Monday, March 21, 2016

Ziarah

Assalamu'alaykum.
Hello, there.

As I said in my previous post, I'd like to share some of the stories mentioned by our mutawwifs while we did our ziarah in Madinah and Mekah. We had our first ziarah in Madinah followed by Mekah a few days after.

May Allah increase us in knowledge. Ameen.
I hope we all can benefit from this.
Insha'Allah.

Masjid An-Nabawi
Masjid An-Nabawi is located in Madinah Al-Munawwarah. This is the Masjid of The Prophet Muhammad SAW. It was built by The Prophet SAW himself and also known as the second Masjid built after Masjid Quba. The Masjid was originally adjacent to Muhammad's house. Our mutawwif also mentioned that the old building was ten pillars from the left to the right, and eleven pillars from the front to the back.

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Messenger SAW said, One prayer in my Mosque is better than one thousand prayers in any other mosque excepting Al-Masjid Al-Haram.
— Sahih al-Bukhari

The original Masjid is located further inside the new building. The Prophet's SAW tomb is located in the old building along with his companions', Saidina Abu Bakr RA and Saidina Umar Al-Khattab RA. In the old building is also where the Raudhah is located. Raudhah is described by Rasulullah SAW as one of The Gardens of Paradise.

Masjid An-Nabawi

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet SAW said, There is a garden from the gardens of Paradise between my house and my pulpit, and my pulpit is on my Lake Fount (Al-Kauthar).
— Sahih al-Bukhari

Jannatul Baqi' (The Garden of Baqi')
We didn't have the chance to actually visit Jannatul Baqi'. While doing the ziarah, we were on the bus and didn't stop at the exact location for some reason. But the mutawwif did mention a story of this place. Jannatul Baqi' is a cemetery located in the east of Madinah, in the suburbs. The Prophet's SAW relatives and companions were buried there including his wives and children.

Jabal Uhud (Hill of Uhud)
This place is located approximately 12 kilometres from Masjid An-Nabawi. The Battle of Uhud during the time of The Prophet took place in Jabal Uhud therefore explains the name of the hill. It was the only battle where The Prophet and his companions had lost. During this battle, Rasulullah SAW was attacked. He was hit with a rock and fell on his side breaking his front teeth, slashing his face and splitting his lips. He was stabbed on the shoulder too. As a result, he had to bear the pain for a month.

I found this useful video explaining about The Battle of Uhud. You can watch this video to know more about the battle insha'Allah. The story of The Battle of Uhud.

The tomb of Saidina Hamzah ibn Abdul Mutalib RA, one of The Prophet's companions, is located near Jabal Uhud. Another two companions who were buried here are Saidina Abdullah ibn Jaysh RA and Saidina Mus'ab ibn Umair RA.

It was mentioned by our mutawwif that the blood of Rasulullah can still be smelt on the hill until today. Subhanallah.

Jabal Uhud

Masjid Quba
This mosque is located about 4.8 kilometres from Masjid An-Nabawi in Madinah. It was the first Masjid built by Rasulullah SAW and his companions on the basis of taqwa. It is the fourth-famous mosque after Masjidil Haram in Mekah, Masjid An-Nabawi in Madinah, and Masjidil Aqsa in Palestine.

The merits of Masjid Quba are mentioned in nineteen Sahih al-Bukhari hadiths, thirteen Sahih Muslim hadiths, two Sunan Abu Dawood hadiths, and six Al-Muwatta hadiths.

Rasulullah SAW used to go to the Masjid frequently every Saturday. This is referred to in a hadith:

Narrated 'Abdullah bin Dinar: Ibn 'Umar said, The Prophet used to go to the Mosque of Quba every Saturday (sometimes) walking and (sometimes) riding.
— Sahih al-Bukhari

Masjid Quba

Jabal Rahmah (Mount of Arafah)
Mount of Arafah reaches about 70 metres in height and is also known as the Mount of Mercy hence the name Jabal Rahmah. This is the place where The Prophet Adam (AS) met his other half, Hawa' according to many qaul. Our mutawwif also mentioned that The Prophet SAW also did his wukuf here.

My mother, sister, and I managed to climb up to the top. Alhamdulillah.
We recited du'a and left Jabal Rahmah soon after.

Jabal Rahmah

Masjidil Haram
Masjidil Haram is located in Mekah Al-Mukarramah and it is the oldest Masjid in the world since the time of The Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) AS until today. This is also where the Kaabah is located, the qibla of Muslims around the world. The Kaabah was built by Prophet Ibrahim AS with his son Prophet Ismail AS along with the malaikat (angels). It was mentioned in a hadith that one prayer there is equivalent to one hundred thousand prayers.


Kaabah


Ibn Az-Zubair (RAA) narrated that the Messenger of Allah SAW said:
Offering prayer in my mosque (in Madinah) is better than one thousand prayers elsewhere, save for those offered prayer in al-Masjid al-Haram (in Mekah). And prayer offered in al-Masjid al-Haram is better than prayer offered in my mosque by one hundred prayers.
— Related by Ahmad and Ibn Hibban graded it as Sahih

Jabal Nur (Hill of Light)
The hill is synonymous with the Cave of Hira, the place where The Prophet Muhammad  SAW is said to have spent a great deal of time meditating in the cave. It is located about 6 kilometres from Mekah Al-Mukarramah. It does however, take two hours to make it to the cave and is extremely strenuous on the individual. The cave is quite small and can fit two persons in it. Siti Khadijah RA, the wife of The Prophet Muhammad SAW, used to climb up to the hill twice a day to feed her beloved husband. Rasulullah SAW was at his 40s during that time meanwhile Khadijah RA was at her 60s. She was clearly a strong woman. Masha'Allah.

It was on this hill where The Prophet Muhammad SAW had received his first revelation from malaikat Jibril. The first revelation was Surah Al-Iqra. It was also Rasulullah's first time confronting malaikat Jibril. Our mutawwif also mentioned that Jibril spreads its wings from one end to one end, and one was named The Hill of Jibril because of the wing reaching the hill. Rasulullah SAW returned home to Khadijah RA soon after with a trembling body.

Jabal Tsur
This is the place where Rasulullah SAW was hiding with his beloved companion, Saidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq RA. During this time, The Prophet SAW was hounded by the Quraisy. Hiding in this hill does not indicate that Rasulullah was a coward but rather it was his strategy. Rasulullah SAW knew that the Quraisy would try to find him outside the city of Mekah. Therefore, he had planned to hide in the city which happened to be in Jabal Tsur.

However, the Quraisy did not give up. They announced a reward of 100 camels for anyone who tracked Rasulullah SAW and Abu Bakr. Suraqah ibn Malik, who was the best tracker of that time, was enticed. So he went to track The Prophet SAW and his companion. He easily tracked down the two-man caravan of The Prophet Muhammad on its flight to Madinah but as soon as he caught sight of the duo, his horse got stuck in the sand, and nothing could extricate her. The Prophet SAW and Abu Bakr were visible within range of his arrow, but as he lifted his bow to shoot them, his hands became paralysed.

He cried out, Ya Muhammad, pray for me in order that my horse could get out of this mess. I promise, I will retrace my steps and give up the pursuit.

Rasulullah SAW prayed, and Suraqa's horse freed herself from the sand. Such was the size of the reward, however, that Suraqa went back on his word and resumed pursuit of the duo. As he approached Muhammad, the horse got stuck into the sand again.

Suraqa again prayed: Ya Muhammad, if I was released again, I would surrender my arms and return to Mekah never to pursue you. I would dissuade even others from pursuing you.

Rasulullah SAW prayed again, and the horse again freed herself. Suraqa then declared that The Prophet Muhammad’s religion would prevail one day and requested Rasulullah to hand him a written promise that he would be honoured whenever Rasulullah SAW became the head of the Islamic state. Abu Bakr wrote the promise at the behest of The Prophet Muhammad on a bone and handed it over to Suraqa. Even as he began to return, Rasulullah SAW told him that he would one day wear the bangles of Khusrow of Persia. He asked in wonderment if Rasulullah SAW meant the bangles of Khusrow bin Hormuz, the Persian king. Muhammad nodded in acknowledgement.

Years passed. Persia was conquered during the caliphate of Umar ibn al-Khattab. Umar received a missive from Saad ibn Abi Waqqas, commander of the Islamic forces about the conquest of Persia. A fifth of the booty was sent to Umar in Madinah. It contained the famed crown of Khusrow studded with rubies, a gold belt studded with pearls and the gold bangles. Umar was looking at each of the items sent by the Commander of the forces. Suddenly Umar called Suraqa to him and put the crown on his head, helped him don the gold embroidered dress and gold bangles.

Suraqa felt uncomfortable in the royal outfit.

He raised his hands towards the sky and prayed: Ya Allah, how could I put on something which your Prophet deserved far more than I? I smell the air of punishment in it.

He then turned towards Umar and asked him to distribute all those royal appendages among the Muslims.

Masjid Ji'ranah
The Masjid is located about 16 kilometres outside the city of Mekah. It was where Rasulullah SAW and his beloved companions took their miqat for umrah. The name Ji'ranah derives from a woman's name, Ja'ranah. Her name was mentioned by Allah SWT in the Qur'an.

Ja'ranah's story caught our attention.

She was a woman who came from a wealthy family but was less intelligent. Both of her parents had died earlier before her. Ja'ranah then married a man whom only loved her for her fortune. After marrying him, her husband took all her wealth and left her alone by herself. Ja'ranah waited for days, months and years for him to come home but he did not return. Since then, she became an insane woman.

Masjid Ji'ranah





Saturday, March 12, 2016

Umrah

Assalamu'alaykum.
Hello, there.

Alhamdulillah I thank Allah for blessing me with good health and therefore allowing me to write this post, as promised, of our umrah journey last month. Before I begin writing, I'd like to share a few things which I think is significant to this post.

A couple of years ago when I was still studying in Australia, I made a promise to myself. During that time, I was in my third and final year of studies. Just like every Friday night, my friend and I would attend an Islamic lecture every week. It was almost like a ritual thing to us. Alhamdulillah. So, one night while attending the class I made myself a nazar of umrah. I told myself that if this would be my final year of studying and that I were able to graduate on that particular year, then I would make myself umrah nazar. I was very clear that I had made such promise that night. I went back home later feeling determined about my nazar. I told my parents about it the next day or a few days later, I can't remember. My mother was a little bit worried about it thinking whether I could finish my nazar but I told her insha'Allah yes.


La hawla wala quwwata illaa billah.

I remembered when I cry in silence during the Friday night lecture (the topic was on performing Hajj) thinking about how much I miss doing umrah and visiting Mekah and Madinah. The last time I did umrah was 7 years ago when I was seventeen. It was a total different experience for me now. Alhamdulillah on 18th February 2016, just exactly one year and two months after my graduation day, I was given the opportunity by Allah to perform my fourth umrah. Alhamdulillah. Even when I think about it now I'd get goosebumps. Subhanallah. It was such a wonderful experience.

The rooftop of the prayer area

18th February 2016
Our flight was in the morning but we left home early at around 6.00 AM to avoid traffic. We took off from Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur at 10.50 AM via Malaysia Airlines and arrived at our destination by midday. It was a bit hectic as our next flight was just an hour after! So we had to rush to go to the international building as soon as we touchdown.

Our next flight was at around 3.30 PM. The flight from Kuala Lumpur to Jeddah took around 8 hours. Pheww! By the time we arrived at Jeddah it was already 7.30 PM. Take note that Saudi Arabia is 5 hours behind Malaysia time. So, it was midnight in Malaysia. It was a tiring flight but worth it. Alhamdulillah.

We prayed Isya' at the King Abdulaziz Airport (the one for Umrah and Hajj). Usually after arriving at the airport the jema'ah would perform their Isya' prayer there and then leave Jeddah to Madinah or Mekah soon after. After finishing Isya', there weren't many buses left so we had to wait a couple of hours. By that time, we were already off-scheduled. We left the airport later and went straight to Madinah. It was a total of 4-hour journey. A very long journey indeed! Imagine how far The Prophet SAW had to travel from Madinah to Mekah for Hajj. Yet he managed to do it because of the love of Allah. Masha'Allah.

19th February 2016
We arrived at Madinah Al-Munawwarah at 4.00 AM which was an hour and a half before Subuh prayer. We stayed at the nearby hotel (trying my best to recall the name of the hotel but I can't). We had our shower ready first before leaving the hotel to Masjid An-Nabawi. Useful tips is always leave home one or two hours early or else you'll have no choice but to pray outside the Masjid. Our first Subuh prayer in Madinah was on Friday and we were at the front door of Masjid An-Nabawi. It was peaceful. Subhanallah.

On this day while praying at the Masjid An-Nabawi, I told myself that I must (and must) go to Raudhah. Raudhah is located inside Masjid An-Nabawi between The Prophet's tomb to his pulpit and was mentioned in a hadith as one of the gardens of Paradise where supplications and prayers uttered there are granted by Allah SWT.

That night, I slept early as soon as I finished my Isya' prayer so that I could wake up at midnight to go to Raudhah. And I did. Unfortunately, I wasn't aware of the timing they have for Muslimah to go to Raudhah. When I arrived, it was already closed for women. Upon leaving the Masjid, there was a screen showing the time for Muslimah to enter Raudhah. It was stated that the time for Muslimah to go to Raudhah was after Syuruk, after Zohor, and after Isya'. I went back to the hotel with a slight disappointment but I didn't give up.

20th February 2016
The next morning, I decided to go to Raudhah again but this time during Dhuha time. So, I did. As soon as I finished eating breakfast, I went back to the hotel room and was getting myself ready to go to the Masjid. My sister was there with me. We joined the Malaysian-Indonesian group and had to wait until our turn. Alhamdulillah we managed to go to Raudhah and prayed there. It was such a beautiful experience. Subhanallah. I will never ever forget that moment. I went back to the hotel room feeling excited and told my mother about it. It was beautiful.

We went to Raudhah again later that night but this time the place was crowded with people from Turkey, India, Indonesia and Malaysia. We could only manage to make du'a and had to leave the place early. I was feeling a bit sad that we couldn't pray or at least do our sujud at that time but the next morning was a blessing from Allah!

Masjid An-Nabawi

21st February 2016
It was our last day in Madinah. We spent 2 days in Madinah and left the Holy City on the third day. It was hard to say goodbye.

Early in the morning, we were told by our mutawwif that we were given an opportunity to visit Raudhah before leaving Madinah. Of course I was excited and this time we managed to do sunah prayer! Alhamdulillah. I remembered giving salam to Rasulullah for the last time before leaving, Allah knows how hard it was because we don't know when we'll be visiting this place again.

We left Madinah in the afternoon. The men were in their ihram. We took our miqat at Bir 'Ali and did solat sunat ihram at the Masjid. After that, we took off to Mekah Al-Mukarramah leaving the city of Madinah with talbiah.

Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik,
Labbaika La Syariika Laka Labbaik,
Innalhamda Wanni'mata Laka Walmulk,
La Syarika Lak.

We arrived at the Al-Nada Hotel in Mekah late at around 10.00 PM. Everyone was tired, some were still feeling jet-lagged. We had our dinner first before leaving the hotel to do our first umrah of this trip. At around 11.30 PM, we started walking towards Masjidil Haram. The distance between the hotel and the Masjid was about 700 metres. But I wasn't thinking about the distance. In fact, I think all of us were feeling excited to visit and pray at the Masjid as well as to see the Kaabah.

I still remember the moment when I first saw the Kaabah again after so long! All the feelings of missing this place has been fulfilled. Allahuakbar. I couldn't believe myself that I was standing in front of the Kaabah. Allah is The Greatest!

We managed to complete our umrah and finished at around 2.00 AM. Alhamdulillah.
I was so happy indeed. Allah knows.

23rd February 2016
We did ziarah on this day and took our second miqat  at Ja'aranah. The second umrah was even more meaningful to me. I did my nazar umrah on this day. We visitied few places including Jabal Thur, Arafah, Jabal Rahmah, Muzdalifah and Mina, and Jabal Noor. I will share the story of these places in my next post insha'Allah.

Alhamdulillah I completed my second umrah of this trip at 12.35 PM few minutes before we performed our Zohor prayer at Safa and Marwa. After finishing our prayer, we went back to the hotel and had our lunch.

24th February 2016
On this day, we did another ziarah at the museum and visited Hudaibiyah. I will also share the story of this place in another post insha'Allah.

28th February 2016
It was our last day in Mekah. We completed our umrah by performing our final tawaf which was Tawaf Wida'. Again, it wasn't easy saying goodbye to this place because we don't know when we'll have the chance again to visit Mekah (and Madinah) before leaving this world. I pray that may Allah give us the rizq to visit both places again in the near future. Ameen.

We left Mekah at 2.30 PM and arrived at the King Abdulaziz Airport later in the evening. Our flight was at 9.30 PM but it's the government orders to ask every jema'ah to be at the airport 5 hours early prior to flight departure. We did our Maghrib and Isya' prayer there and even had our dinner ready at the airport. By 9.30 PM, we boarded the plane and took off soon after.