…is really difficult, especially after recently returning from our trip to the holy cities of Madinah and Makkah for our journey of Umrah. There are absolutely no words to describe how amazing our journey was. In summary, it was two weeks of pure spirituality that nothing could ever compare to!
I will forever be thankful to the Almighty for granting my family this opportunity. May we be granted an Umrah Maqbool (an accepted Umrah) IA!
After 20 hours of travelling, we finally arrived at our hotel room in Madina, 20 minutes before the midday prayer. With no time to spare, we got ourselves ready to perform our first prayer in Masjid Al Nabawi. We were alone and we did not know which way to go. But once we reached the main street, it was clear that we were walking in the right direction. There were what seemed like millions of people walking in the same direction towards the same place for the same purpose. People of all nationalities, ethnicities, ages and genders.
What an amazing experience! Never in my life have I witnessed how easy it was for so many people to answer the call for prayer – easily and eagerly. The magnitude of people acting in unison is something I have never experienced before. And to this day, I cannot believe that I was blessed to be one of those people.
Despite the feeling of complete pride whilst walking with the countless number of people, our first trip to the Mosque was somewhat daunting. As females pray separately from males, Ammaarah and I needed to separate from Zieyaad. How was I going to manage alone? How was Ammaarah going to cope with all these people? How and what and where? It could have become a terrifying experience, but I decided to place my trust in the Almighty that we would undoubtably be okay.
There was not much time left, so Zieyaad and I agreed upon a meeting point and we separated. I followed the females and stopped at the closest group of ladies congregating outside of the mosque on the marble tiled floor.
My sister purchased a harness for Ammaarah to wear while I performed my prayers, which turned out to be one of the best items I travelled with. I quickly fastened the harness onto Ammaarah, with the other side attached to my ankle.
And the prayer began – I made it, just in time.
I had no prayer mat. I was unprepared. But it did not matter, because everywhere I looked, there were no prayer mats. Out on the marble tiled floor, I learnt my one of my most valuable lessons yet – I had no excuse for missing any of my daily prayers back home! All these people stopped everything they were doing in order to answer the call to prayer. Why was I not able to do the same on so many occasions? (May we all strive to be steadfast in our daily prayers, IA!)
Ammaarah was amazingly calm and content. I was concerned that she would be afraid or slightly frustrated at being strapped to my ankle. But to my surprise, she was absolutely fine. She was in awe of the number of people, at the sound of the Imam leading the prayer and at the actions of so many people being in sync. I could immediately tell that this was going to be an experience that both myself and her would never forget!
I cannot explain it, but my heart yearns to hear the Athaan (the call to prayer) – loudly and clearly – and to witness the answer to that call for prayer so easily and eagerly by thousands and thousands (literally!) of people again.I yearn to be back there, where nothing else matters other than your duties towards the Almighty!
There is so much more I could say, but I’d rather save it for another post and leave you with some pics.
PS. I am still trying to work on my website, it is taking longer than I could have ever imagined! And I still need to figure out how to transport these later posts to the website. Eek, I may need to call an SOS soon!
All my love, xxx