needed to make Wudu, so we went to the ZanZam towers, and with some thinking out of the box, we ended up pouring the water container found outside a smoothy shop so my sister coould perform wudu (due to the women toilets being locked!)


After our first Salaat. Fajr at the Masjid Al Harem, it was time to make a decision to we go back to the hotel or do we start our Tawwaf. After looking at the crowds the latter option we agreed upon.


Once we entered the Masjid Al Harem proper, gazing down at the tiles amongst the crowd of people and then as we approached it and until the whole Kabbah was in total vision I looked up. I Then, SubhanAllah my heart sank, the Kabbah first of all was much larger than I could recall from all the numerous pictures and televised screening on Islamic Channel vis a vis.


My vision became blurred and then it re-adjusted and blurred again. This happened many times whilst I was making my supplication (dua). I think my eyes were getting used to the reality that the Kabbah was not a picture image but in fact what was right in front of me and was the real thing.


This focal point, the Kabbah, where All Muslims All around the globe in their billions pray towards. It was so overwhelming. Water started trickling down my eyes like as if my heart was crying out desperate for oxygen, only to be given the life from the DhikrAllah.


Words cannot describe the feeling, even writing this now I cannot find the words to describe how it first felt, I was in aur of this magnificent sight.





Now soon as we finished our supplication we embarked upon the starting position of the Ummrah Tawwaf at the Jebel Al-Aswad corner. This is always the most packed corner of the Kabbah, where people stoppped at each round saying "Bismillahi Allahu Akbar" as well as others finishing and starting like ourselves.


Amongst the notable Hujjaj groups within the Tawwaf where:

  • The Chinese Train Machine
  • The Turkish Battle Ship (they can be spotted from a mile with their creamy outfits)
  • Asian Subcontinent Monsoon (usually yhey may look timid but have their own strength from all that farming)
  • Indonesian Muscle Steel Chain (this is power by number and organisation



I finished the Tawwaff in 45min and Sa’ee in 45min too on the main floor their too. My sister did end up losing her sandles on the way back whilst I had my hair was being chopped off to a grade 1.


We went back to the hotel, grabbed a drink on the way. Almost got lost too, as it took longer for some reason to reach our hotel.


My room mate Mondir went AWOL all day long, and his wife was in hysterics looking for him. He did show his face at dinner and he had a bit of ticking off from the rest of the room mates.


Their was complaints about the food at the Hotel, well with the service and food at the Movenpick in Medinah, it was a big difference, well I was Alhamdullilah happy being in Makkah. People will be people.


After Esha, Brother Wazid and I took a trip to Zamzam towers and had a much deserved Ice cream from Baskin and Robbin at 23:00. The streets were still crowded but not as much as during Salaat. There were unfortunately few kids who were begging, May Allah swt protect these children and keep them safe. Aameen.


  1. Friday 20th November 2009 (3rd Dhil Hajj 1430)

The next day was Jummah Day - Fajr was already very busy. As for the Jummah Salaat people were already making their way at 10:00.


Brother Rezaul and I went earlier than the other Brothers and ended up on the roof of the Masjid Al Harem – I managed to record the Khutbah on my mobile phone it was very emotional indeed.


There was enough space on the roof and the security guards were too quick to dismiss people from entering the escalators.


Brother Wazid had a scary episode on the way back to the hotel. He almost got squashed and was planning to take his Shahadah there and then. He moved his neck one way and could not move it back just down to the amount of people on the streets coming back to the hotel.


Later that day I met Brother Ahsan on the 1st floor of roof for Asr later with Rezaul. Rezaul was put on the watch by me as I rested my head as it was in very much pain. Think I had a migraine and it was so bad I could not come out of the Harem. Surprising Rezaul did find Ahsan.


Even with the migraine, with Rezauls enthusiasm for a Nafl Tawwaf, I joined him and later was saying to myself this was not the best antidote for my migraine going round in a circle 7 times being pushed around at times. Well Allah swt had Mercy upon this slave of his as after the 3rd round, I felt that it maybe hard to go on and made dua in my Tawwaf that Allah gives me energy to go on. SubhanAllah after Maghrib Salat the energy did come and migraine disappeared too. We finsihed Tawwaf just after Esha Salaat.


  1. Saturday 21st November 2009 (4th Dhil Hajj 1430)

I did another Nafl Tawwaf this time with Br. Shujjah besides me; this one was done in the name of my beloved Mother. We went downstairs on the main floor and got in besides the Kabbah and I touched the Yemeni corner. SubhanAllah. Not quiet the Hajr Al Aswad but second best thing there.


Maghrib Adhaan went and this is when it got pretty risky with the crowds. People were just not letting us through it was as if they wanted us to be slaughtered in the crowds.


To be fair they wanted to hold on to their Salaat positions facing the Kabbah but in doing so they did not let the Tawaaf crowds out. We did manage to get out and went straight to the roof where we completed the Tawwaf after Maghrib on the roof.





  1. Sunday 22nd November 2009 (5th Dhil Hajj 1430)


With the day I had yesterday with the crowds, I ended up doing my Salaat for Fajr in my hotel room, as I could hear the Adhaan I assumed it would still be in congregation from the room. May Allah accept my Salaat.


I performed Dhuhr Salaat at the local Pakistani Masjid around 2 minutes from our hotel. The Adhaan was incredible there. MashaAllah. The Imam also provided a very good guide on the rights of Hajj and Ummrah too.


During lunch I met Brother Nawwaz, he was someone very different! His was later known as the ‘Black Seed Oil Brother’ (BSOB) as he was downing these bottles like they were bebsy!

I was back to the Harem for Asr Salaat, went with BSOB and lost him at first call at the Zamzam water fountains on the 1st floor.


I performed Nafl Tawwaf on the roof of the Harem, and this one was in the name of my beloved Father. I did the Tawwaf on my own and it was incredible the feeling I got from this. This time, it was a time for deep reflection on all that Allah has created. All that He has instilled in Me. His Ultimate Mercy, His Oneness, Him being the All Forgiving, I broke down with tears reciting duas from my dua book.


I looked upwards into the sky from the roof and visualize the Baytul Ma’mur (The house in the heavens where the 70 thousand angels make Tawwaf round it daily not to return back again, SubhanAllah)


It took me around 60-70 minutes to complete the Tawwaf on the roof, with such concentration and contemplation time was a mere an object, the time in reality was timeless and priceless.


After Maghrib I was in much need of a pit stop at the Zamzam towers. I was hoping to come back into the Harem, however the crowds were so huge, there was very little chance as people don’t move between Maghrib and Esha as there are only around 70-80 minutes or so between them.

I prayed near foot of the bridge on the Safa side of Sa’ee. I met an Al Kuathar fellow Brother Abdul Muneem too there from local London. He was at Hajj with his mother and sister. I treated him to some Hardees which was great as did not really want to eat at the hotel. It was good to see someone from you home city in Makkah with 2-3 million other Hujjaj.


I called Amma too on the way back on the way from Esha was really nice to hear her voice. I went back to the hotel and had what little food I felt like having. I was in Rezauls room when the phone call came from Br Shujjah about the ZamZam water bottles. He found them after all, and wanted help to get these loaded and back to the hotel.


There was a large area on the Marwaa side of Sa’ee where they were selling water containers and sealants etc Shujjah and I bought a 10 and 5 litre carton each and filled them with some zamzam from the normal taps with some ingenious help from another noble prize winning Hujjaj with their bottle to carton filling invention.

Now taking the 15 litre bottles each was an obstacle! And Alah rescued us with some aid in two subcontinent workers asking as if we wanted help. We said well…Oh yes! And next thing you know we got them to deliver just before our hotel paid them with a bonus and peeps at the hotel well they did think we carried them all that journey from the Harem with our bare hands.


  1. Monday 23rd November 2009 (6th Dhil Hajj 1430)

I started to pack especially now with the 15 litre zamzam in the cupboard, it could not stay there! And knowing me I may even forget this.

Dulabai called me to send his Salaams to myself and Afa. I did give him my number a few days back in Medinah so was surprised to get a call from him.

I had a Burger King Double Whopper with Asad and Shujjah later that day and it was scrumptous!.


At 02:00 I could not sleep and then received a text from who else but Shujjah. He had the same issue so, we both ended up doing another Nafl Tawwaf on the main floor of the Harem, Alhamdulillah it was excellent and took only 35 minutes.


  1. Tuesday 24th November 2009 (7th Dhil Hajj 1430)

To be totally honest not sure what happened during the day, I am sure it was productive however I have not written anything down pen to paper and my mind has given up on this too!


I do recall that we had to be ready in our hotel rooms by 21:00. So Ihrams where out again, and this time put on my cloth one. They were light and rather felt the chill with these ones compared to the towel cotton version. I perfomred my Esha Salaat at the hotel and then got ready for Niyaat after two rakat nafl salaat.

Thus the getting ready for our call to Mina in our rooms, this was painful, we had to all keep our Sabr, Brothers Mondir, Dr Ghani, Mahruf and myself. Mondir was doing his usual wondering around the room.

Slept and got woken up by Brother Shujjah at 01:00 – the buses were heading out and I rushed to get out and get on one of them.


I eventually reached Mina at 03:30 and was one of the last ones in!, and all spaces were almost gone in the camp.


  1. Wednesday 25th November 2009 (8th Dhil Hajj 1430); Day 1 of Hajj

We prayed Fajr at Mina and after this the beds were re-arranged most of the Brothers in the camp, which in total must have been a good 150 of us. It was a very different experience sharing the tent/room per se with so many compared to the four brother to a room at the hotel. It was like a very big family, praying Salaat together, and one brother helping another with the logistics with food and sleeping arrangements.


This day was all rained out – It was Mercy, Mercy, Mercy!!! This was truly a blessing from Allah (swt). Never have I heard or seen rain in Saudi. And during Hajj too. I performed all 5 Salaats done in Mina as per the Sunnah.


At the end of the day, I was getting ready to set up our mattresses after Esha. The mattresses were damp especially our ones right at the back and I did pay the price for this later in the morning when my back started to hurt.


  1. Thursday 26th November 2009 (9th Dhil Hajj 1430); Day 2 of Hajj


The day of Arafat has come and it is well known that without Arafat their is no Hajj, Arafat is Hajj!

This is the day that All Muslims hope for.


After Fajr at Mina we left for Arafat and reached Arafat in 25-30 minutes. We had a nice tent and stuck in the corner for most of the morning. I prayed Dhuhr and Asr combined at Dhuhr time as per the Sunnah.


There was a long congregation dua by Mowlana Abbassi from Southall. There was not a dry eye during and after this.


Then it was time for our own supplication in our own space. This is when all my homework came in handy, as my dua book that I took time to prepare which many previous Hujjaj have recommended I make, I used on that day. With all the emotions, you lose what duas to make. I found a place which is difficult to find with so many Hujjaj and stayed their as long as I can.


The element time is something that you lose when you are speaking to your Lord, asking him for your forguveness, speaking from the deepest part of your heart and all those things you have never spoken about aloud you ask Allah for forgiveness. I was then called on my phone by Brother Asad that the coach was ready to leave, I so did not want to leave as I had so much to remaining to say to Allah (swt). This was rather disappointing and made dua that Allah listens to All my duas during Hajj and accepts them. Aameen.


There where the shia crowd who were gathering in force in number and decibels! And a lot of remarks about Israel and Amarica can be heard by all, what time to be saying a sermon about this topic.


Journey to Muzdalidah after Maghrib time - this was whilst waiting for our coaches. After much Sabr they came and we arrived in Muxdalifah in around 40 minutes or so.


As a group we prayed Maghrib and Esha at Esha time at Muzdalifhah in accordance to the Sunnah.


I started my collection of the Jammarat pebbles (not stones). 7 + 21 +21 = 49! As we were not staying at Mina on the 13th Dhul Hajj or else would have been 70 pebbles in total. The sizes of the pebbles were kindly verified by Mowlana Abbasi (from Southall). 80% of my orginal ones were far to big according to Mowlana!


I slept with a landscape to cherish, the mountains, the blue clear sky, the warm temperature, it was just right, and all the Hujjaj, all Brothers together in one uniform, reminder of how we all will be when we are brought back - SubhanAllah this journey has many facets to it.


The only thing that was commong to all of us is we were doing this as a result of Our Devotion to Allah swt and His Commands.


I slept besided Br. Tufayl and it was so tranquil for even for the few hours.

I left my sleeping bag and pillows at Muzdalifah for ease of carrying to Mina.


  1. Friday 27th November 2009 (10th Dhil Hajj 1430); Day 3 of Hajj

The night in Muzdalidah was so peaceful, with only 2 hours sleep I was fully awake no problems, no tiredenss.


We walked at 04.30 to the border or Muzdalifah and prayed Fajr there in congregation. Crossed the borded to Mina and into our camps. Took around 45-50 minutes in total.

Rested at the Mina tents before we set out our plan to conquer the Jammarat


Sis came with a convoy of 5 men and another sister. Ayub gave his strory about the crowds and the bad timings. We as a group went nevertheless.


Alhamdullilah we did the 10th of Dhill Hajj in the order of the Sunnah


(1) 7 pebbles later – Road to Makkah’ called. Brothers doing all kinds to cut their hair from one Brother cutting another Brothers hair to Brothers shaving their own hair off with just a blade looking at a wing mirror. It was shaving time on the streets of Mina to Makkah! We resorted to waiting till we got to Makkah.


(2) Sacrifice – Mobily to Shaykh Abbassy and back. This was done with great precision just in time before my hair cut. I did arrange this with the Shaykh before hand. Alhamdulillah it worked very well.


(3) Shaving the hair – At the bangladeshi barbers near our Hotel in Makkah. This was packed and the standard rate was 20 Rs a blade trim. The Barbers were making their rent for the year today for sure with a strong crowd of Hujjaj waiting to be trimmed. I made extra sure that the blades had been changed as I am not taking chances with swine flu et al.


I went back to hotel for shower and a good look at my bald status, checked for any cuts, Alhamdullilah was free from this. Only just felt rather sore which was expected. I went and cut my sisters hair too at the hotel, and as instructed cut an inch of her hair. I think sisters have it easy should of had the same treatment as the brothers dont you think readers?lol


Whilst I was doing that, Brother Tuffayl was in the process of cutting the other boys hair, Br Ali and Br Rezaul. Once this was done Tufayl and I went to perform the Jummah Salaat – where the Imam was no other than Shaykh Sudais. It was an extra Rahmah when the rain came down just when the Salaat started and ended when the Salaat finished. SubhanaAllah that cannot be a co-incidence!


The Hajj Tawwaff and Sa'ee (Tawwaul Ifidah) after Asr.


This was done in good ime on the roof of the Harem.


The Sa'ee was done in such speed on the upper floor as this was virtually empty!


After the Sa'ee we went back to the Hotel and had lunch. We met all the other Brothers there who all looked the same, with their hair all shaved off. Each person greeting the other with Hajj Mubarak.


There was still a lot of the Hajj rights to do, but it was a release of tension from completing the rigths of this big day. SubhanAllah and ShukrAllah.


By 21:00, all chaos broke lose – as H&U only organised for 2 buses for All to take us from Makkah to Mina (and this was for a group that had 8 buses at Medinah!)


I ended up standing on the second bus with many other Hujjaj. The bus was standstill after a whilst and one Brother went into hypo - low blood sugar level. There was thankfully a Dr on the bus and after much sugar he was alright Alhamdullilah.


The Massage – this was done on my head and neck on the bus, by a good Mauritian brother who did this in exchange for my seat, it was well deserved I say.


The roads were blocked, with the first of them being the main road from Makkah to Mina. So we all had to get off and walk. We did get lost in Mina with the H&U group (well quarter of us or so).


The walk back to Mina was a long one and with this came the notorious video footage by director, camera man and reporter, the one and only Brother Shujjah!


We did end up getting to the camp at 03.00 just so we tick our Wajib box of staying at Mina on the Tashreek days. ShukrAllah!


  1. Saturday 28th November 2009 (11th Dhil Hajj 1430); Day 4 of Hajj


There were bigger crowds at Jammarat today than yesterday. After Asr we all left as a group to pelt the Shaytaan.


On the way back a few brothers prayed Maghrib on the side with wudu from bottled water whilst we were being ushered away by the crowd patrol guards.


The Shaykh did ask each one of us to write 4-7 lines of our individual Hajj experience. I would if taken that opportunity to get one of my essays out and thought better for it. So let others experiences being read out in the Mina tent after Esha.


  1. Sunday 29th November 2009 (12th Dhil Hajj 1430); Day 5 of Hajj


Bigger and more boisterous crowd at the Jammarat today. The Hujjaj were in their droves to beat the Shaytan up, 3 days in a row now!


The guards definitely wanted to cause it may seem as much challenges for the Hujjaj (i..e closing as many of the normal routes as possible). The Road to Mekkah! The roads were blocked once again! And there was tonnes of people now coming out from everywhere trying to take the same route to Makkah. I have never seen anything like this. The 5 of us, Ali, Tuffayl, Rezaul, Dr Ahsan and myself performed Dhuhr Salaat on the side.


I was in a mission to grab anything, car, camel, cow to take us to Makkah! We ended up getting on top of a youte like vehicle, with another two other Brothers who already where on top. So there was in total 8 of us (the two brothers, 5 of us, and the little boy cashier).


We just missed Asr at the Harem and stayed their for Maghrib which was nice and chilled out.


There was some filming in the roof – and this was when we had the 'walking talking Jebel Aswad' come to life!


It was hilarious how the people whilst in their Tawwaf came to the camera just for their loved ones can see them, waving and pushing and doing what not. With the presenter looking quite perterbed with the whole situation as it was being shown on a live stream on one of the Saudi News networks.

Sis shopping for ring for Dad and myself – not that I wanted one but thought may go as may just fancy it after all and plus this was something sis definitely wanted to give.


Burger King – with the boys for one of last meals outdoors. My stomach was not right then and I knew the night was going to be a long one at that.


I went luggage bag shopping with Shujjah as a result of teh Zamzam we bought and we had only by the next day to get this in private cargo. We ended up buying some very cheap cloth one only to be outdone by one near our hotel which was just the ticket so bought this one too!


Toilet madness at the hotel room – all night, 30 minute intervals for those wanting to know details. For those who don’t well you will be glad to know it stops here.lol


  1. Monday 30th November 2009 (13th Dhil Hajj 1430); Day 3 of Hajj


After a real bad night, the morning was the same, this time had a temperature too. Called the H&UDoc but not answer. Sis was on standby Alhamdullillah bring me food and drink.


I was indoors all day, this was so frustrating on my last day too, wanted to get to do more shopping as well as to see the Kabbah once again at the Masjid al Harem. I was given some Imodium and Salt tablets by Dr Ghani and this helped to an extent as the issues with imodiym with bloatedness came into being.


After Esha, met Ali and Tufayl for evening dinner, and we invited Shaylh Abbasy to out table. So spent the whole dinner with classic jokes and great words of wisdom;

  • If you want to see Prophet (PBUH) in your dreams you must get rid of any of your thoughts about women.
  • If you want to protect yourself from the forbidden stare – if married go and tend to your wife as soon as you can, if you are unmarried you should fast

Shaykh Abassy told us a story about the Trinidadian young, intelligent and beautiful sister that came on Ummrah with H&U once and how she was telling him that one man whilst performing Tawwaf had fitna issues, once he saw her from the back and used the words of “Tabarak'Allah” and “ Masha'Allah" out aloud, need I say more, the sister once she knew, used her to fend him off, he never came back! Astagfirullah!!!

The Shaykh provided me with his remedy on the stomach issue I was having, which was Leben (Yoghurt) and 7up together! So with the request from the Shaykh brought some and had this with some bread rollswith the Shaykh himself.


After arranging with Ahsan and Shujjah that we will be doing the Tawwaff Al Wida (The goodbye Tawwaf) at 00:00 we made our way to the Harem.


I was just about feeling better as the Yoghurt (without the 7 up I must add) was taking its effect and settling the bowels.


We ended up doing the Tawwaf, on the main floor and it was really emotional. After the first round we ended up touching the Yemeny corner the Kabbah and stayuing put there after the touching.


  1. Tuesday 1st December 2009 (14th Dhil Hajj 1430)


The day we leave Makkah and the Sacred lands, it was very sad indeed. We left for Jeddah airport at 14:00 with all our hand luggages. Most of the day was spent at the airport, were we prayed Maghrib, and Esha there.


Once the check in was open, there was much havoc. The 20kg so called limit was being screamed out by Ghuffar at the ques just to keep the check-in staff happy....we ended up putting everything through some had more than 40kg + the zamzam water which was frustrating for those who kept withing the rules like myself.


The Monarch Airline Flight MON9107 return flight was delayed due to Jeddah bureaucracy rather than the airbus being late. Simple things were taking time this is were most of the Hujjaj lose their bottle. I planned for this and kept a few of those Sabr large bags ready, Alhamdullilah still had a few litres of Sabr left by the time I we actually started to fly + 4 hours delay.


  1. Wednesday 2nd December 2009 (15th Dhil Hajj 1430)



My sister and I were picked up by my sister Neha at Gatwick Airport around 11:00, May Allah reward her for picking up two Hujjaj.

I went out with Shujjag to the arrival gates only to have Shujjah Mum, and Gran all over me and my Sister and Shujjah with Malas' put over our heads hugging us with Hajj Mubarak. It was so sweet and very mcuh unexpected I was so startled maybe more so as I had a pink and silver Mala round my neck!lol

I came back home that day, feeling lost, feeling that I had left something so special behind. I was so desperately wanting to go back to Makkah and Medinah never has a soul been more at peace then I was in the Harem looking on to the Kabbah praying to my Lord, Almighty, and understanding the verse from Surah 51: Verse 56, Verily Jinn and Man have been created except to Worship Me.



5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you - I really ejoyed learning abut your Hajj experience. May Allah (swt) accept yours and everybody elses Hajj and help us all improve our deen. SB

Anonymous said...

Haji,

Hajj Mabroor! Mashallah, I feel like I've re-visited my Hajj trip with you all over again. Your diary had me smiling, crying and laughing whilst re-living the experience... Brilliantly written account of the trip.

You're right no words can can do this 'best of all journeys' any justice - I have memories from this journey that I will treasure forever. I do dua that Allah gives us all a calling again.

May Allah grant us all an accepted Hajj and help us in our endevour to better ourselves from day to day in our deen, and grant us success in this life and the hereafter. Jzk...
SH

Anonymous said...

Salams Haji,

i regret not keeping a diary now, reading yours brought back so many memories. Missing the place and all the special people a long the way - there is no other feeling of brotherhood like it. May all our Haj's be accepted, and may be we be invited once again InshAllah...
-Ahsan

Ferrero Rocher said...

Masha Allah this insight into your journey of the qualb is indoubtedly straight from the heart. It is thought-provoking, humourous and offers many practical anecdotes.

The visual imagery used is often more powerful than the letters. They radiate a warmth similar to the jamilatul-shams, each one with a different hue of the rays. A quality Subhan Allah that should not be prevalent in what is effectively a jumble of colours and shapes.

Your account has resulted in an inner yearning from this muslimah to feel the sakinah of this journey above all journeys. May Allah swt reward you for your efforts and invite all those striving for "Noor-ul-Ilm" to this blessed destination, Ameen

Jazak Allah Khair

ps favourite quote-"black seed oil brother" : )

Sana Jamal said...

Asalam-O-Alaiakum! How are you all? Well, I must say that the services were really good, but the guidance was not as great as it should be. We had some issue in Makkah, when we were doing Tawaf, due to the misguidance of the staff members, although the other things were really good. Hajj umrah packages