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The Imam's Daughter

My Hajj Journal: Part 5
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HAJJ JOURNAL
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Wednesday February 12, 2003

4:00 am – Made Tahajjud, then prayed Fajr in our tent in Mena. Then we picked small stones from the ground around our tent, about the size of a pea. You need 21, 7 to throw at the Small pillar (Al-Sughra), 7 to throw at the medium pillar (Al-Wusta), and 7 to throw at the large pillar (Al-Kubra). You do it 3 times because the shaytan/devil tempted Prophet Ibrahim (AS) 3 times and then Ibrahim threw stones at him.

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A man collecting stones (from the web)

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One of the Jamrat pillars (from the web)

7:30 am – The group walked to the Jamrat, where you throw the stones (Rami). It was a pretty long walk. (It wasn’t very pretty though. That’s where we got to see how some other less fortunate people made their own makeshift ‘tents’ in the streets of Mena. But also got to see some highly decorated camels that you could take pictures with for a fee. It was crowded too but not too much because we were going so early in the morning, while most people go after duhr.) We ended up doing the Rami in the upper level where its less crowded. After each round you make du’a except the last one.

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a man throwing a stone at the pillar (from the web)

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a camel at Mena (from the web)

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streets of Mena, notice a few makeshift tents on the left (from the web)

When we got back to our tent, we had breakfast and then slept until Duhr. After praying Duhr and Asr (In Mena you do Jam3’) the Imam gave a small talk followed by a Q & A. He cleared up the term ‘Hajj Mabrour’ – An accepted Hajj… It is mabrour if you don’t go bak to your old ways. You should look to the positive always.

5:00 pm – ate lunch, but by the time we got it , it was dinner time so I guess it’s dinner. Then we prayed Maghrib and Isha. (A lot of times we would be praying and could hear the Imam reciting from the tents next to us.)

6:00 pm – After prayer, we decided to find khaled’s father’s uncle, who would be in the Jordanian tents. There was another Jordanian couple, Mariam and her husband, that also had relatives at Hajj so they went with us. Well it turned out to be far far away. We walked so much. Well we got there finally, but there were so many tents in the Jordanian section. We asked in a few tents, but it was a little embarrassing. So we gave up.

9:30 – Asleep

Thursday February 13, 2003

4:00 am – Went to the bathroom facility to make wudu. The woman in front of me asked me to hold her scarf while she made wudu. I smiled at her. She looked at me and said ‘Allahumma salli alannabi’ (O Allah send prayers to the prophet) Then the women around us started looking at me. I just smiled. When she finished she took her scarf and kissed me on each cheek. Then she asked me where I’m from. I said ‘Ana Lubnaniyeh’ (I’m lebanese) but she thought I said Almaniyeh (German) but I repeated ‘La Lubnaniyeh’ (No, I’m lebanese). Then she hugged me and left. A sort of similar situation happened in the Arafat bathrooms also. They asked me if I was married and then a woman said ‘Of course she’s married since she has all this beauty’. It amazes me because I am not wearing any makeup or nice clothes and I am rather tired from lack of sleep. But I guess the beauty is in the smile and the attitude you show others. If you show others kindness and love, that is beautiful to them.

5:00 am – Make tahajjud, pray Fajr, have tea and cookies.

7:00 am – We go to do Rami at Jamrat again. We did it on the second floor again too. Then we got on our bus to go back to Makkah.

8:30 am – We’re back in our hotel in Makkah. We got there in a half hour compared to 5 hours previously. Allahu Akbar, Alhamdulillah. Then we had breakfast. The rest of the day was spent shopping.

6:00 pm – pray Maghrib in the Haram. Between Maghrib and Isha I fell asleep because I was so tired. It was fairly crowded in the Haram. We happened to be sitting behind a passageway so the whole time people were passing in front of us.


9:00 pm – back at the hotel, had dinner, then slept.

11:00 pm – The group was meeting for the last workshop of our trip. The Imam told us his thoughts about this year’s Hajj. He said he was happy and thanking Allah for everything and for making it an easy Hajj. This Imam had been taking groups for the past 5 or so years, and he said that this Hajj trip was better and easier than last year’s and 5 years ago too. But he also felt sad to leave such a great place and to leave each other, after having worshipped Allah together for 15 days. He said ‘A Mumin tries to tell others the good things about the Hajj, not the bad. Righteous people think about the bounties of Allah, and encourage others to make Hajj. And remind others. We have to strengthen our brotherhood and love our brothers for the sake of Allah.’ Then he reminded us that there was one more ritual – the farewell tour of the Kabah (Tawaf Al – wada’), which is the last thing you do before you leave Makkah, and after which there was no shopping allowed.

12:45 – asleep.

5:30 am – wake up late, so missed Fajr and Tahajjud!  Then we did some last minute shopping.

7:00 am – Made Tawaf Al – wada’. Then had breakfast, packed the bags, visited the other women in our group in the other hotel rooms, then slept.

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Tawaf Diagram

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Saee between Safa and Marwa Diagram

Friday February 14, 2003

5:00 pm – Got on the bus. But the bus didn’t leave until 6 pm. The driver it turned out didn’t know how to get to the airport. At the Makkah checkpoint, they gave us free 1 liter bottles of Zamzam, a box of snacks, and some books. We also passed by several amusement parks outside or in Jeddah.


9:00 pm – Phew… finally arrived at Jeddah airport. Our passports were given back to us. Then we checked-in.

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Jeddah, SA

10:30 pm – we are STILL in the check-in line, but getting closer. The problem was 2 lines for the same check-in lane. Flight is 12:40 am to Cairo. The airport is beautiful though. The ceiling is shaped like a w. There are many plants, and a marble floor. The outside looks very artistic and architectural. There are many flowers and palm trees planted. I am praying that this check-on goes smoothly and quickly. The cleaning people are keeping the place clean. Some people came late for their flight and they cut in their whole group in front of us. Khaled was very upset since we have already been in line for a long time. Their check-in system is very unorganized and unfair.

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Jeddah Airport, Hajj terminal (from the web)

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Inside Jeddah Airport (from the web)

2:00 am – Got on the plane alhamdulillah. I didn’t eat because I was too tired, I just slept the whole time. It was a 1 1/2 hour flight. The seats were very spacious and there was a TV screen for each person.

3:32 am – Arrived in Cairo. Was dead asleep the whole time, but the couches there are comfy.

6:30 am – Boarded the plane to Frankfort Germany. Ate little, slept mostly.

11:20 am – Arrived in Frankfort.

1:00 pm – Boarded the plane to Boston! The flight from Frankfort to Boston is 7 1/2 hours. We got window seats. We found out now that some people did not make the Cairo – Frankfort flight because of late check-in, gave seats to others. Cairo people were very slow and unorganized. Did not have time in Frankfort to buy chocolate!

And that, my dear brother and sisters, is the end of my Hajj Journal. I laughed so much when i read the lsat sentence... a little embarrassing...what a way to end a hajj journal! i was thinking to delete that line but then it wouldn't be the whole truth... oh well.

Next week: the epilogue: what was sumayyah’s reaction on seeing us after 2 weeks of being apart… the first few weeks after Hajj: the thoughts going on in my head, getting back my connection to sumayyah, and my never-ending cough.

I am also planning on writing an Introduction/ Conclusion/ Background Info thingy on my Hajj trip with reflections and tips, inshaAllah.