(1) Jabal Thur
|At the foot of Jabal Thur.|
During hijrah, Nabi Muhammad left his house at night and went with Abu Bakar to this mountain. It was in its cave (Thur Cave) the two of them hid for three days from the vicious people of Makkah, before continuing their journey to Madinah.
(2) Arafah & Jabal Rahmah
|Masjid Namirah, which marked the border of Arafah, as seen from the bus window.|
This mosque was one of a kind. Because of its location and size, part of mosque was within the boundaries of Arafah, while the other part was not. Therefore if hajj pilgrims wanted to perform wukuf in the mosque, they must be very careful, because wukuf must be performed within the boundaries of Arafah.
|Arafah starts here!|
|Huge signage of qiblat direction could be seen everywhere.|
We stopped at the infamous Mount Arafah, also known as Jabal Rahmah. The mountain was the site of two distinctive occasions – a happy one and a sad one. Firstly (and perhaps more popularly), it was where Nabi Adam and his wife Hawa reunited after they were sent away from heaven. Secondly, it was at the valley of this mountain Nabi Muhammad delivered his final khutbah.
|The morning sun shined beautifully over Jabal Rahmah.|
Our bus stopped quite a long way from the mountain. We were given some time to climb it, if we wanted to. Those who didn’t want to (especially older pilgrims) could stay in the bus. So did I climb it? You bet I did! Me and a bunch of younger pilgrims dashed out of the bus towards the mountain and immediately climbed the granite stones. It felt so adventurous, crawling up the slopes in my pink abaya!
|Up we went. One step at a time. Carefully yet excitedly.|
|And we reached the top!|
So what did visitors do up there? Most recited doa asking for a husband or wife, in honor of the mountain being the meeting place of Nabi Adam and Hawa. Some performed solat, but it could be tricky because the space was quite small. Even trickier with others walking around.
|Despite of that, some people did find space to do business...|
|...while some people marked their presence with.. err.. artwork?|
|As for me, lots of doa and admiring the scenery.|
While we were enjoying the view from the top and taking lots of photos, we saw an elderly man from our tour group. How did he get here? With his big belly and unstable feet, we totally couldn’t imagine him climbing up the rocks. I was really curious so I went to him and asked.
Me: Uncle, you climbed?
Me: But.. we didn’t see you just now.. how did..?
Uncle: I used the stairs!
Wait, there were stairs? But we didn’t see any stairs! Or we were just too excited to get up the mountain that we overlooked the stairs? Were there really stairs? Was this uncle bluffing us? Then we turned around and saw...
|...stairs! Many concrete steps of stairs!|
At that point we just couldn’t stop laughing. How did we missed the stairs? Easy, because we blindly ran out of the bus, straight to the mountain and climbed it up without much thinking. That showed how excited we were to pray for jodoh :-D
(3) Muzdalifah and Mina
The bus then took us around the area of Muzdalifah and Mina. They would be very crowded during hajj season, because hajj rituals would require pilgrims to spend several nights at both places. Pilgrims would come from Makkah by bus or cars, creating massive traffic congestion. But with the Mecca Metro being constructed, it was expected that the logistic flow would be much improved.
|Muzdalifah train station.|
|Thousands of white tents were erected for pilgrims to stay during hajj season. At the top of the hill were buildings where guests of the government (usually heads of nations) would stay.|
|Multilevel jamrah complex, with five level of bridges connecting the three jamrah.|
(4) Umrah Jaranah
We then headed the Masjid Jaranah to prepare for the third umrah. It was said that the place was Nabi Muhammad’s favourite miqat. The stop was quite long, because the guys had to change from their normal clothing to ihram outfit.
|Masjid Jaranah, our last stop before returning to central Makkah.|
|While the men were busy changing, the ladies were busy shopping.|
|Suddenly, the peddlers pushed their wobbly cart and ran like crazy! Why? Perhaps the police just came!|
|Their goods fell all over the parking space. Some visitors picked them up...|
|...and put them on the pavement. Who would dare to steal in the holy land?|