Posted on a later day, 10.30.13, I chose to keep the dates in mark with their corresponding dates from our Hajj trip for convenience. You can see a link of all the post-trip posts by clicking here and scrolling down. Click here to see the previous day’s post and click here to see the next day’s post.
Sunday October 20.
We checked into Fairmont yesterday, and again its been chaotic to say the least. Getting room keys was pretty chaotic (although we got ours relatively easily) and many people had to wait quite a while for whatever reason. Navigating this hotel in the beginning (yesterday) was chaotic (and still is for most people). I feel like I am constantly going from one elevator to the next anytime I need to go anywhere.
Its beautiful inside though. The best part? The hotel leads you directly to the courtyard of the Haram. The view from the dining hall of the Haram? Magnificent. Did I mention we hear the azaan (call for prayer) from the Haram in each of the rooms here through a speaker? Our hotel, and therefore the prayer room in this hotel, is actually considered to be part of the Haram so it has been nice to pray here when the crowd has been unmanageable. The view is of the Haram, so it couldn’t be any better.
This morning, I explored the mall on the ground floor a little while my parents tried to catch up on some sleep. I needed chocolate and was delighted to find Bin Dawood (I learned in Madinah relatively quickly that it is like the equivalent of a Walmart pretty much) within the compounds of the internal mall downstairs.
For some reason it seems to be getting more and more crowded in the Haram, as opposed to the crowd easing up as we were expecting it to now that it’s been a few days since the main days of hajj [since that is what everyone always says]. Hopefully, that is the case in the next day or so so we can make the most of this blessed opportunity. My parents did tawaf last night before tahajud and were able to do that relatively easily [in the wheelchair zone] at that time.
Have I mentioned my super-dad, Abu? I don’t know how, but starting this day, he pushed Ami for all of the tawafs [and the sa’ee this day too]. Mind you, he is a heart patient himself. Alhumdulillah, what an amazing role model he has been my whole life.
Reflecting today, as we see our group 19 all together less and less (no more group activities left), I will truly miss some of these people a lot. A few have become like family and I am enjoying soaking in the experience with them in these last few days. I am so grateful they were put in my life, especially through this blessed opportunity.
On another note, I don’t think I have talked about this as of yet but its is incredible that there is a namaz-e-janaza [funeral prayer] (sometimes multiple deceased) EVERY prayer here without fail. I noticed it in masjid al-nabawi in Madinah and again here in Makkah. No better place to die than here, but subhanallah it still gets me each time. One of the tidbits I picked up on this trip is that apparently you are made out of the soil from the place you die. Can you imagine dying (and therefore being made out of the soil) from a place so holy?
Only four full days remaining of our 21 day trip. May Allah SWT give us the opportunity to come again and again. I think I mentioned it in one of the days’ posts from earlier in the trip but inshallah I really want to come back for umrah in a non-peak time and actually enjoy every opportunity instead of having to worry so much about the logistic portions of it.
P.S. if I had a dollar for every time someone here thought I was in the 14-16 age range, I would be rich… I can’t even count the amount of times/the number of people who thought/think so.
Click here to read the post from the next day, October 21.
Posted on 10.30.13