And now the time is nearWe left Malaysia October 9th .
As I pull the final curtain ....
Today is November 22nd. It is our 44th day in Mekah and our last.
Most pilgrims from other countries had left within days after completing their Hajj. They had either left for Medinah or for those that went to Medinah before Hajj, left for Jeddah to fly home.
The saf during prayers at Masjidil Haram are not as packed as before. The streets are not as busy as it used to be. The air is beginning to chill, thus making the vacancy left behind really felt.
During the Hajj season, shopkeepers were uncompromising in their price bargain. Taxi drivers could charge at their whim and fancy to as high as triple or four times the “normal” rate. Now, it is the pilgrims’ turn to dictate price.
Malaysian pilgrims can still be seen lingering around Mekah. Without the packed crowd, it is a relief and our last opportunity to do more umrah and tawaf. We managed a few but not as much as we hope. Fatigue had set in.
In our hotel, one group of Malaysian pilgrims left for Medinah. Three groups already left for Jeddah. Today is our turn to leave Mekah.
I stayed over in Masjidil; Haram last night. But at 11 pm tonight, we will be going to the Masjidil Haram for the last time to do the tawaf wada or "goodbye tawaf."
By 3 am November 23rd the next day, we will be leaving for Jeddah for our scheduled flight home in the morning. With Jeddah airport congested daily with returning pilgrims, God only knows what time will the actual flight be.
As much as I am anxious to return to Malaysia, I will be leaving Mekah with a heavy heart. God knows, when will I be able to visit this holy place again.
When I left Mekah 20 years ago in my last umrah trip, I prayed that I will return to perform the Hajj.
Again, I will pray for the opportunity to return again to Mekah, but realistically, I know it is not the same. Having undergone a medically challenging Hajj, the next return may well be physically more challenging.
Furthermore, Tabung Haji had imposed 5 year moratorium before returning pilgrims can apply for Hajj again. Even if I had the chance again, I could be in my 70s. Who will go together to take care of me?
For all practical purposes, this could be my only and last Hajj. The tawaf wada will truly be a sad farewell.
Throughout the Hajj season, from Medinah to Mekah and in every ibadah, I have not stopped praying to seek for God’s forgiveness, guidance and protection, and well being for myself, my parents, family, and friends.
I had sought for many wishes and fulfilment of my many aspirations. I prayed for the welfare of some special loved ones. I prayed for the resolution to some of my personal affairs. And I seek blessing and guidance for my struggle and endeavours.
I prayed for the many private requests of family and friends in this holy place. Most seek to be God’s invited guest (dhuyuf ar-rahman) to do pilgrimage in Mekah.
There are those that seek blessing and success from Allah for their family. The younger members of my family and friends seek personal success in education and career. Not to mentioned, the few who are looking to meet their life partners.
A friend wants to run against a big name opposition leader in the next general election. Another friend, maybe in jest, asked to pray that he become a Minister.
On my own conscience and the request of friends, I prayed for the well being of the country.
I prayed for peace, prosperity and common sense to prevail. Not to insult the masses, but most rakyat are, either unaware or naive, of the subtle and insidious cloaks and daggers that is threatening the country.
At Arafah, we prayed Allah to give hidayah (good guidance) to the nation’s leadership so that they will be guided by Allah to carry out their duty to take care of us, the rakyat.
I prayed too that all leaders, irrespective of their political party, be given Allah’s guidance to play their role in administering the Government, providing check and balance and always giving priority to the welfare of the people.
However, I prayed that Allah deny those with intention or in co-hort with those with intention to bring destruction to the nation.
I prayed for Allah’s retribution to those willing to destroy the moral fabric of the nation and invoke issues to disrupt the peaceful co-existence of many races and religion.
O Allah! Protect Malaysia from those whose hunger for power has no limit and boundary.
And I prayed for divine justice against those that plunder from the rakyat and nation in the past, present, and future.
Not only that, I had prayed for singer Ahmad Jais who died last month and others who had contributed to the country in their own unique ways.
However, after the tawaf wada, I will only thank Allah for helping made our journey safe and pray that our journey home also be a safe one.
There nothing more I would like to ask as my last request in Baitullah (House of Allah). What I need to asked, I have asked. If anything to wrap-up my stay here, I only seek from Allah to bless and make my existence on this earth as relevant.
May Allah continue to bless this holy land.