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The Imam's Daughter

My Hajj Journal: Part 3
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Thursday February 6, 2003

1:30 am – Wasn’t able to sleep. The shower woke me up. Made wudu and ate a granola bar and juice, then went down 2:00 for tahajjud until Salat al Duha. The Masjid Al-Haram is very beautiful mashaAllah. Cool marble floor, many arches, chandeliers, fans, ceiling fans, bookcases for Qur’ans, and Zamzam thermoses. Birds are singing in the ceilings of red and gray mosaics. Even the escalator is decorated.

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Inside Masjid al Haram (from the web)

Friday February 7, 2003

7:30 pm – On the 3rd floor of Masjidul Haram, waiting for Isha. Yesterday we prayed Isha at the Indoor Mall where I ate pizza (This Mall is right across from the Haram). (Khaled ate grilled chicken). It was the 2nd floor with a glass front so we could see the people outside the Haram below you. It was a nice view. Then we looked around the mall and bought embroidered pillow covers. And a children’s book with a tape. Then we went outside and bought some Bab al Kaaba (Door of the Ka’bah) pictures very cheap and some shalhaat (slips for under the jilbab), and a rug with a picture of the Haram to hang on the wall.

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Shopping Center in Makkah (from the web)

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Makkah Wall Rug (from the web)

In the tahajjud, Khaled and I made Tawaf together. We touched the Rukn al-Yamani (one of the corners of the Ka’bah) and saw Maqam Ibrahim – the big footprints. There is such a calming effect of the Kabah. No matter how much people push or shove you and how crowded it is, you never feel uncomfortable or angry. You are too focused on looking at the Ka’bah and making du’a to think about other things. (It also helps to have someone in back of you protecting you.)

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People Touching the Ka'bah (from the web)

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Maqam Ibrahim (from the web)

I had to pray Fajr next to a man! First time. (But we didn’t touch, I kept a good space between us. It was unavoidable or else I would never do that!) Then we ate breakfast, slept for one hour, took a shower and got ready for Jum3ah prayer. We prayed in the hotel lobby. We watched the Khutbah on TV. They said it would be too hard to do Jum’ah at the Haram. (This is because we were in a 4-star hotel which was 5 min from the Haram, but in the Hajj days it becomes > 1 hour walk, or more, due to the crowd of everyone going to the Haram. The only way is to stay at the Haram from Fajr, or stay at a 5-star hotel which will be right next to the Haram.)

After Jum’ah we ate lunch at an Indian place. We had chicken curry and nan bread. A little spicy but ok. Tried to call my Aunt Salma who lives in Jeddah but she wasn’t home. Slept very little. Prayed Asr on the street (didn’t make it to the Haram, again). Then we started out early walking to the Haram to make it for Maghrib. We prayed Maghrib on the 3rd floor. Then we made one round of Tawaf on the 3rd floor. Then we prayed Isha. Then we waited a while after Isha until the crowd dispersed, meanwhile I slept about hour – I was so tired I couldn’t keep my eyes open. First time I sleep in the mosque. Then we went back to the hotel, dinner. Hotel is really full now. 150 people came that have had a really long and difficult trip – 2 days stuck in Jordan. They are from Michigan. They also ate most of the food.

10:00 pm – go to sleep.

Saturday February 8, 2003

2:00 am – Woke up for tahajjud. Had a granola bar and coffee. Make Tawaf – very crowded. Touched Rukn al-Yamani . Went close to the black stone but only saw the silver rim, then tried to touch the multazim (area between the black stone and Ka’bah door). We went near it and said du’a but couldn’t touch it. So we went out. Then prayed several rak’ahs while reading Qur’an. I could see the Ka’bah while praying and even while sitting. Alhamdulillah.

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The Black Stone (from the web)

Then suddenly a man stood up and was crying out in his language what I guess was – they stole my money – and some other stuff with Allah in it. Then he showed us his small purse was cut from the bottom and was now empty. But subhanAllah all the people started giving him money. It scares me to think that there are people making tawaf just to steal people’s money. We need to be more careful. (Also, this might have been a hoax to get money?!)

Khaled has a cold, sneezing a lot. Mariam also has a cold- coughing. I think I am getting it too – sore throat.

We prayed Duhr in the hotel, Maghrib and Isha at the Haram on the 3rd floor as usual. This time there was a guy going around telling all the women to move to the back. Most listened but Khaled didn’t listen to him. He was annoying. (There is a big risk of getting lost if you separate from your group, and I didn’t want to be alone.) Then the Imam made a Mina workshop for us back at the hotel.

Next time: My stay in Mena in the tents, the beginning of Hajj, Arafat experience, Hajj Tawaf and Sa’ee, and Eid al-Adha in Makkah!