Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 9, Thursday, 24th November, 2011

Today was the BIG DAY. I was ready for the drive to Mecca for performance of the Umrah by half past eight, but Memunabhabhi took ill, and eventually, we left a little after noon. Our first destination was the mosque or Miqaat near Ta'if (yes, Ta'if), where it is obligatory to change into the Ehraam clothes, and to then drive back to reach Mecca. In the event, we actually wore the ehraam from Jeddah, and proceeded to the miqaat where we performed the Dhuhr prayers. Abi Talib had a slight sore throat and was braving the journey rather well, I must say. We had already had a heavy breakfast before leaving, and went in for snacks on the way to Mecca.

Juzer is a good driver, and we reached without any untoward event by around 3:30 p.m. The Umrah begins with taking 7 rounds (tawwafs) around the Kaaba; after this, you need to walk seven lengths of a passage that connects two points, Safa and Marwah. Modern developments have made these two "walks" quite comfortable, but in olden times, the passage from Safa to Marwah (both hills) was quite tough as one had to walk through the desert. Right opposite the Haram sharif, there are a string of five-star hotels, where one can even stay for a day or so if one has come from some other part of the Kingdom to perform the Umrah. For the people of my faith, there is also a separate centre where one can request for a person to accompany you as a guide for your Umrah. As Juzer and Memuna are well-versed with the routines, I did the Umrah under their personal guidance, and I must say that they guided me well and thoroughly. 

It was Abi Talib who recited all the duas loudly for Juzer and me to listen to, and that was like - so wonderful that it took away almost all the hardship from the walk. I thank Allah and Juzer and his family for their excellent guidance. May they reap the rewards in the hereafter.

We joined the congregation in the Asr and Maghrib prayers, and then completed the Umrah. We also did the Ishaa prayers with them. We finished at around half past nine and travelled back to Jeddah, reaching there by approximately 11:00 p.m. Today, we carried home food from a fast food chain that is very popular all over Saudi Arabia for its excellent quality and quantity combined with quite reasonable prices. This chain is NOT McDonalds or KFC or Burger King or any of the famous American or similar labels. It is unique to KSA and is called Al-Baik. We ordered stuff that could feed twice as many people as us, and in the night, back at Juzer's home, we could indeed not complete more than haf of the ordered food.

All in all, a very satisfying day. Here are a few more pictures of the pilgrimage and a few photos of my own tonsuring.

 This is me in front of the Kaaba.
 These are my cousin Juzer and his wife Memuna.
 Here I am waiting for the barber to remove my hair.
This is my tonsuring in progress.
Thank you for reading this blog. If you like it, please join it and also comment on it. You may like to share it with someone else. Feel free to do so.

1 comment:

MUHBEEN said...

once again bahut mubarak. may Allah give u opportunity to perform hajj at the earliest. pl remember us in all ur duas.
( u look good with a bald head )