Thursday, August 19, 2010


The king is currently visiting Madinah. While the permament resident, the Prince of Creation SallAllahu alaihi wasallam’s light perpetually illuminates this City Enlightened by his light.

Allahumma salli salaatan kaamilatan wa sallim salaaman taamman ‘ala sayyidina Muhammadin alladhi tanhallu bihil ‘uqod, wa tanfariju bihil qurob, wa tuqdo bihil hawaaiju, wa tunaalu bihir ragha`ib, wa husnul khawaatiim, wa yustasqal ghamaam, biwajhihil karim, wa ‘ala aalihi wa sahbihi fi kulli lamhatin wa nafasim bi’adadi kulli ma’lumin lak.

"O Allah! Send Your prayers the Salawat of perfect salutations and send Peace of complete fullness upon our Master Muhammad, with whom ceases all that binds, and ends all sadness, and fulfills all wishes, and attains all desires, and ends with goodness, and the pouring of rain, by his generous countenance, and upon his Family and his Companions, as much as every blink of an eye and every breath that is made that is in Your Knowledge."

Salawat an-Nariyyah [JazakiLlahu khairan for Umm Fatima (again!)’s reminder of this heartfelt Salawat]

"Soon on arrival in Madinah, the king visited the Prophet’s Mosque where he performed the Asr prayer and visited the grave of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and of Caliphs Abu Bakr and Omar." Image and article outlining his official role of launching various projects from todays Arab News.

While in yesterdays edition, along with emphasizing the SR12 billion budget for inprovements to the City, this comment was interesting: “The king has approved a proposal to make Madinah a Haj-related zone”. Until now, the general view from the Najd in the east has been that attaching a visit to Madinah, and specifically our Beloved Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam, during the Hajj season, has been considered an innovation.

Alhumdulillah ‘ala kulli hal.

The presence of dignitaries in Haramain is always a spectacle! During Ramadhan while walking strolling in the courtyard after Taraweeh a man with a huge professional camera mounted on his shoulder was filming as he made sweeping moves in every direction. Close upon his heels were commandoes, with h8uge rifles slung across their chest and policemen, arms flaying in the air in their attempt at dismissing any curious onlookers from coming too close. Close upon their heels was a ‘chain’ of commandoes, with guns in holsters tied around their thigh, tightly linked by holding hands, forming a barrier around a small group of ‘dignitaries’, moving as a unit.

Another evening the same gun toting commandoes boomed across the courtyard towards Bab Baqi, forming another human wall extending way out from the Green Dome area. This was the allotted time for sisters Ziarah, but when I entered the usual area to gain access for Ziarah the security sisters said it was closed for the night. Obviously sisters of some standing had the space to themselves, along with hundreds of guards for protection.

On the morning of Eid as the crowds of worshippers were literally pouring into Haram, a swathe of courtyard was cordoned off with the famous red and white tape, and once again lined with the ubiquitous commandoes and police. Fascinated as always with all these antics I stood back to see who may be arriving, and was dumbstruck when a group of Saudi nationals in the typical white thobe and red and white Shammag paraded along this guarded corridor. The amazing part was that each had a huge golden scabbard with sword, more than a metre in length, as well as a distinctive black leather belt holding a pistol slung across their left thigh. These brothers were entering the Masjid! Strange indeed.

The Eid gathering was estimated to be more than one and a half million worshippers here in Madinah! Squashed comes nowhere near to describe the scene of men and women filling the courtyard and spilling into all the arterial streets. For those who know Masjid Nabawi, to offer Salat in the southern courtyard renders the Jammat prayer null and void as it is actually in front of the position of the Imam. Signs in various languages clearly indicate this.

And yet this entire area was packed for the Eid prayer. No passage ways had been left in the advent of anyone trying to move anywhere. Police huddled and even hid in the small rooms housed in the main gate pillars, as they could no longer control any semblance of keeping pathways clear. And yet for ‘dignitaries’ an all out effort is made to clear and maintain space for them.

The worst crush was on Laylatul Qadr in Masjid al-Haram Makkah whilst performing Umrah during Taraweeh. The entire Mataf area was a surge of pilgrims circling the Ka’abah. I have never experienced such congestion. Not even during any Hajj. I wondered, as I was fighting for mere survival in this dense mass of humanity, how is this spiritual? Maybe one’s pleading for salvation as the tears and the perspiration seem to be all that is left defining one’s existence, was the essence of one’s finite link to Allah Ta’ala during such an experience. The imagination jumped to how maybe Yaumul Qiyamah may be. Drowning in our own perspiration, with a similar anxiety about what our fate may be. Ya Rabb.

The worst was to come…trying to negotiate a way out of the Mataf to Masaa. Each circuit while passing Imam Sudais as he was leading the Salat from the raised area opposite the Black Stone, I noticed a wall of brown…police shoulder to shoulder forming a barrier to protect a group of dignitaries. What made a difficult situation even more difficult was that they were occupying the main steps that lead directly to the Masaa. The crush up the adjoining steps was horrifying. No other word can paint this scene. It was surreal, as the Taraweeh was amplified full volume, people attempting to remain focused in their Salat as they filled all passageways, others trying to get out continuing with their Umrah, and yet others pushing to get into do Tawaf.

Eventually, after so many detours, so many doors blocked, so many police saying no entry, we found our way to the second floor. Construction was still ongoing. Stacks of marble slabs, tarpaulins, equipment, electrical wiring hanging from the ceiling, work mess, lined the way, as people vied for a place to join in the prayer, and others moving back and forth from Safa to Marwa.

And then suddenly ahead were the ‘dignitaries’. Spread across the entire width of the Masaa. A small group of brothers, not in Ihram, surrounded by the all too familiar wall of gun toting commandoes with police in front, beside and behind shooing off anyone who seemed they were coming too close, or who wanted to pass.

The crowd was estimated to be more than two million that night. Exiting was the next step in the endurance battle. Hours later one could see the ground beneath them.

SubhanAllah. It was Fajr before we were out of the crowd feeling like an individual instead of a glued component of humanity! Maybe therein lies the lesson! May Allah Ta’ala accept all eforts in our journey to Him, Ameen. And ‘dignitaries’ one and all!


JazakiLlahu khairan to the dear one whose photos I have used.


Alhumdulillah I have finally made some sense of trying to organize this blog. Slowly, the categories will be ‘concertinaed’ into some semblance of normality. You may notice that ‘rambling’ now includes all the previous ‘a ramble’ posts, and a ‘month of miscellany’ includes all the entries that previously were listed individually. Another JazakumuLlahu khairan for the kind souls who advised me on this. Maybe there should be a rule that ‘grannies’ are banned from blogging, as I realize that what has been a mammoth hurdle for me is truly so simple. Alhumdulillah. And, Insha’Allah once I have completed this laborious task I intend to take yet another bold leap into other changes. Please keep this humble space in your Du’a.

All good is from Allah Ta’ala whereas mistakes are from this humble speck. May Allah Ta’ala Bless all readers, bringing you all closer to Him and His Rasul SallAllahu alaihi wasallam. May He accept our humble efforts and grant us the capacity to be good and do good. Ameen.

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