Sunday, 30 December 2007

Saturday, 29 December 2007

Hajj 1428H (Photos)

After I had uploaded the picture suddenly I realized the slide does not show the real means of Hajj. It is more like a tour rather than a ritual journey. Please take the picture only as a real snapshot view to share with you the scene during Hajj. You might see we had a good tent services - this is because we were following local saudi group. It will be different services if you come here from Malaysia or outside Kingdom because it depends on the agency that organize the trip. I just wanna clarify to everybody so that there will be no misunderstanding regarding the journey of Hajj.

Journey of Hajj is a "rizq biiznillah". No matter how you well you plan and prepare in the end it is finally turns up to His Will. Somehow, as a human we must always put high efforts and prepared to the fullest or the worst("berusaha dan seterusnya bertawakal"- malay words).We have to prepare knowledge wise, cost, physical, mental and emotion.

1. For example(Knowledge wise :- attend all hajj related courses, seminars, lectures, books and get different point of ulama mu'tabar views. Every point of rukun, wajib and sunnah must be clear in mind. Keep in mind with the questions of " What if I cannot make it , what is my alternative or what will be hukm?". Always check and learn in order to make you stand strong and khusu' in performing ibadah.

2. Cost wise : Prepared for the worst thing that might cost you(before , during the journey as well as the people you left behind at home. If you owe somebody better to clear everything to avoid difficulties or maybe your journey will be useless and meaningless). Because performing Hajj is not cumpolsory until you have "power" to do it. It is not like shalat. Shalat is cumpolsary in any means.. shalat is for Allah regardless of whatever condition we are , we have to perform shalat. Usually if you attend any Hajj course or lectures, the first thing the organizer will discuss to correct/check is your shalat.

I still remember how the ustaz reminded us in his joke but latter make us gave a second thought. [If you wanna make the second thought]

"Sholat: if you cannot stand, then do it while sitting. If not, you can lying down. If not, show signal with your eyes. If not sholat with your heart. If still not until that extend........... we will do solat for you. " -----> Did you get it??

And I like to remember another quote from one ustaz(" Learning without understanding is HIKAYAT". Learning with understanding is then called HIDAYAH") I will always remember this quote whenever I attend any lectures to make sure myself did not listen to any HIKAYAT from a storyteller but to receive HIDAYAH from HIM through somebody He has choosed as a cause for me to learn.

3. Finally physical, mental and emotion:

In terms of physical preparation: Advisable to start light exercises like brisk walking 3 months prior Hajj. Ensure healthy eating attitude. Minimize sugar or red meat intake. Maintain blood pressure. Maybe fasting is one way. Try to keep your health maximum. Like us we walked almost everynight 2 hours to keep us fit. Don't take age factor as granted. Young does not mean fit.

For mental and emotion preparation, the best word to describe is "sabru" or " sabar" in our words. Sabar in any maybe have to walk for a long distance due to heavy traffic. There will be a lot of pushing and pulling while moving in a crowd. A 10 minutes drive might last to 6 hours journey. Maybe dinner or lunch served late. Or may be your driver had droved you to long route and get lost. And a lot of istighfar.

Until the day of tahalul(release ihram). You will feel a big relief and distressful because all the restrictions during ihram have been lift up.

And the most interesting part after all the good exercises we had done before hajj we will realize something[to those who want to think].A journey to Hajj is exactly like a journey "ila yaumul akhirah". The gathering in Mashar al Haram is almost like the gathering in "Masyar Yaumul Akhirah". Where all people will be gathered regardless of titles and genders. Justified according to their acts in this world. In other to get bless and succesful in Hajj(Hajj Mabrur) we will try to keep all above mention right to the fullest during the process of Hajj until tahalul(release ihram).

But right now we are in our journey to yaumul akhirah.. it is not 2 0r 3 days of in "ihram" ( Islamic rules restrictions: Haram,Halal,Makruh and Sunnah). Some people have 60 years , some might have 50 or 40 years( to perform of all the rukun, wajib and sunnah in life and bring them to the judgement day). Are we going to get the most satisfaction like how we feel during tahalul when the Day of Resurrection has come? What have we done to get the same feelings during tahalul?

1. Has there come to you the narration of the overwhelming (i.e. the Day of Resurrection); 2. Some faces, that Day, will be humiliated (in the Hell-fire, i.e. the faces of all disbelievers, Jews and Christians, etc.).3. Labouring (hard in the worldly life by worshipping others besides Allâh), weary (in the Hereafter with humility and disgrace) . 4. They will enter in the hot blazing Fire, 5. They will be given to drink from a boiling spring, 6. No food will there be for them but a poisonous thorny plant, 7. Which will neither nourish nor avail against hunger. 8. (Other) faces, that Day, will be joyful, 9. Glad with their endeavour (for their good deeds which they did in this world, along with the true Faith of Islâmic Monotheism). 10. In a lofty Paradise. 11. Where they shall neither hear harmful speech nor falsehood, 12. Therein will be a running spring, 13. Therein will be thrones raised high, 14. And cups set at hand. 15. And cushions set in rows, 16. And rich carpets (all) spread out. 17. Do they not look at the camels, how they are created?18. And at the heaven, how it is raised? 19. And at the mountains, how they are rooted and fixed firm? 20. And at the earth, how it is spread out? 21. So remind them (O Muhammad ()), you are only a one who reminds. 22. You are not a dictator over them. 23. Save the one who turns away and disbelieves 24. Then Allâh will punish him with the greatest punishment. 25. Verily, to Us will be their return; 26. Then verily, for Us will be their reckoning.


Hajj News

Former Priest Describes His Spiritual Journey’
P.K. Abdul Ghafour, Arab News

Ali Guatemala

JEDDAH, 29 December 2007 — Many new Muslims came to perform Haj this year to strengthen their faith by undertaking the spiritual journey. Some came as guests of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, some with the financial support of philanthropists and charitable organizations and others on their own.

Ali Guatemala, a former priest, came to perform Haj along with 17,000 other US Muslims.
According to a report in Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Severedoo Royes (Guatemala’s Christian name) was attracted to Islam after he read the opening verse in the chapter Al-Baqara (The Cow) of the Holy Quran.

He said conversion to Islam had changed his whole life. “After graduating from the seminary, I worked as a priest in Queen City, southern United States, and I used to engage in missionary work inside prisons,” said Guatemala. In order to improve his missionary skills, Royes started reading books on other religions, including the Holy Qur’an. “It was a turning point in my life,” he said.

When I read the first verse of Chapter Al-Baqara: ‘This Book, there is no doubt in it, is a guidance to the pious,’ it struck my mind. I pondered about this verse, which gave me the impression that the author was speaking clearly and definitely without having any doubt. Guatemala said he had found a lot of contradictions in Christianity while studying at the seminary, adding that senior priests were unable to provide satisfactory answers to his questions.

They advised me not to read the Qur’an, branding it Satan’s work. This increased my interest in the Qur’an and I found that it was not the work of a human being, he said. Guatemala prayed to God to show him the right path. “One day, when I left home I found a man in thobe going to the mosque for prayer. His name was Salim Baaqeel. I went with him to the mosque and noticed that there are no ceremonial rituals in Muslim prayers as in Christianity... After that I visited the mosque daily for a week,”he explained.

While I was sitting in the mosque, a person came to me and offered to teach me how to do wudu’ (ablution). I thought that it was a kind of black magic but he explained to me that it was for purification before prayer. On that day I declared my decision to embrace Islam at the mosque,”he added.
Ever since he became a Muslim, Guatemala has been facing a lot of pressure from his family, including his sister, who is Jewish. “She used to frighten me by saying that Muslims would kill me... Her attitude changed after she observed positive changes in my life. When I informed her about my plan to perform Haj, she asked me to bring a souvenir from Makkah for her,”he said.

Haj was a wonderful experience for Guatemala. “I consider this spiritual journey as the best days in my life. It gave me great pleasure when I learned that the places where I spent during Haj had the footprints of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). I cannot explain my strong feelings when I saw the Holy Kaaba for the first time with my naked eyes.”

Abdul Qader, Abdul Rahman and Abdul Raheem three former African priests also performed Haj this year. They converted to Islam after they understood the truthfulness of the religion during a debate with a preacher called Qamar Hussein.

The debate, attended by 5,000 people, led to 147 people embracing Islam, according to Al-Jazriah Arabic daily. The former priests said they were enthralled seeing the amazing scenes of unity and equality among Muslims during the Haj. They came to perform Haj with the support of the Riyadh-based International Authority for Introducing Islam.

It's good news that these three priests came to the fold of Islam as a result of the efforts of one of our preachers, said Saleh Abdul Wahid, the authority s executive director.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Hajj Update

Today is the day. We will leave to Mekah today. It is 7.42 am while I'm writing this blog. We are suppose to gather at Rakbul Huda office before 4.00 pm. That's mean we have to leave our house at 3.00pm. Our friend, Suhaimi has volunteered himself to send us. May Allah bless him.

The night before, we spent our time with the children. We took them to the park and later we let them to choose a place for dinner.We had a difficulty at first in deciding which place to go. But we let Eiman to solve the problem. He proposed us to make vote, the stronger voice will win and everybody must respect the decision. That is the good side, being introduced social studies
since young.

While we were enjoying our dinner, we remind them to look after each other and keep out from fighting especially the two big girls, Zulaikha and Yasmeen which they always did. They nodded while chewing the pizza. We left home when the clock showed 9.00 pm.

Back to hajj preparation, basically InsyaAllah we are prepared both mentally and physically. We only carry one backpack. Actually it is two bag altogether, mine and her bag. But I put her bag into my backpack so that it becomes two in one. So she don't have to carry anything.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Yasmeen & Zulaikha

Yasmeen Safa :
Born in 25th November 2002 and she is our third child. She has been enrolled to Zikrul Hakim Kindegarten. This kindergarten is run by Saudi Islamic Outreach Centre. As the named was, the kindergarten's objective mainly emphasized on memorizing Al-Quran and Arabic words. At first she was reluctant to enter the school but now she really enjoying it. Just look at her face! the teacher had painted her face to look as a cat.

Alhamdulillah, now she is able to memorize few short surah from Al-Quran although not as good as Arabic speaker students.

Aina Zulaikha :
She is born in December,13 2001 and she is our second child. We have enrolled her to Al-Tawhid International School in downtown and now in prep-school class. We are sending her to this school as a preparation before she enters the Yanbu International School next year.

She also attending Al-Quran school in the evening which also run by Saudi Islamic Outreach. Subhanallah, Aina has a magnificent ability to listen and memorizing words. May be because of her eyesight problem.

Like Yasmeen, Aina also able to memorize few surah from Al-Quran and supplication.

Hajj Update

Latest news, we will leaving from Yanbu Al-Bahr at 4.00pm 16th Disember 2007 (7th Zulhijah 1427H) to Mekah. Estimate to arrive at 12.00 am due to heavy traffic. We will perform Tawaf Qudum and Sai'e Hajj. On the next day we will move to Mina and stay there until 9th Zulhijjah.

We will start moving to Arafah on the 9th for Wukuf. After Maghrib prayer, again we move to Mudzalifah and stay there for the whole night. After Fajr prayer on the next day, we will move back to Mina and soon after Dzohor prayer, we will perform stoning at the Jamrat Aqabah.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Hajj 1428H

We (me and my wife) is planning to perform hajj this year. This is the main purpose we came to this place; perform hajj, umrah and pay visit to Rasulullah (p.bu.h). We received our Tasreh (security pass for doing hajj for local people) yesterday. Alhamdulillah everything was fine.

We will follow a local "hafilah" named Rakbul Huda. As we were told, our tent in Mina is around 600 mtr to 1km from Jamrat. The Hafilah will provide us transportation from Yanbu-Mekah-Mina-Yanbu, meal and tent.

Saudi government had annouced the day of wukuf will be on Tuesday 18th Disember 2007 (9th Zulkaedah 1427) that's mean we will depart from Yanbu to Mekah on Sunday 16th Dis 2007.

Our children will be taken care by our servant as well as our neighbours. We pray to Allah for their safety. To readers, please pray Allah will grant us hajj mabrur.

Gathering in Madinah

Almost 2 month we have not update our blog. Not purposely, but too many stuff need to be settled.
We went to Madinah last 2 weeks, 23rd November 2007. Our neighbour in Saujana Utama, Sungai Buloh (Abg Rahman and Kak June) was here to perform Hajj. We are still in contact since we left Malaysia last year. Thanks to Allah who gives man idea to invent internet and other technologies. With these technologies, the world become closer although we are thousand kilometers away from others.

We met Abg Rahman and Kak June in Mawaddah Hotel Madinah, after Jumaat Prayer. My children, especially Eiman, Aina and Yasmeen still remember them. We had a long chat at the hotel lobby. Abang Rahman just like always, simple and humble.

We took them go around Madinah city by our car. We went to Uhud and Quba' Mosque and we stop there for 'Asr Prayer. After that we went to Dates shop behind the mosque. Abg Rahman and Kak June was enjoyed bought the dates while we enjoyed eating free dates. The prices are quite reasonable compared to other places and the dates also new. Rotab also sold there.

We left Madinah after performing maghrib prayer. InsyaAllah we will meet them again in Mekah during hajj.