Updates from Makkah:
It’s now 7.30 am. Just came back to the hotel room and while Dean’s taking a nap, thought I’d blog a bit about my stay so far.
There are A LOT of people here and now I kind of understand why they are so strict on visas this year. Half the mosque is closed for construction to allow a bigger expansion for the comfort of Muslims in the future (yay!). So everyone has to squeeze on one side only. Because of the construction, it’s also a bit dusty here so if you’re prone to getting sick, please bring your medications and throat lozenges and if need be, bring that mask thingy. It’s also really dry here and your feet are going to crack with all the tawaf and sa’i, so bring the most powerful moisturizer you can find.
Other than that, the mosque is still so beautiful to look at and Makkah still gives you that unique tranquility even amidst all the thousands of people around you.
I know it’s not easy to come here and I do feel a lot of time should be spent focusing on ibadah and at the mosque. However, it’d be such a waste not to explore Makkah if you have time. A lot of travel agents organize a little tour and it just takes about 2-3 hours to go around these places, so you so should! Seeking knowledge about how people live here and knowing more about Islamic history – also a form of ibadah.
So off we went.
Remember that cave that Prophet Muhammad saw was hiding in to get away from the bad guys, and spiders built a cobweb to make the cave look old and no one could’ve gone in there?
Well this is it!
The one on the top right. Apparently it’s so small that you’ll have to roll your body in if you want to go inside.
That’s the cave at the back. I was gushing over this one on the front like a noob until Dean told me off for not paying attention.
Anyway, you can climb up there but it takes a few hours. I took soooo long putting on my headscarf and pinning things into place that morning, I wasn’t going to waste all that effort by rolling myself into the cave and ruin my headscarf. Haha. (Btw, I have so much respect for you guys who wear headscarves like pros. It’s sooo hard wrapping and pinning to make it look nice. Wearing hijab is a skill, Masyaallah!)
Then, we went to Jabar Rahmah, the Hill of Love, where Nabi Adam met Hawa (where Grandpa Adam met Grandma Eve) and fell in love. We were told that if you want to get hitched, you should go up there and make doa and Allah will grant you a good spouse. So Dean asked me if he should go up there. I smacked his arm right in front of the Ustaz.
Then we were taken around the places where people perform Hajj. Muslims actually sleep in these white tents all around the area, I was told even 30 people in a tent!!
Not such a good picture because the car was moving. (People drive really fast here!)
I asked for Free Upsize. They no layan me. Pftt.
Think only London got Clock Tower ah?
We went around this ZamZam Tower Mall and mannnn they have everything there! Debenhams, Accessorise, La Senza, Guess, the whole lot. And a whole floor of just food court. Who says Muslims are behind?! There’s of course a lot of controversy about a mall being a few hundred metres from the mosque, but chill ok. Muslims are human beings too, we go out with our families and buy things, we sit down and have nice meals, we buy souvenirs for our loved ones too. Some people journey far by car/public transport and can’t go home in between prayers, so at least they’ll have a comfortable place to eat if they’re really hungry. As long as we don’t still flip through racks during the azan to call us for prayer, there’s nothing to be worried about.
Ok, that’s all from me from Makkah for now! Gonna sit down and read Quran now. I’m so pleased, I’m almost halfway!
Hope ya’ll have a good week ahead!