Lost in Makkah, part II

So little did we know.

We did not know which door we had entered the Haram from. But we figured that Jabal Kaabah would not be too hard to find. Sooo little did we know. Well, we circled the Haram a couple times before realizing that we were completely, utterly, and hopelessly lost. We ventured first down one street, then another. Nothing looked familiar. Makkah at night and Makkah during the day are two different cities. During the day, the streets are filled to capacity with humanity. With buses. With water trucks. With shops full of colorful hijabs waving in the air. None of the streets we ventured upon looked like the one that led us on our unique path to the Baitullah. We eventually hailed a taxi driver, a young Bedouin man with sharp features standing out startlingly against his kaffiyeh, to drive us to Jabal Ka’bah. He took us to the same street we were on five minutes before, and said: “This is Jabal Ka’abah, this is where it ends. Thats it.” There we stood in the middle of the street, wondering, peering this way and that. Wondering why the apartment building did not materialize itself. There were others who were equally as lost as we were. I remember an elderly Afghani coming up to my father and asking him for directions to someplace. Talk about the blind leading the blind! Obviously, we could not help him, and he was all alone. Separated from his group and/or family. We gave thanks to Allah that at least we were all together.

There was a building whose arches looked totally familiar…and we knew we were close. It was really only a matter of time. By this time it was 10:30 am. A full 24 hours in Ihraam clothing. Needing a shower. Exhausted from a good 10 hours of walking: tawaaf, sa’iee, wandering around Makkah. We decided we would look for a half hour more…and then throw in the towel, head back to the Haram. After all, what better place to be lost and ask Allah’s help?

Half an hour later, we were still lost. Went back to the Haram Shareef, made fresh wudhu, and planted ourselves in front of the Ka’abah. Prayed, cried, made du’aa. Were seriously scared we would never find our “home.” After Dhuhr, we sat on the steps of the Haram, and fell asleep, while the cleaners washed the already gleaming marble floors. For Asr salaah, us women again got separated from our father. After Asr, we waited for him to come back. 10 minutes go by. 15. 20. 30 minutes…and no sign of daddy. Big time panic. We looked at each other and had nothing to say. For women to be speechless, that is saying something. Wished for our brothers, who we had left behind at home, to be with us–to be lost with us, and yet enjoying the marvels of Haram. Then, all of a sudden, father ambles into the Haram, with a jubilant grin on his face. In fresh clothes. His own clothes.

Obviously, he had found the apartment. He said it was only a matter of making one more turn. He said that for a whole hour, from 9:30 to 10:30, we had been only 5 minutes from the apartment. So close…yet so far away. He took us back to the apartment, and we were like “What if we get lost again. Did he really find it?” Delirious is the only way to describe my own state of mind at the time. We made notes of little landmarks along the way. When we got to the building, we made sure to make a note of the obscure sign on the side of the building which proclaimed its exact location. And wondered how, but how! did we miss it? How could we have been so close, yet overlooked that one tiny little turn?!

Its like everything else in life. The truth can be staring you in the face, but if Allah does not want you to see it, you won’t. You will wander like a blind person…until that time when you will appreciate Allah’s Mercy most. There is nothing like the comfort of a nice shower. Your own clothes, whether they are gleamingly new or old rags. And there is nothing like Makkah.

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6 Responses to Lost in Makkah, part II

  1. Ohhh man…I sooo remember that moment when our dad walked in the Haram out of ihram…I couldn’t stop grinning for a while. 😳

    Such awesome memories. 😥

  2. ummadam says:

    Reminds me of several of our Umrah trips! My dh gets lost wherever we go. We do no do umrah togther, we take turns. Somehow I always manage to make it back to the hotel with all the kids and drama and he comes stumbling in hours later, hungry, tired, delirious, and just pitiful…lol

  3. noora says:

    well if i can say anything is that u made me tear throughout both episodes….”there is nothing like makka” ..well..u said it all…
    Whenever i am granted a visit to makkah and the time comes to leave…i would always walk backwards from the kaaba..never being able to let my eyes off it…i leave with my body but my soul is left there…

    u know what…u just made me want to write about my last trip to makkah…its contageous hehe..
    May Allah bless u sister

  4. Digi Jewel, I can still remember that grin of exhausted relief you had 😀

    UmmAdam, ah, the drama of getting lost! Nothing quite tops it, huh? 😆 Welcome to the blog, sister! 😀

    Noora, Wa iyyaaki, sister! Wallahi, you are so right. I am always saying that Madinah stole a little piece of my heart, and Makkah took a little bit of my soul. We tried the walking backwards thing…and it did not work too well for us–all I will say is ouch! 😳 I look forward to reading about your Makkah experience–those are truly the best stories for me; I could listen to those all day long!

  5. Muslim Wife says:

    So I’ve been wanting to read this story for so long but have just been so entirely busy, tired, or a yucky combination of both, to read it.

    Alhamdulillah, I got much chance now. Let me just say, nice little cliff hanger you threw in there (ya, sure, “it was late” mmhmm, lol). SubhanAllah! Great story though! I would have just been worried about using the bathroom cuz I have issues with using public restrooms,lol. But ya, I had to kiss those issues bye bye at hajj (*thinking of public bathrooms in Mina – shudder*).

    We lost my FIL completely at hajj and we made our hajj completely seperate from him and only met him in the lobby of our apartment after we completed the jamaraat and everything, heh.

    Masha’allah you always make such a nice moral out of your stories : ) Keep ’em coming!

  6. Muslim Wife, Well, to be fair…ok, you’re right, it was a cliff-hanger 😉 Glad you appreciated the few seconds of suspense (seeing as how you probably read them back to back anyhow! 😛 ) I know what you mean about issues with public restrooms–before Hajj, I never ever used to use public facilities. Before we left, mommy told me that loads of sabr will be required of me. I honestly did not think I could handle it. But SubhanAllah…I can actually say with a straight face “It wasn’t sooo bad!” (Well…it was kinda…but you know lol).

    Losing family members in that crowd is something I don’t even want to contemplate. One thing I have learned from others who have though, is that the best thing to do seems to be to carry on with your Hajj…Allah will hook you all up later. But the worrying and panic while separated…I can’t even imagine the agony of it. In our group, there was a woman and child who got separated from her husband at Jamaraat. Hours later, he arrived thinking she would be there, but no. She and the boy showed up 2 days later, Alhamdulillah….but his worry and anxiety was not something I could withstand.

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