Sunday, May 2, 2010

Umrah - Makkah in Pictures

Nawwar making good her promise to visit her former boss, Bro. Farid (the pleasant-faced guy smiling in the background) at his flagship Dakwah Corner outlet in Makkah Al-Mukarramah.
Naj, perpetually hungry, lining up for kebab at one of the many hole-in-the-wall outlets located at a shopping complex in front of Masjidil Haram.
The oldsters taking a breather on one of the worn sofas in the lobby of Mawaddah Hotel. The hotel may be slightly crummy but its nearness to the Grand Mosque more than made up for it. Also, the daily meals prepared for us here were good and to our Malaysian taste - nasi lemak and fried meehoon for breakfast (apart from the breads and others), tomyam, masak lemak cili api, ayam masak merah, rendang and lain-lain lauk for lunch and dinner. Kudos to Triways for making sure we were well-fed.

Many absent-minded pilgrims have walked into this wall mirror, strategically placed to create an illusion of space in the cramped lobby. One old guy walked right smack into it, his forehead landing onto the mirror with an almighty thud, while Naj and Joe tried their level best to stifle their laughter.
Joe breathing a sigh of relief after the first umrah.
Naj posing maut ...
This notice board at the foot of Jabal Thur (the location of Thur Cave where Prophet Muhammad (saw) hid from the Quraisy seeking to kill him), tells pilgrims not to ruin the surroundings by removing stones, twigs etc as souvenirs.
That's Gua Thur in the background. Modernisation is close by, in the form of transmission towers. It takes about two hours of perilous climb up the rocky outcrop to reach the cave.
Hamming it up for the camera, bug-eyed shades and all, at the foot of Jabal Rahmah, the place where Adam and Eve were reunited. Because of its history, Jabal Rahmah is a popular spot for singles to make doas for jodoh (partners in life).
Shall I or shall I not? Kama contemplating buying an African long scarf. In the end, she bought two.. hehehe..
Awwa and Joe getting the feel of a camel ride. Note the camel's mouth cover. A camel's breath is exceptionally foul.
And here's Naj and Ann. Am not sure how much it costs per person per ride.. I think it's SR15.
Where would the Abus be without makan? It's Baskin Robbins time! Harga lebih kurang kat Malaysia (because the exchange rate is almost 1-1, but the scoops are bigger). Ice-cream taste doubly delicious in hot Makkah.
High tea with tiramisu, sandwiches, caesar's salad, cakes and long cool mochas at the Makkah Hilton, courtesy of Kama's blogger friend Pak Payne (Ariffin Mamat). Pak Payne, a Malaysian expat working in Jeddah, took the trouble to drive all the way to Makkah (with fellow Malaysian expat Kamil) just to meet up and belanja us tea and dinner.
That's En Kamil facing Pak Abu, with Pak Payne sitting next to Naj. En Kamil is Jeddah's municipality director. They took us to a restaurant on the outskirts of Makkah to sample Yemeni food, eaten four to a tray. It's a kind of biryani called lamb kabsah. Sedap!! I steered clear of the green chillies after Nawwar sampled one. It was a killer! Pak Payne, we can't thank you enough for your hospitality. Ada ubi ada batas.. balik Malaysia kita balas ekk!
The right exercise after such a heavy meal; we did our second umrah that same night. That was truly some effort.. doing the tawwaf and sae'i after being filled to the brim with lamb kabsah. I could hardly walk. Truth be told, I waddled like a duck throughout the sae'i...
Like I said, the Abus are good at seeking makan places. This is Felda's sole outlet in Makkah. Located in a shopping centre facing the Grand Mosque, D'Saji serves authentic Malaysian fare, and at decent prices too.
Murtabak, cucoq udang, kuih ketayap, all downed with teh/nescafe tarik ... aahhh, feels like home. In fact, D'Saji's menu was quite extensive, from laksas to noodles, rices and lauks, satay, even ais kacang. Lots of Arabs patronised this place (probably those who have visited Malaysia and liked our food)..
Pak Abu stretched out on the marbled flooring of Masjidil Haram's topmost floor, counting the stars in the heavens above. Women are not allowed up here during off-hajj season so we couldn't bring the girls up to enjoy the scenery. We prayed here often during our Hajj, especially Subuh, because both the marbled floor and the morning breeze provided such refreshing coolness to start the day.
This, my friend, is the best barbecue chicken I have eaten thus far. On our last night in Makkah, Nawwar's former boss Bro. Farid took us to dinner at Al-Tazaj, a well-known Arab fast-food joint famous for its barbecue chicken, eaten with both Arab bread and spiced rice. The chicken (local and free-range) were very tender.
All too soon, it was Tawaf Widaa' (Goodbye Tawaf) before moving on to Madinah where we would spend the last 2 nights of our Umrah trip sebelum balik Malaysia. Leaving Makkah was painfully hard. Sebak dada. Sedihnya tak terhingga. Ya Allah, let this not be the last that we visit Baitullah..


Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Puteri,
My Mama asks where is that Da'wah Corner located? Is it in the LG of ZamZam Tower? We can get the same titles here, considering we have like 4 Islamic bookstores in the neighbourhood, but at quadruple the price compared to Makkah. purrr....meow!

Kama said...

Cat, tell Mama that Dakwah Corner in Makkah is located on the second floor of Hilton International, to the left immediately after getting off the escalator. The prices are comparable to Malaysia.

Wan Sharif said...

Ni kena buat bookmark ni.. banyak tempat makan yang sedap di Makkatul Mukarrah.. nanti bila berpeluang pergi dengan keluarga bolehlah singgah dan enjoy..
Noticed that you sekeluarga took your time to relax and were not too ambitious trying to cramp as many umrah per day as possible. I suppose that has helped you to stay healthy and enable you to do your umrah better.

Kak Teh said...

Puteri, Pak Payne extended almost similar hospitality when I was there - he and family brought mee rebus to the airport!

I swear the camel was the same one I rode!

Kama said...

Wan - it's true that we didn't try to cram as many umrahs as possible during our stay in Makkah. Our main intention of taking the kids to Tanah Suci was to get them reacquainted with Islam at its core, untuk beribadah di Masjidil Haram dan tawaf di Baitullah, untuk mengenali tempat2 bersejarah dalam Islam and to make them fall in love with Islam all over again and not to take the religion for granted.

Kalau kami bertubi2 buat umrah 3-4 kali sehari, I think the meaning of umrah will be lost on the children. They will see it as a chore. Nikmat tawaf dan sae'i tu hilang. All they will think of is.. penat. Now, after dah balik Malaysia, they keep saying.. Ya Allah rindunya kat Makkah.. bila boleh gi lagi!

Kama said...

Kak Teh - Masyaallah .. Pak Payne has such a big heart. Sanggup dia drove all the way from Jeddah 100 kms away to meet up and treat us to makan. And he and En Kamil balik Jeddah the same evening (lepas dinner). Semoga Allah swt memberkati dia sentiasa.

The camel? Hehehe... comel lah but I didnt take a ride at all. Takut unta komplen berat! LOL

luahfikiran said...

Pergi Umrah 3 tahun yg lalu. Bila tengok gambar2 puan sekeluarga di sana menyebabkan saya sekeluarga nak pergi secepat mungkin. Saya akan ambil perhatian nasihat puan - jangan terlalu ghairah mengejar bilangan umrah dalam satu hari.

─╣aptop™ said...

Nak pi umrah bulan posa.
Kena kumpui duit lebih sbb semuanya get inflated taim bulan posa.
Dulu security Arab tu bukan main cenggei; ambik gambaq was a BIG NO.
Nak ambik gambaq kena curi2 (buat dosa curi).
Nampak lagu nowadays semua orang have free hands; nak snap gambaq apa pun boleh.
(Teringat buka posa dalam Mesjidil Haram & Masjid Nabawi; free flow of yoget :-) )

Kama said...

LF - semoga hajat LF dipenuhi Allah swt secepat mungkin. Limit saya hanya satu umrah sehari, LF; biar beribadah lebih di Masjidil Haram.

Lap - I was told Ramadan in Makkah sangat seronok, packed with pilgrims. Mungkin one day in the future we might just do the same. About taking pictures, men are no longer frisked in both Masjid Al-Haram dan Nabawi. boleh bawak camera & handphone kedalam masjid. Strangely enough pompuan kena frisked dan tak boleh bawak those items masuk. Still, ramai yg terlepas.

Raden Galoh said...

kak puteri...

was waiting for this upload... tp sick la pulak so kindda missed juga...

rindu... rindu... serindu-rindunya... pada baitullah... pada tanah suci... pada kedamaian yg ada di sana...

alhamdulillah akak selamat mengerjakan umrah... mabrook kak...

Kama said...

Dalilah - hope you are keeping good. chin up and be strong always.

It's true terasa tenang dan damai sungguh di Tanah Suci. my daughter nawwar kata kalau boleh nak duduk sana tak mau balik malaysia.kat sini banyak sangat distractions katanya..

tireless mom said...

Kak Puteri

The best moment in our lives is to be in the Holy Land; Makkah and Madinah. And added with sweetness when it is shared and performed with members of the family. I had similar feelings like your children 20 years ago when I was performing umrah with my parents and lil sister. A couple of years ago with husband, mom and parents in law. Now berdoa banyak banyak nak bawa the next generation.

Thanks for sharing the pics, how nostalgic!

mamasita said...

I love gambar at Jabal Rahmah..amboi2..mamanya suruh semua bujang2 and dara2 dia bergambar selonggok kat situ..hehe

InsyaAllah, all your children will be blessed soon with good husbands and wives..

Kama said...

TM - you are one lucky person, to have had the opportunity of doing this ibadah with your family as a child and later with your spouse & family as a married woman. Very bertuah indeed. semoga Allah sampaikan your hajat to continue the ibadah with your anak dan cucu..

Mamasita - apa tidaknya Datin, semua dah sampai marriageable age (yg dah terlajak pun ada!) tapi belum lagi sampai jodoh. bayangkan, this year my eldest is 35 and youngest is 25. semoga Allah swt makbulkan doa saya.. all I want to see is the kids settling down...

Pp said...

Puteri Kama :-)One meeting point, hopefully for all of us, di sana nanti....di syurga yang di janjikan~!

It was a pleasure to meet with you, with pak abu dan your lovely and adorable sons and daughters.

i am happy that we all passed the little 'test' sewaktu menunggu nak pergi dinner di malam itu.

insyaallah, kita bertemu lagi. i look forward to introduce my little clan to you and family.

ps: awwa, pakcik teringat2 ayam kuzzi hehehe :-)


Kama said...

Salam Pak Payne, semoga our ibadah diperkenan Allah swt. we await your return; insyaallah it's home-cooked ayam kuzi dinner.. hehehe

Intanterpilih said...

it brought back those memories !!how i miss this place.....:(

Kama said...

Intan - Insyaallah, one day you will return..