So last month hubs and I went to Mekah for Umrah and Madinah for our ziarah. It was such a wonderful and enlightening experience that while we were packing to go home, we were already planning to go again next year. I feel so blessed to have gone for the trip. To be honest I had my reservations initially. I thought I wasn't ready to go to the Holy Land (probably because I know I haven't been the best Muslim), but Alhamdulillah everything went really smoothly. A friend once told me that going on Umrah with your spouse is one of the most romantic things you can do. And she was right.
We landed in Jeddah and had to take a four hour bus trip to Madinah. By the time we reached Madinah we were exhausted from the total of 12 hour journey, but as soon as we laid eyes on Masjid Nabawi (the Prophet's mosque), we immediately perked up. MasyaAllah the mosque was so beautiful. It was a picture of peace and serenity. I mean, just look at this.
Masjid Nabawi at night
These "roofs" will open or close depending on the weather, much like an umbrella. Cool eh?
Beneath this green dome lies the Prophet's makam
Us outside Masjid Nabawi
The beautiful interior of Masjid Nabawi
My only challenge while we were in Madinah was performing solat at Raudhah, where the Prophet's makam was. There were too many people and me being Malaysian and small compared to Arab women, got pushed and shoved around a lot. But I did manage to perform two solat sunat at Raudhah, Alhamdulillah. Apparently the men are a lot more civilized and DH managed to perform thirty solat sunat at Raudah. Thirty!! I'm so super jealous!
We spent five days in Madinah and I loved everything about it. From the beautiful mosque to the beautiful people, from walking through the street market outside the mosque after each prayer time to haggling with shopkeepers for the best abaya price, from the cool zamzam water provided for free around the mosque to the steaming hot Arabic coffee. It was wonderful.
The street market outside the gates of Masjid Nabawi. I must have bought at least ten scarves here for 5 Saudi Riyal each (equivalent to RM4.20/USD1.30)
Nuts about nutsOur mutawif, an amazing ustaz took us around to ziarah around Madinah and told us stories on the Prophet s.a.w. and his companions. He told us the stories so eloquently that at times I found my eyes welling with tears listening to the sacrifices that the Prophet and his companions made during their time. We passed by the graveyards of the Caliphs and the Prophet's companions and offered prayers for them. I remember when our mutawif told us about the Battle of Uhud where the Prophet's uncle, Hamzah was killed by an assassin, Wahsyi, who ripped out his chest and took out his heart to present to Hindun, the lady who hired Wahsyi to kill Hamzah to avenge her husband's death, I cried.
Us outside the garden where Saydina Abu Bakar was elected as the first Caliph after the passing of the Prophet s.a.w
Masjid Kuba, the first mosque built by the Prophet s.a.w
After five days it was time for us to pack out bags and leave Madinah for Mekah, the Holy City. Here's DH in his ihram.
Anyway, after checking out of the hotel, we hopped on the bus and went on our way to Mekah. We stopped by Bir Ali Mosque for our Miqat and was delayed coz the bus driver forgot to bring his permit LOL. As much as we were eager to reach Mekah, we were resigned to the fact that this was just one of the many trials that we had to go through. Since there was nothing we could do about it, we decided to just wait it out. We finally departed at around 3 p.m. and arrived in Mekah at almost midnight. More on our Umrah in Mekah in my next post.