Sunday, 11 September 2011

In the land of the Ka'bah...

21st Aug 2011 - - - 20.35

The haram at night - near the gates to safa and marwa.
It was the day after the umrah and we were getting used to the crowds of Makkah. It felt like each day, there seemed to be more and more people. And why wouldn't there be. We had now entered the last 10 nights of Ramadhaan. The most holiest of nights was amongst these nights. A night in which one's worship was better than a thousand months of worship. A night all Muslims searched for each year. This was the blessed night of laylatul Qadr or the Night of Power. The Qiyaam-ul Layl - or night prayer had begun in congregation in these last ten nights. I tried to adjust myself as quickly as possible into a routine for Makkah and decided when I would go to masjid, do tawaaf etc. The main reason for this was the distance of our hotel from the masjid [a 15 minute walk one way] and also knowing the crowds would increase further due to the 27th night as well as the 29th night - khatm-ul Qur'an and I wanted to conserve my energy and stamina and not fall ill.

I'd find it extremely difficult to face the scorching heat of the sun especially at dhuhr time [mid-day prayer], so continued to pray it in the Hotel room. So after iftaar we would race to the masjid to find a place for prayer. That night we searched for some time. The adhaan / call to prayer had begun. We still hadn't found a space to pray. The tarawih had begun, still no place. Then finally we came upon the entrance to the basement on the left side of the King Abdul Aziz Gate. We went in to what seemed like an open furnace. With barely any AC in sight, there were in operation a few number of fans hanging down from the ceilings. Praying there was intense. We joined the congregation anyway. By the time my room mate and I had finished, we were completely soaked through in sweat! I had never felt that hot in either Makkah or Madinah. It was an experience! Alhamdulillah, we got through it!

Making tawaaf during Qiyaam al Layl.
So after isha and tarawih we stayed around the masjid vacinity and rest before we returned again to the ka'bah for tawaaf at about 1am. This was always my favourite time of the day. I was more alert and full of energy. This night was special, as it was the night I managed to touch the ka'bah. It was so overwhelming, I couldn't believe I got this close. I was so grateful to my room mate's friend who I had just met. She convinced me it would be easy as long as we stuck together and walked fast. I even managed to pray inside the Hatim, the arc shape wall which is considered part of the ka'bah. I was so proud of my achievement that night! After that, we continued walking around the ka'bah during the tawaaf whilst listening to the recitation of the Qur'an during the Qiyaam al Layl prayer. The reciters during the Qiyaam were Qari Sudais and Qari Shuraim and during tarawih Qari Mahir al Muaiqly and Qari Juhany. The sound of their beautiful Qur'an recitation continuously reminds me of being in Makkah. I'm going to end this post here, feel the need to keep this short. Instead I urge you to listen to the beautiful recitation, click on the name of the different reciters above and enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Thankyou for sharing your wonderful experience.