Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Haj 2015 - Part IV Mudzalifah & Malam Bulan dipagar Bintang


So I survived Arafah. Barely, I must add. In hindsight, if I can re-do Wukuf, I would. I was not very satisfied with my ibadah during Wukuf. I was trying hard to get through the day; more than I was trying to go deep in my prayers. And I must say I was so stressed out by the heat that I could not think properly; and that I felt weak.

For the uninitiated - like me before doing my haj, Wukuf is done in Arafah between just after mid-day to sunset i.e. magrib. Technically we can leave Arafah by sunset, sunset is about 5.30 pm and head to Mudzalifah. Technically we can stay for 1 seconds in Mudzalifah; there is no major requirement for this mabit. 

But one can leave Mudzalifah only after midnight. Not a second earlier.

MUDZALIFAH & The Seven Pebbles

We did our maghrib prayer in the dark in our tent in Arafah. I am not sure if there is any light; I guess there should be since there are pilgrims doing overnight in Arafah the night before. But our small tent has no light, so we did our deeds in the not-so-bright light of sunset.

Slowly we make our moves heading to the gate. Thousands were already there waiting for their buses, and there was not a single bus in sight - they have not arrived yet. We had to squeeze our way out, apologizing for beating the technically-non-existent queue, by excusing ourselves that our bus has arrived.

A few would not budge; they must have thought that we were trying to beat the queue. We weren't, and we had to explain that we have car waiting for us, before the let us through reluctantly.

Mudzalifah! We were here first and soon loads of buses and cars joined us
Within minutes, we were ferried out of Arafah and headed to Mudzalifah, and it was only a short journey. Guess in less than 15 minutes, may be twenty, who knows, we have reached Mudzalifah. May be at most, it was before 7 pm. Zaki parked the car and quickly we settled down at a chosen spot on the desert. It was not the best of spots; it was in the middle of nowhere to be honest. It didn't matter. But soon many cars and buses would arrive and it would have a fiesta atmosphere in that area.
Dining in the desert for us
Zaki and Jufri put up the carpet on the sand, and we quickly have our dinner!

Dinner was simple meals of sandwiches and cheese, and fruits and cold drinks. But it was good enough for me. It is just to fill up the empty stomach - I didn't have lunch, and with no public restroom within walking distance, I would prefer to control food intakes.

More importantly, we were here to collect the seven pebbles for us to throw at Aqabah, so after dinner, we quickly did just that
The romantic couple of Maksu and Paksu, working hard as a team
Enough for bus load of pilgrims - Paksu is very efficient in his collection
Just imagine, wearing our ihram, we were like kids looking for batu seremban. I tried too, but in the end, I gave up. I was still too tired by the heat in Arafah, and I knew the ustaz would collect more than he needed. I know I could rely on him for all my pebbles need to throw at the Jamrah.

By then, bus load of people were there. Some of the pilgrims from Middle East brought their big pots of Mandey! I wish they would invited me to join them for dinner. It has a carnival atmosphere.

Other pilgrims there doing the needful
As I have mentioned earlier, we cannot leave until after midnight. Technically we don't need to be here very early. But today's transportation and the fact that there were only five of us, we were here in no time. And hence we had to spend quite a bit of time here.

Some may arrived after 11 pm, and their waiting time would be much less. I guess in the old days, people would walk and ride the camel, and hence it would take them hours to reach Mudzalifah, so it would justify the time why we can only leave after midnight.

So what else we need to do to while our time away?

Yes, forty winks. We have our carpet, our sleeping bag as pillow and the black sky as our roof, and we slept our time away, oblivious to our surrounding! There was nothing in the books guiding us on what we need to do at Mudzalifah.

I guess soon many of us were in the realms of sweet dreams. I had my short nap interrupted a couple of times, but I managed to close my eyes. 

Yes, Malam bulan di pagar bintang. Yes, starry starry night! All of these. In Mudzalifah. Mak Su and Pak Su slept well, but Haji Halim slept like a baby, until it was time to leave.
But the ustaz and Zaki the driver were manning fort. Close to midnight, they would wake us up, and get it ready.

We got out of Mudzalifah at 12.02 am, and headed to Mina for our Aqabah!


Just to recap our Haj journey thus far:

Left Makkah on 9 Zulhijjah at 10 am
Reached Arafah by 10.45 am
Left Arafah by 6.15 pm
Reached Mudzalifah by 6.45 pm
Left Mudzalifah by 12.02 am (technically we were  on Raya night 10, Zulhijjah)

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