Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Omra in Masjid al-Haram (Mecca Part 1)

After spending several days in Medina, my tour group proceeds to travelling to Mecca to conduct Omra, and we did our miqat in Bir Ali which is the only place to start out Omra from Medina -- while the other three miqat place is located around Mecca. The miqat place itself means the station to start out pilgrim to state out the intentions and to earn permission upon entering the holy mosque and conduct the Omra or Hajj in the case. Before advancing to the actual Omra, we were firstly dropped at our hotel to put our belongings and have dinner at our hotel, Le Meridien Makkah that is located only few hundred metres away from the Masjid al-Haram.



Foods are typical Middle Eastern, but Le Meridien serves more authentic foods in wider range of menu offered within the buffet. As in the city before, we had most of our food provided by the hotel.



Our supposedly triple room at Le Meridien consist of two main single beds and one extra bed by the window. The view is headed right to the Masjid al-Haram entrance!



As I kept my ablution in tact, we then continue to advance to Masjid al-Haram. It was almost 01.00 a.m. and the place is still crowded with people. Upon entering, the grand mosque's exterior around King Fahd gate is currently under construction. But as I enter and goes nearer and nearer to the Ka'bah, the majestic feeling goes all over my body, and for witnessing such beautiful place dedicated for such presence I felt very grateful. I did the Omra by firstly conducting tawaf (going around the Ka'bah seven times), sa'i (going back and forth to Safa and Marwah hill seven laps) and then tahallul (cutting at least three pieces of hair). It was definitely a physical process, but I feel very so awesome after doing that. One thing is checked off my bucket list! 







After finishing all the steps, my mother and I decided to stay within the Masjid al-Haram area until Subuh prayer. We got a spot right in front of the Kaaba, but unfortunately we have to move a bit further to the back to stay in line with the female lines. After the prayer, we went back to the hotel.

***

If you would opt to look for food around the Masjid, there were plenty of stores surrounding the place! These are some of the food that were purchased from areas around the holy mosque.


The chicken nugget above and sandwich below is purchased from Al-Baik Fried Chicken.
(For comparison, I also bought KFCs but the price is way more expensive
compared to the ones back in Indonesia)




Broasted Chicken from Farooji Express within the Abraj Al-Bait Towers





Many food stalls can be found on the streets yet my particular interest was on ice cream since 
Mecca is warmer in comparison in Medina; even considering that it is winter time 
when I spent my time over there.



Upon the next days, we proceed with prayers by going directly into the Masjid area or by following up the prayer lead by the imam of the Masjid that was connected to the many buildings around the area through television network display as well as from speakers in the rooms of the hotel so it is pretty convenient too. The following pictures are taken later after prayers I took in the Masjid al-Haram.


Interior of the lower floor of the Masjid al-Haram. 


Another recommended place for prayers is nearby the library, where you can also read some informative materials and then conduct prayer nearby the place afterwards.












On the way back to the hotel, many birds were flying thorugh mid-air. We then found out they were eating out seeds that were sold nearby the al-Haram.




 The three items above were given by the strangers whom I bumped into the Masjid al-Haram. Once again I wanted to thank the people whom has been very generous to me and has done good deeds to others in helping and making others happy thoughout our stay. I witnessed many truly good and honorable gestures throughout my experience there. I am very very inspired.