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✰ My Hajj Journey in 2005: A Photo Journal part 1

Photo: Outside Masjid al-Haram, waiting for sodas.

In the months leading up to the Hajj in January 2005, I began to fall in love with the House of God all over again. I'm a teenager. Life is in the barzakh between naivety and difficult decisions.

Friends and I would sit up till after fajr prayer, talking about the how histories of Prophet Ibrahim, Hajrah and Prophet Muhammad ﷺ overflowed near the Kabah. And I longed to be near it.

My parents raked in the funds and my grandmother would mention she wanted to go back to 'that beautiful peaceful place of God'. We all made the intention, and by Allah, we got on that British Airways plane, souls in our hands, and hearts in our souls, to make the spiritual journey you think only angels make.

Journal Entry, 15th Jan 2005
The night before leaving for Saudi. Quite nervous. Getting perspective in wider terms, ie, one planet, huge galaxy and unlimited universe. So... a few thousand miles by air transport to Saudi, not so big a deal. But still overwhelmed and afraid. Will my hajj be accepted by God?

Excited. Parents packing downstairs, organising my backpack upstairs. Took three hours but have managed to colour-co-ordinate markers for journalling, amongst other things. Learning a new du`a. I leave my life in Almighty's Hands. 1:55am

Journal Entry 16th Jan 2005
Sat on Star Express Coach, with sun peeping through grey clouds. Travelling from Leeds to London. Still emotional from saying salam to family. Wiping snot and tears (in reverse order, obviously).

Coach leader's helping passengers recite du`as correctly and gives short sermons. I'm loving this, a real strength giver to our imaan. Remember, when entering the Prophet's ﷺ masjid, enter with right foot and say 'Allah, open the doors of mercy for me'. 12:45pm

Journal Entry 16th Jan 2005
Plane's about to take off. Have migraine, feel sick, tests with people and security already began, *argh*. Scared my ears will pop, the plane will crash, we'll get called off and abort our hajj, oh wait... labbaik Allahumma labbaik... Still courageous within. 8:50pm

A cool guard stand near the taxi stand at Riyadh airport. It was strange seeing men in what I thought were dresses. It was strange seeing all those palm trees. How our minds accept things and change is a miracle of God.

My physicaly journey began that night. We arrived in Makkah, into the hotel and I stuck my head out of the window. I smell a fusion of grilled food, masjid-oud and fumes. It's not time for Hajj yet but thousands make their way for Umrah, the smaller, voluntary pilgrimage. It's our turn for umrah too. We got changed. My 4-year-old brother wasn't comfortable in the mini-Ihram (white cloth) we got him. He switched to t-shirt and shorts.
Entering the cool white marble grounds of Masjid al-Harram. No shoes. (KFC offscreen on the right)

We could see the Masjid al-Harram (Harram mosque) pillars from our hotel window. And we headed their way for Tawaf...

After our first umrah, we return to the hotel for nourishment. It's 6pm and the streets begin to fill for Salat (prayer). 

The city never sleeps and I can't help comparing it to another sleepless mecca, Las Vegas. But I u-turn, the Devil created corruption in that desert, and Makkah is alive with God's remembrance. We had arrived on the first date for Hajj to be performed. 

Since we just finished Umrah, we remained in the 'state of Ihram' and combined it with the full Hajj pretty immediately. 

We returned to the Kabah, performed Sa`ee (sa-ee, walking between two hills called Safa and Marwa) and headed to Mina. 

Part 1Part 2 

Copyrighted Images:: Zaufishan on flickr

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