Re­li­gious jour­ney

Our reader takes us on a jour­ney that starts with the um­rah in Mecca, a jour­ney un­der­taken by the faith­ful.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - TRAVEL - By DR MO­HAMED FAIZAL SIKKANDAR s ar ra e hes ar

WHEN not re­duc­ing frac­tures or mend­ing bro­ken bones at work, I love to spend time with my two chil­dren at home and trav­el­ling with the mis­sus at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity. My wife and my­self could not re­sist the op­por­tu­nity to per­form the um­rah when it came knock­ing at our door.

We were both look­ing for­ward to this trip, and we re­alised that not ev­ery­one could have re­ceived this call. I have come across many peo­ple who craved to go for the um­rah but were un­able to, for var­i­ous rea­sons – health be­ing the main one, fol­lowed by fam­ily com­mit­ments as well as fi­nances.

Our flight took about eight hours from Kuala Lumpur to Jed­dah, and from there we took a bus to the holy city of Mecca. As weary as we were from the long jour­ney, the ex­cite­ment at see­ing the House of God moved us on and when we fi­nally en­tered the Holy Mosque, we were brought to tears at the sight of the mag­nif­i­cent Kaaba. No words could de­scribe our feel­ings at that mo­ment. We were fi­nally here!

Af­ter per­form­ing the um­rah, we stayed awhile in the mosque and com­pleted our dawn prayers be­fore re­tir­ing to our ho­tel.

The fol­low­ing day was en­tirely ours to re­cu­per­ate, ex­plore the city as well as per­form prayers in the Masjid al Haram, which we did to our hearts’ con­tent. The small shops around the Holy Mosque were open al­most 24 hours a day, clos­ing only dur­ing prayer times when the adzan was called.

The fol­low­ing day, we vis­ited Ja­bal- al- Thur, the cave made fa­mous be­cause the Prophet Muham­mad hid in it as he made Hi­jra to Medina af­ter be­ing pur­sued by some peo­ple from Mecca who were out to kill him. Next, we vis­ited Arafat, east of Mecca, where our Prophet stood and gave his farewell ser­mon. Also known as Ja­bal Rahmah, leg­end has it that it was here on this moun­tain that Adam met Eve af­ter many years of sep­a­ra­tion. Mus­lims who in­tend to marry will have their prayers an­swered here.

Our en­tire trip in Mecca lasted about four days, in­clud­ing a visit to the Tanaim mosque as well as the his­tor­i­cal city of Hu­daibiyah.

Our next stop was the Prophet’s city, Medina, some five hours away. Medina seemed bet­ter struc­tured, though we could not make equal com­par­i­son to Mecca as the lat­ter was un­der­go­ing ma­jor con­struc­tion work due to be com­pleted in a few years’ time. It is said that peo­ple liv­ing in Medina are bet­ter man­nered and more pleas­ant as a re­spect to the Prophet him­self and his fi­nal grounds, which we found to be very true.

As we had com­pleted our um­rah in Mecca, the trip in Medina was more slow- paced and re­lax­ing. We vis­ited the Prophet’s mau­soleum – lo­cated within the Prophet’s mosque – and the al Baqii’, or the mar­tyrs’ burial ground. It was a day we will never for­get, as we prayed in the Prophet’s mosque, which foun­da­tion was built by the Prophet him­self and the site he was laid to rest, Peace be upon him.

It was a shop­ping heaven here as well, as we bar­gained for cloth­ings and food items to be brought back home. The trip to the date mar­ket was lovely as we filled our shop­ping bags with a va­ri­ety of dates at rea­son­able prices. To­wards the end of our trip, we paid a short visit to my wife’s good friend in Jed­dah and were treated warmly by her fam­ily.

We left for Kuala Lumpur with mem­o­ries of a spir­i­tual jour­ney that will last a life­time.

d ar a e r r er s h r

h e h a

re he ed­dah he e

er ed a here e eas ed a s r s a e ea r e d sh h e e e he r e

r e ds

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.