Assalamalaikum (Peace be upon you), Dear Readers
I just completed my first Umrah! Alhumdulillah.
The day finally came when i ventured out on Umrah and visited the most sacred place for Muslims in the world, The Glorious Kaba. I always wanted to be there, but circumstances in my life never allowed me to go. Or rather i should say the time had not come for me to visit the Holy city of Makkah until now.
I know a lot of you wonder that I, being a daee (preacher of Islam), did not pay visit to Makkah and Madinah and hence did not do my Umrah and Hajj till now. Although i traveled to quite a few countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Dubai etc; but Saudi Arabia was always left out for some reason. Honestly, i tried quite a few times, but something or the other happened and i couldn’t go. Once i had planned completely, but my vacation got cancelled.
Later i also had my Umrah visa stamped for the same, but then due to an emergency i had to cancel it again. Similarly, for Hajj me and my mother applied through the government quota for three consecutive years, but we did not get selected for it. There were many instances when i tried, but i just couldn’t make it.
Truly, the time has to come for one to complete a particular obligation like Umrah or Hajj. And the time finally came when i ventured out on the path of Knowledge to Madinah. My Journey of knowledge took me first to Makkah (Mecca) on Umrah and then to Madinah (Medina).
I arrived in Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia. The very next week i ventured out on Umrah to Makkah. There are several ways to reach Makkah, however i opted for a Bus. The Umrah bus leaves Riyadh on every Monday and Wednesday and brings us back to Riyadh by Friday night.
I took the bus from Riyadh which started probably at 4 pm on Monday. It took us 10 hours to reach Makkah. On the way, we stopped at Meeqat, that is at Taif which is the meeqat for those who go from Riyadh. I put on my Ihraam at meeqat and thus my Umrah began. The bus reached our hotel in Makkah at around 3 am in the morning, giving us time to get ready for fajr Salah at Kabatullah.
From the time I put on my Ihraam and as we approached the Holy city of Makkah, tears kept on rolling my cheek making my beard wet with it. There was a combination of feelings that i just couldn’t make out. I was very happy and excited about the Umrah, at the same time a fear gripped my heart that I am coming close to my Lord. I was wondering, how can a sinner like me present himself in front of Allah? I kept crying all the way with a strong belief that Allah will forgive all my sins which I might have done knowingly or unknowingly. I did not leave the opportunity of begging like a beggar in front of Allah for his mercy and crying like a small child for the thing I required the most, that is, the forgiveness of Allah. And Alhumdulillah, I feel content and happy while leaving this place and I am positive that Allah forgave all my sins in this Umrah.
The moment we reached our hotel, I dropped my luggage in my room and immediately started off for the Masjid-e-Haram. It was a 10 minutes walk from the hotel to the Masjid. There was a big slope that i had to climb to reach the Masjid. As I started to descend from the slope, i could see the magnificent Masjid, the most beautiful view i ever saw in my life!
I wanted to finish the obligation of Umrah first. So without wasting time, I quickly started the process. After the Tawaaf, I offered the two rakahs near Maqam-e-Ibraheem and then hurried for Saee. I completed my Saee and thus completed my first Umrah. After this I just sat down infront of kaba, staring at it.
Someone told me that this is off season and not many people turn up for Umrah. But they were wrong. The rush was so huge that the Masjid was Packed with pilgrims. The most difficult part was coming close to the hajre-aswad (the black stone). Although one can just raise the palm towards it from a good distance, yet since it was my first Umrah, i wanted to touch it or more so kiss it.
As I started penetrating the inner circles of people doing tawaf trying to come close to the Black stone, i could feel my body getting squeezed like a tooth paste. Everyone were rushing to touch the stone. I had to use all my strength to penetrate deeper and reach the black stone. I reached it and fortunately kissed it. Now don’t ask me how i came out from there. 🙂
The view of Kaba was the most beautiful scene I have ever seen in my life. Just staring at kaba gave me such a peace of mind and heart that i kept staring at it for hours. Then i stood up and offered Salah and made dua to Allah for all those who had requested me to make dua for them.
Rest of the days I spent completely in the mosque in Ibadah. On Friday, after Jumaa Salah, we started off for our return journey to Riyadh from Umrah. I did not feel like leaving from there, and wished I just stayed there for ever!
Alhumdulillah, now I feel great and content that I am a soldier of Allah, a Daee of Allah, and feel ever more happy to call people towards our true creator.
Note: I did not take more pictures because I use photography only for Educational and Dawah purposes. I wasn’t planning to take snaps, but it struck me at the last moment that adding few pics of my Umrah will encourage many youngsters to plan for this glorious journey (instead of traveling elsewhere and wasting money). Hence i could take only these 6 snaps from my cellphone. Sorry for that.
Hopefully, I complete my Hajj as soon as possible inshallah. Please pray for me!