Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The spiritual journey of a lifetime

The spiritual journey of a lifetime

Madinah – October 15, 2011

I was so pleased for having the opportunity to pour zam zam for an old Turkish woman in Masjidun Nabawey. She looked at me almost surprised, but accepted the offer graciously. I like the Turks. Despite what people have told me about them before this trip to Medina and Mecca. People said that the Turkish women are rough, that they will push you and trample you even. I guess there is some truth to what they say, but they do it not without their reasons.

They care for their old, they have a strong sense of sisterhood, and they have an unprecedented love for the Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him). So how different are they from us?

Turks are just one of the highlights of Medina. Of course, the main one being the Kabr of the blessed Rasull (PBUH), his companions; Abu Bakr and Umar (RA), and the piece of Heaven on earth: Rawdatul Jannah. One can never get enough of the Rawdah!

The Arab women are nice too, Malaysians are very polite, kind of remind me of South Africans, and I say that with as much modesty as possible!

I haven’t seen much of Medinah yet, going between the Movenpick hotel and the Haram, but already it seems so peaceful, calm and serene. I don’t think any other words can describe the city of the Prophet.

I’ve been largely on my own, not being a ‘groupie’ and all, and I’m glad for it, as I got to interact with the women from other countries a lot. People are all warm toward each other here. It’s amazing how the love for one person can unite such diverse nations. We speak different languages but our hearts beat with the same tune.

On entering Medinah I was so afraid of being deadened to the beauty of the place. Being in transit for nearly 2 days can wreak havoc on one’s emotions. I think I probably used all 12 bags of sabr on the way here!! But immediately after immigration I felt the coolness. It was amazing and all the voices of people back home kept replaying in my head: “Once you get off the plane in Medinah, you will forget everything back home.”

The bus drive to the hotel was awesome too - as we drove closer to the haram, the tears kept welling until my eyelids could no longer contain them and they came pouring down. I could feel my heart being cleansed already.

Once we received the keys to the room I immediately wanted to go to the haram- how can one sleep knowing that the Prophet (PBUH) is just outside? SubhanAllah! He is here now!
But that plan was crushed as the doors to the ladies section closes at 11pm. In hindsight I suppose it was better to have been fresh and clean when greeting the Prophet for the first time.

We went in at 7am the next morning and waited for about two and and half hours before we could make salaah on the Rawdah and do our greeting.
It was surreal- as I made sujood I could actually feel my body lifting-defying gravity, in a non-physical sense. And my shoulders just shook- my whole body shivered. I didn’t think I would have that kind of reaction-crazy-crowd and all-but I did.

I think what helped me a lot was the dua’s I made as a traveller: I asked Allah to make me worthy of this experience, to make my heart permeable to the barakah of it, so to speak.

The power of dua’ is something that I struggle to comprehend. I’m not a dua’ person. But this trip has taught me a thing or two about making dua’ and its importance. I’ve seen this manifested in the dua’ I made about being blinded to all evil, ugliness and negativity- on the advice of two colleagues. It really works- I love everyone here! Even if they don’t love me that much when they nearly push me to the ground and trample on my head whilst making sujood! But I love them non-the-less. I love the air, the cleanliness, the truthfulness and the people of Medinah! May Allah bring me back again and again, let me live here, die here and resurrect me with those who are buried here, Aameen.

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