Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Last Hajj Course

normally a jemaah haji will go through 3 courses before embarking on the pilgrimmage to Makkah Al Mukarramah. i've gone through the 15 series of course, the intensive course, and the grand finale which is the Kursus Haji Perdana, where they gather the jemaah haji from all over the state, in this case for me it's Wilayah Persekutuan. my other family members registered at Selangor so they attended the course at the Shah Alam mosque while i had to go to Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin mosque, the mosque some fondly dubbed as the Steel Mosque.

i don't know my way in Putrajaya, and although Kak Dah and Abang Najib showed me the way on the first day of raya, i knew back then i'd get lost somewhere in god knows what precint. so Kak Dah offered to drive me there. good!

when we arrived there at 2pm, there were many cars around, and there were policemen controlling the traffic. the mosque is huge, it's a complex! i made my way with my pink bag and after asking people for some directions, i finally reached the lobby of the mosque - and met my Rayhar course lecturer, Ust. Hj Ahmad Rosli. he recognised my face and we chatted for awhile. then i registered, got my tag, and again, made my way to the lift, all the while seeing a lot of pilgrims around - wheelchairbound grandmothers, young ladies, the educated ladies who spoke in English to their husbands (reminded me of my family). we were already separated from the men, and we were placed in maktab, simulating the scenario in makkah. my maktab happened to be at the end of the mosque on the 3rd floor. i immediately saw that there were mats around, we were instructed to bring the mat. some were sprawling on them. i immediately made friends with Kak Nor and K.Nora (wah! a person who looks like me, with the same name, and we have a lot in common)

there was to be a briefing at 3.30 and we were told to wear our white ihrams. the organiser was Tabung Haji, and a few ustazs spoke to us, telling us what to expect and etc. then, we had the talbiyyah, which always makes me cry.i think the most beautiful view was when i saw rows of pilgrims praying, with the men all in white ihrams, and we the ladies at the back, symbolising unity, equality and humility. and most of all, that we're jemaah haji.haj bound.

after the asar prayer, my maktab started the first practical, which was tawaf and sa'ie. we had to tawaf and sa'ie in the rain as they told us that in 2008 it rained in Makkah, so we had to expect the unexpected.  that night at 10pm, we started the melontar practical, or stone throwing. 

i couldn't really sleep well that night, as the structure of the mosque is so that it is light and airy, and there's no solid wall. it may be light and airy and cool during daytime, but at night i was freezing. decided to take a morning shower at 2.30am as to avoid the congestion in the showers and restrooms.

in the morning we had the last practical for tawaf and sa'ie. finally we had the closing ceremony and it's time to return home.

this is just a gist of what everyone might expect while doing hajj. there were only 3000 pilgrims at the mosque, but once we're in Makkah there'll be 3 million pilgrims.

May Allah make this haj a good haj for me.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Happy Eid Mubarrak

i celebrated my hari raya at my one of my sisters this year. it's a quiet raya for me, i don't know whether it's a matter of getting older or that raya in KL is not raya at all. in truth, i miss celebrating raya in terengganu, because of all the excitement of having more than 50 people under one roof , and visiting relatives at kampung.

well, life goes on. 

i still had that slight raya cheer in me though. early in the morning of raya i went down the stairs and nearly triggered the alarm because i was so damn hungry. and before kak dah could cook her masak lodeh, i was already popping cookies into my mouth.

after the picture taking, we went to kak sham's house. kak sham's house was very quiet this year, because her children celebrated raya at their in laws. so no patters of little feet, no cries and no Disney Chanel. the grandparents were on holiday for a few days and the 'nursery' is closed. kak sham cooked mother's nasi biryani and i was so happy that i had a second helping of it. not to mention i ate another round of lemang and rendang (i don't know why, but this year i craved for rendang and lemang). the problem is, kak sham's lemang is everything-you-can-eat and not only beef. i accidentally bit into a slice of liver and byearkhh!! can't stand the taste! 

next we visited kak ma, my eldest sister who is suffering advanced dementia. she's okay, but she doesn't recognise any of us anymore. hard to imagine that 10 years ago she's an elegant lady, the mistress of the house.

after the brief visit, we went to abg zaki's house, where i had another round of lemang and rendang. there's nasi dagang, but i figured that nasi dagang is a knockout with the richness of the pulut, so i skipped that.  had a slice of Janna's strawberry shortcake. the heavy feast was taking a toll on us, because we felt so sleepy and down we went on the carpet, like nana called it, "beach whales"

and that was on the first day.

on the second day, abg mi had his open house, and i had nasi minyak and soto. met my nephews nana and yaya and started discussing the gym training and the injuries we usually get in the gym. thank god for a doctor who can advise me straight away!

and lastly, we went to datuk's house. abang halim's house is full of his DIY projects - he tiled his house and the fence himself. he made the fish pond himself. and knowing abg halim, his home theatre speakers can deafen anybody's ears. 

and so 2 days of feasting ended. i went home to ampang before i could do further damage to my weight.