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Hajj – 4rd Dhul Hajj, including Ziyarah

November 22, 2009

2:30 a.m. Woke up to try to pray again at the Rawdah. Still a lot of people! A nice young fellow gave me his spot after he prayed, so I prayed and made duahs and then gave way for others.

There is a very interesting situation here, due to the fact that it is so difficult to get into, yet the rewards of praying here and supplicating here are great. Does one hold his fort despite the throngs of people wanting to come in and pray? Or, in the other extreme, does one offer to let others in before oneself, to be truly selfless, a virtue in Islam? From hearsay, the Prophet (PBUH) once discussed that competition in religious matters is a good thing, however it should be done in a way that does not harm others.

Well at the end of the day, each individual has his own idea of what is right and wrong in this situation. I decided that I would definitely make a big effort to pray here, however would also make it efficient and short so others could benefit from it.

So, I prayed 2 nafls, made some duahs, and gave my spot to another fellow Hajji.

I stayed in the Masjid for the subsequent prayers, and read the Quran in between. There were many people coughing!

As the sun was rising, I took a few more photos:

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And a photo of the inside:

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Following this, it was back to the hotel for breakfast, then to rest a little. Today, we were going to visit holy sites in Medinah (otherwise known as Ziyarah) with the tour group. We all met at the bus at 1:10 p.m, and finally left just before 2:00 p.m.

The first stop was the Masjid al Quba. This is the first Masjid ever built in Saudi Arabia, and according to the Imam, the place where the first loud prayer was recited by the Prophet (PBUH). Apparently, there is a reward of one Umrah if one prays here after making wudu at home, which thankfully we all did as the Imam had asked us to do. The Masjid al Quba:

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Me (on the right), Imam Khalid Nasr (middle), and a fellow Adam 4B member (on the left) in from the Masjid:

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Next stop was the mountain of Uhud, where the Battle of Uhud took place in 625 AD between the Muslims and the Meccans. A reading of the battle (you can follow the preceding link to wikipedia) is highly recommended!

There is a long mountain to the front, a smaller one to the right where people were climbing, and a cemetary to the left. Here is a panorama of Mount Uhud (this picture is hosted here and not on flickr, so if you click on the photo you can see the whole picture):

The following are on flickr:

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The next stop was the Masjid al Qiblatain, where we prayed Asr. This is the “Mosque of two Qiblahs,” denoting one Qiblah being Jerusalem, and the other being the Kaa’ba. The Prophet (PBUH) was instructed in the middle of a prayer to change the direction from Jerusalem to Makkah. A short description on wikipedia here.

Masjid al Qiblatain:

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Next, we debated whether to go do the Friday Mosque or to a famous date factory (the fruit!) in Medinah. While we were debating on the bus, taking votes and such, the bus driver had already brought us to the date factory…

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The imam told us we had very limited time if we wanted to visit the Friday Mosque as well, and told us to get back on the bus by 4:18 p.m. (I think he gave us 15 minutes). So we quickly went inside and sampled some dates:

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We didn’t have enough time to decide what to purchase… M and I went back onto the bus as instructed by 4:18 p.m. The majority of the group however had not arrived, and by the time everyone was on the bus, it was 4:35, and there was not enough time to go to the Friday Mosque. Oh well…

We headed back to the hotel, then prayed Maghrib and Isha at the Masjid al Nabawi.

Here, heading for the Maghrib prayers:

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M and I then went out to the market; there was a huge tent with vendors, mostly of dates, nearby, so we bought some dates here:

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Then, back to the hotel for dinner, then back to the room – it’s almost 9:30 p.m. and I’ve been awake since 2:30 a.m.!!! Off to sleep…

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