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b/p: anak salleh.


The Holy and The Radiant

17th January 2013 - 29th January 2013.

Two most exquisite weeks of my life. Let me share my experience being in The Holy Land, The Blessed Land, The Land of Peace; Makkah al-Mukarramah & Madinah al-Munawwarah.

About a month before, I was nervous and excited. Finally, it was our time to be the guest of The Lord. Praises only to Him for giving us the chance.

17th January 2013.

Skipping the en route, straight to the story. We did our first umrah as soon as we reached Makkah from Jeddah. Despite being too tired as the whole journey (KL - Jeddah - Makkah) took about 12 hours, the magnificent Masjidil Haram did not cease to amaze me.

The bright lights, the tall minarets, the huge entrance door, white marble tiles. It is as if I am walking into a great castle through door #1. My heart was racing, blood was pumping to a velocity that challenged the national speed limit. I was about to set foot in Masjidil Haram!

'Bismillah. Allahumma antas salam wa minkas salam wa ilaika ya'udus salam. Fahaiyina rabbana bis salam wa adkhilna jannata daras salam. Tabarakta rabbana wa taalaita yaa zal jalali wal ikram. Allahummaftahli abwa barahmatik. Bismillahi walhamdulillahi wassolatu wassalamu 'ala Rasulillah SAW.'

And there I was. I am in Masjidil Haram. People are all over in this masjid and it was 0300! I went over to the rows of ZamZam barrels, drank a cup, stood facing Kaabah and recited a piece of doa from the manual. But wait a minute, something is not right. Something is missing. I did not feel a thing.

This is quite odd. I was expecting tears shedding as to the longing of Baitullah has finally been fulfilled, the yearning to be in Al-Haram has finally accomplished. But, no. I did not felt a speck of emotion. I was neutral. I WAS NUMB. Never mind, I tell myself. Maybe I am worn out by the journey. Take your time.

So I went to the green light perpendicular to Hajarul Aswad, which is the starting point of tawaf, lead by our Mutawwif and followed by Abah, Mama, Nadia and Anyssa. Made my niat, started my counter-clockwise move around Kaabah seven times while reciting bits and pieces of doa from the manual. Mama bought the manual that have a strand of rope tied to the book so we could hang it over our necks. 

During the seven rounds, I kept thinking. Why did I not felt anything? Not a cry, nor a single sob. Is there something wrong with me? I think it's normal kot, after all Kaabah is just another building. No no no, this can't be. Where have all my emotions went? And on and on with self conflicting monologue. After tawaf, went to the green light area and prayed Solat Sunat Tawaf.

BAMM! As soon as I raised my hands for takbir, emotions kick in. Maximum overdrive. I wept and sobbed throughout the whole 2 rakaat solat. And it felt amazing. I was overwhelmed, content, fearful, anxious and more mixed feelings. In that moment, in the midst of hundreds and thousands of humans, I felt I was the only one there. The calm and serenity came like no other. Only me, Kaabah and Him. I was amazing!

We continued the umrah by doing Saie and I'm telling you, it was not easy going seven rounds around Kaabah and another seven rounds walking from Safa to Marwah. At least for first timers. I wonder how people back in the days do it? Now the walkways are equipped with air conditioner, cool tiles and other top notch facilities. And I wonder, how did Opah had the energy to do all these in Ramadhan? Fuhh, salute to Opah.

The best thing about being in Makkah was, for the first few days I did not think of anything. I had deep sleeps without dreams. I woke up refreshed and eager to go to Masjidil Haram. Subhanallah, it was absolutely a wonderful experience.

I made some friends but the most dear to me is my little friend, Megat Haffique Isqandar. He's 9 years old and he just recovered froSystemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) but what an energetic little guy. He's into Bruce Lee and currently enroll in a MMA Academy somewhere in KL. A little tiger, I can say.

Everyone came with different stories, but hoped for the same thing.

To go back to our respective hometowns, rejuvenate, refreshed and being a new person.