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This is a special series of Blogs which describes my time and experiences during Hajj this year.
DAY 2 – 22 July 2019
Aziziya – Makkah Mukarramah
Today, we did not have any scheduled activity to do. It was up to us to do whatever we wished to do. Take rest in the building or go to Haram Shareef; it was our choice. Of course, most people opted to go to Haram Shareef, so that they could sit there, pray, meditate and renew their connection with Allah.
Our relationship with Allah is unique; there cannot be any equivalent to it. Allah is our Creator, Provider, Protector, and Sole Owner. He Knows what happened in the past and what will happen in the future. He Knows all about the deepest secrets of our heart, the motives behind our stealthy looks, the unadmitted desires, our clear and vague plans, and our known as well as untold stories.
Man is an open book to Allah; and this is the actual spirit and basis of this relationship. Our relationship with Allah has to be one of purity, truth, openness, humility and submission.
Allah is rich beyond limit and measure; with absolute and ultimate authority over entire universe, and above and beyond questioning. He may bestow abundance beyond our measure, and He may retract His Benevolence, whatever He deems appropriate. It is a folly of the highest order to try to falsely pose and assume importance in His Presence. It is a sad commentary that some people try to show off their religious status even to Allah, which is futile and may attract severe retribution. May Allah Protect us all from such false premises. Aameen.
Ihram and Shroud for the dead are exactly alike; two unstitched sheets of cloth. Wearing Ihram and presenting as important in Allah’s Presence? It can only invite Divine Wrath.
Surah Al Najm; verse 32; Allah says “…..He was most knowing of you when He produced you from the earth, and when you were fetuses in the wombs of your mothers. So do not claim yourselves to be pure; He is most knowing of who fears Him.” It is a clear warning to all those who try to take on a high status falsely.
It is my humble and earnest request; go in Allah’s presence head down; perform Tawaf barefoot and move with utmost humility. Please do not wear leather socks, shoes, and chappals during Tawaf, unless you have a serious medical condition which stops you from walking barefoot. Feel the ground of Mataf with your bare feet and absorb the feeling. I would rather not have the feet which do not desire to touch Mataf bare and directly while doing Tawaf.
I also request you to recite which comes directly from your heart; whatever language it may be. Allah knows all languages. He wishes to see and hear your true feelings; not the verses which you read from a book without knowing their meaning, or what you were asked by someone to memorize.
Surah Hajj; verse 46. Allah says “….. for indeed it is not eyes that are blinded, but blinded are the hearts which are within the breasts”.
It is the blindness of the heart when a person presents himself to Allah with a false pretense and thinks that he will get his falsehood accepted.
In the name of Allah, please submit yourself to Allah, only as His humble servant; Imperfect, fault-ridden, sinful, lowly, and begging for His Mercy. This is what most of us are actually. If you have the good fortune to be having some status in piety and prayers, be even more humble. Allah forbid, you may not lose all you have by your self-importance actions.
May Allah give us understanding and wisdom and Bless us with His Best Blessings. Aameen.
In the evening, we were informed that we shall be proceeding to Madinah Munawarah tomorrow morning, after Fajr prayer, InShaAllah.
DAY 3 – 23 July 2019
We got ready to leave after Fajr. I had prepared a small bag to carry with me; the rest of the baggage was intended to be left at Aziziya. Then some people started worrying about breakfast. The worry was reasonable, therefore first the breakfast was served and then we boarded the buses. The buses left around 7.30am.
Madinah Munawarah is about 425km from Makkah Mukarramah. Breaking journey at couple of places, we reached Madinah Munawarah at just about Asr time. The best thing about residential building here was that it was only at 5 minutes’ walk from Masjid Nabawi (Prophet’s Mosque). I quickly dropped the bag in the room and rushed to Masjid Nabawi and got Asr prayer on time.
The city and place of our respected and beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him), Subhan Allah. How can we describe our feelings? Our eyes fill with tears and our heart bows in humility. Our association with our Prophet (Peace be upon him) is a mix of utmost respect, highest level of deference, and love. Madinah Munawarah which is Madinat un Nabi has a special ambiance and feel. Softness and Kindness is palpable and is felt by everyone.
Here we were; close to Masjid Nabawi and the Roza e Rasool (Peace be upon him). Spend as much time in Masjid Nabawi as we wish, and offer Salam and Durood personally, in front of the Roza e Rasool (Peace be upon him) as many times as we desire. Of course, both opportunities are extremely valuable and impossible to miss.
The portion just in front of the Roza e Rasool (Peace be upon him) was closed for renovation work. We would pass through the hall but could not sit there. I don’t know how long it will remain closed. Previously, this hall was full at all times. Many people sat here and recited Qur’an or Durood. The prayer leader (Imam) also led the prayer in this portion. Currently, people enter from the gate at the farther end of this hall; file past the Roza e Rasool and exit from the gate on this side. It is an extremely moving scene. Everyone is reciting Salam and Durood; many people have tears in their eyes, and you could feel the emotions in the air. The Roza e Rasool (Peace be upon him) has a gold grill in two parts; the first part marks the resting place of the Prophet (Peace be upon him). The grill has a bordered hole, through which some people try to peep inside. The second part marks the resting places of the first Caliph, Abubakar Siddique and second Caliph Omar ibn Al Khattab (Allah be pleased with them). It has a smaller hole.
Someone once made a comment which is worth sharing. He said “when you pass in front of the grill of Roza e Rasool (Peace be upon him), do not see it with wide, open eyes. Our eyes are sinful and not worthy of such respectable view. Fill your eyes with tears and look with only half open eyes, as this is more appropriate to show our devotion”. You can understand the level of dedication and devotion we carry for our Prophet (Peace be upon him).
There is a small elevated dais in front of the Roza e Rasool (Peace be upon him) which now also has a wall, about two feet high. It is to prevent people from getting too close of the grill. Previously, this barrier was not there. Once, I had the good fortune of praying Juma (Friday) prayer sitting adjacent to dais, and just in front of the Roza e Rasool (Peace be upon him). Allah Blessed me beyond my measure. Alhamdulillah.