Continuously I said in my heart when I had finished to perform this Umrah. One of my objective when I got a job in Qatar is to visit “Baitullah” (House of God). And praised to be Allah and His prophet (pbuh) again Alhamdulillah my desire finally came true.
Many obstacles had faced in the beginning. This was called by people as test for us before we go for Umrah/ Hajj. We were tested our patience and willpower whether we are yet ready to perform pilgrim. People who less of determine will despondently loose with this test and other side, people who had strong willing to face any of obstacles will keep step toward with patience and sincere. Prophet Muhammad SAW (PBUH) said: “When Allah loves His mankind, he tried. If they truly love Him, He try it.” Quoted from Qur’an in verse 214, Surah Al-Baqarah, it is stated that the person tested will receive help from God and will reward to heaven;
أم حسبتم أن تدخلوا الجنة ولما يأتكم مثل الذين خلوا من قبلكم مستهم البأساء والضراء وزلزلوا حتى يقول الرسول والذين آمنوا معه متى نصر الله ألا إن نصر الله قريب
“Do you think that you would enter paradise, but have not come to you (trials) as has happened to those before you! They have been involved in poverty (property damage) and disease, and shake (with the danger from the enemy) that the Messenger and those who believed with him: “When will (come) the help of Allah?” Surely Allah is indeed close (as long as you persevere and hold fast to Allah). [Al-Baqarah: 214]
This test started from umrah visa. It was really difficult to obtain and pending many times not like normally. Visa process usually took only 14 days, but this time was taken almost 30 days!. And this thing has many impact to all initial arrangements which must be revised such as flight schedule, hotel, and etc. It was getting me such tension because I had promptly plan everything.
When I had requested my leave days to my office for 15 days for Umrah but since Visa still couldn’t be obtained all mind crossed that I’m gonna failed for Umrah. Again yet, Alhamdullilah with patience and always pray to Allah SWT finally visa in my hand. In my pray I always asked to Allah ” Yaa Rabb please grant me your permission to visit baitullah because this Umrah journey would be my last time before I resign from Qatar”. And Allah SWT replied my dua not long after.
When the day has come, my flight waiting and time for me to go (alone). Some friends said that I was crazy when they knew that I am going Umrah alone without any friends or relatives with me. Yes alone, I repeat again this time I ‘m going travel umrah alone!! Hahaha…
I have flight time at 9.00 pm but again test came to me. My stomach strike with gasses. Actually this sickness has been happened weeks ago. It was in my office and I had overworked and forgot to put myself in attention. Not having a good meal order and rest appropriate. At that time I was brought by ambulance to Hamad hospital and having some minor treatment. Full heart attack equipment, electrical shock and many tools out to check my self out. Alhamdulillah, I am fine and not having a serious illness. Doctor just told me to avoid any gasses/ junk food and give myself enough rest time.
And just hours before I go for Umrah somehow this illness back again!! What a test!. Anyway, I just put my fate to Allah SWT. I prayed and asked again”Yaa Rabb please grant me your permission to visit baitullah because this Umrah journey would be may my last time before I resign from Qatar”. And short telling I felt better and straight go to airport.
Flight trip from Doha airport takes time one hour to transit place in Abu Dhabi. I did my miqat (a place to wore Ihram and another final preparation before entering Mekkah) in this Abu Dhabi airport. On flight going to Jeddah made me very enthusiast. During the flight I just try to make my self busy with listening Qur’an and Du’a thru my MP3 player.
Umrah is started
Arrived in Jeddah airport at Fajr and Immigration officer there worked very slow!!. They were really force ourselves to have more patience. Work frivolity, and do what they want to do. More than one hour stand up in a line only waiting to crossed from Immigration gate.
After passed, another challenge waiting me when airport security asked me to find my “Mandoob/ local sponsor” guy to collect passport from them and they were hardly speak in English which Arabic more widely used rather. Alhamdulillah with help of hotel driver, he assisted and convinced to this people that I travel alone and finally they allowed given my passport back.
Trip from Jeddah airport to Mekkah city takes time approximately 1.5 hours. During the trip myself and hotel driver (Mr. Fareed) chatted together. I asked him a lot about his life experience in Saudi and Sacred place for visit in Saudi. He is Pakistani and really nice man. Felt really tired and suddenly I slept on my way toward Mekkah.
Entered the city of Mekkah time shown 0630 am and minutes I seen the beautiful of Baitullah “Masjidil Haram”. That was really mesmerizing and repeatedly I said “Subhanallah3x” the Glory/ Praise to be Allah SWT. In front of me is the glory of Masjidil Haram, “the centre of world” which people in the world toward their pray and praise in to this masjid.
Reach hotel just take an hour to drop my bags and take a short break. Walked away from hotel with full of spirit to perform Umrah and approach to Masjid. Stand in minutes and see around the Masjid from outside. Slowly to look the door and crawl inside. Again Subhanallah, praise to be Allah, I start seen Ka’bah and walk deep inside all became so clear. I don’t know why suddenly tears started roll down from my eyes.
Emotional feeling emboss my body, enthusiasm to startUmrah.
Walk step for Thawaf and little runs for first three round and finish until 7th consecutive round. Amazed with some people who really struggle to touch or kiss Hajar Aswad (the black stone of Mekkah). Even less, many elderly still powerful to walk and look the peculiar from this Umrah performed. I called them as a “Superman”. They seem weak outside but somehow they are super power and full of spirit to perform pilgrim.
Step aside to the next door for Sai. Started from Sofa to Marwah hill. Approximately range in between is 450 meters (this is my self calculation). Jamaah must be travel back and forth seven times. That means in total is 3150 meters. You can imagine, how strong those elderly able to perform pilgrim smoothly. That’s one of the miracle of Hajj and Umrah.
After I passed these two activities and close with cutting pieces of hair that complete my Umrah performed. Alhamdulillah I said repeatedly from my mouth. But, just cut the pieces of hair seem not totally looks like an Umrah. Most of the men they will cut off / bald their head even though this is not compulsory to do. Well, as predecessor did then I do follow them. Find one guy who stand up near of market and offer to cut the hair. I follow him and finally all my hair cut off and my slick head look so shinny.
First day passed with my Umrah performed and the next day is Friday continue to follow Jumah pray in Masjidil Haram. Friday morning somehow my gastric attacked me badly. In the morning, I couldn’t woke up and barely eat anything. Body felt so weak and tend to force me only to laying on the bed. Obstacles to test my niah whether I hv to lay down or pray in a Masjidil Haram.
One time my mind flew with my unwell condition. If I go time may I’ll be drop worst and other mind cross to up spirit then it might be my first and last chance to get Jumah pray in Masjidil Haram. All this intrigue came across and finally I decided to go (Ikhlas) to the Allah SWT and believe He will give me a strength to do it.
I walked to Fahd gate which many people toward this place. This place become one of the fave people to pray because this is the entrance way for King Fahd to wash Ka’bah or visit Ka’bah. Had sit nicely near the door and just waiting for Khotbah to start. Many of people still seen walk through the scene more and more until somehow this area was fulled and a small incident happen when a lot of Jamaah who were stand up waiting for shaf pushed from behind and many of them was fell down.
This situation create some tension between Jamaah. I, who sit nearly this people felt bit afraid when some of big body Jamaah was felt to my side. Feel no comfort made me decide to go out from there and looked other place and finally I sat in the Masjidil haram outer yard. Pray under 50 degree celcius sunlight and no feet cover really hot of course but everything paid off when Jumah pray session finished all my mind felt so clear and happy.
Say come back again
Next day is Saturday and my last day in Mekkah and Saudi. Not having a lot of experience this time. Since peak season so hard to find flight which mostly fully booked and high price they gave. But this 3 days experience really unforgettable moment for me. Travel alone, arrange everything alone, find new friends in Mekkah until spiritual journey which very enthusiasm. I still missed many of great place and event in Saudi. Hoping that I could visit again there but may next with my family not alone……