Day Two: A Room with a View Today’s Prompt: If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?

I’d like to be transported to Makkah right now. Yes I’ve been to this place before, my memories of this place is fresh as if it was yesterday I took this trip.

My husband and I boarded KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines) from Chicago. All the passengers were heading to Jeddah,Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage.

I noticed the passengers were quiet, I saw passengers praying getting themselves accustomed to the place  we were going to, some unfolded their prayer rugs, lay them flat on the floor of the plane to pray.

After several hours on the plane we reached Jeddah, we were directed to the lounge by some Saudis. The floors were clean but there were no chairs, we sat on the floor and waited to be called by customs officials. While waiting I noticed more and more passengers were coming in , there was a family, they looked prepared as soon as they came into the lounge they took out bed sheets and lay them on the floor to sit, one of the ladies took out an apple from her bag, sliced it and offered a piece to me I was too overwhelmed by the whole scenario, I could not think of eating.

Several hours passed My husband and I were waiting patiently for the call to the customs, night changed to early morning we were still waiting.

One of my cousin’s friend spotted us ,he looked at our papers and thought we’d be called shortly. He walked back and forth to find a way to get us to see the customs official, so we could be on our way to my cousin’s house in the city.

There were two young guys serving the visitors, unfortunately we didn’t know their language, he told our friend we needed to pay one hundred dollars, my husband didn’t have Saudi currency, besides we paid what we had to when we applied for visa, this is what we were told.

Somehow the friend was able to get the money, we were out of the lounge after several hours.

From Jedda, our cousin took us to Makkah by car. It took us a few hours to get there. There was a man who was responsible for our accommodation. There were tents set up for us, the ground was uneven and the temperature was very hot. we did not mind we came for pilgrimage, we couldn’t expect to spend the nights in a first class hotel.

We left our things in the tent after getting dressed in white, we were covered from head to toe. We went to the Kabah to make seven rounds, we told each other to stay together, there were thousands of people walking, praying and making sure they did not lose any member of their group.

After completing the rounds we prayed inside the mosque near the Kabah.

Next we went to another place called Safah Marwah, here we were supposed to walk from one end to the other seven times, it was a long stretch, walking bare feet was a challenge, we were not the only one. There was no concession for anyone, except people who had problems walking were provided with wheel chairs.

After completing our walk we went downstairs to drink water, at the  zam zam fountain, it was tough to turn on and hold on to the faucet to drink the water. My cousin-in-law told me once this was a place, where anything you wish is fulfilled. I didn’t remember it when I was trying to hold the faucet so the water would flow for me to drink, suddenly in my mind I said, “I wish someone would hold on to the faucet so I could drink the water.”

I felt someone behind me holding  on to the faucet and I was able to drink the water until I was satisfied. I did not see who it was it must have been “Divine Help!” I was unable to thank this person because she disappeared immediately.

During the pilgrimage all the pilgrims have to go to the hill close by to spend the night. It was a very cool and refreshing night. We woke up in the morning and went back to our tent.

: https://sabethville.wordpress.com/2015/04/07/day-two-a-room…o-to-right-now/

 

 

365 days Writing Prompt: Tell us your story

Tell us about a journey– whether physical trip you took ,or an emotional one.

It was a while ago my husband and I took a trip to Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage. It was the month of September, the days were scorching hot, we landed at Jeddah airport early afternoon. There were no chairs in the lounge, we sat on the floor waiting to be called at the customs, many hours passed , there were flights coming in with passengers from all over the world.

Finally at 3 am  in the morning we were called, we were told we needed to pay one hundred  riyals each to go through, we paid the required sum before we started on our journey, but there was a change, we didn’t have riyals and they refused to take   US dollars, my husband’s cousin who was supposed to pick us up, but for some reason he was not there,his friend came forward and lent us the required amount.

We were glad to be out of the airport on our way to the cousin’s apartment. Five days later we were on our way to the city of Makkah, our accommodation was same as the other pilgrims.

Next day we went to the Kabah for circumambulating seven times, the day was hot the sun was shining, there was no relief from the heat. We had to hold on to each other to avoid getting lost, there was a sea of people praying and walking around, every stranger we saw spoke a different language, which we didn’t understand, this is why we had to stay close to each other, if we lost one another, we wouldn’t be able to find us and the language barrier wouldn’t help.

Thankfully we completed the rounds, then there was a place called ‘Safa Marwa’ where we had to walk seven times it was inside but the walk was not easy. We completed it and went to the mosque for prayer.We stayed in the tent for five days, after completing all the rituals we went back to Jeddah and to Medina for a week.

At Medina we visited the mosque where the prophet was buried, I met a very young girl she was so sweet, she asked if I would share the the piece of paper with the prayer written on it, she had such a gentle temperament I remember her and her face to this day.

After a month in Saudi Arabia we went back to Chicago, and then to Canada our home!!

 https://sabethville.wordpress.com/2014/05/25/365-days-writi…-us-your-story

 

 

World’s Largest mosque-two

Inside the Faisal Mosque

Inside the Faisal Mosque (Photo credit: Swamibu)

Margalla Hills

Margalla Hills (Photo credit: Waqas Ahmed)

Faisal Mosque (Black and white).

Faisal Mosque (Black and white). (Photo credit: stop that pigeon!)

Specially decorated during Eid Holiday

Specially decorated during Eid Holiday (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Day time off center view

Day time off center view (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vedat Dalokay

Vedat Dalokay (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Faisal Mosque is the largest mosque in Pakistan.It was completed in 1986. Vedat Dalokay a Turkish architect designed the mosque.It is situated at the North-end of Faisal Avenue.It is at the northern most end of the city and at the foot of the Margalla hills.It can be seen from miles around day and night.It is located in the national capital city of Islamabad,Pakistan.

The mosque is named after late King Faisal bin-Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia.He supported and financed the project.The shape of the Faisal mosque is an eight-sided concrete shell.It is inspired by a desert Bedoiun’s tent and the cubic kaaba in Mecca,flanked by four unusual minarets inspired by Turkish architecture.

Au Revoir and God bless,till we meet again!