Sunday, October 27, 2013

My wukuf experience during performing hajj 1422H

I am writing my experience in performing Hajj 12 years ago 1422H. Hopefully those incidences will have effect to my blog readers on the true meaning of sacrifice. It is the story of the day of Wukuf in Arafah and the journey to Mina via Mudza.
The whole hajj began on the night 8th Zulhijjah. We were instructed to wear the ihram and perform the niat at our hotel.

I perform Hajj Tamattuk. We were also instructed to only bring a small bag that consisted of only essential items, such as toilettories and 2 set of plain clothes after our tahlul.
I was on the 11 floor of 11 floor building occupied by my group (KT32). The queue system follows the floor sequence. Meaning the 1st bus will be given to the 1st floor people, followed by the 2nd floor people and so on. Obviously, the bus that I took was the last bus of the lot. The bus departed for Arafah after Isya prayers.

It was not very far from my hotel in Mekah to our camp in Arafah (10KM).
When arriving in Arafah, I took my place in the tent and took my dinner. At around 10.30pm, I prepared myself to go to sleep in my ihram.

There is no bed/mattress in Arafah. I slept on the canvas, in a make-shift tent in the middle of Arafah. It was not confortable sleeping in an ihram, but all these actions were done for the sake of Allah.
Next day, was 9th Zulhijjah, wukuf day.  I spent most of my time in the tent, on the canvas reading Quran & remembering Allah. Wukuf started during Zuhor time until Maghrib.

I heard many people crying, for they seek repentance from their sins in the past. I also cried but only for a while.  I managed to cover 3 juz of the Holy Quran.
After Isya that night 8.00pm, we were all getting ready to move to Mina via Mudza. Again, the queue system followed the building floor and I knew that I will get the last bus.

When my turn to board the bus eventually came, the Tabung Haji people said that our bus broke down. We were instructed to wait for the 1st bus that ferry the earliest people in our group after the bus completed delivering the 1st floor people to Mina.
Arafah is a large desert area. Mudza is also large area of just desert.  Mina is a place divided by hills. There are many hills in Mina. 2 tunnels connect vast amount of tents that forms Mina. Mina is like an oval shape area. Mina is also where the jumrah (stoning) are situated.

3 million people simultaneously take the same path from Arafah to Mina via Mudza. If 30 people can fit into 1 bus, then there were 100,000 buses full of people. That is the volume of vehicle that moved that particular night.
Even though there are 4x2 vehicle lanes towards Mina, but as we approach Mina, it converged into just 2 lanes, making a journey of approximately 15KM taking on average 5 hours.

Back to my story, I knew that the returning bus will come the next day. I knew that the compulsory mabit (spending the night) at Mudza was gone. I stood near the gate watching many buses pass me by.
 I just stood there from 8.00pm until midnight. I became very angry with Tabung Haji for not organizing my trip well.

How come of all people, it was my bus that did not arrive. Have you not got contingency plan? Have you not got a spare bus? You have been handling hajj for many years, and did you not anticipate that problems will occur? I became very angry! But I was helpless. Because I was relative young at that time, I asked them to let me walk from Arafah to Mina.
They did not allow me for security reasons. I said to them, I can take care of myself. It is a straight path. I will never be lost. They still did not allow me to walk a 15KM distance.

Well, from 12am-3.30am, I just could not take it. By that time, I was so tired standing. I sat down, made a lot of dzikir and prayed to Allah. That was the only thing I could do.
I dozed off and was awaken by a loud siren of a patrol car at 4.00am. It was the highway patrol. They asked the organizers, why were these few remaining people not exiting Arafah.

The organizers (Tabung Haji) told the highway patrol, that these few people were waiting for the coming bus to pick them up.
The highway patroller made a call on the radio in Arabic. 10 minutes later, a shoddy old yellow bus came. I have not seen a worse bus than that. The driver was an old Arab guy with a large turban. He must be close to his seventies. I said to myself, if this driver is taking me to Mina on that bus, I am not confident at all, but under those circumstances, I would take it anyway.

The patroller asked each one of us (there were 20 of us) to board the bus. The bus went the opposite way from the way to Mudza. The bus driver drove the bus like a madman.
He took us back to Mekkah using a narrow road instead of the 4 lane highway. I could see from afar many small tiny red lights on the highway towards Mudza.

Those were lights from all the buses on the highway. Then the driver stopped. "Mudza!" he said. He asked us to take small pebbles as this is the area of Mudza.
After just 3 minutes, he instructed us to be back in the bus. Again he drove like a madman and arrived in Mina at close to 5.00am.

The amazing thing was he drove us right to our tent. There were hundreds of thousands of similar tents in Mina, but this mad driver drove us straight to our tent!!
When I entered the tent, there was only 1 bus-load of people out of 10 buses that has departed from Arafah. That bus was the No.3 bus!

Masyaallah, Allah was testing my patience on the night of wukuf! Now I truly realise the value of patience.

Sacrifice = Believe in Allah + knowledge + effort + sabr (patience)

Biggest sacrifice for me when doing hajj, was to be really patient. Believe in Allah, truly He is your Master and He will definitely help you!
You just have to be patient and seek His help with yaqin & make dua. Definitely, you will find PEACE...

Allah hu akbarX 9, walillah hilhamd... 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

At the busy city of Surabaya...and my 2 favourite surah in Quran

I was travelling in the busy road of Surabaya that I observed many unhappy people in their vehicle. They love to honk and were very impatient.

They look very tensed. Most of them do not have the smile and peacefulness on their faces.
Now I come to this conclusion, wheather they are from Surabaya or Kuala Lumpur, or any big city in this whole world, they are quite similar in thinking.

They strive very hard to accumulate as much material wealth as possible because, wealth is something that people look up to. It is a form of standard that has been in-build in most societies. The house they own, the car they drive are all part of social standard that have been accepted and they strive hard for. Bungalow and BMW are at the high end. Overseas trip on a business class, using platinum credit card and dining in a 5-star hotel are the benchmark.

No wonder people are always on their toes. Time is what they have little of. Priority time must be allocated to entertaining VIPs (or whoever can help them in their quest). Also they must ensure that they win against their "rivals" be it their competitors or whoever stands between them and what they strive for.

Until they are near their death that they finally found out that what they strive for is not going to follow them to their grave. Then the standard immediately change to rememberance of Allah, sadakah and doing good deeds. If these people are lucky, they will have the chance to make their hereafter better. If not, then let us all pray for Allah's mercy.

That is why Surah 102 (Takathur) & Surah 103 (Asr) decribes the current society problem beautifully in the Quran. The 2 surahs combined together the problem we face today, especially in big cities. These 2 surah are my favourite when performing salat

What is the link between Surah 101 & 104? Hellfire and (scandal mongers & back biters)

What a beautiful text linkage in the Holy Quran. No human can possible create that..ever

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Visit to Mount Bromo


From my previous blog, I found out that my grandfather came from the island of Bawean. It is a small island 150km north of Jawa towards Borneo.
I took the whole family (wife + 4 daughters) to Bawean. However, when we reached Jawa, the boat going to Bawean was cancelled due to engine failure. The boat trip to Bawean is 3 times in a week.
Anyway, I then planned a trip to south of Jawa, to a volcanic mountain of Bromo. It was a beautiful scene on top of the volcanic range. We went up the summit of Mount Panajakan (by 4x4) to see the morning sunrise.
Then we climb Mount Bromo, which needs a bit of effort to reach the volcano top. The volcano is still active with hot steam coming out of the crate.
I am sharing 2 of my favourite photos up on Mount Bromo. I wore none other than Manchester United jersey. Then me & daughters took the air-borne picture with the camera facing the sun. If there is the flash, then the picture will be clearer. Nonetheless, the picture showed our feelings.. 
Subhanallah, all praise be to Allah for creating such a beautiful mountain/volcanic range.
It was a very good family outing. The result is I am closer to my wife & the kids as we enjoyed the good things together & I always remind them to praise Allah when we observe HIS creations.
For mountain in Quran (Ghasiyah:19). "And the mountains, how they are fixed firm" 

Rivalry that diverts us from good deeds!!

It has been a while since I last wrote in my blog.

Just to update regarding some things worth mentioning.

Our life that we are living is about making this earth a better place. It is a command from Allah that we ensure that this world is being properly managed.

Most of humans accumulate wealth, because money and fame are things that make you feel really good in the eyes of the people.

But, actually doing good deeds and being humble are traits that Allah ask from His slaves. We will leave ALL world things when we eventually die.

We should be grateful and praise Allah for all the good things that he has given to us. Sometimes, what Allah does not give you is best for you as He is the All knowing. So why should we worry about anything in this world? Just do what Allah tells us and abstain from what He forbids. Do good deeds and for sure Allah will protect you.

I was riding my motorcycle along the highway when a BMW came within a whisker from hitting me. The driver was a young professional. He was racing with another young driver driving a Mini Cooper. Wow! I was thinking to myself. These two young guys were  really "trying" to enjoy themselves.

They tried to have cheap thrill by having a race and flashing their "exclusive" toys. At the same time, endangering other innocent people.

I make doa to Allah. Please guide ALL of us from being indulging in this worldly things simply because of unnecessary rivalry. (Surah Takathur: 1).Same case goes to people in the corporate world, who are fighting tirelessly to climb the corporate ladder. 

May Allah protects us from syaitaan..