Tired is an understatement! This morning Asif and I decided to meet around 3:30am to go for Fajr prayers, but I overslept and woke to the sound of the phone ringing constantly at 4:00am. It was Asif calling from the lobby to ask if I was awake, as he was waiting downstairs.
I guess climbing Mt. Hira yesterday took a toll physicall, though to be honest, I was still quite chuffed that I made it to the top!
I quickly got ready and met Asif in the lobby before we both made our way to the rooftop of Masjid al-Haram for Fajr Prayers. It didn’t seem too busy. After Fajr we made our way back to the hotel as the Canadian group was departing around 7:30am and we wanted to wish them goodbye. Their buses had already arrived, but since there was still time before they were to board, we decided to go for breakfast.
Saying goodbye to the Canadians was not so emotional as we would see them again in a few weeks when we returned back home to Canada from London. I had made new friends – lifelong friends. The goodbyes were unique – these were no ordinary friends but Hajj buddies! We had created memories that we would never forget.
After the Canadian group departed, we still had some time before Dhuhr so Asif and I decided to start packing. We hadn’t shopped much, so it would not take us too long. We prayed Dhuhrain prayers at the hotel. Despite looking quite empty that morning, the live TV broadcast now showed the Haram being extremely packed. It was the last Friday in Makkah before many began making their way back to their homes. This was by far the largest crowd that we had seen in Makkah.
At 5:30pm we made our way to the Haram for Maghribain. We headed up to the rooftop, and as we reached we saw lightning and thunder. I thought to myself ‘what if it rains?’ as the clouds looked heavy and the skies looked dark. There wasn’t much time to go elsewhere as the Adhan for Salah began.
No sooner had we raised our hands for the Takbir of Salatul Maghribain, and the heavens opened wide and heavy rain began to pour. We had already started our prayers, and rain was not a threat, but I saw people, in the middle of their prayers, grabbing their prayer mats and belongings and running away. We were drenched, in the Mercy of Allah (SWT)! It rained intensely, and we continued our prayers.
Just as the final salam of the prayer was recited, the rain suddenly stopped. What a wonderful and amazing opportunity! Asif and I immediately made our way against the crowd that was leaving the Haram and went to look over the rooftop ledge at the Ka’ba. The cloth covering the Ka’ba was soaked and people were yelling ‘Barakallah!’ It was a moment filled with emotion and awe, and I remember thinking vividly that had such rainfall happened anywhere other than here, the House of God, people would have been frustrated and restless. But what a miracle this was!
Snapping back to reality, I was so soaked that I could not stop shivering. We couldn’t recite our Isha prayers in this state so we made our way back to the hotel, changed, and prayed in the room. Today, the evening lecture was by Sheikh Hayder Shirazi. The meeting lounge looked empty as many had left, and others were making the most of their time at the Haram. The Sheikh spoke on the actions we could perform in our last few hours in Makkah. The lecture was followed by dinner, and then Asif and I decided to go to ZamZam Tower to get a few things. We wanted to buy more dates, and more of the oud in the fragrance that was on the Holy Ka’ba.
At around 11:20pm, we met my cousin and his wife from New York for ice cream in ZamZam Tower at Hagan Daaz. At around 1am, when nobody could keep their eyes open anymore, we parted ways…