After Hardship Comes Ease: A Muslima Haj Experience (2)
Apartment Azizeyyah (10 Dhulhijjah)
In the early days, we all left Muzdalifah toward the inn. We lived in an apartment Azizeyyah located not too far from the mound of jumroh. Women were provided two medium-sized rooms to accommodate about 40 women and children. Each room was enough for 20 people. There was no mattress or pillow. We slept on the carpet that was not too thick and cushioned with bag of our clothes. Although we were grateful for the abundant fresh water available for bathing and drinking, food was simple.
Towards dhuhur, we threw stones at Jumroh Aqobah. The road to Mina ( this is the place were to throw the stone in act of jumroh) is a little challenging for the children. They had to walk uphill and down the stairs that were high and quite tiring for an adult. Thank God they did not complain or cry. I could only pray that they were in a good health. I also wanted to instil in them that pilgrimage is fun. So when they grow up they will remember only good memories of pilgrimage with their parents. We returned to the inn after throwing Jumroh Aqobah.
That night we got ready to run mabid on the first day at Mina. For us mukimin (residence) mabid (stay overnight) in Mina felt less comfortable, because there is no place like pilgrims who came directly from each country. We must find a place mabid on our own and should be ready for the displaced by the haj officers. First night of mabid, we drove more than three times to then fall asleep on a mat. As quickly as we fell asleep we also had to move again to another place. Of course there was no chance to set up a tent. Because of the location that we ended up in we could not set up a tent as it would deter those who wish to pass. Frequently, my husband and I had to carry our sleeping child. We were lucky because our eldest daughter was big enough and could be awakened and was able to walk to other places even in the semi-conscious condition. Not easy to explain to them why we should obey the command of the apparatus and move to other place like homeless.
Expelled again (11 Dhulhijjah)
Mabid on the second day was not much different from the previous day. It became more difficult to find a place to simply spread the mat and sit down. Among the many people what entertained us was the feeling of cohesiveness among the pilgrims. When we did find a place to sit there were many pilgrims distributing food boxes of bread and juice or yogurt. The children benefited the most receiving many alms of candy or dates. There was no feeling of disgust when our family had to eat the food at the edge of the muddy ground and closed to the trash bin. All feelings were numb.
Looking for a good time to throw third jumroh was not easy. My husband and I took turns throwing the third jumroh for fear the children may be crushed! Thank God we were able to perform jumroh Aqobah, Wustho, and Sughro smoothly.
Thawaf and sa’i (12 Dhulhijjah)
The dawn of time we returned to the Inn. Pilgrims in our group eventually dispersed into several small groups for the sake of convenience. Some pilgrims had been performed the Haj before so they knew what to do. My husband and I planned to finish the tawaf and sa’i and throw three jumroh before dhuhur. We did not have to ask the children who had fallen asleep. We left our kids to our friends in the group who intended to perform tawaf during the day.
After morning prayers, my husband and I walked directly to find a public bus headed to the Haram for tawaf and sa’i ifadhah. The bus must drove slowly because of the many pedestrians who crossed hinder the speed of the vehicle. At the Grand Mosque, thank God we were given the ease to perform tawaf and sa’i. Ka’ba also was still not too crowded that morning. Perhaps there were a lot of pilgrims rest after mabid (at least 6 hours) at night before.
About an hour we finished running the tawaf and sa’i. Before returning to Mina to throw jumroh, we took a breakfast at a restaurant to unwind and rest. I also took time to phone the friend watching our two daughters. Apparently they were up, not crying and were busy playing with their friends. Having finished breakfast, we both went to Mina with public buses. Because the journey was quite long and breezy winds blowing from the bus window, made us sleep a snap. Luckily we did not miss the place because many bus passengers who want to go down in the same place. We both completed the third jumroh without significant obstruction. After hardship comes ease Alhamdulillah. Many people preferred to throw jumroh, after dhuhur which is the most busiest time of day to throw jumroh.
We intended to return to Jeddah soon so that the children could get some rest at home. Incidentally there was one family who could not complete their tawaf and sa’i (to be followed later) because their son was sick and should be immediately taken to Jeddah.
Gratitude we pray to Allah SWT for all the convenience that we received. Haj always makes me longing to return.
Allahumma labaik….labaikala syariikalaka labaik …. Innal hamda wanni’mata laka walmulka laa syariikalak. I come to meet You, my God calls …