Mar 18, 2011

A Miraculous Place!

I was sitting with my parents-in-law and they were telling me about the experience they had doing Umrah during Ramadan. Not easy at all especially at their age, masha'Allah! They talked about how they went there for 8 days or so and, because Makkah is filled with Muslims during Ramadan more than any time of year (except for Hajj probably), so when you find a place to sit near the Ka'abah and overlooking it, you have to hold on to it. So they would go down from the hotel and sit there from Asr prayer to find a spot, then they stay there till Maghrib prayer, break fast with the food provided there (which comprises of a few dates, small bowl of yogurt and Zamzam water) and then stay there till Isha prayer, then Taraweeh Prayer. Then they go back to the hotel to sleep for a bit and then again head to the Ka'abah to perform a bit of night prayer before Fajr. So during these 8 nights they ate only the dates and yogurt provided. Keep in mind that it's not like there isn't food back at the hotel, on the contrary, a whole buffet awaited at Maghrib time for the fasters to break their fast. But my parents-in-law chose to give priority to worship rather to the luxirious comforts that will hinder them from doing what they really want to.

So what really amazed me in the story? Everything! From the fact that they did that at their age masha'Allah to the fact that, to me at least, I would find that hard to do. So what was it I wonder that really made them feel strong during these precious days? What was it that helped them do it? These questions brought back memories of my first Umrah. I was grade 11 then so I remember it quite well. And to try and actually explain how I felt the minute I saw the Ka'abah live for the first time, would be such an understatement to how it really was! No word can describe it! But I'll try to bring the picture closer to you by using "tranquility", "at peace" and "comfort" as words to help :) It was amazing. My eyes were immediately filled up with tears...happy tears :) And during the few days I remained there with my family, I remember doing worship like never before. What do I mean? That I concentrated and pondered during prayer and Qur'an reading more than I ever did, and I felt happier than ever before, and it was like all my burdens and sorrows disappeared in that place! Subhanallah, waking up to fajer and praying with the Ka'abah in front of me, sitting there looking at it and reading Qur'an or doing theker (Remembrance of Allah). I mean as am typing this up now there's this feeling of longing that I have for experiencing such tranquil happiness like I felt in those few days!

And on thinking about this, and about my parents-in-laws' story it just feels more and more true how miraculous that place really is! For those who have never been there, I don't think you'll fully understand what I mean till you actually try it. And for those who have gone there whether for Umrah or Hajj...then you probably understand!

Picture showing the Ka'abbah and Muslims from all over the world, standing side by side, worshiping the One God...All of them United! :) Beautiful isn't it?! Subhanallah, Glory be to Allah!

The place is beautiful, relaxing and has this essence of peace filling it up everywhere! And what's more unique is that it's the one place where you see people from ALL over the world, united with nothing diffrentiating them. It doesn't matter what race, gender or country you're from. Nothing from these labels matter at all. For Islam is a diverse religion that bonds people from all over the world and from all nationalities and brings them together to be bonded by the Islamic brotherhood. And in that place you can witness the truth of these words. I look around me, and I see my brothers and sisters everywhere. So touching! Such a blessing!!

So yea, if I were to choose the place that I experienced a lot of happiness in (and there are multiple places of that sort) my number one choice would be, without a doubt, Makkah! :)

Alhamdulelah, All praise and thanks to Allah, for the blessing of being a Muslim and getting the priceless chance of feeling all this! :)

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