As she walks, I whisper to bring her closer, to the seat beside me. At my side she and I dine with the others. I was starving yet looking at her makes me full. Then they play the songs and she likes them all. Later I love all the songs too, though most of them were unheard of. I can't remember what I eat, for all I remember are the stories of her going to the State studying and struggling, learning all sort of traditional dancing for the love of her mom and her mom beautiful garden with the pics of huge lemons and greens. I see her smiling and I feel like having lunch instead of dinner, for the smile shines brighter than the sun. No eyes shall lay on her but to be enchanted, amazed to see personal craft of the Almighty. Though she has beautiful name, I call her Snow White, as she is the fairest of them all. Beauty and pretty are just words, the least of what adjective would do to describe her. She is worth of a literature. No maybe, the literature is only worth because of her.
Alhamdulillah, with His grace I was invited to be guest of the Most Gracious and the visitor of the Holy Prophet SAW during the holy month of Ramadhan. It was a wonderful experience. Since we were not concerned with foods, we spent most of our time at the masjid. I intend to share something about the people I met, the faces of Madinah and Makkah.
The boy name is Muhammad. I saw him after iftar in Masjid Nabawi. He tried to mimic the funny face I did. I called him and i took picture with him.
The guy beside me is an Indian National. He is working in Madinah. We met before iftar and he expressed his concern about Dato' Seri Anwar. He said he is a political prisoner. Well, bismillah and we ate.
These two young men are part of our group. They are from Ampang. Ayai and Syafiq, both enteprenuer.
Sharil Wahab came with Syafiq. They are partners in business. We shared our stories. Interesting guy with bright future ahead.
These two are mutawwif. On the left is Ustaz Zulkifli. On his right is Ustaz Khairil, who used to be mutawwif on my last visit to the holy lands.
This guy is a Malaysian. I cant recall his name. He asked for my bag just to check whether I am from Malaysia or not. He happened to be neighbour of librarian at my office.
This syeikh is from Maghribi. I did not get his name. But he told me he did come to Malaysia to give lesson and teaching. Before we departed, I asked from him doa. He told me insyaAllah we will be rised and grouped beside the well of the Prophet. He told me that's better than having doa for something from this world.
This is Syeikh Abdullah. We had our iftar together. He handed to me a jumbo size dates for iftar.
After maghrib prayer, he called me to join him for another round of meal. We had laban (sour milk), zabadi (yogurt) and bread. He told me the brand "Al-maraai" is the best dairy product in the world. He said Malaysia is good, Muslim country and he told me Malaysians are involved in the expansion project of Masjidil Haram. He asked me to send him pics if I get married one day.
This uncle is from Algeria.
This two are Aziz and Azreen. They came together. Both are working at Port Dickson. We are in the same group. Azreen spoilt the pic by not pretending to pray.
This guy is Youness. He is from Fes, Maghribi. We had a long conversation between maghrib and isya. He is a goldsmith. He expressed his concern about persecution of Rohingya of Burma. He can speak a little French and English. We converse in arabic. We exchanged numbers and he kept repeating that I should let him know if I happen to be in Maghribi.
This syeikh is also from Maghribi. I did not get his name. He is spending the whole month of ramadhan in Makkah and he was doing it every year. He worked for 39 years and 10 months and retired as bank manager. He spoke of integrity. He told me stories when he threw monies which was given to him, seems to be favour for what he has done. I shared with him my story. I told him, if we happened to work somewhere else and people dont bother to pay,whereas people would pay where we are now, they are not actually treating us. They are paying for the post we are in. He agreed. Before we depart, I asked from him a specific doa. He looked straight at my eyes, hug me, kiss my cheek and prayed for me while crying. Allah.
These three kids came with their grand dad. They were playing around all the time.
This guy happened to be at the same spot, everyday. We had not talked to each other, not until I perfomed my tawaf wida' (farewell circumbulation) and we stared at each other. I told him I saw him at the same spot everyday and I am going home tonight. He rised and hugged me. His name is Abdus Salam and he is going to spend the whole ramadhan in Makkah. Suprisingly, the arabic speaking Abdus Salam is from French. We exchanged numbers and he gave me his athar perfume.
This little guy wears police uniform. He works at Malak Ajyad Hotel. Passionate guy. We talked to each other everyday. Yet I failed to get his name.
The two guy at the back, on the right is Fawaz. Just completed his Diploma and waiting to be enrolled for degree program. He is from Sabak Bernam. I told him my ex gf was from Sabak Bernam and he vowed to find her. Good luck Fawaz.
On his left is Shaharizal. A successful enteprenuer. A small guy with a big heart. He was the one who brought me to kiss Hajarul Aswad and the pray at Multazam. A man of vast experience in life.
At the eleventh hour, I was informed that this guy is Member of Parliament of Langkawi and Chairman of Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB). Indeed he is a humble guy.
This is Zhafril. At the airport, I asked him whether he graduated from IIUM. He said yes. He came to Makkah and Madinah with his parents.
THE SPECIAL FACES
This is Maulana Abdallah, judge of the Court of Appeal of Sudan. I sent him my pic in Masjid Nabawi and he sent me his pic in ihram. We met in front of the door of Masjidil Haram before he departed to Madinah. He told me that he has been appointed as Judge of civil court in Abu Dhabi and he told me he is going to be paid handsomely.
This is my idol. My lecturer Dr Said. A day before leaving for umrah, I went to IIUM to perform tarawih with the hope that I might see him. I met him and suprisingly, he was asking me about umrah. I told him im going tomorrow and he laughed. He told me he is also going to Jeddah on the next day for conference. We made arrangement and alhamdulillah, we met at the holy land of Makkah.
And...the dearest of all.
Lan Hasan. My schoolmate, now working in Jeddah. We confided each other during the troubling days. He keep telling me something good will happen out of those troubles. He always reminds me the path of successful people arent always easy. He married his wife and he consulted me the name of his daughter. I suggested Aufa and he took it, thus Aufa Afrina.
He came to perform umrah with his best friend, Edi. We then adjourned to Camel Rice Restaurant. The meal is awesome.
To all these, I say Alhamdulillah. My journey has been a wonderful one. The crowd was huge. It's like mini mahsyar. Even an hour before Jumuah prayer, people no longer able to walk at the mas'a (between Safa and Marwah). Nonetheless, meeting beautiful people and the people who are close to my heart, at the Holy Land of Makkah is a huge blessing. Alhamdulillah.
For the troubles unseen, take care
For all that worrying, take care
For the restless things and tiring, take care
For all those headaches, take care
For all that cause heartache, take care
For all that might hurt, take care
From the evil of mankind, take care
From your doubtful self, take care
While away from my sight, take care
For my inability to take care, you take care
Please take the greatest care.
At this place I pray (Makkah)
May Allah keep you safe
Under his care, always.
And before I end, please take care.