Hajj Trip: October 22

Posted on a later day, 10.31.13, 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 downClick here to see the previous day’s post and click here to see the next day’s post.

Tuesday October 22.

Today, we went on a ziyarat tour (tour of holy places) around Makkah with our group. We did a similar one in Madinah as well.

The places we visited were:

1) Jabal Saur/Thawr- it’s the mountain, located in the south of the city of Makkah, that has the cave where Prophet Muhammad [PBUH] and Hazarat Abu Bakr hid for three days and nights as they were migrating to Madinah [after an assassination threat]. It’s mentioned in Surah Taubah.

While the two men were hiding inside, Allah SWT sent a spider to form a web from a bush across the entrance to the cave and also had two doves make a nest and lay eggs [between the spider and the tree]. The Quraysh even approached the cave, and came very close to discovering the two men, but upon seeing the spider’s web and the dove nest, they wrongly assumed that it would have been impossible for anyone to enter the cave and left without looking in.

A little side note about Makkah: I mentioned in a past post that Dajjal can’t enter either of the Haram [in Makkah or the one in Madinah]. Another tidbit: If one commits a crime outside of the Haram and enters the Haram, he can’t be arrested while he is in the Haram (until they leave the Haram) because it’s a place where you are one on one with Allah. This doesn’t apply, however, if one was to commit a crime within the Haram.

2) Arafat – it’s where the fundamental of hajj is done [pilgrims come here on the 9th Dhul Hijjah (second day of Hajj)]. Jabel Rehmah [Mount of Mercy] is the infamous [and more commonly known as] Mount Arafat. [Mount] Arafat is actually considered to be outside the boundary of the Haram.

I mentioned one hadith in an earlier post indicating the importance of the day of Arafat [and Mount Arafat itself]. Here’s another: “Apart from the day of the Battle of Badr there is no day on which the Shaitan [devil] is seen to be more humiliated, more rejected, more depressed and more infuriated, than on the day of Arafat, and indeed all this is only because of beholding the abundance of descending mercy (on the day) and Allah’s forgiveness of the great sins of the servants.”

On the actual day of Arafat, I had asked a bunch of our group leaders whether we would be able to see Mount Arafat, and was disappointed to hear that from our camp site it would no be visible. To get to actually see it today was a great surprise and I am so glad I got the opportunity!

While in Arafat, we also saw Masjid Nimrah from far- it’s located on the plains of Arafat and is used only once a year– on the day of Arafat. Part of the masjid is actually outside the boundary of Arafat.

3) Masjid Mash’arul Haram – during hajj, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) prayed maghrib and isha prayers together at Muzdalifah, staying at the spot where this masjid currently is. He said, however, that although he was staying there, anywhere in Muzdalifah is a place for you stay at. Muzdalifah is mentioned in Surah Baqarah: “When you leave Arafat, then remember Allah at the Mash’arul Haram”.

4) We drove by Waadi Muhassar – it’s a place between Mina and Muzdalifah. It’s where Allah SWT destroyed Abraha and his army of elephants. This is mentioned in Surah Feel.

5) Masjid al-Khayf- it’s a masjid in Mina. Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) camped and prayed here during his stay in Mina. My notes from that day indicate that the last surah of the Qu’ran that was revealed was revealed here in the masjid in Mina where he camped… but I have to go and do research to confirm that as a fact.

6) Jabal-e-Noor – it’s the tallest mountain in Makkah. This mountain has the cave, Cave Hira, where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used to seclude himself often for ibaadat. It’s about 6-7 kilometers away from the Haram and the Prophet often walked the distance. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) received his first revelation from Allah SWT here.

7) Jannatul Maa’la – cemetery in Makkah. It’s importance is similar to the one by masjid al nabawi in the sense that it is the resting place of several family members of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and many Sahabas.

8) Masjid al-Jinn – built at the place where Prophet Muhammad used to read the Qu’ran to jinns.

9) Masjid Shazarah/Shajarah – a miracle happened here. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) called a tree and the tree uplifted itself and came to the Prophet [and greeted with Salam]. The Prophet then instructed the tree to return to it’s spot and it did so. The masjid was later built at the spot where the tree stood.

FYI, you think driving through NYC is crazy? Its unimaginable here. I don’t know how it works and how such big buses can possibly squeeze through such narrow roads and traffic from all directions. It is insane. I think I mentioned it in a past post too, but people will literally pick up and move cars like it is nothing in order to navigate traffic and make way. Whatever works, I suppose.

One place we didn’t get to see, that I really wish we had the opportunity to is Masjid Aisha.

Anyways: as we were driving from one point of interest to the next, you couldn’t miss it: we were in the middle of the dessert, yet there was greenery visible. Trees, brushes, you name it. One of the group leaders that was traveling on the bus this day, as our tour guide, mentioned a hadith [this time about one of the signs of the Day of Judgement]: “The Hour (of Resurrection) will not occur….. until the land of the Arabs returns to being pastures and rivers.” Pasture is essentially grass, so for this hadith to imply that the dessert would turn into greenery… chilling.

One more thing: it is remarkable that as we were getting this tour, our hotel, the Fairmont Clock Tower, is clearly visible from everywhere and anywhere. It’s uncanny. You can’t even see the Ka’aba from nearby when you are outside because of the construction and high-rise hotels and buildings that block the view, yet this clock tower is clearly visible no matter how far you are because of it’s height. It’s disappointing that this Clock Tower is what becomes the point of interest [and what many people continuously take photos of and focus on] instead of the Ka’aba.

But that brings me to the bigger point. Another hadith [again on one of the signs of the Day of Judgement]: there is a hadith that basically says when the mountains of Makkah will be drilled through and it’s buildings will reach the height of it’s mountains, the hour would have cast it’s shadow. So what you ask? There are tunnels everywhere through the mountains of Makkah [several right as we leave our Hotel] and our hotel — the clock tower– is definitely a high-rise that is as tall as a mountain in Makkah [if not taller]. Not to mention that the clock tower casts a shadow over the Ka’aba. Literally.

Later that night, Abu and I did a tawaf around 10 pm and it was remarkable. It’s just something every single time. I just can’t explain it, but you just feel a sense of something greater inside.

Click here to read the post from the next day, October 23.

Posted on 10.31.13

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