Saturday, March 12, 2016

Umrah

Assalamu'alaykum.
Hello, there.

Alhamdulillah I thank Allah for blessing me with good health and therefore allowing me to write this post, as promised, of our umrah journey last month. Before I begin writing, I'd like to share a few things which I think is significant to this post.

A couple of years ago when I was still studying in Australia, I made a promise to myself. During that time, I was in my third and final year of studies. Just like every Friday night, my friend and I would attend an Islamic lecture every week. It was almost like a ritual thing to us. Alhamdulillah. So, one night while attending the class I made myself a nazar of umrah. I told myself that if this would be my final year of studying and that I were able to graduate on that particular year, then I would make myself umrah nazar. I was very clear that I had made such promise that night. I went back home later feeling determined about my nazar. I told my parents about it the next day or a few days later, I can't remember. My mother was a little bit worried about it thinking whether I could finish my nazar but I told her insha'Allah yes.


La hawla wala quwwata illaa billah.

I remembered when I cry in silence during the Friday night lecture (the topic was on performing Hajj) thinking about how much I miss doing umrah and visiting Mekah and Madinah. The last time I did umrah was 7 years ago when I was seventeen. It was a total different experience for me now. Alhamdulillah on 18th February 2016, just exactly one year and two months after my graduation day, I was given the opportunity by Allah to perform my fourth umrah. Alhamdulillah. Even when I think about it now I'd get goosebumps. Subhanallah. It was such a wonderful experience.

The rooftop of the prayer area

18th February 2016
Our flight was in the morning but we left home early at around 6.00 AM to avoid traffic. We took off from Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur at 10.50 AM via Malaysia Airlines and arrived at our destination by midday. It was a bit hectic as our next flight was just an hour after! So we had to rush to go to the international building as soon as we touchdown.

Our next flight was at around 3.30 PM. The flight from Kuala Lumpur to Jeddah took around 8 hours. Pheww! By the time we arrived at Jeddah it was already 7.30 PM. Take note that Saudi Arabia is 5 hours behind Malaysia time. So, it was midnight in Malaysia. It was a tiring flight but worth it. Alhamdulillah.

We prayed Isya' at the King Abdulaziz Airport (the one for Umrah and Hajj). Usually after arriving at the airport the jema'ah would perform their Isya' prayer there and then leave Jeddah to Madinah or Mekah soon after. After finishing Isya', there weren't many buses left so we had to wait a couple of hours. By that time, we were already off-scheduled. We left the airport later and went straight to Madinah. It was a total of 4-hour journey. A very long journey indeed! Imagine how far The Prophet SAW had to travel from Madinah to Mekah for Hajj. Yet he managed to do it because of the love of Allah. Masha'Allah.

19th February 2016
We arrived at Madinah Al-Munawwarah at 4.00 AM which was an hour and a half before Subuh prayer. We stayed at the nearby hotel (trying my best to recall the name of the hotel but I can't). We had our shower ready first before leaving the hotel to Masjid An-Nabawi. Useful tips is always leave home one or two hours early or else you'll have no choice but to pray outside the Masjid. Our first Subuh prayer in Madinah was on Friday and we were at the front door of Masjid An-Nabawi. It was peaceful. Subhanallah.

On this day while praying at the Masjid An-Nabawi, I told myself that I must (and must) go to Raudhah. Raudhah is located inside Masjid An-Nabawi between The Prophet's tomb to his pulpit and was mentioned in a hadith as one of the gardens of Paradise where supplications and prayers uttered there are granted by Allah SWT.

That night, I slept early as soon as I finished my Isya' prayer so that I could wake up at midnight to go to Raudhah. And I did. Unfortunately, I wasn't aware of the timing they have for Muslimah to go to Raudhah. When I arrived, it was already closed for women. Upon leaving the Masjid, there was a screen showing the time for Muslimah to enter Raudhah. It was stated that the time for Muslimah to go to Raudhah was after Syuruk, after Zohor, and after Isya'. I went back to the hotel with a slight disappointment but I didn't give up.

20th February 2016
The next morning, I decided to go to Raudhah again but this time during Dhuha time. So, I did. As soon as I finished eating breakfast, I went back to the hotel room and was getting myself ready to go to the Masjid. My sister was there with me. We joined the Malaysian-Indonesian group and had to wait until our turn. Alhamdulillah we managed to go to Raudhah and prayed there. It was such a beautiful experience. Subhanallah. I will never ever forget that moment. I went back to the hotel room feeling excited and told my mother about it. It was beautiful.

We went to Raudhah again later that night but this time the place was crowded with people from Turkey, India, Indonesia and Malaysia. We could only manage to make du'a and had to leave the place early. I was feeling a bit sad that we couldn't pray or at least do our sujud at that time but the next morning was a blessing from Allah!

Masjid An-Nabawi

21st February 2016
It was our last day in Madinah. We spent 2 days in Madinah and left the Holy City on the third day. It was hard to say goodbye.

Early in the morning, we were told by our mutawwif that we were given an opportunity to visit Raudhah before leaving Madinah. Of course I was excited and this time we managed to do sunah prayer! Alhamdulillah. I remembered giving salam to Rasulullah for the last time before leaving, Allah knows how hard it was because we don't know when we'll be visiting this place again.

We left Madinah in the afternoon. The men were in their ihram. We took our miqat at Bir 'Ali and did solat sunat ihram at the Masjid. After that, we took off to Mekah Al-Mukarramah leaving the city of Madinah with talbiah.

Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik,
Labbaika La Syariika Laka Labbaik,
Innalhamda Wanni'mata Laka Walmulk,
La Syarika Lak.

We arrived at the Al-Nada Hotel in Mekah late at around 10.00 PM. Everyone was tired, some were still feeling jet-lagged. We had our dinner first before leaving the hotel to do our first umrah of this trip. At around 11.30 PM, we started walking towards Masjidil Haram. The distance between the hotel and the Masjid was about 700 metres. But I wasn't thinking about the distance. In fact, I think all of us were feeling excited to visit and pray at the Masjid as well as to see the Kaabah.

I still remember the moment when I first saw the Kaabah again after so long! All the feelings of missing this place has been fulfilled. Allahuakbar. I couldn't believe myself that I was standing in front of the Kaabah. Allah is The Greatest!

We managed to complete our umrah and finished at around 2.00 AM. Alhamdulillah.
I was so happy indeed. Allah knows.

23rd February 2016
We did ziarah on this day and took our second miqat  at Ja'aranah. The second umrah was even more meaningful to me. I did my nazar umrah on this day. We visitied few places including Jabal Thur, Arafah, Jabal Rahmah, Muzdalifah and Mina, and Jabal Noor. I will share the story of these places in my next post insha'Allah.

Alhamdulillah I completed my second umrah of this trip at 12.35 PM few minutes before we performed our Zohor prayer at Safa and Marwa. After finishing our prayer, we went back to the hotel and had our lunch.

24th February 2016
On this day, we did another ziarah at the museum and visited Hudaibiyah. I will also share the story of this place in another post insha'Allah.

28th February 2016
It was our last day in Mekah. We completed our umrah by performing our final tawaf which was Tawaf Wida'. Again, it wasn't easy saying goodbye to this place because we don't know when we'll have the chance again to visit Mekah (and Madinah) before leaving this world. I pray that may Allah give us the rizq to visit both places again in the near future. Ameen.

We left Mekah at 2.30 PM and arrived at the King Abdulaziz Airport later in the evening. Our flight was at 9.30 PM but it's the government orders to ask every jema'ah to be at the airport 5 hours early prior to flight departure. We did our Maghrib and Isya' prayer there and even had our dinner ready at the airport. By 9.30 PM, we boarded the plane and took off soon after.





2 comments:

  1. Wa'alaikumussalam, ka Ieka!
    Subhanallah, your umrah experience sounds wonderful. And Alhamdulillah you got the chance to perform your umrah nazar. So happy for you.
    Can't wait for other posts on your umrah, In sha Allah. May Allah bless you, hehe.

    Much love, Iween. xo. ♡

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, Iween. Masha'Allah how sweet of you! Thank you for the du'a, jazakillah khair dear.

      Delete