The above photos of Masjidil Haram's entrance of King Khalid as seen from the hotel.
Quite a number of families from Yanbu as well from other cities like Jubail and Riyadh were also visiting the Masjidil Haram, taking advantage of the least crowded period in the city. There is about 4 weeks or so where no umrah visa is being issued by the Saudi Government after the last batch of pilgrimage left the country. Normally the umrah visa will be issued starting from the month of Safar. In the picture above, Khairuddin from Jubail and Ahadin from Yanbu.
Lepak-lepak at the dataran Ka'bah.
The second weekend of the year, together with some friends, we organized a 'Ziarah Makkah'. The ziarah was managed and led by ProTeam UQ. Thanks to all the Ustazs from Umm Qura' University.
The first stop in the ziarah itinerary was Jabal Tsur. It is located about 4km to the south of Masjidil Haram. Its height is 748m from sea level and will require about 1.5 hours to reach its top. The story of the prophet and his best companion, Saidina Abu Bakar hiding in its cave before the hijrah to Madinah was so inspirational. Ustaz Khairul as seen in the picture was telling the story at the foot of the Jabal Tsur.
The next destination was the 'Manasik Haji' places started from Arafah and Jabal Rahmah. Being in Arafah is the Haj itself. During the haj, all pilgrimages will convert and gather at Arafah on what we call Hari Wukuf, which falls on the 9th of Zulhijjah every year. It was believed that Jabal Rahmah was where Adam and Eve met for the 1st time in this world after they were sent out of heaven. In Arafah, there is a masjid called Namirah. It was where Prophet Muhammad s.a.w gave his final khutbah. One thing special about this masjid which was built during the rulwer of Abasiyah is that its front is out of Arafah whereby its back is in Arafah.
After Arafah, we passed by Muzdalifah and Mina (where the 3 jamrah is located). Mina is located about 7km from Masjidil Haram. At those Jamrahs where Abraham a.s threw stones to syaitan laknatullah. It was also a place where Ansar people gave their 'bai'at' to the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w which is known as Bai'at al-aqabah al-ula and Tsaniyah.
Before heading back to the city, we dropped by the camel farm nearby Masjid Hudaibiyah. Most of us at least bought a bottle of fresh milk. The kids were seen to enjoy the most with those camels. According to some stories, camel does have its special place in the history of our Prophet Muhammad. Camel is believed to be the most shy animal on earth. It is also an animal with the most charming smile, I guess.
Finally, at night our ziarah to Makkah was ended with a 'Forum Perdana' or religious talk given by Dr. Taib and Ustaz Hafiz on a topic of hijrah. And of course, not to mention the sumptuous meal specially cooked and prepared for the night.
Many thanks to UQ Proteam and those involved in making this ziarah a success.