Alhamdulillah, came back from The Kingdom yesterday. Still tired and sleepy especially after almost 3 days journey back that begun on 18th Dec 8AM at AL Majd Season Hotel, Madinah…….waiting for the bus that only arrived 2 hours later. Then waited 17 hours in the new Jeddah airport for the delayed Royal Brunei aeroplane. Boarded the plane only on 19th Dec 10AM. The plane had fuel-gauge problem. So we need to refuel in Dubai & Bangkok. That delayed the flight another 4 hours. Eventually arrived at Bandar Sri Bagawan on 20th Dec 4AM. Lodged at Traveller’s Inn before taking another flight to KL at 11:35AM. Arrived KLIA ontime, alhamdulillah & finally boarded MAS at 5:20PM to Kuantan. Touch downed at Kuantan Airport yesterday, 20th Dec 6:10PM.
Makkah, before wukuf
53 of us, the first IIUM Hajj group arrived at Jeddah Hajj Terminal at about 1AM 14th Nov 2008. The security check & everything went well. We barely wait. Our bus was ready before we can really able to rest at the airport.
Arriving at Jeddah Airport. Waiting for our muassasah in Tabung Haji area.
Distributing muassasah ID to all members at Hajj checkpoint upon entering AL Haram.
We arrived at Manar Mawaddah hotel, Ragouza Street, Makkah at about 6AM. We immediately settled the luggages & pray fajr just in the room. The hotel is a small hotel. Retrospectively we love this hotel than the one in Madinah. Our room is considered the smallest. My roomates were Shaharuddin, an engineer with JKR & Shafek, Niza’s husband, a criminal toxicologist with Chemistry Department. Another roomate, Dr Moussa Larbani, an Algerian, a Mathematician with Kulliyyah of Economy arrived with the second group end of the month later.
Once settled with luggages, me, my wife, Shafek & Niza, Shaharuddin & Dr Azmi had a quick breakfast & quickly went to Masjidilharam to perform our umrah. We managed to complete tawaf, saei & tahallul before 11AM. Thanks to Din & Shafek to guide us because we have never been to Makkah.
That day was Friday. Me, Shafek & Din managed to get into the saf on the 1st floor eventhough we were already very late. I only realized that Al Haram was still empty considering it was about 1 month before wukuf.
Life in Makkah during the first week was so pleasant. No rush for food. In fact enjoying the turkish food….a half-roasted-chicken with rice & vege cost around SR20 (I thought this was expensive…..& realise that it was cheap later in the following weeks). Can take time to go to the mosque. Can pray near the Kaabah. Can do tawaf as many as possible. Do umrah without difficulty.
That’s Shaharuddin, Niza & Shafek. We managed to ‘create’ our very own dining area. Else we won’t have place to eat with our spouse.
Then in week-2…..the trial begun. I fell sick but still able to perform all prayers in AL Haram. There were more & more people coming. More & more buses. The roads started to be congested with both people & machines. The smell of carbon monoxide filled the atmosphere. More beggers. Expensive food. The half-roasted-checken & rice (no vege) was already SR19. Me & wife preferred self-made sandwich than to que (there was no que actually, only pushing & yelling) for food. I can only pray on the 2nd floor by now. Shifting slowly from Fatah area to Medina Bridge praying area. Occasionally especially if I want to stay very long, I went to Fhad area because the area is air-conditioned.
Week-3, just a week before wukuf. I fell sick for the 2nd time. Severe coughing. But still able to go to AL Haram. More & more people. More & more buses. Some roads around AL Haram were closed because of too many jamaah. The 2nd IIUM Hajj groud arrived on Friday 28th Nov. Had to be in the mosque 3 hours before Friday prayer, else I had to pray on the road. During this time, I skipped meals many time. Or better to eat before Zuhur for lunch & after Asr for dinner. Wife also started to cough. I advised her to stay in the hotel & pray there with her friends.
Makkah, during the actual Hajj
We went to Mina on Tarwiyyah’s day i.e. 8th Zulhijjah. The road was jam-packed with buses & pickups carrying hajee from all over the world. We reached our tent (number 103) at about Zuhr time. We shared with jamaah from Brunei but they were not there.We stayed together in the tent. We qasar the prayers. The entire tent belong to us. However, because only 66 of us were there, we were ‘attacked’ by the mosquitoes! We were all in ihram & therefore we could not cover the head entirely. Some even avoid using the blanket given. Wow! The night was so challenging. Most of us could not sleep.
This was how our tent in Mina looked like. This one tent fits 20 of us.
After Fajr, around 9AM on 9th Zulhijjah, the day of wukuf, we went to Arafah. We arrived at Arafah at noon and again with Brunei jamaah. People already queing for lunch & some were listening to khutbah. We took the meal & immediately prayed Zuhr & Asr, qasar & jama’.
Our jamaah at Arafah after solat. We were listening to khutbah by Prof Sano. He summarised the khutbah made by Rasul SAW during the hajjatul wida’.
Me & all my roomates in Arafah. Jus few minutes before leaving for Muzdalifah.
After that everyone busy making doa till Marghrib. I took few pictures of the sunset in Arafah. At about 9PM, we departed to Muzdalifah. The journey took almost 6 hours due to super heavy traffic. We reached Muzdalifah at about 4AM. We prayed Marghrib & Isya’ by the roadside. Then searched for pebbles. There was no proper toilet at the place where we stopped. So, some of us had to do what needed to do traditional way We were supposed to leave the place asap but the driver went missing. So we managed to pray Fajr there in Muzdalifah, in accordance to sunnah!!
Waiting for Fajr by the roadside in Muzdalifah. This was one of the best moment in my life!
We then headed straight to Makkah because we chose to complete tawah ifhada rather than to stone the aqabah first. Unfortunately the road was jammed because people were also going back to Makkah & some wanna pray Eiduladha in Haram. We reached our hotel at about 9AM. Most of us immediately went to Masjidilharam & completed the tawaf & saei. Then we shaved (the guys) our hair & tahallul. By Asr most of us had already taken off our ihram. It was so funny…..almost all of the guys shaved their head entirely. All because of the tazkirah given by Prof Sano. He said it is better to shave all than to cut some hair.
After Isya’ on the 10th Zulhijjah, we depart to Mina to stone the Aqabah. Again we were caught in a massive traffic jam. Actually the road to Mina was closed indefinitely. Afraid that we might miss the night, we decided to walk to Mina. It was only a 3KM walk. Our group, headed by Prof Faris & Ustaz Surur was the first to reach the tent #103. This time, we were not alone, all jamaah from Brunei were already there. We took something to eat & immediately went to the jamrah complex to stone aqabah. It was a pleasant & straight forward experience. No crowd at all.
This is how ‘luxury’ the stoning was! No crowd at all. Our tent was required to throw at the 3rd level.
We spent the tasyreek days in Mina. No spectacular instances occured. We listened to few tazkirah by Prof Sano. He related stories about the history of Makkah, about the meaning of hajj & about iman. Few Brunei jamaah did Nafl Awal. So some of them left to Makkah on 12th Zulhijjah. We stayed in Mina till 13th Zulhijjah & only travelled back to Makkah at about 9AM on the last day of Tasyreek. That’s it, our hajj is complete. We hope, we make doa so that Allah SWT had accepted our hajj. I know that my hajj is not perfect, but I still hope Allah could accept it.