Islamic Widget

About Me

making journal entries that might help me rediscover deen; having fun and gaining inspiration while chronicling the world of hijabis!

Sunday, January 30, 2011




Jeddah was hot and dry when we landed… but once again immigration was very smooth alhumdulillah! The air-conditioned airport facility made things easier… all Arab authorities designated to assist and guide and clear hajjis through immigration were very cooperative, hospitable and friendly mash Allah! Their spirit touched me… many of them were of special assistance to me because they all first mistakened me for being Iraqi! But my clarification of being a Pakistani also pleased them and they quickly made their transition from Arabic to English…

It was pleasant to know that many people in Saudia have tried to acquire some basic English speaking skills in order to cater to the many different nationalities coming there for religious purposes…

Anyhow, once our luggage had been cleared we were required to wait in an enclosure reserved for our particular country while our buses arrived… having left home right after fajar salaah, I had not imagined that I would cope so well with hunger and long waits! The truth is, Allah swt made it very easy for not just us, but even the elderly! We would all like to say that we were behaving patiently but the truth remains that we did not feel a thing! We spread our “musallahs” on the cement floor and comfortably adjusted ourselves on them; leaving the benches for our fellow elderly hajjis… one after the other we offered the zuhr, ASR and finally Maghrib prayers… hospitable Saudi citizens kept a flow of fresh dates and Arabic tea coming, keeping hajjis nourished and their rewards multiplying!

We were very excited when our bus finally arrived shortly after Maghrib salaah.

My emotional outpour kept me occupied all the while I waited for the bus… and continued as we boarded the bus… everything seemed so special! Everything was special! The prospect of heading towards our place of residence meant that our time to perform umra (before hajj) was nearing! My heart weighed with love and admiration for Allah swt! His mercies and His bounties moved my very soul! I was afraid if I thought much about it, my heart would explode and I would not survive the hugeness of this ibaadah! Yet, this aspect did not worry or scare me! It just soothed me to know that meeting my end would probably be the best thing that could happen to me on this blessed land! Ya Allah!

Azizia was the area we were meant to stay… it is barely an hour’s drive from the airport, but took us three hours to reach! Alhumdulillah for that too!

We traveled through the streets of Mecca in search for our muallim’s building… we passed by familiar buildings and streets, all reminders of previous trips and spiritual journeys with our kids…

We saw people dressed in ihram walking and chanting… we saw people in everyday clothes making their way towards dine ins for a meal after tawaf… we saw Turks, Iraqis, Iranians, Indonesians, Indians, Bengalis, Uzbeks, Pakistanis, Europeans, Americans… all in search of the pleasure of the One Lord; all making an effort to earn “baksheesh”; all consumed in their own thoughts and religious fervor… we united with them as hajjis, as Muslims, as an ummah! We united with them in emotion, in purpose and in spirit! We had already become equals! We were experiencing a scene similar to that which the Day of Judgment would present! Ya Allah!

We finally reached Azizia somewhere around midnight… on reaching Azizia all fellow hajjis who had already settled down in the apartment welcomed us like family! We were so happy to see each other and spoke all at once sharing our stories and experiences so far…

The men had their apartments on the first floor of the building while women stayed on the fourth floor… we coordinated our umra timings with the men using the Saudi sims we had been provided by our hajj group… it was decided that we will offer fajar in the harem and then begin our umra… I lay down to rest for a bit… I wanted to feel energized for the first step of my hajj journey… our room became quiet as all the ladies settled in their beds to relax a little before they performed umra… I was surprised at the ease and comfort I felt in the new surroundings… I believed then that I had truly become a hajji… alhumdulillah!