salaam. it has been a year since i last updating my blog. from ramadhan to the next ramadhan. haha!
this year ramadhan will always be the most memorable and best ramadhan ever! alhamdulillah, i spent the first two weeks of fasting in mecca and medina. umrah was great, mashaAllah! though the hot blazing sun really hurt my skin, but after a few days i got used to it and managed to find solution to the problem, alhamdulillah!
it was my first umrah in my whole life. i felt a bit scared not knowing what to do, what to expect due to lack of preparation. i escaped in the middle of a pack schedule. i determined to go because i really need this break, away from hustles and bustles of life, too much sins i saw and committed. this shall be my 'uzlah' just between me and The Almighty.
the process of getting the umrah visa was such a test! we were supposed leave the country on 28th June in 2 groups. but most of the first group members had their visas approved however, none from the second group was. we heard that Saudi has imposed a new regulation; they are cutting down the number of people going for hajj and umrah by half this year! And they were actually hold the application worldwide!!! Nonetheless, we were still positive that the Saudi will change their stance and re-open for umrah application. So we waited and had made 3 changes to our flight and hotel bookings! Bear in mind, that the price for both is highest during fasting month!
When we were almost given up, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. the travel agent finally got in touch with Saudi embassy on 5th July and they informed us that the online application system will be re-open for the last time on Monday! Alhamdulillah!!! So, we applied for it and got it approved EXCEPT for our mahram!!! Ya Allah :( it surely test our patience. How we see it was Allah really screen who He choose to be in Tanah Haram. Our mahram decided to appeal to Saudi embassy directly through the help of travel agent. Thank God that he can speak Arabic fluently. Alhamdulillah, after listening to his explanation and how it will affect others hope, the Saudi finally approved his application! Sujud syukur kami after hearing the wonderful news!!!
We left for Jeddah the next day and arrived in Jeddah at 6am on 11th July, 2 Ramadhan. Alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah!!! We performed our first umrah, tawaf in the morning after check in to the hotel and continued with saei after zuhur and completed it just before asar.
I couldn't hold my tears when I first saw Baitullah. My heart pounding, feeling so nervous. what if I did something wrong, what if I forgot to say my prayer what if this and that??? But once I started to do tawaf, I forgot about my fears, I couldn't take my eyes off Kaabah all the time. That very moment, I know I was very special. Allah has invited me, yes He has invited me in this Holy month, penghulu segala bulan. Syukur, I completed 3 umrahs during my stay in Mecca and prayed for myself, family, my teachers and all my friends who has helped, advised and prayed for me a lot. While in Mecca, we visited several places and we even climbed Mount Nour!!!
We left for medina on 17th July morning and arrived just before asar. the journey was fine, we got to witness some ribut pasir yg agak tinggi but it was quite far from the road we took. At some areas, we saw dates trees and thin camels and the rest were arid land (desert). Medina is totally different from Mecca in terms of its architecture which is more modern, lots of 4 stars hotel, the people are more relax and not as busy as in Mecca. In Medina, it is a must to visit Masjid Quba as it was narrated that Rasulullah SAW says: Sesiapa yang bersuci (mengambil wuduk) di rumahnya kemudian pergi ke masjid Quba' lalu mendirikan sembahyang di dalamnya, ganjarannya samalah dengan pahala ibadat Umrah. (Tirmizi: Sembahyang: 298. Ibnu Majah: Iqamat dan Sunatnya: 1401. Ahmad: Musnad Makkiyyin: 15414.).
So, what is the pahala umrah? According to our mutawif, he said pahala umrah is dosa2 seseorang itu diampunkan di antara dua umrah yg dikerjakannya. Kena chack semula perkara ni sebab I tak berapa fokus sgt masa dia explain :D Too impress with the place :)
We too went to Ladang kurma, Masjid Qiblatain, Jabal Uhud, singgah di tempat percetakan quran (women are not allowed to go in).
We stayed in Medina till maghrib 22nd July. It was so emotional for me. I saw Masjid Nabawi from afar, how magnificent it looks at night, subhanAllah. It used to be very small and simple during Rasulullah time and now it is so glorious to accommodate muslims around the world who come to visit each year. Jakun sekejap tgk kubah bergerak slps maghrib dan payung yg kuncup sblm maghrib. Rawdah is exceptionally wangi! you know when you are in rawdah when you see the green carpet next to Rasulullah shrine, Abu Bakr as-siddiq and Umar al-khattab's shrines. It's hard to see the mimbar anymore because they have put a barrier. Org pendek susah mahu nampak. huuu..
Till we meet again Mecca and Medina and I hope the next time I go there it will be for hajj inshaAllah :')