11. “A garden of Paradise” (The Hajj Journal)

A group of people standing in front of a sign.

September 13, 2015

By God’s grace, I’m still functioning after only about 3.5 hours of broken sleep. I slept for 2.5 hours last night, and woke up early so that myself, Sheikh Tamir, and a group of others could go to the Rawdah. It’s a special section in the Prophet’s mosque where the Prophet (p) said between his pulpit and his house is a garden from Paradise. It was incredibly packed, even at 3:30 AM. People were packing together to try and stand on the green carpet which marked Paradise. And I began to get frustrated, wondering why people were going through such effort to pray inside a space that, to an outsider, would just be a green carpet. But then I looked at it in a different way: this really was an analogy for religion. People of all races exerting themselves, sacrificing their comfort, just to reach a goal that, in this life, they can’t see, with people they don’t know, and what their heart can only feel.

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“What’s Medina like?” (The Hajj Journal)

Open roof prayer space in Masjid Nabawi

I know my entries focus a lot on the spiritual side of my time in the holy cities, but that’s not to say my day-to-day life outside of worship was just more worship. The question most people want to know—no matter where you travel to in the world—is “What’s [insert country] like?”. It’s in our nature to be curious, and when we meet others who have seen parts of the world we’ve only imagined, our curiosity is immediately piqued. To satisfy your curiosity, I’m including these entries that describe the day-to-day life in the places I visited. Continue reading ““What’s Medina like?” (The Hajj Journal)”