Musim haji ..... telah tiba lagi --- this is part of a lyric from an old nasyid.
Back then, the nasyid does not mean anything to me, but now, the word 'LABBAIK' can easily made my fragile tears to come rolling down on my aging cheek. How I missed KAABAH. Missed the beautiful days, being there in Makkatul Mukarramah doing nothing else besides devoting ourself to ONE AND ONLY, ALLAH SWT.
Waking up as early as 3AM in the morning, get ready for the midnight solat, the most beautiful time to humbly 'talk' to Allah. We feel so close to HIM ... nothing compares. From the midnight solat, we stayed on till solat fajr, which then we head back to our hotel for breakfast. After breakfast we will have a short tazkirah at the roof top of the hotel. We were there during the cold season. Being at the roof top, it was windy which add to the chilly morning. But listening to the tazkirah crept all those uneasy feeling. After tazkirah, we normally had a nap before getting ready for solat zuhr as early as 11am, later than that will result on performing solat at the corridor or even worse, on the street.
After the zuhr prayer, we will get back to hotel for lunch and a free-n-easy session till Asr. Most of the time, I will take another nap during these hours. Before 'Asr, we will quickly secure a place for Asr prayer by being there as early as we could. Since we are fortunate to be rewarded a hotel that is near to Masjidil Haram, we will get back to hotel after Asr for another free-n-easy session. Some may take this opportunity to do some shopping. We tried to refrain ourselves from shopping except for some necessary things such as ihram, sajadah etc. These are the activities prior to the 'Arafat Day'.
We did Haj Ifrad, therefore, we were in ihram for more than 13 days. To female pilgrim, in ihram is not a problem at all, it only means covering yourself as you did in solat. Well, we are used to it, isn't it. Thus, doing ifrad is not a problem. Many were afraid to do Ifrad because they cannot bear to be in ihram for long period. Everything goes back to oneself, you decide which do you prefer. The most important thing is to be the 'mukhlisin'. Do everything only because of Allah not because of any other reason.
Why am I telling everything here??? Not to brag but just to share some experience. And also as a 'muhasabah' how very little time we spent in ibadah ilaLLAH daily, but, being there in Makkah & Madinah is a place where we can 100% devote ourself in ibadah ilaALLAH. And that's the routine that almost everybody went through. I am just sharing with all the readers the unspoken beauty of being so close with ALLAH with all the ibadah while being there in Makkah & Madinah. Praying all the readers will also have this opportunity to be there. InsyaAllah.