The mutawwif gave us detail explanation on things to do. We had to leave our bags at the lobby at 10 am. After that, we had to do tawaf wida, indicating that we were about to leave Makkah for good. We would then be bounded by certain restrictions (i.e. no napping, no shopping, no taking photos) until we travel beyond the boundaries of the land of Al-Haram
After breakfast, I left my bags and headed to Masjidil Haram, fully aware that it would be my last visit to the mosque for this umrah trip. As I was still on period, I was exempted from doing tawaf wida. However, I was advised to go to the mosque anyway and read doa tawaf wida to give the trip a proper closure.
I couldn’t enter the prayer area, so I went to the saie area. I picked a nice spot directly facing Kaabah and read doa tawaf wida. Done with that, I continued with my own doa. Not forgetting the doa requested by others to be read, I surely read those too.
After a while, I realized that crowd began to gather around me, getting ready to perform Friday prayer. It was a cue for me for me to go. I walked out of Masjidil Haram with a heavy heart. Before this trip, I often wondered why people always talked about how sad it was to leave Makkah. I finally knew why. It was difficult to describe. It was like… when you were there you felt so close to God… suddenly you had to go home… so far away…
We boarded the bus and headed to Jeddah, where the airport was. The mutawwif told us that all everything at the airport – luggage handling, check-in, zamzam water, excess baggage, dinner – would be taken care of. We just had to pay SAR 20 per person to cover the cost. It was a small token, considering the peace of mind that we would enjoy.
|Arrived at Jeddah airport’s hajj terminal.|
|SAR 20 handling fee was a bargain, as the trolley alone cost SAR 3.|
|Passengers were not allowed into check-in area until it was near to departure time, so we had to wait outside.|
|Cute kid. Cute cat.|
|While waiting, dinner was provided.|
|The waiting area was color coded.|
|Area E was all red.|
|Area C (our area) was all blue.|
|A very spacious mosque at the end of the terminal building.|
|After a long wait, we finally got inside the check-in area.|
We went to clear our passports, which was another long wait because only a few counters were open. By the time we got into the departure hall, it was already time to perform solat Maghrib. We looked for a prayer room, but couldn’t find any. Some pilgrims went to ask the travel agent. To my surprise, his response was there was no prayer room in there!
Apparently, to the locals, everywhere was clean for solat, so they didn’t need a special room for it. All they had to do was to make wudhu and pick any convenient spot. It reminded me of the scene at Abraj Al-Bait Mall, where everyone performed solat at the concourse.
|It felt strange to us (especially ladies) to perform solat in the open, but it was the only option.|
|Time to enter the boarding gate and go home.|
Till we meet again, Madinah and Makkah. Alhamdulillah, everything went so smoothly throughout this journey. It was a different kind of experience, truly special, one that I would cherish for the rest of my life. May my ibadah be accepted, my sins be forgiven and my wishes be granted.
I know there are many of you out there who wish to perform umrah, but afraid of what may happen to you because of the sins that you’ve done. Please don’t be. Remember that God knows the true you. As long as you have a good heart, everything will be fine.
So if you already have the intention to do it, don’t wait. Save money, get registered and go go go!