Back from Hajj, the days of Allah

Alhamdulillah, having been blessed to have travelled to the lands where the spring of life emanates from, the source of peace in the world. Makkah al Mukarama & Madinah al Munawara, i am having to climatise back into the british weather once more. Even though it is winter in the holy lands it was nonetheless, nothing compared to the usual good old british weather. The comparison is that, our summer is similar to their winter and their winter is similar to our summer, more or less. Although at times it can be really chilly in the holy land. Looking back at the whole adventure of hajj, the part which i am missing most is the actual 5 days of hajj which every guest of Allah under goes. Hajj is literally the days of Allah, where millions of people spend time and energy ONLY focusing on worshipping Allah and seeking his forgiveness, with nothing on their minds other than seeking his pleasure and closeness. Staying the three nights in Mina, spending the night in muzdalifah followed by the day of arafat. one memorable moment from those days are; when we walked from makkah to mina and then back to mina from muzdalifah, in the company of shaykh ahmad dabbagh.

Naseehah being given by shaykh Ahmad Dabbagh in muzdalifah

i have many memories and thoughts of the journey which i wish to pen down in this post. Initially i wanted to do a day by day hajj diary, but i left behind my iPhone which ultimately made me paralysed in terms of being able to blog on a daily basis. This to me was a catastrophic blow since memories of events and situations are always strong and fresh at first hand and the time going.
anyhow, in summary, the experience of hajj moreover, doing it with my shaykh is an experience i will not forget. The first day when we went to makkah, the one thing which struck our eyes was not the grandeur of the grand mosque but the newly built monstrous clock tower which towers above the haram. From far and wide the structure can be seen.
The only structure which can be seen literally from anywhere in makkah!

The night before the beginning of hajj, a handful of us went to the cave of hira. Several years ago when we went there, we could clearly see the haram through one of the small openings in the cave. But now the one thing which you see is this grossly huge clock building. Around the haram vicinity there are numerous billboards advertising the new, yet more monstrous buildings to be erected over the next ten years in very close proximity. Talking about the cave of hira reminds me of how it has changed. There are now stairs with railings all the way up to the cave of hira itself. The funny thing is, there are now rest stations with signs telling you every so often how far you have reached, and how far left until your destination, which is the cave of hira. Once you reach these rest stations, you has the opportunity to rest on the purpose-built benches which are supplied along with purpose-built bins to dispose of any rubbish you may have gathered throughout.
The signs of the rest stations along the way to up to the cave of hira

The other highlights for me was, going to the madinah museum which had models of madinah during the time of the prophet (saw), with models of each stage of the expansion from then upto now. There was a separate section where the model of the rowdah is displayed. Showing how it looks from in the side the actual resting place of the beloved (saw). How the three pure bodies are buried and how the blessed room (hujra) looks inside. there were also a sample model of how the house of the prophet (saw) looked like in madinah.
A model representing how the hose of the prophet (saw) would have looked like

Around the holy sights of madinah, for example the bani saeedah area, the place where the bayah of abu bakr (ra) took place. The Saudi government have put up signs informing the guests of Allah what occurred there and the significance it has with islam. Amusingly, it seems the Saudis have only now understood what the concept of tourism is, and how it can benefit the economy!
lastly, with it being winter in Saudi arabia it was much easier to move around and to enjoy the holy sights and sounds. the calls of adhan and the temperature in general. the condition which was much closer to that of british weather. Although it has to be said the peak of day the heat was still unbearable!
The last day in madinah, went flying by. we gave our salams and got ready for the journey back to the UK. I end with this that, throughout the whole journey we had a sayyid (descendant from the family of the prophet (saw)) join us. Several years ago he moved to madinah were he lives permanently, now. Being a man of blessed origin, it has enabled him to go to places where others can’t even dream of. shah saab is such a blessed person that he is one of those few people who had the chance to go down to the actual grave of the prophet (saw) to see his great grand father, and to see the two blessed companions who accompany him! Many of us, only are fortunate enough to give salam to the prophet (saw) from the top area where the famous grills are placed, near the salam area.
The famous grills in front of the luminous graves
His father, mother and wife are all buried in the gave of baqi. Which he himself will be buried there, once he leaves this world! A graveyard in which the muslims of the world wish and can only dream of being buried in. It is said that the people from the graveyard of jannatul baqi will be raised right after the prophet (saw) on the day of judgement and thereafter will be admitted into paradise without any accountability or reckoning. THis is such a graveyard where more than 10,000 companions of the prophet saw) are buried. from the likes of uthman ibn affan, the 3rd khalifah of the prophet (saw) to that of imam malik the great scholar of madinah. A tabieen who is of great status and honour within the muslim world. Having lived through this dream, and back in UK i feel shattered and sad that it ended to soon and how fast good things always seems to fly by!

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