As I looked up and saw the mosque, the feeling was surreal and I could not believe that I was there. It was once in a lifetime experience.
I went to Makkah to perform 'Umrah' and it was the best birthday gift I had ever given to my mother. It was my 1st year end bonus from I&P group, hence I brought my mother as a birthday treat and younger brother along as my mahram.
I remembered the feeling; excited, nervous and scared, it was a mixed feeling as the day approached. I was worried if I could not perform the little haj and all that was required, but at the same time I was feeling grateful and thankful to Allah for giving me this opportunity this soon to visit the Holy Land of Makkah. After an 8 hour flight to Jeddah, we were taken by bus and headed straight to Madinah AL Munawwarah. We checked-in our hotel room and had a good rest. Hearing the 'adzan Subuh' ( call for morning prayer) inthe Holy Land was an experience no words can describe.
We started our journey and I was mesmerized by the serenity and magnificence of MAsjid An Nabawi. I could remember that I had no control over my emotions and without realising it, my eyes were teary and I was sobbing during my prayers. I remembered how everyone was trying to get inside Raudhah known as The Grden of Paradise adn I felt someone had stepped on my head while I was doing my solah. It was said that one's dua will be granted by Allah in Raudhah. I could still remember the feeling of solemnity and humility which easily made me break into tears even now while I was writing this story.
"Ya Allah Ya Tuhanku, Kau haramkanlah Ibuku dari dimamah api nerakamu Ya Allah"
After two days in Madinah, we finally left for our main destination to perform our Umrah. We put on our ihram and stopped at Dzulhulaifah or Bir Ali which was about 10 kilometers from Madinah. the place was our Miqat', that is a station to state our intention to perform Umrah. My heart was pounding so fas as we were approaching Masjidil Haram.
We finally arrived at the hotel and congregated at the lobby to perform our first Umrah in a group in the cool of the night. As I saw the Kaabah, my eyes stared at it fixedly. I reflected on all the sins that I had commited in my past. I had never thought to be there as young as I was, and yet I did not have any clue whether I would live longer either if I was to go there in my life much later. Subhanallah.
I believe no one in this world could contain his tears upon seeing the Kaabah for the very first time. Yes! I still cry every time I reminisce the moment. During 'tawaf' (i.e circumambulating the Kaabah for seven times), I broke into tears reflecting on all the sins I had done all my life and pleaded forgiveness on my past, present & futures sins to Allah and prayed that Allah would accept my worship for as long as I live.
I used to have no guts to ask for forgiveness from my mother for I thought it might be easily said without sincerity. However, Allah had made it easier for me in Makkah. During our final last night there after my TAwaf, I found a spot for myself and my mom in front of Multazam ( in front of Kaabah door). That was when Allahgave me the strength to get down on my knees and ask for my mom's blessing and forgiveness. I did a thing that I thought I could not do for the rest of my life.
Frankly, my trip was above everything I could imagine. It had gone smoothly accroding to plan, except for a few minor challenges here and there that we had to confront with. However, I took them as a test from Allah for me. Definitely another trip is in the bag and I hope to do it again sooner or later.