Inshallah in a couple of weeks I will be in Makkah Mukarrama again. I had been to Makkah thrice, and every time I go there, the excitement of seeing the Kaaba remains the same. During the non Hajj days Kaaba has lots of local Arab visitors though you don’t see the colourful crowd of Hajj but here you get a chance of observing and feeling each and every historical place found mentioned in the Qur’an. You can keep staring at the Kabaa or stand on the Safa or Marwa and recall those incidents narrated in the Qur’an and Hadith
The moment you see the Kabaa the entire History turns before you like a book turning its new pages showing us its new chapters. Look at that shade under the Kaaba, here is where our Prophet (pbuh) prostrated when he was covered by the intestines of a dead camel to be harassed. Look there at the Safa and Marwa , imagine how Hajra ran here and there leaving her little son baby crying for water. There is that spot under which is Zamzam oh! That is the place where Ismail (pbuh) lay and hit the ground with his heels, that gave a spring of water never to end.
Today, the dark black structure of Kaaba standing like a cut piece cardboard covered by a huge cloth with golden embroidery, recalls the glorious History of Islam. People, mainly Asians, trying to touch it from every corner of the Kaaba not realising that it is not the structure or the cloth that is sacred but the sanctity of the place appointed by Allah which makes the Kaaba worth visiting .
When I went for Hajj for the first time just few years back, I realize that every moment remains tagged in my mind even today . There is a distinguished difference between visiting the Kaaba during the Hajj and during off season when the crowd is little. Each has its own charm. During the Hajj you see a colorful crowd amidst the white ihram. The muscular Turkish men , in their light green safari suits, in groups, holding their women firmly, locking each other in arms pushing every Hajji who comes on the way during tawaf, remains a common experience. The short fair and stout Indonesians youth also perform the tawaf in the same manner. I am told that for the Indonesians, the number of Hajj they perform in youth works as their bio data in their matrimonial papers. The poor Africans no more jostle and push the people as they are infamous about. They leave Makkah immediately after the Hajj without going to Madina.
While performing tawaf you don’t know who is besides you unless you stumble upon some one who is your neighbour from your city or a distant relative. But by the time you complete the greetings either you or he gets lost in the flood of crowd doing tawaf. It is difficult to distinguish between the Nigerian ,the Sudanese and Kenyans with every one looking tall and broad and equally dark shaded. The North Africans namely, the Egyptians, the Moroccans and the Algerians are easily identified by their reddish fair skins. The Arabs are found very little in number except in Mina when most of them are either cops or security officers.
The atmosphere in Arfa is very brotherly. Those who want to feel the noble Islamic brotherhood in its original form and colour, Arfa is the right place to experience. A large number of Saudi Officers of the governent distributing fruits, dry fruits cold drinks, umbrellas to the Africans, Bangladeshis, Indians…. And the most wonderful thing is that they don’t do it like distribution done in a refugee centers of earth quakes and flood, rather it is done in an organized manner. There are light showers sprinkling artificial rain making the place cool in the hot afternoons. Almost every one is invoking Allah and there is nothing to do besides worshipping him.
Mina is also an icon of Islamic brotherhood wiping out all the traces of racism and nationalism when the blacks and white and yellow and red move around greeting each other sharing their food and dressed up in the same white robe .
Indeed no place in the world can host more than 3 million people for a month providing them water tents, medicine …..You don’t need to be a super power to do a super organizing just repair your aqeedah (creed) and the help of Allah is there.
The farewell gets emotional specially when you turn back to have a final look at the Kaaba not knowing if you will ever get a second chance to return and do tawaf of the House of Allah. I have travelled to many parts of the world. The Indian farms and forests, th e glitter of Dubai’s , the mountains and plains of Spain, the plateau of Tanzania’s jungle, but nothing matches the peace and tranquility that Makkah Mukkarama offers.
Like Allama Iqbal says: Duniya ke boot khao mein Pehla wo ghar khuda ka.. Hum paasba hey uske who paasba hamara… Among the houses of worship the house of Allah stands first in the world, We are its care takers and He (Allah) is our care taker…..