My Hajj Diary: Random Reflections, Discrete Memories, and Practical Advice-Part 5

19. In Madinah

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was sent as the mercy for the whole universe.

For t-w-e-n-t-y t-h-r-e-e years, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) did his utmost to emancipate the humanity from the darkness of disbelief and polytheism and save them from the fire of hell.

Whenever we are assigned with a responsibility, the first question that we ask is, “What do I get from it?”

In other words, we are selfish. On rare occasions we may put others before us, but we are never completely selfless.

However, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) never asked, “What do I get if I save the humanity?”

It was never his concern how he would benefit.

Rather, his only concern was how he could save a human being from the fire of hell. He had no other concern.

Every Prophet was given a dua with certainty that Allah would accept it. Every Prophet used his dua in this world except for our Prophet (ﷺ). Our Prophet (ﷺ) will use his dua in the hereafter. And he will use it in the hereafter to make intersession for the humanity and for his nation.

Even on the Day of Judgment, when everyone will be thinking about himself or herself, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) will be thinking about others. He will be thinking about ‘us’-his nation.

Since he was commissioned as the Prophet, he stood before Allah every single night to pray the night prayer. He never missed a night prayer. He would stand for long hours before Allah, cry profusely before Him and ask Him to guide and forgive his nation.

Such was his love for his ummah. Such was his worry for his ummah.

Because of his struggle, selflessness, tears and dua, we are blessed with Islam today.

When I finally entered the Mosque of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), I was humbled tremendously.

But also a sense of shame and guilt grew in my heart.

How much did I strive to guard my prayers?

Didn’t I give in when Allah tested me?

How many sunnahs of the Prophet (ﷺ) do I follow?

How many times did I stay away from sins thinking about the sacrifice of my Prophet (ﷺ)  for me?

When the following verse was recited to the Prophet (ﷺ), he cried:

So how [will it be] when We bring from every nation a witness and we bring you, [O Muhammad] against these [people] as a witness? [The Noble Quran 4:41]

Wouldn’t it be a sad incident if my Messenger (ﷺ), who strove so hard to save me from the torment of Allah, has to become a witness against me because of my transgressions against Allah?

With mixed feeling of gratefulness, humbleness, guilt, and shame, I sent my salam to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ).

On the way to Madinah, our bus had to stop at a checkpoint to register all the hujjaj.
The Mosque of the Beloved Prophet (ﷺ).
The pillers of the Prophet's (ﷺ) Mosque.
The Mosque of the Prophet (ﷺ) is indeed aesthetically complete.
Air conditions at the Prophet's (ﷺ) Mosque.
Roof of the Prophet's (ﷺ) Mosque
Door of the Prophet's (ﷺ) Mosque. They are really beautiful and majestic.
The Green Dome.
The platform from where meuzzins now give adhan.

Did Bilaal (radi allahu `anhu) used to give adhan from the place where the platform of the muezzin is now located in the Prophet (ﷺ)’s mosque?

I do not know.

Nonetheless, the adhan of the Prophet (ﷺ) mosque still stir the memory of Bilaal (radi allahu `anhu).

He was a slave of Abyssinia.

However, Allah honored him with Islam. Bilaal (radi allahu `anhu) upheld that honor.

He had a firm faith. When he was served with ‘torture upon torture’ for believing in the oneness of Allah, he would still keep proclaiming the oneness of Allah.

Allah honored him again. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) made him his muezzin.

What a great honor it was to be the muezzin of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). What a great honor it was to be the first muezzin of Islam.

For more than a decade, Bilaal (radi allahu `anhu) would proudly and happily give adhan for the Muslims. However, when the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) died, giving adhan became a difficult matter for him.

Whenever he would say, “Ashadu anna Muhammadar Rasool Allah- I bear witness that Muhammad (ﷺ) is the Messenger of Allah,” he would cry and fall unconscious.

So deep was his love for the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). So deeply he was agonized by the death of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ).

According to history, he migrated to Syria during the caliphate of Umar (radi allahu `anhu).

When Caliph Umar (radi allahu `anhu) visited Syria, he requested Bilaal (radi allahu `anhu) to give adhan.

Bilaal (radi allahu `anhu) acceded to the request of the Commander of the Believers. He gave adhan again.

Hearing his melodious voice after a long time, the heart of the believers shook greatly. They remembered their fond times with the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). All the Muslims cried profusely. Caliph Umar (radi allahu `anhu) wept most strongly.

That adhan was the last adhan of Bilaal (radi allahu `anhu).

The mimbar (pulpit) of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ).

A short history of the blessed mimbar of the Prophet (ﷺ): Cross posted from Muslim Youth Truth:

When Prophet (ﷺ)’s mosque in Al-Madinah was first built, its roof was supported by palm tree trunks. The trunks were spread out around the mosque. They had leaves coming out from their tops which protected people from the heat of the sun and the wetness of the rain. Light entered the building from the spaces between the trees and the leaves, illuminating the corners of the beautiful mosque.

The Prophet (ﷺ) used to address the people of Madinah in the mosque. When he gave a speech he would place his honorable hand on one of the tree trunks. One day the Prophet said, “Standing is becoming difficult for me.” So the Prophet (ﷺ)’s companions suggested building a mimbar, a place where the Prophet (ﷺ) could sit and address the people. The man who would build this mimbar was called Maymun. He was a carpenter who worked for a Muslim woman named Fakiha bint Ubayd. She was from the Ansar, the people who supported the Prophet (ﷺ) upon his immigration to Madinah.

The Prophet (ﷺ) sent a word to Fakiha to tell her carpenter to build the mimbar. Fakiha hurried to fulfill the orders of the Honorable Prophet (ﷺ). She ordered Maymun to go to the north of Madinah where he would find a kind of trees called Tarfa’. He used that to build the mimbar.

Maymun built the mimbar with three steps. The highest step was very wide, allowing space enough for the Prophet (ﷺ) to be able to stand on it when addressing the people. Also, it was large enough for the Prophet (ﷺ) to pray on the step while he led the people in prayer.

On the day the new mimbar was placed in the mosque, the Prophet (ﷺ) ascended its three steps to address the people. After a couple of minutes the people in the mosque heard what sounded like the crying of a small child. They looked to one another, not knowing what was going on. Then they realized where the sound was coming from: The tree trunk that the Prophet (ﷺ) used to lean on when he was giving a speech was moaning and crying, longing for the Prophet (ﷺ).

The sounds of crying kept increasing. It started to sound like the sound a camel makes when her young is taken away. Then the Prophet (ﷺ), peace be upon him, the one with a merciful heart, descended from his mimbar. He went to the crying trunk and hugged it as a father would hug his child until the trunk became quiet. This was a great miracle for our Prophet (ﷺ) who said, “Don’t you wonder at this piece of wood that yearned and cried?” The people came closer to the trunk and heard its soft whimpering and they too began to cry. Then the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Had I not hugged it, it would have continued to cry until the Day of Judgment.”

It is narrated that the Prophet (ﷺ) said to the trunk, “You have a choice. You can be replanted in the place you were originally, where you will return as you were a solid non-feeling tree trunk, or you can be planted in Paradise where you will be watered from its rivers. Your fruits will improve and the pious servants of Allah will eat from you.” The Prophet (ﷺ) continued to say that the tree trunk chose to be in Paradise. So the Prophet (ﷺ) ordered that it be buried near the mosque. After a period of time, the Muslims wanted to enlarge the mosque and they dug up the trunk. Ubay’ ibn Ka’b (radi allahu `anhu), took the trunk and kept it in his possession until it split into many pieces.

The grave of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ)
The mihrab (the position where the imam stands and leads prayer) of the Prophet's Mosque (ﷺ)
Side view of the mihrab.
Walls of the Prophet (ﷺ) Mosque
The view of the Prophet's (ﷺ) Mosque from our hotel.
Carpets and chandeliers at the Prophet's (ﷺ) Mosque
Our hotel at Madinah.
Our hotel room.

I slept in these comfortable beds at Madinah, while the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used sleep in a bed made up of barks of dates palm. When he would sleep on it, it would create marks on his body. One day Umar (radi allahu `anhu) saw these marks on the blessed body of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and cried, “O The Messenger of Allah! The Romans and the Persian Emperors sleep on comfy beds despite being kuffars and you sleep on such rough beds despite being the Messenger of Allah?” The Messenger of Allah became angry hearing this statement. He reminded Umar (radi allahu `anhu) that we have akhirah while the Roman and Persian Emperors had only duniya.

This is the last shot that I took of the Prophet's (ﷺ) Mosque.

Below is an excerpt from the book Biographies of the Companions of the Prophet ():  

Sometime after the Prophet (ﷺ) had returned to Madinah, messengers of the kings of Yemen came to him announcing that they and the people of Yemen had become Muslims. They requested that some teachers should be with them to teach Islam to the people. For this task the Prophet (ﷺ) commissioned a group of competent du’at (missionaries) and made Muadh ibn Jabal (radi allahu `anhu) their amir.

…..

The Prophet (ﷺ) personally bade farewell to this mission of guidance and light and walked for some distance alongside Muadh (radi allahu `anhu) as he rode out of the city. Finally he (ﷺ) said to him (radi allahu `anhu):

“O Muadh, perhaps you shall not meet me again after this year. Perhaps when you return, you shall see only my mosque and my grave.”

Muadh (radi allahu `anhu) wept. Those with him wept too. A feeling of sadness and desolation overtook him as he parted from his beloved Prophet, peace and blessings of God be on him.

The Prophet’s (ﷺ) premonition was correct. The eyes of Muadh (radi allahu `anhu) never beheld the Prophet (ﷺ) after that moment.

The Prophet (ﷺ) died before Muadh (radi allahu `anhu) returned from Yemen. There is no doubt that Muadh (radi allahu `anhu) wept when he returned to Madinah and found there was no longer the blessed company of the Prophet.

By Allah, like Muadh (radi allahu `anhu)’s cessation from the Prophet (ﷺ), “a sense of sadness and desolation” grew in our hearts when we were boarding our bus to leave the blessed city and start our return journey to Qatar. It is difficult to leave the blessed city when you are not sure if your eyes will ever have the chance again to see the green dome.

Tip 35. If you want to pray and make long dua in the rawda (the green portion opposite to the grave of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ)), go to the Prophet (ﷺ)’s Mosque right after midnight and stay until fajr. Inshallah you will comfortably manage a place.

20. Some Random Pictures

Couple Salah (The haraam floors may be split for men and women, but people may not like it as it may cause family members to get lost from each other during hajj.)
Serious food, seriously good.
Food waste. It is really sad that we are wasting this much food during hajj.
One day I cooked Maggie Noodles during my stay in Makkah.

22. What you need to take for hajj

I am a proponent of keeping things simple. Below is a suggestive list  that I have prepared about what you should take for your hajj:

SL Item Description
1 Cloth Take about three or four sets of cloths.
2 Ihram + Belt Obvious items. As I have mentioned already, the ihram clothes that I took with me were towel like and they made me sweat a lot. Also if you wear warm garments in a warm atmosphere, it may make your body temperature to rise and may cause fever. Thus I would recommend that you find ihram clothes that are not very thick. I assure you that inshallah you will find thin ihram clothes very comfortable.
3 Dry Food It could be dates, biscuits or any dry food. Normally your hajj agent will provide you with food during your whole stay; you may need dry foods only if you prefer to avoid heavy dishes during your stay at Mina, Muzdalifa, and Arafah. I would prefer that you buy your dry foods from the stores at Makkah.
4 Light Blanket Most travel agents would provide you with blanket, pillow, and mattress at your accommodations in Makkah, Madina, Arafat, Mina and Muzdalifa. You most probably will not need to use your personal blanket. However, if you want to take one anyway, bring with you a cheap, light-weight blanket.
5 Mat for Muzdalifa Again it is very likely that you will not need any such mat as I have seen most agents providing their hujjaj with carpets at Muzdalifa. If you want to have a mat anyway, you can buy one in Makkah for less than 10 SAR.
6 Flexible plastic water pipe You will definitely bring zamzam water back home. At Haram area, you have two options: (1) you can buy containers already filled with zamzam, or (2) you can buy an empty gallon and fill it yourself. I preferred option two as I have heard that the pre-filled containers’ zamzam water that is mixed with non-zamzam water. The zamzam water tapes available inside Masjidul Haram are actually designed for drinking; not for filling containers. The pressure of the water flow from these tapes changes frequently, which makes filling even a small bottle a very difficult job. Thus, I would recommend that you bring with you about a meter of flexible plastic water pipe. You can put one end of the pipe in your empty gallon and hold the other end on the zamzam tape, and fill your container quickly and smoothly.
7 Two pin multi-plug It is likely that there will be only one electric socket at your room where you can plug your charger and charge your cell phone. Since you will be sharing your room with three or four other hujjaj, a two-pin multi-plug will enable all of you to charge your cell phones simultaneously.
8 Towel Another obvious item. Bring with you a small, light-weight towel.
9 Beard trimmer, razor, scissor To trim, cut and shave your hairs.
10 Vaseline During hajj, you will walk a lot and you will thus you will sweat a lot. There may be rash in your inner thighs and private areas because of excessive sweating and friction.  Also because of making tawaf on the hard floors of the haram, there may be cracks on your feet. Put Vaseline in the affected areas before you go to sleep and inshallah by morning, your rash will be healed.
11 Shampoo Obvious item.
12 Soap Obvious item. Take with you a body soap and a laundry soap.
13 Paste + tooth brush Obvious item.
14 Nailclipper To trim your nails.
15 Bathroom tissue Obvious item to attain cleanliness and purity.
16 Comb To comb your beard and hair.
17 Pumice stone When you make tawaf and saee barefoot in Masjidul Haram, dirt and germs will go inside your feet. It is therefore imperative that you clean your feet by scrubbing them with a pumice stone when you take your bath, or else your feet will itch a lot.
18 Cell phone For hajj, I would recommend that you carry with you a non-fancy cheap cell phone, which has a battery life of about a week. If you take a fancy one anyway, install azan software and make sure you have GPS.
19 Pen and small notebook You may use them to write down your hajj reflections, address, phone numbers etc.
20 A plastic bag To keep your slippers inside the Haram.
21 A pocket Quran To be able to read Quran anywhere and anytime.
22 Wrist watch To check time.
23 Leather socks Wear them during tawaf and saee. It will make walking on the hard floors of haram easy for you.
24 Slipper Your foot wear during the state of ihram.
25 Prayer mat All the red carpets that you see in the haram are taken away during the hajj season. If you sit in the marble floor of the haram for a long time, especially in cross legged position, it will badly hurt your ankle. So, bring with you a thick prayer mat when you go to haram.
26 Medicine Obvious item.
27 Tissue/handkerchief Obvious item.
28 Bag pack/Waist pouch To take some necessary items to haram.
29 Money+ passport+ required travel documents Obvious item

How do you manage all these items during hajj? Here is the solution:

Luggage: Keep item 1 to 8 and item 29 in your luggage, which you will always keep in your hotel room. Take the items from your luggage only when you need it. Once you are done, put them back in the luggage.

A polythene/shopping bag: In this bag, keep items 9-17, which are the toiletries. Take this bag with you whenever you go to toilet.

Backpack/pouch: In the bag pack and pouch, keep items 18-27. Whenever you go to haraam, take your backpack and pouch, and you will have with you all materials that you may need during your stay in the haraam.

Finally, do not forget to take the essential item that Allah mentioned in the Quran:

And take provisions, but indeed, the best provision is fear of Allah (taqwaa). And fear Me, O you of understanding. [The Noble Quran: 2-197]

 

23. Conclusion

In conclusion, I would like to say that my hajj was indeed a tremendous learning experience. In the hajj diary that I have posted here, I have documented only a few of the numerous reflections that crossed my mind during my hajj.

For those who are aspiring to make hajj, I would like to remind you that hajj is a means (to get closer to Allah) and not an end. That is why the real test begins after your hajj ends: how long can you sustain your hajj? Do you change after hajj or do you go back to your old ways?

For those who have not made hajj yet, I pray to Allah that He gives them the ability to make this journey of lifetime soon.

I hope that you have found my hajj diary useful. May Allah accept my hajj and this write-up about my hajj. Ameen!

2 thoughts on “My Hajj Diary: Random Reflections, Discrete Memories, and Practical Advice-Part 5”

  1. Interesting blog, until I stumbled upon your “thought”.

    “One of the greatest calamities to be fallen upon the Muslim ummah is the coming out of womenfolk from their houses”.

    All of a sudden, bye bye philosophy and friendliness and welcome nastiness

    Right: Corruption, greed, hypocrisy, stupidity, poverty were helpless before they found their way during the diabolical release of “women folk” “outside” (you know, where there is sun, wind, where you can have a stroll and etc.

    1. Dear Maser:

      One of my writing principles is the following hadith of the Messenger of Allah (S):

      “Whoever sought the pleasure of Allah though it was displeasing to the people then Allah becomes pleased with him, and will make the people please with him, and whoever sought the pleasure of the people though it was displeasing to Allah then Allah becomes displeased with him and will make the people displeased with him.” (Ibn Hibban/ Tirmidhi)

      I genuinely believe that women coming out of their houses has been one of the greatest fitnahs of our time and that is why I have written it. If you agree, fine. And if you disagree and do not follow my blog, that is fine too. Irrespective of comments, likes or fan following, my true legacy is with Allah, the most high, and if He is pleased with me, nothing else matters.

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