Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hajj live blog: Mecca days (Oct 30th 2011)

October 30th 2011: Days in Mecca

Our last days in Mecca before we move to Azizyah - we have a hotel there on the border of Mina just about 10 minutes away from our camp which is also on the other side of the border of Mina.

Mecca days were really rewarding. Praying any where in Mecca is of the same reward as praying inside the mosque of Kaaba. The city was buzzing with hajjis - it was packed but we had no bad experiences at all. Allah taala really helps if you stay positive and excited about the experiences. Us girls would pray together in groups and meet up at appointed times.

Our friends who stayed with us in the same hotel in Medina were now based in a different place. But we managed to meet them up, when our husbands went for tawaf, we hung out together praying and trying to motivate each other with discussions about what we would change on our return from hajj.

One of my husband's cousins was also visiting from Pakistan with her husband and daughter for Hajj. They stayed in our connecting hotel during Mecca which made it really easy to meet up with them. My husband has an uncle and aunt living in Jeddah for years now and we couldn't know any better hosts. They have always been known for their massive generosity but every time we experience it we are still in shock. They got us cartons of food and medicines of all sorts including biscuits, nuts, cheese, honey, vitamin C and Panadol, bread, milk, yoghurt, loads of mineral water bottles, tea, coffee, milk cans, sugar and you name it. To top it off they got some really delicious home cooked food with them with disposable plates, glasses and cutlery. They even got us a microwave!! 

We felt really bad as well because on the one hand we enjoyed all of that, on the other we felt like someone else probably needed this more. In the evening we were lucky our friends who were staying in the same hotel as us in Medina joined us in our hotel for dinner. They really enjoyed the food. But there was still so much left. We decided we would go out and give these to the needier pilgrims who had no place to live as well.   

This was one of the most defining moments for me during Hajj. As soon as we stepped out of our hotel and to its left there was a huge open space behind the building where there lay asleep many pilgrims, largely from Africa. These were families - men with their wives and children and even elderly parents only here in Mecca with a hand carry and their ehraam on. They had no place to stay and yet their faces were at peace and I thought we are doing nothing for this hajj - they were much closer to Allah. I couldn't stop crying so I moved away but my husband went and offered them food. He showed them the whole basket that we had and they calmly offered their hands to say "you give us however much and whatever you want." They were needy but had no greed. And here we were a day ago excited about all the treats our aunt had got us.

My brother had warned me of this before I left for Hajj. He said every time you feel tired or impatient, or feel like things are not going the way you expected them - go out for a walk and look at all those pilgrims who don't have the luxuries you do. They are still celebrating the Hajj spirit and look at them and learn how to embrace it too.


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