Monday, 2 January 2012

9th Dhul Hijjah 1432 (Saturday 5th November 2011)

The day of Arafat had arrived; this is the day all Hajjis are looking so much forward to. After Fajr, Shaykh Abu Hanifah provided us with a Dars on the significance of this day, the day of Arafat. This was followed by a beautiful dars by Shaykh Abu Saeed about the significance of reciting the Tarbiyaah during the days of Hajj.

The government coaches came by at 9.30am as our group had been on standby since Fajr at 5am. The journey from Makkah to the nearby hillside and plain called Mount Arafat and the Plain of Arafat took us 20 minutes to get to. It was from this site that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) gave his famous farewell sermon in his final year of life.

The Khutbah from Shaykh Abdul Azeez at the Namera Masjid in Arafat just before the combined Dhuhr and Asr salaat. I just about caught the start of this after waiting in the mens for almost an hour. I met Brother Hanif from football whilst waiting there, this was rather weird. He was on Hajj with his wife with Amaana Tours, MashAllah.

The full khutbah (in English translation) can be viewed on the link below:
The main message from the khutbah as I understood it was:
• Tawheed and for all believers to have belief in the sacred books, messengers, angels, and the hereafter.
• Clarification of the responsibilities of husband and wife, and bringing up children in an Islamic footing.
• Muslim Brotherhood and Community – how to deal with each others in commercial transactions, keeping away from what is unlawful (e.g. liquor, intoxicants, fornication, backbiting). Allah guided us to the best of manners, being kind to each other.
• Violating Allahs laws, eg homicide, accusing women of fornication without any proof
• Settling dispute amongs people via the Qur’an and Sunnah, so not based on nationalism and race, but on the fear of Allah.
• Muslims should not rebel against the rulers. Rulers should be fair to its people, to be united, solidify their status. Do not dispute as this would be the cause of your weakness. The Muslim governance should be based on the laws of Allah. The perfect method of life is for the moderation of life, soul and body and there is a balance between this world and the hereafter. The society that is established by Islam, the characteristics, the prevalence of safety and security, the blood and property must be honoured and respected.
• Elders to look after the younger and the younger to have respect for their elders. Islamic mannerism, will lead to having a beautiful life and not favouring any other law other than Allahs laws.

One message which struck me was when the Shaykh spoke about the importance given the current climate about the need of having a strong leadership in the current Ummah.

During the entire day, from dawn until sunset, all the Hujjaj look to stand in earnest supplication and devotion, praying for Allah’s abundant forgiveness. Many tears are shed readily as those who gather make repentance and seek Allahs’s mercy, recite words of prayer and remembrance, and gather together as equals before their Lord. Muslims around the world who are not participating in the pilgrimage often spend this day in fasting and devotion.

It was getting very hot by mid-day and after the combined Salaat of Dhuhr and Asr, Akluma and I with our umbrellas, sunnys, and dua books in our hands, ventured out of our Arafat camp to find a spot for our private devotions and supplications to Allah swt. It was not an easy find, and we looked to the Mountains and after 15 minutes of walking found a nice spot on the mountain to make our most needy duas of Allahs rahmah.

It was very emotional; my heart was feeling so needy to cry to Allahs swt. The duas took me back to looking back at my life, and having a dialogue with Allah like no other dialogue before it and asking Allah for his Mercy.

On leaving the plains of Arafat, there was frenzy at the collection point. We were originally getting ready to board the government buses, with the priority of women from Al Muntada to board first and their Mahrams on the same buses. This ideas was just an idea and ended up being, whoever can get on. We did eventually board separate buses, and my bus driver was an inexperienced to say the least on the wheel, and we did almost get lost looking for our Makhtab, though taking a few U-turns on a bus on narrow roads, we did have our hearts in our mouths and we eventually got to our #38 Muzdaliffah camp.

As I entered the camp, I managed to find the brothers that I recognised, brothers Enam and Rafique and we prayed Maghrib and Esha combined as was the Sunnah in Muzdalifah. As I looked for a space to settle down, there appeared to be a lack of ground to park myself on. I did eventually find a place, with my new neighbours for the night being Brs Enam and Rafique.

It was 10.30pm when I received a call from Brother Altaf, with the information that he was lost in Muzdalifah. This was a shock as I did think everyone of our group members were here. Later did the story manifest itself, with a small contingent lead by Shaykh Abu Hanifah (all brothers mind) who thought they would walk it from Arafat to Muzdalifah. And this group had many a experience, each member with a unique twist to their story. All had said it was a story of Tawwakul, SubhanAllah.

Whilst all this was happening, where we were settled in camp #39, where it was very narrow, and had two main roads not too far away from us. In fact the women were against the main gates to the road border were the buses pass by or stop so as you can imagine it was very noisy and pretty cramped. We did have unexpected visitors at camp #39 from no other than the United Stated of America. And oh did they cause some commotion. A group of women from the USA group settled near a small gap left by the women of Al Muntada as a means of divided the men from the women. Many exchanges later between Al Muntada and USA settlers, who were in fact Bengalis from NY, the camp rested and our visitors did not budge and settled together.

In the mist of all this I did manage to get some sleep, probable an hour or so. And once I got up, I knew it was not good. I had to go to the mens in Muzdalifah. So I ventured and lost 90 minutes of my life to the que, listened to a lot of tales and observed much in the ques to tell a different type of story.

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