I decided to blog about my umrah trip today, because I was facing a tough time way before I went to Mecca.
I kept telling myself that I do not deserve this trip because
1) I am a sinner
2) I was/am not ready
3) I really do not deserve this
4) someone better than me deserves this
So many excuses I gave to my parents but I did not know how to face them. It took them at least 8 months to plan ahead for everything. Or maybe more, I don’t know.
As time passed by real quick, it was already October and everything has been finalised. I had to attend classes every Saturday in November and I remember, I was half asleep in the class, I heard loud and crystal clear, the Ustaz said, “no matter who you are, how big your sins are towards Him, how not ready you are, you are here because you are the chosen one. and God chose you because He believes in you.”
Dayummm! I cried! Again, I kept asking myself “Why me?”
Tick tock, it was already December. My relatives (maternal/paternal) and friends were there to bid farewell. And we were supposed to take off at 4.35 pm but God forbids that plane to fly… and all of us had to stay in the airport for almost 7 hours. To be exact, stranded.
Reached Jeddah on the very next day and I gotta say I felt tired from just sitting in the plane and bus for more than 16 hours. My butt was sore and I couldn’t feel anything.
We stayed at Leader Al-Muna Kareem Hotel in Madinah. It is just a 5 min walking distance to Masjid Nabawi. Oh by the way, we chose Afandi Travel to guide us for our umrah travel.
The moment I stepped into Masjid Nabawi, I swear I wanted to burst out crying. “What did I do to deserve this?!!!” Suddenly, I felt like I was surrounded with peace, beautiful voices from people reading Koran and beautiful windy weather.
Felt like a bunch of burdens inside of me been lifted up when I performed my solat there. Also, mama told me to not say anything bad there because every word is a prayer. Whoever knows me would know that I actually curse quite a lot but not a lot, like more often. Get it get it?
And when I was in Madinah, all I could ever did was either say Astaghfirullah and closed my eyes.
Probably I wasn’t that comfortable with cold weathers, my second day in Madinah, I fell ill and had a very bad fever. But that didn’t stop me from going to Nabawi to perform my solat. And the reason I wore niqab is because of my allergies, not because of fashion.
On that very first night of mine in Madinah, I got to witness Rawdah. Subhanallah I gotta say!… It is so beautiful and again, no words could describe my feelings. I cried, I felt really overwhelmed and at the same time, my asthma decided to say hello to me right after I visited Rawdah. Thank God that was the only activity I did that night or else I would have gone to the hospital due to my sudden asthma attack.
We visited Jabal Uhud, Masjid Quba’, Masjid Qiblatain, Shuhada’ Uhud and couldn’t recall where else. Too many places we visit in one day.
On 6th December, everyone was ready. It was the day where we were going to perform our umrah in Mecca. The journey from Madinah to Mecca is like more or less 4 hours. And we did our niat at Bir Ali.
The feelings were quite intense for me. I was really really scared and afraid that I might not be able to see Kaabah. But SubhanAllah! God have mercy on me! I saw and witnessed *Kaabah with my own eyes! I couldn’t stop from crying but at the same time was doing my tawaf.
We started our tawaf around 10.30 pm and then did sai’ (3.5km). Ended around 1.30 am as far as I could remember. I didn’t even feel tired or restless. The day before, I had muscles cramped on my right leg and I could barely walk properly. To my surprise, I did not feel any pain nor tired when I was performing my umrah.
Yes, I was sick there. The whole journey in Saudi, I was having a bad fever and dry cough. Probably because of the weather but when I came back from Jeddah to Singapore, the cough was gone. Incredible.
My father saw me walking with my eyes closed when I was doing sai’ with him. He thought I was asleep. I said, yes I was half awake half asleep. And actually, half of the jemaah in our group saw me walking that way. But yeap, I didn’t feel tired or sore.
The next day we visited a few places like Arafah, Jabal Rahmah, Muzdalifah and other few places.
We did not spend our money that much on food as both hotels in Mecca and Madinah served us delicious food from morning till night. The only time we had food outside of hotel when I told my parents I want to try their ice-cream.
I didn’t really do that much of shopping as I did not know what to get for myself. But I know I had to get that Aldo bag.
We bid goodbye to Mecca with tawaf wada’ and again, I cried. I thank God for giving me another chance to be alive, to witness His incredible and beautiful home in Mecca. I thank God for giving me the second chance to be the new me.
Whenever people ask me “How was your umrah?”, I couldn’t say anything.
“You have to go there and feel it. It is, indescribable.”
Now, before that, like I said at my very first paragraph, I was having/facing a tough time ahead. This is because I was going through a mental breakdown.
Whoever knows me, knew that I was in a relationship with someone that I adored the most. We have had been best friend since I was 14, we officially met for the very first time when I was 18 and then five years ago, he asked me to be his girlfriend.
But a few days before my trip, he told me “I don’t think I can be with you anymore.” and I did not take that as a break up word. I thought he was just being emo.
The whole journey of mine when I was in Madinah and Mecca, he did not contact me but the last few days, he did. On 9th December he gave his reasons why he wanted to leave me but I couldn’t accept it because I wanted to focus more on my ibadah.
Thought that once I came back, we could settle this but I couldn’t face him. And we officially broke up on 19th December.
It was a rough decision but I agreed with it. Yes, it was really really bad that I actually lost my appetite, fell sick and anxiety kicked me in. It took me quite some time to accept the fact that whatever I prayed in Mecca, was surreal.
God is real and God is always right. He is more powerful than we are.
And I told my ex, “There’s a reason why God wanted me to be in your life for this whole time. Probably to lift you up and maybe you need someone to believe in you.”
But not to worry guys, we did not end in a bad way. At first yes, it was a bad break up. But because I agreed with the break up too, I told him it is better for us to stick as friends. Because our journey started as friends, so why not end it like how we started?
So guys, this is a new beginning for me. December has been a pretty ugly month for me but I am glad that I finally embraced and found myself. I found peace in solat and God, has given me a second chance to breathe the world without doubts.
Happy new year.