27 Jun 2020

A Taste of Makkah and Madinah

By Tahmina Ahmed

Diverse cultures, age groups and other backgrounds, all come together and unite under the banner of the Shahadah.

They gather within these blessed cities. Cities where pigeons will be mistaken for doves due to their calming flutter. For once, water has a distinct flavour, a surreal moment when you recall its historical origin. Zam zam. The outcome of Hajar (ra)’s struggles. Its nobility is cherished, as it quenches the thirst and how blessed one feels for it to run through their veins…

A Place of Healing

And every person entering harbours a challenging story of their own. What is hidden in the hearts of each worshipper, what aches beneath their smiles, is known by their Lord. The grief of losing loved ones, the desperate yearning for a specific blessing or seeking solace from a great trial. They come to this place to seek Allāh’s pleasure and leave with satisfying mindsets. For these are the lands that change hearts and uplift emotions. The lands that remind us of our purpose and ultimate goal in life. These are His noble lands.

A Place of Peace

These are places where everyone finds peace, a warm peace that envelops one’s mental-health with enlightenment and comfortability. Boosting a spiritual awakening. A sweetness of Imān. A place where you’d witness both tears and smiles. Tears of relief. Smiles of happiness.

A Place that Guards our Prophet (s)’s Grave

And then there’s the shivering, yet humbling experience to encounter the grave of our beloved Prophet (s), in Rawda, Masjid-al-Nabawi. And it is here you may recall his last sermon, before he took his last breath in the room of ‘Aisha (ra). The place where he (s) prayed for the forgiveness of his Ummah before even meeting us. How remarkable it is to now see the place wherefrom ease and mercy was asked and yearned for us. And so we stand there, humbled, and we reflect – in return, which of his sunnan are we practicing today…

A Place of Historical Stories

And then there’s the serene environment of Masjid-al-Haram. Where you’d visualise the legacy of Prophet Ibrahim (as), the ka’ba. Startled that you’ve reached such a historic place. A place where the sky was once covered with birds who shielded the blessed ka’ba from being destroyed. And then you recall the elephant, who by Allāh’s Mercy, turned away from demolishing this beautiful place. And so the ka’ba remained preserved. A place where thousands circumambulate around it every day. And today, you’re here to witness this amazing miracle.

A Place of Legacies

And then there are the high mountains in Makkah that enclose secrets of prophetic stories, where revelation first begun. The same place where the Noble Qur’an was revealed. Its precious verses that still live with us today. And whilst the beloved people of most of its stories have perished, their legacies remain. And the soil you walk on, the areas you’d enter here, are the same places such great humans strived and successfully spread Islam.

And then you feel a gust of heat. A heat that doesn’t burn, but only encourages one to continue to seek rewards from sincere worship. Worship that embraces a phenomenal feeling. Tiredness has a new meaning, as the passionate sense of belonging that dwells within our hearts, reignites the energy to carry on.

The Heart-Warming Call to Prayer

And then the call to prayer is amplified. And all rush making their way to the beautiful masjid. Sandals hitting the marble grounds, echoing sounds of unity. People gather in crowds and then spread out, shoulder-to-shoulder. They are excited to fulfil this yearning, to prostrate to their Mighty Lord. The King of all kings.

Travellers, cleaners, security guards and shop keepers, all come together. And they raise their hands and then press them onto their chest. One hand overlaping the other. Humility calls for their gazes to lower. And in comes the soothing recitation. Hearing the Mighty words of our Lord in the noble grounds of where His words were first scribed…

Subhan’Allah, no words give justice until one travels to Makkah and Madinah to see for themselves…