Thursday, May 31

Tidbits before leaving to Mecca

When I was packing to travel abroad for backpacking trip or any holiday, I normally had some idea in mind on how the trip was going to be. But this time around when the destination is Makkah Al Mukarramah, and the sole reason to visit there is to perform ibadah, I couldn't picture on how will I spend my time throughout the trip, honestly. 

Yes I made the appropriate preparations by reading the buku panduan umrah, attending the class organized by the agent some more. To be on the safe side for ignorant people like me ,the first timer reaching the Holy Land, my packing activity was guided by the 'list-to-bring' pamplet given by the agent. It`s funny that I felt like a beginner travelling. Hehe.

And only when I reached there, I came to realize of the importance of the early preparation is thoroughly made before reaching the Holy Land.

Some of the items are mentioned in the list, while some of them are not or if I can put it as, sendiri mau ingatla~. For the reason, I was called to share some essential things that popped up in my mind throughout my stay in Masjidil Haram for the female pilgrims to bring to Mecca . Here are the items, in no particular order.

1)Surah yaasin and al-Quran

Besides performing sunnah prayers, the Book is recited almost all time in the mosque, while surah Yasin is used during tahlil organized by agent, as well as when we are in the mosque. The arrays of  Al Quran are  kept everywhere on the shelf, but I figured that it is best if we bring our own Al-Quran, resuming the recitation  from where we left off and, who knows we might be able to finish them in Masjidil Haram? I forgot to bring mine tho, what a lost. I came to realize that how crucial for one to possess the knowledge or strenghten the skill in reciting Al-Quran before departure. Well, it is just a thought at that point of time, realizing that not all of us could recite al-Quran well, no?

2) Finger counters

The finger counter or tasbih can be used alternately between the al-Quran recitation and idle time before fard prayers, or, perhaps before we dozed off in the mosque, for that matter. Heheh. The variations of activity throughout the stay in Masjidil Haram will reduce the tendency to fall asleep. :)

2) Multiple telekung and multiple socks

I was planning to bring the telekung as minimal as possible, but I changed my mind at the very last minute. When we are in Holy Land especially when we are in 'ihram', the prayer dress (telekung)  is our primary attire, day and night. The whether in the country is hot and dry. And as for my experience, the telekung is best to be changed with a fresh one, daily. Two pairs of telekung is minimally acceptable, I figured.  Plus, wearing socks for performing prayer  is more handy as compared to wearing complete set of our telekung like we normally do at home. So if you got only one pair of socks in your luggage, you might want to think twice. :)

3) Lipbalm

No! It is not for looking gooood with our shiny lips, but the dry air will cause our lips to crack without using  it. Applying Vaseline will do fine, and even Tabung Haji also supplies its own lipbalm for the pilgrims. Just to be safe from violating ihram restrictions, we can use any type of halal lipbalm product but unscented one.

4) Du'a for easy journey
Praying for the smooth sailing journey is not necessarily exercised only when we are about to start the umrah, but it begins long before we are leaving our home to the airport. Yes, we don't know what trial He has to test us in the Baitullah, thus, be prepared with constant prayers as early as possible.

5)Younger age

When middle-aged jemaah saw me and the rest of my friends went to Mecca together, they went "untung muda2 dah sampai sini" . While we,on the other hand, amused when seeing kids as young as six years old and 12 year-old who were with us and uttered among ourselves 'untungnyer budak2 ni kecik2 dah sampai Mekah.."
The ibadah of umrah demands a high level of energy to complete all 5 pillars of umrah especially for tawaf and saie. Thus, it was seen that , the younger we could complete our fifth pillars of Islam (be it umrah or better be, Hajj), the better.

6) Water spray for ablution

Staying in the Masjidil Haram for long hours surely won't allow us to retain the wudu' that long. The toilet is located quite far away from the mosque. Thus we resorted to bring the water spray and water mist to be used as alternative of walking to the toilet. Trust me, it is a MUST HAVE item in your bag, everywhere you go.

7) The zam-zam water is provided all around the mosque. We felt less hungry when drinking the water , and normally we had the water intake before performing the 'tawaf'. I read somewehere saying that the zam zam water benefits you as what you wish (with Allah's permission).If you drink it for a hungry stomach, then you will feel full. If you drink it to get the energy, the you will be strong.

8) Record stuff

When we are in Masjidil Haram, every sound echoed around the mosque sounded so beautiful, be it by imam during prayer, during athan, or even when our mutawwif reciting the du'a. My word of humble advice, when you find it soothing in your ear, immediately record it, by all means.Because when we went back to our country, those voices that we are missing most and crying to hear them again. *sobs*

9) Encircling the Kaaba (Tawaf)

I still remember when I was 14, I love to wander around my school with my partner in crime when teacher was not in the class. Our mischievious behaviour pissed my teacher off, badly. One day, when the extra class was cancelled, the teacher announced to the class about the cancellation and added " haa Juliana, awak bole lah tawaf lepas ni". I only learned the word of tawaf from that moment, and who knows after 14 years down the road, I literally doing the 'tawaf' and enjoyed it most throughout the stay in Masjidil Haram.  Alhamdulillah.

It was narrated that The Prophet (peace be upon him) has once said

" everyday Allah s.w.t showers His 120 blessings and mercy at Kaaba. 60 for those who circumambulate, 40 for those who worship, and 20 for those who look at it"
Translation: "setiap hari Allah menurunkan 120 rahmat di Kaabah. 60 dapat kpd mereka yg bertawaf, 40 dapat kepada mereka bersolat dan 20 kepada mereka yg melihat kaabah"

So, let's maximize the circumambulation! Yes, it looks like a struggle to be in the compact crowd if we see from the top, upstairs of the mosque, but actually it is a movement with religious enthusiatism that only us who are in the crowd would feel it. 

10) Research before departure

Last but not least! When we were brought  on tour at the historical places i.e Jabal Thur, Jabal Noor, I found myself slightly at lost about the history behind it. Thus,I guess it is better for us to make some homework and equip ourselves with sufficient knowledge about the places before we reach there. (Ah ha~ Ju.Z is the best person at this:P). Besides saving ourselves from being lost like I was, the knowledge is helpful in order for us to feel closer to footstep and the life of Rasulullah s.a.w at the Holy Land.


1 responses:

Ju Zie said...

Thanks for these reminders... A beautiful experience indeed...

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