Monday, 21 November 2011


'Verily, with hardship there is relief' (94:6, Qur'an).


Hajj is something one must be mentally and physically prepared for. Some say it takes one year to prepare for the journey; others say that it takes two years. However much time you need, it is important to remember that Hajj, being one of the five pillars of Islam, is not just a duty to be fulfilled for the sake of Islam or to please Allah; in fact, it is the ultimate test of your strength and patience. Sabr or patience is so heavily emphasised in Islam because it is so difficult to maintain.

We all get angry, have tantrums or argue. Humanly, it just seems impossible for us to stay calm in a difficult or challenging circumstance. But we must try and that is what Hajj teaches us to do; if you complete Hajj and you feel you’ve maintained sabr, then insh’Allah, you’re on your way to becoming a calmer and more peaceful individual, ready to handle any situation in the ‘civilised’ world.

Say ‘Goodbye’ to internet, ‘Ciao’ to TV and ‘Adios’ to mobile/cellular phones! In whatever language you choose to say ‘farewell’ to what most of us consider part of civilisation, it will be time to say ‘Salaam’ to Hajj.

Hajj is the ultimate test of your strength and patience because it consists of:

• Camping out in the wilderness: four nights of sleeping on the hard rock grounds of Mina and Muzdalifah, surviving on dried fruits and nuts, and wearing one outfit (ihram).

• No moisturising (with fragranced lotions, oils, etc.), no swearing, no backbiting nor participating in any worldly conversations, no hurting animals including ants, no cutting hair or nails, no ripping off leaves or plants, while in the state of ihram.

• Walking for miles and miles to throw pebbles at the three pillars that the devil (shaytan)

• Accepting the fact that most of the millions of Hajjas and Hajjis are not polite; they push, shove, and cut in line at the toilets/bathrooms

• Tolerating the blazing heat of the sun, thereby avoiding dehydration

• Unavoidable illness from the coughing and nose-blowing spectacular at the mosques

• Differentiating between the genuine poor and the crooks (who to give charity to)

• Communication barrier with people coming in from all over the world and even the mosque and mina camp guards, who have no idea how to speak English (so if you’re lost, then you’re on your own)

• Airport organisation, which can be considered…disorganised and a tediously long process, to say the least.

After having gone through all of these challenges, I think to myself, ‘I’ve done it!’ and can only hope that Allah accepts my holy pilgrimage and forgives me of my sins.

Now, if you ask me, ‘How was your Hajj journey?’ my answer will be, ‘Allah has made it so comfortable and easy for me.’

Then, you might curiously say, ‘But, it sounds really difficult….’ My answer will be, ‘When I look back on the journey, I can only smile because I’ve done it!’

Basically, I’m home, safe and sound, because Allah has willed me to be. If Allah had not made this journey comfortable and easy for me, then how else have I gotten to this point, writing about my experience so that it might help you!

It is also crucial that a Muslim understands the requirements of Hajj because there are many common mistakes one can make…. For example, a lot of Muslims feel that touching the Kaaba or Allah’s House and rubbing their bodies with their hands (a.k.a. bathing themselves with it) is ‘okay,’ when it is not a farz or requirement of Hajj. Our Prophet (PBUH) did not do this during the holy pilgrimage.

Another example of a common mistake is people hurting others just to touch or kiss the black stone inside the Kaaba-one should not hurt another just to do this because it is not a farz to kiss the stone; if it is too crowded to reach, then it is best to just raise up one hand in its direction from any distance and kiss that hand.


Makkah and Madinah are ‘fast-food heaven’ for those of you who crave fried chicken, halal Burger King, McDonalds and KFC. But too much of this and you will end up with serious nutrition issues, so be careful.

One thing is for sure, it seemed like the Saudi Arabians love their fried chicken and chicken burgers. In fact, finding a decent meat burger/cheese burger in the Arabian take away/take-out restaurants can be a challenge because of this. And most of the time, they put fries/chips in the burgers which I found different, for lack of a better word.

I was craving a cheese burger and getting to Burger King from my hotel was a mission because I had to walk through the crowded mosque to get there. So...I ventured locally.

‘Do you have a cheese burger?’ I asked the guy behind the counter.

‘Burger? Chicken?’ he asked.

‘No, a meat burger, not chicken.’

‘Chicken burger?’

‘Do you have beef burger?’

He quizzically eyed me. Obviously, he had no idea what I was saying as he did not speak English and I did not speak Arabic.

Then, I remembered Surah Al-Baqarah (The Cow), the Qur’anic verses about Ibrahim (PBUH), from where we gained the tradition of qurbani (sacrifice).

‘Do you have a baqarah burger?’

‘Ah, baqarah!’ He laughed.

I laughed too, nodding. ‘Yes, yes!’

Finally, he understood and I got the cheeseburger I had been searching for (no fries or chips inside).

Note: it is important to gear up with dried fruits, nuts and water during the three-night stay at Mina and one-night stay at Muzdalifah.


I have never walked so much before, in my life. I’ve grown thinner and I’m sure, did some heavy cardiovascular exercise during Hajj.

Simply running back and forth from the Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah during the prayer times was a workout on its own. Not to mention, I trekked miles from my camp at Mina, through wide tunnels, up-hill and in the swarm of millions of people, to throw pebbles at the pillars of the devil.

Thirsty and hungry, developing serious hip ache from sleeping on the hard ground during my three-night stay at Mina and one-night stay at Muzdalifah…I can only say, ‘Alhumdulilah.’

Hajj is a farz, one of pillars of Islam and to be completed once in one’s lifetime for those who are physically, mentally and financially able to perform it. So if you are able to do so, then just think of how fortunate you are to be physically, mentally and financially able to perform it.

I just think about the millions of Muslims who were unable to perform Hajj at the same time that I was. I think about the many that were probably rejected by the Saudi Embassy because they can only allow a certain number of people, entry, at one time. I think about how it was written in my fate to do Hajj this year, how Allah had invited me to His house, for a second time. When I was 10-years-old, I went with my parents and my little brother. This time, having reached the appropriate age/maturity-level in which Hajj became a farz for me, I went with my husband and my parents-in-law.


During my free time, I had the opportunity to tour Makkah and Madina. I’ve been to:


• Khadijah’s (Radi Allahu Anha) grave: ‘Assalamualaika’
• The cave where the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) hid from his enemies
• Masjid Al-Jinn: This is a story on its own which I will share later on in this blog entry


• Masjid Al-Quba: The first mosque; pray 2-rakats nafal
• Masjid Al-Qiblatain: Masjid of two qiblas (original qibla was Masjid Al-Aqsa and then, Masjid Al-Haram); pray 2-rakats nafal
• Ajwa dates garden where the Prophet (PBUH) used to plant his trees


Upon entering the Masjid Al-Haram and nearing the centre where the Kaaba is located, it is as if a moving portrait. The vista is like a live pointillist painting. Millions of people’s heads can be seen, circling the black cube, Allah’s house.

Architecturally, the marble framework of the mosque and openness, providing a clear visage of the sky at all levels, it is a beauty.

Masjid Al-Nabi, also home to the graves of Muhammad (PBUH), Omar and Abu Bakr, is a technological wonder. Inside, it is colourful and golden, containing large domes that slide open to reveal the sky, after asr prayer. Outside, there are large pillars that are like umbrellas that close after asr prayer.

As if straight out of a sci-fi movie, the pillars that are open like large tulips that shade the surrounding marble floor of the mosque's exterior, closes down like folding petals. Watch them open (borrowed video link):

Note that Madina has a much cooler and breezier weather than Makkah. Also, it is not required that one visit Madina's Masjid Al-Nabi as part of Hajj. However, it is recommended to convey 'salaam' to the Prophet (PBUH) at Masjid Al-Nabi.

Also, zam zam water is available for free at both mosques, 24/7!

The Encounter at Jinn Masjid

I’ve had my personal experiences with jinn in the past.

But I had no idea that an entire masjid was dedicated to them! Masjid Al-Jinn or Masjid Bai'et is not far from Masjid Al-Haram. After having read The Jinn: & Human Sickness, I’ve learned that there are good and bad jinn; that we cannot see them but some choose to reveal themselves in human or animal form. Jinn Mumin are the Muslim jinn who will be judged alongside humans on the day of judgement.

There were eight of us on the tour bus, after midnight. Masjid Al-Jinn was built specifically for the jinn who wanted to pray there during the Prophet’s (PBUH) time. Before entering this small, yet significant mosque, the imam or Muslim religious leader told us to close our eyes as he prayed, recited Ayatul Kursi, and touched each of our heads. He then told us to open our eyes and that if we should encounter jinn mumin, the females should embrace the females and males should embrace the males.

We went upstairs to the balcony of the mosque. I suddenly noticed two men and two women follow us up. I thought they were just people who wanted to join us for nafl prayer. On the balcony, we did nafl prayer and faced toward the grave of Khadijah again to convey our salaam. At the end, we all put our hands up in du’a, repeating after the imam.

‘Please let us feel the wind of the presence of the jinn mumin, at the mosque today,’ the imam said.

A sudden wind blew in through the balcony and I heard the two men and two women join us, repeating every word the imam was saying. We placed our hands on the green door as the imam prayed for the doors of the mosque to open for us.

Afterwards, we smiled at the men and women who joined us and were about to head back downstairs when the imam stopped us, saying, ‘Hug them.’

That was when I realised that my suspicions were correct; these men and women were not human; they were jinn mumin! I embraced the two women; one laughing with felicity (kissing my two cheeks) and the other, crying and patting my back. Apparently, the one crying could feel what we had prayed for and one laughing could feel joy coming into our lives soon.

The imam apparently met with them later on and they had informed him that I was the first to recognise them for what they really were….

Though the doors of the masjid opened for us, we did not enter because one of our group members was stricken by shock. She's fine.


Everyone's experiences during Hajj are different, but they contain similarities, therefore giving us a chance to provide general advice to future Hajjas and Hajjis.

'...Keep up prayer and enjoin the good and the forbid the evil. And bear with patience whatever befalls you. Verily! These are some of the important commandments ordered by Allah with no exemption. And turn not your face away from men with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, Allah likes not each arrogant boaster. And be moderate (or show no insolence) in your walking, and lower your voice. Verily, the harshest of all voices is the voice (braying) of the ass...'-Surah Luqman


  1. Omg, Rumki that Jinn account is amazing! X

  2. Mash'Allah what a beautiful experience sis, Hajj Mubarak to you :)

  3. Salaamun Alaikum,
    Sis Rumki, What a beautiful experience!! May Allah (swt) accept all your deeds during your Hajj. HAJJ -Ul Mabroor!!
    Abul Hassan

  4. assalamualikum .masallah u r so lucky sis .and insallah ,allah except your hajj. oma tawfiki illah billah.please pray 4 me .

  5. allla subhanau-tala accept youe hajj insallah.

  6. allah subanautala accept your hajj .insallah

  7. Great to read this. It seems our experiences overlap considerably! Miss those KFC burgers... :)

  8. This was an extremely insightful post, thanks for sharing it with us =)