By Adnan Jalali

I was sitting on my couch, staring at the wall the other day, and a feeling of great sadness overcame me; I realized that I was back in the dunya (worldly life).  You see, I had spent the previous eleven days in Mecca and Madinah and for those of you who have been to these blessed places, you know that it's as if you've temporary left the dunya and entered into a spiritual haven of serenity.  What an amazing journey!

The following are simply some of my reflections/takeaways from my trip.  For those of you who have been there before, these words will insha Allah bring forth some memories to the forefront of your consciousness; those who have not, insha Allah these words will serve as motivation for you to plan your first trip ASAP!  One thing's for sure…this trip is unlike any other that you'll ever take in your life.

Why am I so attached to the dunya (the worldly life)?

Probably the most beautiful thing about the trip was the re-emphasis it gave me to focus my life on the akhira (the next life). As I was sitting there in the haram (name for the holy mosques in Mecca and Madinah), staring at the Ka'ba I felt like I was getting a little piece of heaven.  My mind, body and soul were completely at peace and I started to think why I sweat the dunya so much?  Why was I allowing the little day to day affairs of my life consume my thoughts?  Why had my goals become all dunya-based goals?  Why was my ibadah (worship) slacking?  Why hadn't I prayed Tahajjud (the prayer in the latter parts of the night) lately?

Basically, why was my heart attached to the dunya, when it neither gave me the peace or satisfaction that I desired?  Sitting in Mecca staring at the Ka'bah reminded me of what my focus should be.

This is how life is supposed to be lived

Mecca as those of you who have been there know quite well, is a very busy place!  Whether it's pacing between the hills of Safa and Marwa, walking around the Ka'ba during tawaf, changing into your oh-so comfortable ihram (can you sense the sarcasm), getting your haircut, playing human frogger through the Meccan traffic (only the old school Atari readers will get that one), or just standing up for long prayers; Mecca kept me busy!

But then I took that lovely bus ride through the desert to Madinah and then ahhhhhhh; relief!!!  In Madinah, life is the complete opposite of Mecca; it is slow and laid back.  My schedule in Madinah was completely centered on the five daily prayers and any other acts of worship that I wanted to perform.  And as I sat there in the Prophet's mosque, I thought to myself 'now this is how life is supposed to be lived.'  Life is supposed to be focused first on worship and then matters of the world, but unfortunately most of the time it is the exact opposite.

In the footsteps of the Greatest

I was blessed to be able to spend a lot of time in the Prophet's mosque in Madinah.  In particular, I was especially blessed to spend a lot of time in the Rawdah (the area of the original mosque built by the Prophet peace be upon him and his companions).  As you all know, praying in this area is equivalent to praying in heaven.  Sitting in this blessed area, I was looking up and imagining how it must have looked at the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him).  I imagined him standing on the minbar (pulpit) and giving his weekly sermon; and I imagined the sahabah (his companions) sitting there and listening.  These thoughts brought so many tears of joy; knowing that I was literally sitting where the greatest generation of human beings once sat.

Of course, right next to the Rawdah is where the Prophet peace be upon him's original house once was and where he is now buried.  An overwhelming sense of awe overcame me while walking by the grave of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the graves of Abu Bakr and Omar.  I was standing about fifteen feet away from the greatest man that has ever walked the face of this earth and his beloved companions (may God be pleased with them).  I said salam to them as I walked by and just prayed for God to allow me to be in their company in the hereafter.

The Legacy of the Ansaar lives on

I was blessed to be able to experience this trip with one of my oldest and dearest friends.  My friend knew a family that lived in Madinah and that family was kind enough to invite us to dinner one night.  They lived in part of town that was not a wealthy area at all; and they lived in a house that many of us from the west would never consider living in.  But as soon as I met Uncle Syed, I knew that he and his family were blessed in ways that transcend the material world.

The house was full of family, friends and love.  They brought out the delicious home cooked food for us and placed it on the floor; and all of us sat on the floor and ate together.  They did this on a nightly basis; the whole family gathered and ate on the floor together.

After our wonderful meal, Uncle Syed was not satisfied with our one visit.  He asked us to come every single day for breakfast and dinner.  He said that he would come and pick us up since we did not have a car, and take us to his house for the two meals each day until we left Madinah.  I thanked Uncle Syed for his generosity and he told me not to be thankful, because I was in the Prophet's city and it was his duty to take care of me until I left; however long that would be.  Subhan Allah!  I'm sure the Ansaar (may God grant them peace) would be happy to know that their legacy lives on in Uncle Syed and others like him.

Countless Blessings

The rewards and the blessings that one receives while in these blessed cities are compounded immensely.  Here are some of the rewards that can only be had in these two cities:

  • The reward of one prayer in either the Haram in Mecca or the Prophet's mosque is Madinah is equivalent to 1,000 prayers elsewhere.
  • The reward for making Umrah (the minor pilgrimage) is to have all of your previous sins forgiven
  • The reward for praying two rakah in masjid al-Quba in Madinah is equal to the reward of making Umrah
  • The reward of praying in the Rawdah in the Prophet's mosque is like praying in Junnah (heaven)
  • The reward of tawaf can only be had in Mecca
  • Any good that you do in the haramain (the two mosques) are multiplied i.e. reading Qur'an, praying extra prayers, etc.
  • The du'a that you make while hanging on the multazim (the door of the Ka'ba) are accepted insha Allah
  • The du'a that you make the first time you see the Ka'ba is accepted by Allah insha Allah
  • The reward of doing sa'i (walking between the hills of Safaa and Marwaa) is something that you can only get in Mecca
  • The du'a that one makes before drinking Zam Zam will be accepted insha Allah

And the list goes on and on…

All in all, this was without a doubt the trip of a lifetime and I look forward to the day that Allah invites me again to His House and his beloved cities of Mecca and Madinah.

I ask that Allah accepts from us all the good that we do in this life.

I ask that Al Kareem blesses us all to visit his House and Madinah frequently.

I ask that Al Ghafaar forgives us of all our sins; and that Ar Raheem has mercy upon us on the day that we most need His Mercy.

Ameen.

36 Responses

  1. Abu Ibrahim

    Have just come back myself not to long ago (early Jan. of this year) I agree with you on EVERY single point akhi! SubhanAllah! I have this HUGE framed poster of the Masjid Al Nabawi in my room and every time I look at it I rmr the steps I took there and where i was inside and what i did etc.
    How i wish to go back ASAP!!! If i every get a chance to move there I dont think I would every leave for any reason! I have to say this post has brought back soo many beautiful memories and at the same time it has made me really sad, rmr the two blessed cities and how much I miss them both!

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    • Adnan

      Barakallahufeek. Subhanallah the hearts just automatically become attached to these two blessed places.

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  2. Joyhamza

    Seems like we were there at the same time. I went there at the 7th of this month and came back at the 16th. How did you feel when you were looking at the Kabah for one last time. For me it was the most emotional experience. I was only thinking perhaps this is the last time I am seeing the House of Allah.

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    • amad

      nope… Adnan was there in the last week of March… I know because I met him there :)

      Was it your first time hamza? To be honest, even if it’s your hundredth time, you still get incredible goosebumps seeing it!

      May Allah return all of us quickly back to Makkah & Madinah

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      • Adnan

        Actually, I made a lot of dua asking Allah to bring me back often and I don’t know how to explain it, but something inside told me that it won’t be the last time I see it inshallah. Allah knows best as to what happens in the future, but inshallah I hope to be back there soon. It is one of the 4 main reasons I decided to move to the Middle East.

        So I definitely felt sad leaving, but at the same time felt like I’ll be back soon inshallah.

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  3. Amatullah

    I remember my aunt telling me before I left for umrah that you will cry when you see the Ka’bah..I just nodded and didn’t think much of it.

    SubhanAllah, there we were walking to the haram from our hotel saying the talbiyah – with the anticipation increasing – we come to the ka’bah and you know when you cry you think “ok i’m going to cry now..” well that doesn’t happen when you see the House of Allah….You just cry, without realizing it. I looked around and all of us were in our own world making duaa to Allah, crying.

    Alhamdulillah we did our umrah during the last third of the night, it was so peaceful and tranquil – it was a great blessing from Allah to complete our umrah at this time.

    One of the blessings I think we don’t give enough reflection time is the Talbiyah. I remember the shaykh who was with us telling us that we will MISS saying this talbiyah and that we should stop our random side conversations and focus completely on this statement. He was so right. SubhanAllah, a beautiful thing to declare: labbayk Allahumma labbayk.

    I never understood the emotional connection that people would describe to me after they came back from Hajj or Umrah ….until I went myself. SubhanAllah the love we have for these two cities is like the love you have for a best friend or family member, or even a greater love. May Allah azza wa jal accept our Hajj and Umrahs make us regular guests of His House. Truly the most blessed place on this earth.

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    • Adnan

      Yes!!! Definitely lots of goosebumps thinking about where you are and the significance of the places upon which you are standing.

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  4. Adnan

    By the way, one of the things that I forgot to mention in the article was the super amazing tour that I took of Medina! It was the best tour that I’ve ever taken because the tour guide was actually a graduate from Medina University who started up this touring company post graduation. He not only showed us the amazing sights, but he was sharing his vast array of knowledge throughout the tour.

    Mashallah!!! Sometimes Allah blesses you by allowing you to meet individuals who help you to understand the world and life better; and he was one of these wonderful people. In the 4 hours I spent with him, I gained an understanding of the world that I never had before; and he shared a perspective on things with me that I have never heard from any of the well known shuyookh from the west that I’ve gotten to know over the years.

    I hope that you all get a chance to take his tour on your next visit to Medina inshallah.

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  5. Muslim Girl

    This was a great article, jazak’Allah for writing it. I have never been yet but it still brought tears to my eyes! Insha’Allah Allah (SWT) will give me and my parents the ability to go soon.

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    • Adnan

      Barakallahufeek.
      A brother once told me that if you really make sincere dua from the heart and beg Allah to give you an opportunity to visit his house, that eventually the invitation comes. So just keep making sincere dua and Allah will do the rest :) He is al Kareem (the Generous) and al Jabbaar (The Compellor – in other words the One who can make things happen).

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  6. Waseem

    It was truly a blessed journey. A journey of the heart and soul that no words can describe. it can only be felt. May Allah accept from us and allow us to visit his sacred house in Mecca Medina and Jeruselum ( ameen)

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  7. Uthmaan

    SubhanAllah Akhi! Reading your post brought tears to my eyes. I was blessed to go for hajj in winter of 07 and reading your article has only amplified the calling to go again. may Allah grant me that opportunity soon. Ameen.

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    • Uthmaan

      And may Allah accept your Umrah and allow you the opportunity for Hajj soon. And to all the muslims around the world who long to visit the haramain, may Allah grant it for them.

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  8. umtalhah

    as salamalaikum all,

    ameen to ya’ll’s du’aas and may Allah give the opportunities again and again and accept it each time and keep our love, attachment and enthusiasm always of going there and benefiting and getting the blessing. of course there is no place like home!

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  9. Umm Haya

    Jazakallahu khair for the post.

    Could please give reference for the following statement.

    ” â– The dua that you make the first time you see the Ka’ba is accepted by Allah insha Allah.”

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    • Adnan

      It is a hadith narrated by al-Tabarani and I am still searching for the classification of the hadith from various scholars. I will let you know as soon as I find out. Barakallahufeek

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    • Adnan

      My apologies…I just realized that it is a weak hadith. I should not have mentioned it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

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      • Amad

        In some scholarly opinions, weak ahadith are okay in certain aspects, aren’t they? So not sure if it is entirely out of order :)

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      • Umm Haya

        I am not sure if it is OK in this context as to mention something as a result of a certain act , a daleel is certainly required.
        Wallahu A’alam.
        Jazakallahu khairan

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  10. Kashif

    Jazak’Allah for sharing your thoughts. Purpose of Umrah and Hajj to me, among other spiritual and physical blessings, is to get our batteries recharged that lift us above the materialistic world and takes us closer to the divine.

    I have performed Umrah last year and have written about it at http://tinyurl.com/lj7z88

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  11. me

    jazak Allahu kul khayr for the reminder of being focused on the akhira

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  12. ibn Abu Jamaal

    Assalamu Alaykum,

    I’m writing a creative writing piece on the emotional and spiritual transformation and the significance of the journey. I imagine myself in the Haram, seeing the all-embracing view of an ocean of white – humans from every colour and tongue.

    How do you suggest I put this best?

    Jazakumullahu Khaiyran.

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    • Adnan

      I’m not quite sure what you mean by the question but I’ll take a stab at it. I would suggest you be as descriptive as possible. Try to appeal to the readers senses. Also, use analogies and metaphors to explain your feelings, thoughts etc. Hope that helps.

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