The Last Few Days of Hajj

There was some point during our stay in Arafah that I completely forgot how long we have been there. It is a very serene feeling being at Arafah and there is a lot I would like to say about it, and our Hamlah did an amazing job with the timings and helping us avoid the millions of people here. Those 36 hours felt more like a few days but the time was flying between Doa’a and prayer, and talking to people.

You go through such a spiritual and religious experience with a dynamic group of people. You really do bond with these people and you don’t realize how small the world is. Just two more days to go, and it has been the best trip of my life by far. I am very lucky that I managed to come with some family members or else I would honestly be lost. You try to remember everyone you know and family, and even Doa’a for Kuwait to get better. I know people might not say this enough, but Saudi Arabia is doing an amazing job with the organization and the infrastructure to handle so many different people and I am thankful for being able to Hajj, and I hope this won’t be my last one because it is just such an experience.

We just had the 2nd day of Ramee Al Jamaarat and a lot of people were feeling under the weather. I felt queasy and a sore throat but I stayed in the Hamlah in Mina waiting it out and not doing much else. It did get better with time and Hamdilah by 11pm when we headed to the Jamaarat I was doing fine but by that time the flu set in on some of the women in our group and they weren’t doing too well and on the second day it was getting very crowded. One girl was not in good shape and they took her flying to the bus where the doctor was waiting for her, it was the case of flu and dehydration. And as we finished Jamaraat another 6 women fainted as we were walking, it was a moment where our group came together to make sure these women got safely to the buses, it is an exhausting experience and for everything they did they will receive a hasanah from God for each and every hardship during Hajj. You really do bond with people your group I don’t know most of these women but when someone is troubled you can’t do anything but want to help and there is a surge of energy inside of you. I know it might seem a bit strange reading all this but it is a such an overwhelming experience in Hajj. The one thing I am extremely thankful for is that this Hajj has been very easy in comparison to the stories I was told, and I am very happy to meet so many different and good people. There is a lot more that I want to talk about but these days I barely have time to sit in front of a PC and you just want to pass out after these long walks.

The Coming Haj

Now the religious trial will begin starting today saturday with Mina, Arafah, Muzdalefah, and Mecca again. A lot of people keep telling me to be physically and mentally prepared, I think I am mentally prepared, and physically I am rested so I am looking forward to it and thankful to be able to participate in this Haj. I know that a lot of people have it harder at different times for Haj, but the weather is cool which makes it easier on people during this Haj.

We tried a few times to pray in the Haram but mashalla there are so many people in Mecca you can barely make it to the outskirts even going an hour or two before the prayer. After prayer with the Hamlah there are these talks where they explain the reasons for certain actions and whats the next step which is good and useful. During those talks I ran into friends who I was even aware they were in Haj as well, let alone in the same Hamalah which is great. There is a good feeling between people and these sheikhs are very helpful are able to explain all our questions. I sometimes feel my questions are dumb but probably most people have the same question. And its good to discuss the next steps so that everything is clear, and I’m personally looking forward to Arafah.

Kubbar Trip

This was a bit of a hot weekend and going to Kubbar didn’t seem like a bad idea, I wanted to jump in some water too cool off. Took about 20 minutes to get things ready on the boat, and waiting for a few people before heading off to Kubbar. It was hot as hell on the deck, and I wanted to jump right into the water but the water in the Marina is somewhat disgusting so I opted out, instead I was rubbing ice cubes on my head which melted rather quickly.

We were pumping up the kid’s toys, and a small boat just before heading off. By the time everyone got there it was already a little late but we took off to Kubbar. My nephew wasn’t sitting too still in the beginning but later on he was standing watching everything going by and those large tankers, they are really big. Sitting with my camera in my hand ready to snap away, I was like to catalog the outings to Kubbar since its always a point of interest for people.

Around 25 minutes later we arrived and it looked like a parking spot all around it. I wish our government would take an initiative and fix the island up a little bit. Not necessarily setting something up but a little depot with some maintenance to make sure that the island remains clean and maintained.

The first spot we stopped had a very strong current, I jumped right into the water which felt amazing, but within seconds I was pulled at least 3 meters away from the boat and you could feel the current while swimming, I looked like I was stationary. We moved to another spot which was much better but lots of boats were around us, I managed to snap some pictures but it was getting hot and I wanted to remain in the water. The best part is eating watermelon while swimming, there is something about the mix of the sweet taste while you’ve been tasting salt water for that whole period.

It was refreshing, and music blaring from multiple directions and all different kinds. The best part is seeing so many people enjoying themselves.

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