Thursday, October 13, 2011

Baitullah Al-Haram, Medina to Makkah

-continued from the post before-

After Miqat in the Mosque of Bir Ali and performing 2 rakaat of Solat Sunat Ihram, we already committed to the sacred state and prohibited in doing any of the violations including:
  • Men must not wear tailored cloths;
  • Men must not cover their head with anything;
  • Women can wear normal clothes, but must not wear gloves or cover their face;
  • Not using perfume;
  • Don't trim/cut the hair and nails;
  • Others, please consult your travel agent or muttawif if you're going.
Our journey to Makkah took us about 4 hours. Upon arrival, our immediate intentions was to get our luggage to the Dar El Eiman Hotel and perform the tawwaf and saie before ending our umrah with the tahallul (an act of cutting some of the hair to end the ihram sacred state). Ustaz Ramzi, a Siamese Tabung Haji Travel staff was at the hotel to assist us to our rooms. Then, we perform the wudhu and proceeded to Masjidil Harram, walking distance from our hotel.

From Safwa Towers entrance, staring at the magnificent, beautiful, superb, glorious, splendid, outstanding architecture of the Masjidil Harram Mosque, with the hot and windy weather, a very wonderful feeling struck me. My heart was pumping, anxious, wondering how I would feel to see the Kaaba. I started to peek through the structures looking for what have been my Qiblah of prayer throughout life. A feeling I have never felt before. Inexpressible through words. MashaAllah, MashaAllah, MashaAllah.

There it was, others consider it as nothing but a black box like building, but for Muslims, true Muslims, it is the path of prayer, the holiest building there is, one of the purpose in life among the five pillars in Islam(performing Hajj). I was touch by His hidayah. Some tears starts pouring from my eyes. I could not believe it, that I was there, I were there. The Baitullah was in the middle of the crowds. The flat ground around it was full with pilgrims performing the tawwaf. Praise be to Allah. Alhamdulillah.
This picture was taken right after the Imam's first takbir for Solat Maghrib

Non-Muslims might ask, "Why do you pray to the Kaaba? Is your god inside there?" since they might not understand Islam. The answer is very simple, by substituting the question with someone talking on the hand phone, one may ask - "who are talking to? Is anybody inside the phone?" One may interact to someone but it doesn't mean that the person is there. The message is transferred through some kind of medium.

After reaching the wheel chair ramp to access the flat area around the Kaaba, we (Me, my father, my grandmother, and my father's other mother in law) encounter our first obstacle where we weren't allowed to pass by the police because the tawwaf area was too crowded and might not be safe for wheel chair users. I felt awkward of the situation, but some relief since there were about 5 other wheel chair users together within the situation. We waited for sometime and proceeded after about 45 minutes. Circling Baitullah 7 times anti-clock-wise, 2 rakaat solat sunat tawwaf, and we proceeded to perform the saie before finishing our first umrah with the tahallul. After some refreshment, we proceeded to Dar El Eiman to get some rest. We manage to do umrah 4 times throughout our stay there and visited many other places such as the camel farm..
Drinking fresh camel milk.. (Tasted a little bit like coconut juice)
Camel rides. (Felt a little bit like roller coaster ride, I had to hold on very tight)
Visiting the Kurma farm.

and visiting famous hills in Makkah. In the picture is the four of us with our guide. Our mutawwif is behind the camera.
Our umrah or may I say vacation to Arab Saudi was the best visit ever. Although the activities weren't much, my heart, body and soul was full with satisfaction. The surrounding was very religious, thus He have given me His hidayah and guidance. Syukur Alhamdulillah.

For those who is planning to visit, don't put high hopes on the locals. Their culture might be different than us from the east, and they are quite rude, spoken and body language.No matter the culture, what I love the most about our visit is the atmosphere in Masjidil Harram. If we compare to our mosques, we won't often see them crowded except for Jumaat prayer and Eid. In Masjidil Harram, people spend their time at the mosque reciting quran, praying rather than loitering without any good reason.

Assalamualaikum w.b.t...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Baitullah Al-Haram, Praise Be To Allah

Assalamualaikum w.b.t. & Alhamdulillah,

Baitullah Al-Haram...
I never thought that 2011/1432H would be the year that Allah s.w.t would send me to Baitullah, the biggest mosque on earth, the holiest place for Muslims, which surrounds the Kaaba and can accommodate up to 4 million people in a single period. Al-Haram covers an area of 88.2 acres and is located between the hills in Mecca.

Our trip started from Kuching(me and my grandmother), where we flew to Kota Kinabalu to meet my father and his mother in law, before we adjourn to Brunei Darussalam to board the Brunei Royal Airline to Jeddah, the second largest city in Arab Saudi. The flight flew for about 8347 kilometers or 5187 miles or 4507 nautical miles (according to and took about 9 hours which was one of the longest flight I've ever boarded.

From Jeddah International Airport, we continued to Medina (332 kilometers) for about 3 hours. In the middle of the route, I remembered us stopping for breakfast to taste the local menu. My dad ordered 5 Pita Bread to be served with lamb curry, and astonishingly we were served with 5 packs of 5 Pita Breads making it altogether 25.

We were speechless gazing upon our breakfast, 25 Pita equivalent to 25 Roti Canai and they were only 5 of us. 'Aiyyaaa, siapa mau makan ini?' In the end, we manage to finish nearly 2 packs and brought the rest along our journey.

In Medina, we checked in at the Anwar Movenpick Hotel,

which is located very near to Masjid Nabawi @ also called the Prophet's mosque. For the few days we spent there, the mosque was our main place of visiting. We went there 5 times a day, and that was not even enough. From someone that only performed solat once in a while, I started to appreciate them, and from then I know what was this 'hidayah', a very wonderful thing one may receive from Him, or which is translated by as "The actual guiding of someone to the true path.". Without hidayah from Allah, I would have still be the common me, someone not very serious about life and was less considerate on akhirat. For me, this 'hidayah' is much better than the earth and all its content combined.

Behind me is the Masjid Nabawi, from outside it's magnificent, inside it's even more beautiful. The mosque have lots of domes, and if you notice the green one behind me, below it is the tomb of our beloved prophet (Peace Be Upon Him), and between his tomb and the Pulpit or Mimbar is the Raudhah or some may call ar-Riaz-ul-Jannah, one of the sacred place believed to be part of heaven, where prayers are never rejected. During our stay in Medina, never during any Solat Fardhu was the mosque below 3 quarter occupied, and people flooded until outside the mosque during certain prayers especially Jumaat Prayer. Perhaps during every prayers the mosque was over-occupied since sometimes I prayed inside and was looking for opportunity to pray within Raudhah area, unaware of the crowds outside.

We stayed in Medina for 3 days and soon it was time for us to perform the Umrah. On the third day, we put on the ihram, checked out and proceeded to the Mosque of Bir-Ali to say the Miqat(Niat) before embarking on a 337 kilometers journey to the Holy City of Makkah.

** To be continued in the next post.. InsyaAllah..


Assalamualaikum w.b.t.