Photo Credit: Falak Zaffer Ghatala.
Two Fridays ago, I was sitting under a hot steep tunnel surrounded by some very kind unknown people waiting for jummah salaah (Friday prayers) in Makkah. We didn’t have a mat so they shared theirs with us. The roads were blocked off by 10:00am so we stayed a bit far off from the mosque. The loudspeakers were our only hope to the perfect jummah salaah.
Today I am back home with my hot pendant lights staring down at me, and Makkah live playing in the background on my computer. I did this for months before leaving for Umrah (Holy pilgrimage to Makkah), and my pilgrimage quickly came and went in a blink of an eye.
I miss that hot tunnel, I miss that sacrifice of comfort for my Lord, and I miss the sole purpose of my life being worship.
I miss the crowded streets, the late nights of drinking chai outside the great mosque and the buzzing of street food vendors serving shawarma, biryani, samosas, pakoras, and mutabbaq.
I miss the millions of pilgrims from all over the globe, who sadly managed to distract me now and again while doing tawaaf, rushing in humility and eagerness towards divinity.
I miss the close proximity of the rustic air of the desert; and I miss the soothing cold breeze of the night that could put a baby to sleep.
I miss our daily adventures that would start after isha’a and end after fajr and I miss not worrying about anything but catching the next call to prayer.
A city that truly never sleeps gave me the best nights of my life. Alhamdullilah.
Can’t wait to go again insha’Allah soon.
“And when We made the House a pilgrimage for men and a (place of) security, and: Appoint for yourselves a place of prayer on the standing-place of Ibrahim. And We enjoined Ibrahim and Ismail saying: Purify My House for those who visit (it) and those who abide (in it) for devotion and those who bow down (and) those who prostrate themselves.” Quran (2:125)