November 8, 2012

Hajj-My personal body and soul pilgrimage.

Images by Google.

Assalamualaikum to my Muslim readers and peace to my Non-Muslim readers. Peace and blessings to the Prophet Muhammad SAW, his households and to his companions. Alhamdulillah...I am very grateful to Allah and to all of you that keep coming to my blog even though it is not being updated frequently. I will try my best InshaAllah to add more post about my life, my journey as Muslims and my family in general.

In my previous post "I Went To Saudi Arabia" I briefly mentioned how I made that journey. It was a plan that Allah made for me His humble servant to come to Him and embrace His call to Iman and Tawhid. My only sole reason for going there, an unknown country with lots of misguided stories and ununderstandable culture was MONEY. Allah has better plan for me Alhamdulillah. 

I went for my first Hajj in 1988, and again in 1990 Alhamdulillah... even though I was planning to work during the Hajj season, income was so good SR5000 for a ten days job, minding the pilgrims health status. My one and only true friend Zahra, may Allah bless her profusely, she talked me out of it, "saying that you should perform Hajj first for you may not know if you would have another chance to perform it in the near future". I am so very grateful to her. I was given robes (Jubah) and headscarves to perform Hajj that very year 1988 the year I arrived in Jeddah.

I was introduced to Zahra, by my friend, fellow students while I was studying in Assunta. The day I arrived in Jeddah, I was taken by Jade Chang ( a Christian )to meet Zahra. Allah has planned for this, she said I would definitely like Zahra. Alhamdulillah...Zahra is a jovial, generous devout Muslim lady hailed from Singapore. Everybody in the compound seems to like her, be it Malay, Chinese, Indians, Arabs, Kenyan......We became close friends, or I should say she is my Mentor.

Performing Hajj in Saudi Arabia at that time was easy. Register with the Malaysian Consulate and pay about SR800. That includes transportation, a camp in Arafah and lodging in Mina including food. There is no proper guide to guide us during the Hajj, we just follow friends and read and recite from books and booklet.

Day one, starts after Zohor prayer, we gathered at the Consulate for registration and perform the Asar prayer. After Asar we were transported to Arafah. A normal day journey would last only 10 minutes, during Hajj it lasted almost more than four hours. We spent the night at Arafah, sleeping in tents and mats and our bags as pillows. We are already in Ihram from the point of entry in Makkah and abide by all the rules during Ihram. These rules are made only to portray our obedience to The Creator and everybody wore the same Ihram materials for men and women covered as in performing salah.

On the day of Arafah we are only needed to stay on the soil of Arafah only a few minutes, but most pilgrims would spent the whole day there, seeking forgiveness from Allah and praising, worshiping and glorifying Him, for He is the only one who deserves to be Glorified.

In the tent during Wuquf in Arafah. Photo shot in 1990.

Jabal Rahmah in Arafah. Photo shot by me in 1988.

After Arafah, pilgrims start to move out of Arafah to Muzdalifah, within the Arafah soil. Here we climbed down from our buses to collect pebbles (not stones). These would be used to perform the throwing of stones to the three Jamrah, Jamrah Al-Ula, Jamrah Al-Wusta and Jamrah Al-Aqabah. These was performed to commemorate the day Ibrahim AS was ordered by Allah to slaughter his long lost son. As he was walking to the place where he would perform the sacrifice, shaitans distracted him from carrying out Allah's command. He picked up stones to throw to the syaitans. Allah was very pleased with Ibrahim and his son and replaced Ismail with a big animal.

Pilgrims starts to move out of Arafah. Photo shot by me 1988.
After Muzdalifah we proceed to Mina. The next day we went back to Mecca by bus. We could not find any bus on that day and decided to walk to Mecca via the Muassin Tunnel to perform the Tawaf and Sa'i as well as Eid-ul Adha prayer. Fortunately...Alhamdulillah...we decided to walk back backwards and climbed on a bus that took us to Mecca. That year was 1990, that was when the stampede tragedy in the Muassim Tunnel which claims unaccountable number of pilgrims includes 19 from Malaysia whom was considered among the dead. I could not imagine if I would have died that day, would Allah have accepted my Hajj. Would I be given direct entry to Jannah? Dying and buried in Mecca would be a dream comes true for all pilgrims. it would be dying in ibadah, but it all depends on our niyyah too. Innalillahi wainna ilahirajiuun to those who perished in that incident. May Allah accept their Hajj and place them among the people who gains Allah's pleasure.

I would be performing Hajj again, InshaAllah in year 2017, if I am among those selected to go. Saudi Arabia has set a quota of only 10% of the country's population to go at any one time. I have registered to perform this Hajj since 2007. I am grateful that I have manage to perform it at a younger age, going again with pilgrims from Malaysia would be a different experience all together.