Thursday, November 8, 2012

Hajj Diaries Cont'd

To read previous post, click here.

Friday, October 28, 2011
Around 4am
Jeddah Airport

Alhamdulillah we have arrived!  We passed the miqat about a half hour before landing and more than half the plane was already in ihram.  Once we passed the miqat everyone began chanting the talbiyah.  It was so amazing and emotional to know that we have finally arrived.  I just kept thinking that subhanallah we are here, we are actually here!  Allah has brought us here, to a land where I have never been to yet ached to see.  The only place in the world I would sacrifice leaving you for so long.  The land where our beloved Rasoolullah SAW was born, lived, received revelation, fought for us, strove to spread the deen and then finally returned to his Lord.  The thought and feeling is overwhelming and humbling.  SubhanAllah.

Baba in line with our papers
We are now waiting at Jeddah airport.  Alhamdulilah the airport is not as bad as I expected.  People told us it would be extremely crowded and that we would either loose our luggage or it would take forever to find.  Maybe its because it was 2am, but it wasn't that bad.  We found our luggage within ten minutes, but there is one couple in our group who has not yet gotten theirs.  We are going to either take a plane or bus to Madinah, our Hajj guides are working it out now.

Baba reading Quran
Unfortunately the racism is already obvious.  As we checked our bags in through customs, a Saudi man stood arrogantly with his arms crossed, wearing a suit, while a man, most likely of south Asian decent, wearing a blue jumper lifted all the heavy bags.  I understand that they were each probably doing their jobs, but in a land where everyone is Muslim, I just expected more of a brotherly attitude towards one another.  If my friend was infront of me lifting heavy bags, I wouldn't just watch. But anyways, I was reminded of Bilal RA, who was an African slave that became Muslim and whose status was elevated to one of the most respectful companions.  Islam abolished the concept of racism, and in the birthplace of Islam, I would expect better then what I have seen.

Were sitting in the hajj terminal now and there is a lady in our group who is in a wheelchair.  There is man who works at the aiport who keeps coming up to the lady and her family and insists on pushing the wheelchair so that he can earn a mere 10 riyals.  This makes me realize and be grateful for the fact that alhamdulillah Baba has a reliable income and he does not have to go around looking for small jobs to do to collect money.  Its not that I look down upon this man who wants to push the wheelchair, its just I feel sorry for him that he has to beg.  May Allah swt make it easy for him and all those afflicted with poverty, Ameen.

When I first started leaning about Islam, I noticed that there is a such an emphasis on the kind treatment of guests and travelers.  Its only after you experience travelling that you can understand and appreciate this.  Alhamdulilah our travels have not been difficult but we are far from home, I am not an experienced traveler, and I have been feeling sick.  MashaAllah Baba has been taking good care of me, making sure I feel okay, that I have the right papers, carrying my stuff etc, but when the people working behind the counters at the airports are nice, or when someone smiles and offers you water, it really makes a difference.  May Allah reward all of those who try to ease the affairs of the travellers, ameen.

The lady who was sitting beside me on the plane from Egypt to Jeddah did not speak English but she kept gesturing to check on me and make sure I was okay.  When everyone began saying the talbiyah, we were bot very emotional and crying a lot, so I gave her a tissue.  It was a special moment.

The quality is bad, but this is perhaps one of the most emotional videos that I have from our entire journey.  You can see the top of my head beside Baba, I am looking down and practically bawling.

Hearing everyone recite the talbiyah was amazing.  I've heard the talbiyah many times before but to hear it live, with real haajis on their way answering Allah's call, was something else.  During the filght, the diversity of everyone was so obvious.  Like I said before, communication was a challenge, but once we passed the miqat everyone was in complete unison.  SubhanaAllah.

I was remembering the time last year when I was teaching you about Hajj.  It wasn't until I taught you the talbiyah that I learned it myself.  I miss our homeschooling days.  Being at home with you and learning is such a blessing.  I pray that we have many more moments of sharing and learning together inshaAllah.

Anyways, we are going to pray fajr soon.
Hopefully Ill be able to call you in a few hours, I hope.  I feel so far away from you.
Miss you tons!

I took this picture for you. You love these 'zamboni' machines :)

The talbiyah being played on loud speakers at Jeddah airport around 3am

Talbiyah: 'Here I am O Allaah, (in response to Your call), here I am. Here I am, You have no partner, here I am. Verily all praise, grace and sovereignty belong to You. You have no partner.’
Ihram:  the two unstitched cloths that men wear in pilgrimage
Miqat: Boundaries where the pilgrim must wear the ihram

1 comment:

  1. Even tho I don't understand the words.....I can hear the sincerity and love in the sound. A very special time for all of you