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Selasa, 30 Julai 2019

Umrah 2019 (Bhg.3) | Mekah Musim Sejuk, Hotel & Masjidil Haram


A  pabila sampai di Mekah dari Madinah, hari sudah malam. Sudah masuk waktu isyak.  Ada yang sudah solat jamak dalam perjalanan tadi, tapi ada juga yang menjamakkannya di Mekah.

Tarikh kami sampai di Mekah ialah 28 Januari 2019. 

Cuaca di Mekah ketika itu sangat baik. Walaupun masih dalam Musim Sejuk, ia tak panas, tak sejuk. Waktu tengaharinya macam cuaca petang di Malaysia. Jadi kalau anda sukakan cuaca begini, eloklah buat umrah pada hujung bulan Januari hingga awal bulan Februari.


Hotel Al Shohadah


Hotel Al Shohadah adalah pilihan TH Travel kali ini. Pada umrah 2017 mereka beri kami Hotel Ramada yang letaknya di seberang jalan, belakang sedikit dari Al Shohada. 

Semua jemaah dalam rombongan telah diberi kunci bilik. Beg masing-masing dihantar terus ke bilik oleh pekerja hotel. Setiap ahli keluarga kami duduk sebilik berdua.

Bilik saya dan suami mempunyai dua katil, menghadap jalan dan mempunyai tingkap yang boleh dibuka. Kalau menjenguk keluar memang nampak jemaah berjalan ulang alik ke Masjidil Haram. Nampak jelas, setesen bas dan Menara Jam yang berdiri kukuh di seberang jalan. Azan dari Masjidil Haram teramat jelas kedengaran di dalam bilik.

Televisyen, kerusi, meja, cerek elektrik, peti sejuk, pengering rambut dan kemudahan lain disediakan. Lantainya berkarpet dan bersih.


Bilik Al Shohada Hotel untuk dua orang


Tandas dalam bilik Al Shohada Hotel berlantaikan marmar dan mangkuk tandasnya ada dua. Bersih, luas dan selesa.  Di sebelah kirinya adalah bilik mandi hujan.


Sarapan pagi, tengahari dan malam disediakan di dewan makan dengan menu masakan Melayu, Indonesia dan Arab. Menunya sama setiap hari. Rasanya sederhana sedap.

Hotel Al Shohada menyediakan teh Arab dan kurma percuma kepada penghuninya di pintu masuk


Teh Arab dan kurma  ini diberi percuma kepada saya. Saya menikmatinya di lobi hotel. Campuran teh yang sedikit kelat dan kurma yang manis menjadikannya enak diminum.



Setelah berehat sebentar di hotel kami sekeluarga pun berjalan menuju ke Masjidil Haram. Kami sudah beritahu mutawwif kami supaya tidak menunggu kami kerana kami hendak melakukan umrah sekeluarga bersendirian. Ini disebabkan kami sudah berulang kali mengerjakan umrah sebelum ini, jadi tak perlu perkhidmatam mutawwif untuk itu.

Hotel Al Shohada letaknya 300 meter dari Masjidil Haram. Berjalan kaki ke Masjidil Haram memakan masa lebih kurang 20 minit, bagi orang yang berjalan perlahan. Tetapi kalau orang muda, berjalan lebih laju, mungkin boleh sampai dalam 10 minit. Sepanjang jalan menuju ke Masjidil Haram terdapat hotel, kedai, stesen bas dan sekolah.

Kedai-kedai dan hotel-hotel yang berdekatan dengan Hotel Al Shohada


Sebagaimana sebelum ini, hati tetap berdebar-debar dan teruja untuk melihat Kaabah lagi. Lebih-lebih lagi anak bongsu saya yang baru pertama kali ke tanah suci.


Masjidil Haram dan Kaabah


Kawasan muslimah di dalam Masjidil Haram

Jemaah lelaki sedang beriktikaf di dalam Masjidil Haram


Syukur alhamdulillah kami dipanggil lagi dan dapat melihat Kaabah dan beribadat. Kami mengangkat tangan berdoa melihat Kaabah.

Orang terlalu ramai mengelilingi Kaabah. Saya menunjukkan kepada anak bongsu saya bahagian-bahagian Kaabah seperti tempat permulaan tawaf, Hajarul Aswad, Hijr Ismail dan Rukun Yamani supaya dia dapat melakukan tawaf dengan betul.


Kami berjanji untuk berjumpa di bawah lampu hijau tempat permulaan tawaf sekiranya terpisah dalam jemaah yang ramai. Kami pun berniat tawaf, bergerak menghampiri Kaabah menuju penjuru Hajarul Aswad yang sentiasa dikerumuni manusia, beristilam dan memulakan tawaf. Kami sekeluarga berjalan rapat-rapat dan memegang di antara satu sama lain supaya tak terpisah. 


Zikir, doa dan ayat-ayat Al-Quran dibaca semasa tawaf. Zikir, doa dan ayat-ayat yang dibaca telah dirancang oleh suami saya sejak di tanahair lagi dan kami sama-sama bersetuju membaca zikir yang sama pada setiap pusingan. Antaranya "Subhanallah, Alhamdulillah, Allahu Akbar," "Robbana atina fi dunia hasanah wa fil akhirati hasanah wakina azabannar," dan "3 Qul."


Pelbagai bangsa, warna kulit dan usia berkumpul di sini mengelilingi Kaabah. Di sebelah kiri kami, kami nampak seorang lelaki buta menggunakan tongkat tawaf bersendirian dan seorang lelaki yang tidak berkaki tawaf bersendirian tanpa menggunakan kerusi roda tapi hanya menggunakan tangannya sebagai ganti kakinya yang tiada. Kami kagum dengan kegigihan mereka mengelilingi Kaabah walaupun tidak sempurna anggota badan serta deria.


Kawasan yang sesuai untuk solat sunat selepas tawaf ialah di belakang makam Nabi Ibrahim A.S.

Setelah habis mengelilingi Kaabah 7 kali, kami solat sunat di belakang Makam Nabi Ibrahim dan  menghadap Kaabah.  Kami solat berdekatan. 

Setelah solat, kami minum air zam-zam yang terdapat di dalam tong air di dalam masjid menuju jalan ke Bukit Safa.


Bukit Safa dan Marwa



Jemaah sedang Saie, iaitu berulang-alik dari Bukit Safa ke Bukit Marwa

Setelah itu kami mengerjakan saie dengan berulang-alik dari Safa ke Marwa. Bacaan kami juga sama.

Cabaran dihadapi setiap kali mengerjakan umrah dan saie. Kali ini ada yang terbatal wudhu. Ada yang tiba-tiba semput dan terpaksa berjalan perlahan-lahan. Maklumlah ahli keluarga kami ada yang muda remaja, ada yang sudah mencecah 6 series. Jadi terpaksalah menunggu dan mengikut rentak setiap ahli supaya dapat melakukannya bersama-sama.

Setelah selesai saie, kamipun menggunting sendiri rambut di Bukit Marwa. Maka, selesailah umrah kami. Kami sangat bersyukur kerana telah dapat menyelesaikan satu umrah. Umrah yang seterusnya akan kami lakukan pada hari lain. 

Pakej TH Travel menyediakan 2 kali umrah tambahan dengan bermiqatkan Hudaibiyah dan Jaaranah.  Manakala untuk menambah umrah lagi, kami perlu pergi sendiri ke miqat dengan menaiki teksi atau bas. Miqat yang terdekat ialah Tanaim.



Kami singgah makan ais krim setelah selesai umrah dan saie

Renovasi Masjidil Haram




Orang terlalu ramai. Masjidil Haram pula masih melakukan renovasi dan banyak laluan disekat dan laluan sehala. Jadi kalau masuk satu haluan belum tentu dapat keluar mengikut laluan yang sama. Kadang-kadang terpaksa mengikut laluan 'maze' yang jauh. Ini sangat memenatkan.

Renovasi di dalam Masjidil Haram masih dilakukan

Belalang dan Cengkerik Hitam


Oleh kerana musim sejuk, banyak belalang dan cengkerik hitam migrasi ke Mekah. Cengkerik dan belalang itu datang dalam kumpulan yang banyak. Penuh di luar Masjidil Haram itu dengan serangga ini. Oleh kerana jemaah juga terlalu ramai, maka tak kurang juga serangga ini mati terpijak.  Cengkerik yang berterbangan dan merayap pula tidaklah membahayakan jemaah, lagipun pekerja di masjdil Haram sentiasa menyapu bersih serangga itu.

Sabtu, 6 Julai 2019

Umrah 2019 (Part 2) | Visiting Medina in Winter

A fter  checked in to the hotel, my family and I were eager to go to the Masjidil Nabawi, the mosque of the Prophet, quickly we got ready and made it to the mosque.

"Tell me this is not a dream," said my excited youngest son as we were walking. I pinched his cheeks to make him realized that this was for real.

Then the men went to the gents praying section, while my sister and I went to the ladies section.  It was 10 pm. We performed our solah (prayer) under the canopy which was outside the mosque. The floor was spread out with carpets. The workers have started rolling in the carpet, indicating that the place would be closed soon. Not many female pilgrims were there because it was almost late night.  

The compound of Masjidil Nabawi in winter night

We saw many black crickets and grasshoppers there. Some have been crushed accidentally by men's feet and dead. Some of them were crawling on the floor. Some of them were climbing up on the worshipers who were performing their prayers. However, the insects did not bite them.


Grasshopper at Masjid Al Nabawi


As we used to do before,  we visited the Prophet's (PBUH) tomb, where the body of our beloved Prophet (PBUH) lies. We offered Salawat Nabi to him by his graveside. We then greeted the Prophet  (PBUH) on behalf of those who asked us to do so. 

Next to his blessed grave are his companions' graves ~ Abu Bakar as-Siddiq and Umar Ibn al-Khattab are buried next to each other in what was then the room of Sayidatina Aishah. Greeting the Prophet (PBUH) and his companions is a must for us as they deserved to be praised.  

The Prophet's (PBUH) tomb from the outside of the mosque, it is characterized by the big green dome


Pilgrims walking to the Prophet's (PBUH) tomb


The Prophet's tomb is enclosed to avoid possible shirk

When we got back to our hotel, my youngest son told me that it was quite an emotional experience to enter the mosque, and to connect with the early history of Islam, which he had only read in books and learned in religious classes. 

His first glance on the grave of our beloved Prophet (PBUH) brought him to tears. It was something his eyes had never seen. He got goose bumps when he did his solah in Raudah which is closed to his graveside.



Friday in Medina


The uniqueness of our visit this time is that it fell on Friday and we could perform the Solatul Jumuah (Friday midday prayer) in the Prophet's Mosque.  


Women spending time in iktikaf or in sitting in the Masjidil Nabawi 

Waiting for the Friday prayer in the Mosque of the Prophet

On that Friday morning, I took my sons to the Baqi' cemetery which is the resting place of the families and companions of the Prophet. The cemetery is located just next to the Prophet's Mosque.  The cemetery was encircled by high brick walls and only men were allowed to enter. As my children are all males, they  were able to get to the cemetery, while my sister and I waited for them outside the walls.

Baqi' Cemetery, the resting place of the Prophet's (PBUH) family members and his companions

To Raudah - The Garden of Paradise on Earth


There were many people in Medina. Another place in Masjidil Nabawi where every pilgrim wants to go into is Raudah, which is one of the gardens of Paradise. Raudah is an area of the mosque between the Prophet's pulpit and his house. 

The women section of Raudah is a little different from the Raudah of men's section. To get into Raudah requires patience because the space for women in Raudah is limited and cramped. It opens for a short time for women. The time waiting to get into Raudah is very long ~ at least an hour or two is needed.  I went to Raudah after 9.00 pm, with the TH Travel group led by a mutawiffah (a guide appointed by the TH Travel responsible for the needs and well-being of pilgrims). We were waiting quite long with hundreds of women waiting to be granted an entry. 

When the time came, approximately at 12 midnight, we were then allowed to go into Raudah. We didn't have to be aggressive to find a spot to pray because our mutawiffah was there to help us. We took turns to pray two rakaah on the green carpet which is the mark of the Raudah area. Each person was fenced by our mutawiffah who held hands making a semicircle, blocking other people from her way, so that she could perform her solah. So, every body in the group was given the chance to pray there.

When all the women have done their prayers they leaved the place. My sister and I were standing and leaning on one of the pillars in Raudah. We did not go out with them. We endeavored to spend a couple of minutes in there. The police women who were there let us stayed in as long as we liked. Perhaps the reason why our stay was permissible is that we were the last batch of the day. We took the advantage of the stay to recite the surah (verse) of Yassin and made supplications. My sister and I only leaved the place once we were satisfied with all the prayers, supplications and recitations that we have made. Praise to Allah, we were given ample time in there.

But for the men they did not have difficulty to get into Raudah. My sons and my husband could get closed to the tomb of our beloved Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). The place for them to perform the solah is sufficient and not cramped with people. The place is always open for them.

"Gimme the camera," said the policeman in Raudah to my son

For female readers who want to know more about how to get into Raudah, please read my previous entry:

Umrah 2017 | Panduan ke Raudah


Shopping and Visiting Around Medina


As we came with family members, we were always together and stayed connected. Upon returning from the Masjid to our hotel, we stopped by at the shops for shopping. We bought many stuffs such as  bisht (a long cloak), ghutra (a wide square of cotton shawl with checkered pattern), kurta (a long loose shirt for man), abaya (a long gown for woman), hijab (veils), prayer beads, prayer mats, wall hangings, dates and chocolates. We bought them for ourselves and relatives. And some were given to the pilgrims who were passing by. The prices got cheaper as we moved farther away from the Masjid al Nabawi. All the shops were selling the same items for the most part, so we walked 2-3 streets away and bargained for a better deal.

My son is distributing dates to the pilgrims passing by outside Masjidil Nabawi 

There was an ice cream parlor in the lane to our hotel. We liked ice cream. We did not have  to carry it to the hotel. We sat on the bench in the lane, ate the ice cream and watched people passing by. A mix of vanilla and mango is our favorite. It was smooth and tasty.

We ate the ice cream on a bench at the street of Medina

On Saturday morning, TH Travel took us by bus to Masjid Quba to perform a prayer as done by the Prophet (PBUH). The reward for those who keep their ablution and perform two rakaah of solah in the Masjid Quba is like performing an umrah. So, I took my ablution properly at my hotel and kept it from being voided by skipping my breakfast.

When we arrived at the compound of Masjid Quba, all of a sudden my ablution was voided.  I then took again my ablution at the ablution room which was located outside the mosque. Then I went to the second floor of the mosque to do my solah because the first floor was completely full. Because of the time taking the ablution in the room which are always packed I was late and the rest of the pilgrims have to wait for me.

The pilgrims are performing their two rakaah prayer in Masjid Quba in the morning

My husband felt sorry to what has happened to me. The next day, he took me to Masjid Quba again. But this time we took a taxi there and asked the taxi driver to wait for us until we were done with our prayers. We paid him 50 SR for the trip. There were not many people in the mosque. I had ample time there. I praised to Allah that this time my ablution was not voided until the end of my prayers.

Because of the goods are a lot cheaper outside the mosque than elsewhere in Medina we took the opportunity to shop for some chocolates, drinks and snacks there.

Beside that, while in Medina, we were taken by TH Travel to visit the many historic sites of Mount Uhud, Masjid Qiblatain and other places.

Mount Uhud has a small bazaar with very cheap goods. So, we also took the opportunity to buy dates, figs and nuts there.


My family witnessing the historical site of Uhud Battle

We then went to a dates market in a dates plantation. This was not our first time shopping at the dates market. We knew the price in the dates market is more expensive than elsewhere in Medina. So, we didn't buy any dates there. We bought dates from shops closer to Masjidil Nabawi, at the compound of  Masjid Quba and Jabal Uhud. We got best bargain price as there were many shops over there.

Shopping in dates market

Please read my previous entries about my visits to Medina:

Backpack ke Madinah dan Mekah (Bhg 2): Apa Ada Di Madinah?



Long Heavy Rain 


After three days in Medina, we traveled to Mecca to perform our umrah. But before we left the Holy City of Medina, we visited the Prophet's grave and bade him farewell. It was heart breaking for us to leave the place.

But that morning, after bidding farewell to our Holy Prophet, all of a sudden, the rain fell.  It was very heavy, long and lasted for about 4 hours. Medina was flooded with rain.  This is the first time I witnessed heavy rain in the holy land. "We never have heavy rains like this for many years," said the traders in Medina. 


Heavy rain in Medina

I Saw Green


All the pilgrims were donning their ihram and declared their intention to perform umrah upon arriving at Bir Ali which is the miqat  or the place  fixed for taking on ihram. The bus did not pull over at Bir Ali,  but just passing by, we only uttered our intention to perform our umrah and recited the talbiah in the bus. As soon as the pilgrims entered the state of ihram, the 13 forbidden acts should be maintained. Penalty or expiation for missing out a ritual of umrah or committing an act which is forbidden during ihram will be paid by the pilgrims. 

The journey from Medina to Mecca was very interesting because I have never seen so many green plants grew and creeks flowed in the holy land before this. 


Streams and greens all the way from Medina to Mecca


Water and wet along the journey


Rest Stops in Our Journey


The journey to Mecca took about 6 hours. We expected to arrive there at 8.30 p.m

The bus pulled over for rest stops during the journey to let the pilgrims used the toilet, drank and performed solah. We sat down, drank tea and ate fritters at one of the rest stops. As there were 13 buses with TH Travel, the rest area was full of people and we have to comply with a long toilet queue. While queueing, I chatted with my student whom I met in the same journey. She told me sadly that she could not perform the umrah because she just got her menstrual period today.

The rain-drenched rest area on the way from Medina to Mecca

We stopped eating this fritters


As  expected, we arrived in Mecca at 8.30 p.m. What happened in Mecca?  Please read the story in my next entry. 



...to be continued

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