Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tak Mau Basuh Tangan

When I was young, like teenage young, there are incidents that I feel I do not ever want to wash my hand. To saviour the after salam effect. This usually happen when I salamed, ehem, a boy I had a crush on or a celebrity. Hmm I can only think of Awie for now. Hmmpphh.

Anyway, the tak mau basuh tangan is even more if you can smell the sweet perfume on your hand after touching the walls of multazam and the hajaratul aswad. :)

Bau perfume is because they perfumed them. I definitely see them wiping the multazam area in between the adzan of fajar and before the qamat time. I suppose if you go immediately after that, your hand would smell the wangiest. You really should see the men (I only see men, no woman) rushing to the stone and multazam right after salam.I don't know if they wipe it at any other time of the day though.

I really like this hadith

Book of Pilgrimmage (Hajj)
Bukhari :: Book 2 :: Volume 26 :: Hadith 667
Narrated 'Abis bin Rabia:

Umar came near the Black Stone and kissed it and said "No doubt, I know that you are a stone and can neither benefit anyone nor harm anyone. Had I not seen Allah's Apostle kissing you I would not have kissed you."

It tells you how strong the aqidah of the sahabah is and it also tells you that the stone is a stone and that it doesn't benefit you in anyway.

Don't be surprise to find that in Makkah and Madinah people do strangest things. A man was wiping the stone with hanky and passing it to his wife of which his wife then kiss the hanky, presumably for blessing. Or maybe she just wants the good smell of the perfume. Wallahualam.

People would kiss the maqam ibrahim. Or wipe some "special" doors of the Masjid nabawi. Take stones from Jabal Uhud. Praying towards the grave of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w and Sayidinna Abukar r.a. and Sayidinna Umar r.a. in the rawdah. And do prayers on the mountain of Cave of Hiraq.

May we all be guided on the straight path.

Reminder to the masses at Jabal Thawr
Reminder to the masses at the graveyard of the Syuhada Uhud
A signboard to remind the masses against bidaah at Jabal Thawr and another signboard of reminder not to invoke the dead at the graveyard of the syuhada at Jabal Uhud

Monday, April 27, 2009

Air Tebu Pure Satu

Guess what we found in Makkah?

Kedai jual air tebu you.

I tell you, when we found it, we were elated and terus beli and minum sepuas hatinya. It was after Asar prayer that we found it. And that must be the best air tebu I have ever drank before.

Dahlah manis tanpa gula tambahan. Tak ada serdak pulak tu. Sejuk tanpa ais. The way I like it.

Makkah, when we were there, was hot. Balik dari solat memang berpeluh-peluhlah. So the air tebu was heaven sent. Kecap-kecap bibir memikirkannya.


I will give the direction to go to the stall. Manalah tau ada yang nak ke sana dan nak rasa air tebu kat Makkah. If you are from Malaysia, you won't be as jakun as we were. But I know when I told my friends here, mereka semuanya jeles. Kih kih kih. I won't guarantee the stall would be there always for I heard they will demolish the place soon. Wallahualam.

Anyway, this is over the Marwah side. When you go out of Marwah, you would have to walk through rubble like construction side. Looking straight up you will see rows of hotels on cliffs. Megigoreng, this is where you stayed. What's the name of your hotel?

However, you don't want to go this side. Cross the other side of the road where there are rows of shops. You will see a small KFC. Next to the KFC is an ice cream shop. Walk to nearest corner, and you will find another ice cream shop. And this particular ice cream shop sells sugar cane juice.

After the discovery, needless to say, we would stop there and get ice cream for the kids and air tebu for ourselves. *heaven*

When Mr Fath made order, one sugar cane juice please, the guy asked him instead, "Air tebu?"

Air tebu indeed.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Open Air

saudiI usually like to split up with Mrs Fath. Especially after subuh. I would go down nearer to Kaabah and park myself at the ladies' section there.

I would sit there in the open air, waiting for the sun to rise, enjoying the cool breeze and watching the little sparrows flying in the air.

There is something about praying in the open air for me. Or perhaps because I have always liked outdoor. Being in the open makes me reflect and contemplate more.

Over here,in Qtar, it is nothing strange to see people stopping their car to pray by the roadside when the adzan calls in. You would wonder that there are masjids nearly everywhere but many rather pray wherever they are. There and then. Indeed the whole earth is our masjid.

I am tremendously moved by this act. I can see how people instill the importance of praying as early as they can. I am ashamed of myself.

In the open, you can really appreciate the wide world in front of you. The world is so vast and you are minuscule. And in the wide open space, there you are putting your forehead on the ground for the sake of The Creator. There is something about prostrating and glorifying Allah out there in the nature.

You look up, there is the sky. You look front there is the world in its full spread. In the noon, the heat hits you. In the night, the darkness envelops you. Subhanallah! There is no other might or power except with Allah!

It makes me reflect this ayah Suratul Shams 91:1-6

By the sun and its brightness; (1)
By the moon as it follows it (the sun); (2)
By the day as it shows up (the sun's) brightness; (3)
By the night as it conceals it (the sun); (4)
By the heaven and Him Who built it; (5)
By the earth and Him Who spread it, (6)

praying 2general

Only the most top is my picture. :P

And I miss that. Waiting for the sun to rise sitting in front of Kaabah.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Self Discovery

This trip taught me a lot about myself. About patience against myself, against the one close to me, against others in general. If you know that in general you are not a patient person, you should develop tactics to be one there. And ehem to try continuing practicing the tactics when you come back. Uhuk! Uhuk!

It taught me discipline and perseverance. Of course not the perseverance that I learned on how to breastfeed Haziq. Man that was hard. Perseverance against oneself.

It taught me on how much knowledge I have or lacking.

But one of the prominent things I discovered about myself is that I have a lot of GAS.

I mean A lot.

Like I would be walking from the hotel to the haram (which is near), and I would be releasing a quick cannot control one right at the Marwah.

Or if I have wudhu' when I start to pray the nawafils, it would be gone while waiting for the qamat.

In between maghrib and isyak no need to tell lah kan. *roll eyes*

But this one I can assure you is a quick one and no smell. :P Taklah macam ada orang tu melepas kat bilik server. Cepat angkat tangan ngaku!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Three Bald Men II


Three Bald Men
Three Bald Men
See how they shine
See how they shine
Run your fingers through their hair
Run your fingers through their hair
Smooth and rough
Smooth and rough

To the tune of Three blind mice

Jack Jack really envied his father and brother's lack of hair. He didn't shave it you see. He would be playing with them and probably observed us playing with the head. So he was asking me whether he can be bald too.

Errr ok..but why lah? Because it's nice, he said.

I can understandlah. Seeing all the men bald, he might felt a bit left out.

We wanted to shave it in Mekkah but couldn't find the time.

So we did it yesterday! But we didn't shave it licin though rather apa tu orang panggil no 2? No 1? on the ketam rambut machine so his would look like the hair that my lover and haziq have.

I was worried that jack would be sad after seeing the true reality of being bald but Jack came back like a tiny hedgehog ,joyful more than ever.

And then when we are not playing with his head, he'd ask, "Why are you not playing with my hair?"

Or sometimes he would take the initiative himself and rub his hair on my arm. Ayoyoo

Haziq said, "I think he wants to be bald not because he really wants to be bald, but more because he wants the attention."

Whoa! Did Haziq just say that? He sounds almost almost adult. Very Sigmund Freudish.

Anyway, jack Jack is now in the pact of the men.

Sealed by the baldness.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Series of SMSs

On the second day I was in Makkah, in the early morning, I received an sms from a dear sister of mine. She is one of the daughters of Dr Azh@r. She is the one who got maried last year. Read it HERE.

She asked us to make dua for his brother Mu@dz who is being operated for "nanah in his perut". This was dr. Azh@r's words "hari sabtu mengalami peritonitis dan septicemic shock terpaksa dikejarkan ke dewan bedah utk emergency laparotomy."

I smsed her mum soon after. She was rushing back to Malaysia. She also told me that Mu@dz's kidney and liver were also infected. La hawla Walla quwatta Illa billah.

I quickly alerted everyone.

And days after that we received sms after sms updating his status. Almost all news were bleak. One by one of his internal organ were infected until it reached the brain.

An sms, I received when I was in Riyadh said something like there were too many blood clot in his brain and CT scan showed untreatable damage.

These last few days more sms came in updating that he had chest infection and dialysis had to be stopped as the blood pressure was too low.

Today at 640 p.m. Malaysia time, Brother Mu@dz Azhar has left this temporary world.

Inallilaahi ilaihi rojiun.

I am affected by this news. We the whole family are very close to them. And Mu@dz who was seventeen was like my own brother.

He was always in the dune trip with us. And he was always asking for his photo to be taken. I have so many photos of him. In fact many of his tagged photos in FB are from me.

I remembered when the ASS went for our first dune trip, Dr Azh@r was handling the trasure hunt competition thus he had to leave early. Mu@dz went in our car. We threatened to throw him out of the car unless he tells us the treasure hunt questions as well as the answers. He said he didn't know and that his father was secretive about it. He didn't tell us the questions and neither did we kick him out of the car.

During the hunt, we were contenders. The adults (me) who are cheaters by nature asked him to share with us the answers. And him being an honest boy, refused. We, the losers, won. And the uncles were jeering him for not sharing. I wrote about the trip HERE. The adults were more kanak-kanak than he was.

The last I met him was last December when he came over for the school holidays (he went to malaysian boarding school) and his brother's walimah.

He interviewed me along with his siblings that night. Makcik kena interrogate. From sad issues about my mum and my brother :( to how I met my lover. :)

And our last trip was to Zikreet. I remembered Kak Lina brace herself to drive because Dr Azh@r could not make it. It was all because Mu@dz was around. I remembered during that holiday we were discussing, Mu@dz nak pergi mana lag ya. Jom! Jom! Sebelum Mu@dz balik Msia.

Oh we were together n the dune trip when Elisa came over.

Mu@dz was liked by all of us. he was a sweet mannered boy who showed great respect to everyone. Ask any adults in Qtar who knew him, everyone likes him. He was one of those rare boy species who is pious, can talk properly with adults (not many teenagers have this), very chatty, intelligent, good with children, witty and so many more. Masya Allah.

I was reading some of his friend's blog and I can tell that they love him too. Some call him mualim kecil because he was teaching some of them physics.

i cried so much today. I called his sister thinking that I want to give her semangat. i ended up crying even more.

Please join me to make dua for this young man.

O'Allah forgive all his sins. Make him pure and elevate him to the highest jannah among the pious. Give strength to his family of whom he left behind. May Allah magnify their reward and make perfect their bereavement.

p/s : It's hard to write about him in past tense.

Mu@dz checking out the DSLR surrounded by his beloved

Three Bald Men

Haziq initially did NOT want to shave his hair off. Which is understandable. And I didn't want to force him anyway. It does not nullify the umrah and plus he is still boy.

But most importantly i don't like making him do things without him knowing why should he do it in the first place. I prefer that he feels he want rather than because Ibu said so. But this does not apply to basuh pinggan, kemas bilik, lipat plastik dan sebagainya. :P

But then we talked about humility and such. I also narrated this hadith

Bukhari :: Book 2 :: Volume 26 :: Hadith 785
Narrated Abdullah bin Umar:

Allah's Apostle said, "O Allah! Be merciful to those who have their head shaved." The people said, "O Allah's Apostle! And (invoke Allah for) those who get their hair cut short." The Prophet said, "O Allah! Be merciful to those who have their head shaved." The people said, "O Allah's Apostle! And those who get their hair cut short." The Prophet said (the third time), "And to those who get their hair cut short." Nafi' said that the Prophet had said once or twice, "O Allah! Be merciful to those who get their head shaved," and on the fourth time he added, "And to those who have their hair cut short."

Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. prayed three time for Mercy from Allah to those who shaved their whole head.

He then agreed. tee he he. Ahamdullilah. I pray that Allah will always send guidance to my children.

three bald men in front of kaabahAnd when the men came back after doing their tahlul (I went straight back after my snip snip. Tak kuasa nak tunggu. dah pukul 2 pagi), my lover, Mr Fath (we went with the Faths family) and Haziq, they all came back looking like aliens. Two big ones and one small one. Cute!

To tell you the truth, I cringe thinking what my lover would look like bald. He had never gone bald. In fact the first time I met him, he had this long thick shiny healthy black hair. Oh so macho!

Now bald, my my my still macho. :P

And I love playing with their growing hair. It's like caressing a carpet or those velvet fabric. I was checking out whether the hair colour would change like velvet when you caress the fabric. Caressing their not so bald hair is very stress relieving i think. It pricks your hand a bit but on the other hand it is very soft. It would bend when you go against the grain but would go back to the hair root direction. Sangat menggeramkan.

Do you know that for the first two days, the sticky tiny hair left on the head is like a velcro. It will stick to the ketayap or your shirt. Each time you pass a fabric it will stick to those hair like a velcro.

Even ihsan, Elisa's son would rub Haziq's head. Saying smooth as he rubbed it along the grain, saying rough as he went against it. Smooth rough smooth rough smooth rough smooth rough, he went.

Apparently growing tiny hair after shaving it bald makes your head more of a public property. And beware playing with it can be very addictive!


Friday, April 17, 2009

Open the door of mercy


I can't describe the feeling of driving to Makkah after the meeqat. The feeling of I am getting so near but am not sure of Allah's Qadr whether I would have the privilege of being His guest. Reciting the talbiyah this time round bring out a different spirit altogether. reciting it with full of hope that Allah doesn't cut me off. Reciting it to calm me down. Reciting it saying that I am now responding to His call.

I remembered really looking at the Talbeeyah sometime last year and fully reflecting the meaning. The talbeeyah got me at "Here am I responding O' Allah.."...لَبَّيْكَ اللّهُمَّ

And I knew that I need to do this. The talbeeyah is no more the recitation people say on TV each time the hajj season comes. And then each hajj season out comes this nasyid

Bulan haji telah tiba lagi
Menunaikan ibadah panggilan baitullah
Tanah suci Mekah
Ya Mekkatul Mukaramah I said after reflecting, it is something that I NEED to do. No more has it become I should. I need this. I need to respond to His call. And I was becoming afraid of my increasing age.

I began to prepare myself mentally, spiritually (tak cukup pun..:( ), physically (bolehlah sikit-sikit exercise) and financially (more like controlling the monthly budget).

So you can imagine that when I see the km counting down on the GPS, how nervous I became. Here I am O Allah responding to your call

Haziq who was the most zealous perhaps recited it loudly and really quick. He distracted my rhythm. I had to tell him to slow down and recite it together. It was a 70 km journey from the meeqat to Masjidil Haram. I did get tongue tired. Cannot imagine the older times when they walked or used the camel..

And suddenly the overzealous boy got quiet. Laa tidur rupanya. :P

Having put away our things, settled the kids and ate dinner, we walked to Masjidil haram at 12 in the morning. I felt like running.

And there it was. The Kaabah.

All emotion stopped for a few second.

I didn't cry like I expected I would.

But when I recited the supplication

۔ اَللّهُمَ افْتَحْ لِي أَبْوَابَ رَحْمَتِكَ

You probably have read this when you go to any masjid anyway. But in the Masjidil Haram, in front of the Kaabah saying

O! Allah! Open for me the gates of Your Mercy

And that jolted me and all emotion came back.

Here I am..Allah has been Merciful to this slave who is not worthy any of His Mercy. Praises are all to Him.

We all are in need of His Mercy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Feeling Blessed

It rained when we passed Riyadh on the way to Makkah. It was wonderful. Subhanallah! The rain cooled us down and made the journey more pleasant and not to mention less drowsy. :P

After we passed the raining zone, we entered the blue sunny sky zone with big spreading clouds. The clouds were so low that i felt I can almost touch it. I felt like sticking my hands out and run my fingers through the puff.

The low spread of cloud cast a big shadow on the ground. And many a time, we drove under the shades of this shadow.

I truly felt blessed.

Driving under the shade saudi

The top picture shows that we can see the shade further up the road. And the bottom one is we driving under it. The cloud are just sample pictures. Not necessarily the exact cloud that was shading us. Sekadar gambar hiasan bak kata lain. :P

mountain under the shade

I am not sure where or when were the above pictures taken. I think it was on our way back, perhaps on the way to Riyadh. Nevertheless, the picture above shows the clouds creating a cooling shadow blanketing the mountain.

However this blue sky shading cloud bliss didn't last forever. About maybe 300km to Makkah (dah dekat sangat dah tu), we left the blue sky with cloud zone and entered the sandstorm zone.

Sand was running on the road and we were literally driving on sand.


But just for the sake of the post title, we shall only focus on the feeling blessed part hokey? tee he he

Now my soalan cepumas, who was the guy who identified the tell tale sign of prophethood on Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. when he was still a young man/ boy following the trading caravan with his uncle to Sham? One of the signs of prophethood was the cloud shading the Messenger s.a.w..

Monday, April 13, 2009

Along the Saudi Road


The journey from Doha to Makkah alone is about 1,500km. In normal circumstances, I'd probably prefer to stop and have a good night rest at every 500km journey. However, this trip does not fall under normal circumstances. Plus the only nice city to stop is Riyadh. Not to mention, we'd prefer to reach Makkah the earliest and reap the benefits while the leave off work last.

We didn't really set a rigid target to stop. We are hoping to brave it as much as the eye can take. Initial planning is to stop sometime after Riyadh. Alas the long stop at the border and the sleepy eyes overtook the men, thus we stopped sometime after Hofuf, which is the intersection between the red line and the purple line in the map.

PhotobucketJust to share with you, there are many motels along the route to Makkah and Madinah. Some of them are under the government wings and some are private business. They would have motels which provide seriously basic amenities, mini market, petrol station, public toilets and mosques.

The motel that we stayed in was ok lah. They charged it for SR90 per night. It has three beds and an attached toilet.

There was another one that we went was errr not ok at all. The bedsheets look soiled, the toilet was not that dirty but would definitely not pass the normal standard in your household. I didn't sleep in this one. We only found it by accident.

You see in Saudi, women don't just walk in the restaurant and sit at any table she likes. Restaurants and eating areas are for men by default. You need to ask for the family section. And most of the time, the restaurants at these areas do not have family section. So they'd offer us one of the rooms in their motel as a place to eat. Charged at SR10-15 per hour.

My tip is
1. If you think you would not be happy with the condition of the mattress/ bed sheet, bring your own blankie or I'd prefer sleeping bag. I would not suggest pillows though for I personally need the space in the car. Remember you'd also want to buy stuff later on. Like zam zam, books and probably souvenirs. I used towels as pillow. Do bring your own shower gel/ soap. Plus shouldn't you bring this anyway so you could shower at the meeqat later?

2. Or do check out better hotels along the route and set it as your target. So perhaps you can set the time to leave home so it would suit your arrival time at the hotel. Take note that idle time at the border can vary from half an hour to whatever.

3. Just stop the car at the roadside and sleep in the car. If you need to use the toilet, the motel areas usually have public toilet which are reasonably clean. They told me it is much cleaner now than before. I don't have much complaints though, even though as usual I prefer to wait until I reach the destination or until I am one second to burst, whichever comes earlier.

gps makkah
masjidil haram

In total the mileage clocked in at about 5000km. This would include going rendezvous in Jeddah and Riyadh, traveling to Madinah the riyadh and to Al Khobar. then only back to Qatar.

You know after traveling for 1500km one way, we now can say 400km is dah dekat daaahh.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


I am back. Alhamdullilah.

Allah has made the trip easy for all of us and I am thankful to Him for that.

I don't even know where to start. But perhaps I should start by telling you this : before we left for the umrah, a week before the trip, I smelt damp in the kids room. I have been bugging them whether they have been hiding any damp clothes somewhere. Swimming suit or towel left in a bag (which is typical of Haziq)? But I couldn't find any though.

Then a piece of the plaster ceiling in the kids's room dropped and smashed on the floor. It missed sya by inches. Lahawla wa la quata illa billah. Alhamdullillah it did not hit Sya. I also notice then, there are spots of mold on the ceiling.

It struck me that this is where the damp smell is coming from. I suspect the neighbour upstairs toilet is leaking. Oh dear.

All the kids now sleep in haziq's room. To their delight.

Before we left, we asked the landlord to have this rectified. And we decided to go, forgetting all these trouble. Before we left also we cleared as may things that need to be cleared.

booksAlhamdullilah as far as I can remember, I did not remember anything about the moldy ceiling when we were there. Totally forgot about it! The only connections that I have with my normal day life are smses (some are sad ones) from friends especially those I am making appointments with over there.

I do remember my friends though and made dua for them. Ana uhibbukum fi lillah.

Anyway I am back now with many things to clear. You know all those post travel effect thingy. Which I have not done anything much except arranging books on the floor aje. :P

kidsWe just got back last night. As we opened the door, getting in the house, the smell coming from the trapped air in the house gushed outwards, reminded me all over again about the leaked neighbour's toilet. Now the kids' ceiling are a big cultured plate of mold breeding germs. Oh dear.

I am back to my normal life.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

A Convo

Just a convo I heard

Abu : Tak ada rasa takut ke nak gi umrah?

Aya : Entah. Ada perasaan. Tapi bukan takut rasanya. More like err apa tu macam..rasa tak sabar but on the other hand nervous. Tapi rasa macam sayu dan besar hati sangat.
Asal? Apa yang ko takutkan?

Abu : Tak taulah

Aya : Tell me what you feel..

Abu : What if Allah hantar punishment kat aku for the sins that I have done when I am there?

Aya : *silence*
You know what personally I hate this notion. This menakut-nakutkan oranglah menyebab kan I didn't want to go before. Bukan kita pergi sebab nakkan Mercy Alllah ke? What happen to tawbah? habis dah macam ni, sampai bila aku tak pergi. Lagipun Allah nak send punishment sekarang pun boleh.

Abu : But what if, you know?

Aya : Then if Allah decides that it is the best for me, He sends me punishment to expiate my sins, I submit. I submit! If Allah decrees that expiating it now is to leave me pure for the hereafter, I praise Him for His wisdom. Just make me worthy of His paradise.