Al Madinah Al-Munawarah - the city of the prophet8:58 AM
As-salam, We meet again. It's our last day after 4 nights stay at Mecca. I am really wishing that we can stay longer and being nothin...
We meet again.
It's our last day after 4 nights stay at Mecca. I am really wishing that we can stay longer and being nothing secret
about it. I co-erced my husband into extending our stay at Mecca and he did give it some thought. Anyhow, since it will involved and effected many things like our hotel booking in Madinah and transportation, we had to leave Mecca as planned, with a heavy heart.
During our 5 days at Mecca, we decided not to go for any ziarah, at all. Not even Jeddah. This is mainly because we wanted to be at Masjidil Haram as long as we can and not wanting to missed any prayer in masjidil haram if possible. The interval time between prayer's time in Mecca was indeed short as we know it, leaving us just ample time for short rest and eat. We decided to do our ziarah on our last day.
We did our tawaf wida' ( goodbye tawaf) after breakfast and immediately checking out from hotel and off we go, leaving Mecca, heading towards Madinah. I am sad knowing and realizing the fact that this could be the last time we would see Baitullah with our own eyes, and thrilled at the same time to meet Madinah.
:: Checking out from hotel ::
:: Camel riding at Jabal Rahmah ::
We made a quick stop at Jabal Rahmah for ziarah. At the first sight of camels, we the parents were happy but the kids were happier. Anyhow, small hiccup after that spoiled the moods somehow. You see, we confirmed the price before agreeing on the ride and was told that one ride costs 10 saudi riyal and 1 polaroid photo costs 10 riyal. So we climbed up the camel and begin the ride. The camel owner took our photo and when we thought he's done, they kept snapping their pilaroid camera. My husband had to firmly telling them khalassss, khalasssss (enough, enough) few times and instead, we asked them to snap our photo using our own camera. After maybe 200 metre, the camel stopped and the owner asked us if we wanted to stepped down there near Jabal Rahmah or to be sent back where we started. Since the sun was soaring, the weather was pretty hot, and I'm lazy like that so we opted to be sent back to where we started. During paying time, the camel herder asked us for 80 riyal instead of 40 riyal. So my husband argued with him. Much to our suprise, he told us that the going ride is 10 riyal and since we requested to be sent back to our starting point, that'll be another 10 riyal. As for the photo, he took 2 pictures of us each, makes it 4 in total, before my husband stopped him so we had to pay for all 4 photos equivalent to 40 riyals.
The blame was not totally on him. Partially is ours because we didn't checked properly for any hidden cost before agreed to the ride. We paid him full though and decided to leave it as it is. I didn't have any intention of badmouthing the camel herder, just a gentle reminder so other's won't get to experienced the same thing.
We then headed straight to Madinah, bypassed Mina. We didn't stop here because the camp and most area alikes was left empty and un utilized outside Hajj season.
:: We have to go through few police checkpoints like above on our way ::
We found Al-Baik in between our journey and decided to pack our lunch and stop to eat anywhere our driver deemed suitable. Al-Baik is like KFC Saudi version. The verdict..... No offense to any party as this is just based on my personal preference. Some people might feel the contrary but I found Al-Baik's fried chicken crispier and nicer. I wish they open more restaurant in Mecca and Medina, and even Kuwait because obviously, what they already have was not enough. The queue was madness and during peak hours, they can't help but to shooooo-ed you away because they can't managed the existing crowd already.
My husband went first into Al-Baik store to buy our lunch but went out shortly after, and asked me to buy at the ladies section instead. He said the counter guy told him to get the wife to buy because if he were to buy, we'll have to wait around 1 hour. Ladies section were much much faster service than that.. So I went to buy. Things were okay at first because the person who took the order spoke fluent english , plus there's an english menu provided. I started sense some problem when I heard the guy who called out the number in pickup counter calls it in Arabic. Lucky me, I done my 1st level Arabic class and we did learned about numbers so I am a little at ease. I take a quick peek at my ticket to see what number I've gotten and I saw number 473 .
I AM IN TROUBLE !!!
Cikgu kiter ajar sampai puluh puluh jek.. Ni nombor ratus ratus.. How larrrrr ?????
I sat silently at one corner and did my own translation and this is what I came up with.
4 = arba'a, 7 = Tissa'a and 3 = Thalatha..
Ahhh easy peasy! It should be Arba'a tissa'a thalatha. Man, I felt clever already hahahah... My Arabic teacher must be very proud of me. Then I was thinking, maybe it's wise to seek for a second opinion so I texted my husband whose waiting in a car.
Me : Pa, 473 cakap ape in Arabic?
Hubby : ARBA'A MIA THALATHA SABAIN !
Me : * bang head on wall repeatedly *
It's far cry from my version peeeepppssss... Huwaaaaaaa...
:: Enjoying my Arba'a Mia Thalata Saba'in's fried chicken behind some lorries, under the hot scorching sun. My reaction is self explanatory on how delicious the chicken was. We couldn't find any suitable/closed rest area to eat and this bench is the next best thing ::
Arrived at Madinah after 5-6 hours journey, few minutes before Maghrib adzan, hence we just prayed at room, freshen up and went to Masjidil Nabawi for Isya'. Our hotel located around a minute walk from mosque and is very near to ladies entrance.
For Masjidil Haram, you can enter the mosque from any gate there is but there's also a few gates restricted for ladies only. Masjidil Nabawi on another hand, separate the entrance for ladies and gents. All ladies MUST go through bag inspection every time you entering the mosque because it is forbidden to take a photo inside ladies section. Therefore, they won't allowed you to bring any sorts of camera and even phone with embedded camera. There's a booth near the gate where you can drop your phone and collect it back when you're leaving the mosque. They also provide box by the entrance so you can drop you stuffs inside and redeemed it back on your way out. Same goes to Masjidil Haram, it is advisable to bring shoe bag or plastic bag so that you can always keep your shoes with you and at the same time, keeping the mosque clean.
Keep in mind, THE INSPECTION IS VERY THOROUGH! They'll even check and open your shoe bag and unzip every zips your bag own, so the thought of sneaking in camera is not a very wise one, albeit some were successfully doing it. They even do body search should you didn't bring any bag with you. So what I did, I left my phone in my room, or gave it to my husband to keep. My hotel was very near so we normally just headed back to our room after solat, separately, and meet at hotel lobby should we're going anywhere afterwards so I don't need my phone. However, I still need to bring my sling back with me to keep the quran, room key and the girls's belonging so my advise to make sure you had smooth inspection and not wasting too much time at the entrance is : Get your bag readily open and every compartments is unzip as you approaching the entrance. It'll make the officer's job easier and you can save a lot of time. Trust me, it is not worth being caught for a few pictures! Always and always be reminded of your sole purpose of coming to mosque in the first place. You sure wouldn't want to be stopped from getting into mosque for breaking the rules while other people had already started their ibadah inside. Plus, you can always get your husband or male relatives to take a photo for you at their section because the rules is different for the other side. It's the same interior after all..
As per the mosque, ermmm what can I say about the Masjidil Nabawi.. It's beyond words . It's grandeur and majestic. It's jaw dropping beauty and knowing the fact that you were so closed to Rasullullah s.a.w and blessed with the opportunity to actually pray in His mosque and visit his tomb, the feeling is indescribable.
:: Outside our hotel entrance. As can be seen, behind us is Masjidil Nabawi ::
:: Can you see the Qubbatul Khadhra (green dome)? Makam Rasullulah s.a.w and Raudhah placed underneath it ::
There's some interesting story ( at least to me) that I would like to share here. I neverrrrrrrr knew this before. My husband told me about this when we were at Madinah.
Did you know that there's a human remains on top of the Qubbatul Khadhra ( kubah ijau) until now? The body belonged to someone who climbed the kubah with evil intention to destroy makam Rasullullah s.a.w. Allah knows best and the man ended died after being striked by lightning. The body was failed to be removed ever since even after so many attempts, believed to be iktibar to future generation. Eventually they just buried/cement the body there and can be seen until now. Wallahualam. Allah the greatest and Kun Fa Ya Kun indeed.
Last but not least, to lighten up your day ..................
:: I couldn't decide whether the signage missing a letter H after C or ST after the second G :) . U decide ! ::