I had been thinking to make an entry related to my Umrah trip (which finished last week) and on-going Istanbul trip for several reasons:
- To remember how my feeling was during the experience
- Personal reflection on what I have done so far and how I can be better
- Release my personal thought and ensure it is captured properly
My Umrah ritual finished last week and I couldn’t be grateful enough to get this opportunity together with my parents. This experience had been like a roller coaster since the beginning. We received multiple confirmation on different departure date which made it difficult for me to adjust my big-meeting plan in the office. We participated in a not-too-professional technical meeting (Manasik) and met one unsympathetic team member of the travel agent. We were “forced” to accept that we would lose one day in Madinah and have it replaced with a day in Kuala Lumpur (which, by the way, not what we wanted).
With all these hiccups in the beginning, we could only be patient, pray and leave everything in hand of Allah SWT. In the end, we are only human, and as much as we try, Allah SWT knows better what will happen to us.
Alhamdulillah, despite some minor issues here and there, my parents and I managed to do our pilgrim pretty well. We regretted that we only spent one and half days in Madina instead of two and half days because we could not pray as much as we wanted. Alhamdulillah, even with such limited time, we still managed to go to Raudah and had our prayers there.
It was unbelieavable how difficult it was to get into Raudah. As Asians, we were put last in entry sequence to avoid being crushed by crowd of Arabian or African people (we indeed are smaller in size). However, having other people coming inside while we kept waiting minutes by minutes and hour by hour, it was only natural that most of us started to lose patience. As a result, people behind us pushed so hard once we got a green light to enter Raudah. Some elder ladies fell down right behind me, and though I wanted to help, I could not because the crowd just pushed me forward.
I remember questioning why people could not just follow guidance from the mosque keeper. Either they were not aware on potential impact from their behaviors or they just simply did not care. It was sad for me to know that all of us who should have paid respect to each other as sisters forgot about this essential part in human relationship. I understand that everyone wanted to send her prayer in one of the holy places, but I think it is also important to ensure we do not hurt our brother or sister. It might be only my selfish thinking, but I do believe it is possible to do so.
But then again, everything happened for a reason. In a way, I think this experience showed me how small I am, and together with hundreds, or even thousands of people, we are nothing in the front of Allah SWT. And the difficulty to get into Raudah might be a way provided by Allah SWT to give us opportunity to be a better person: more patience and more emphaty to other people. Wallahu a’lam. 🙂
(Continued in next entry)