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November 4, 2011

Feature: Hajj Diary Series, Part 15

by Simple Muslimah

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Me and Manchester lad act as elevator attendants today, taking people up and down the floors.

We were so good that I reckon if we had kept it up we could have made some serious tips.

Just heard that a Brit from another hotel had lost £2000 during the tawaf. Apparently they took the whole belt.

Sitting waiting to pray Fajr inside the Haram and many men are arguing with the women who insisting to sit right at the front. I understand that they want to see the Ka’bah as well but we have to follow etiquette. This would be like me going and sitting right in the middle of a huge group of women. In the end the ladies get up and go to the back.
May Allah reward them, give them good in this life and the best of the Hereafter.

Just found out a bloke who is downstairs in our room who I thought was between 20 and 22 years of age is going to be 40. I’m gobsmacked.

We insist on the elder on our level in the hotel room as the amir and we (Manchester lad, Moshy, Jedda and me) agree to take any dispute to him to get his verdict. I would be astounded if there is any matter that needs a decision. Such is the harmony and fun we have but me and Manchester lad are trying to find any little thing just to get a verdict. I want to see a public lashing!

They make the prayer for rain after Fajr today. You don’t hear that often living in the UK.

I was on one of my usual 3am missions when I bumped into a local takeaway owner from my hometown. We have always got on and we have big hugs. He looks so happy to be here.

Just found out the elder in room (Hafiz Sahib) is a father of ten children!

It is truly amazing what you can get for free as long as you have no shame in asking. This hotel is going to remember me and Manchester lad.
It’s scary how quickly we formulate plans and the lengths we will go to. The partnership works so well and the opposition do not stand a chance. We come away with many goodies and share them between the others on our floor. I am going to give mine to mum.

When you think about all the crazy practices of the people everywhere else it’s amazing you don’t see any of it here. The most you get is loud group dhikr.

Bin Dawud are really going to have to stop selling me sweets and chocolates. It’s killing my throat.

Speaking about Bin Dawud there is a Malaysian worker here that was really unhappy and did not like his job at all. This guy just would not smile.
Me and Manchester lad have been working on him every day and now when he sees us he is never without a smile as soon as we walk in. In fact the whole shop sort of lights up. All it takes is a few smiles and a few jokes.

There is a mobile phone company who are in the mall under our hotel who giving out free umbrellas. They run out but tell us if we come back at 4am they will give us four umbrellas. I am not sure if they doubted us and may have thought there is no way we would make it at that time.
Its now 4.15am and I have five umbrellas in my possession.

They are trying to serve us sheep’s hooves for breakfast!
Needless to say it’s just a cup of tea for me.
Some of the others are well happy.

You should see the people when it comes to salah time and they have to leave the Black Stone. It takes the guards ages to prise them off it and they keep running back to kiss it. They finally restore order for salah and it’s amazing the people even wait for the Imam to give salaam before they are back on it. I only see it for a brief second after I finish before it is submerged in people all over again.

I am surprised at my DIY skills as I make something (embarrassingly modest so I will not mention it) for Manchester lad. I feel like Bear Grills saving things to use later. Manchester lad well happy and I stand proud at my accomplishment.

I keep seeing so many people that look like people I know.

Me and the gang go for a munch. Great laughs are had.

We decide (well I drag Manchester and Moshy along) to have late night tea. We sit on the ground and just talk and look at the Haram. Memories like this will live long.
The lads go to bed and I go into the Haram and sit by the Ka’bah. Every time you see it, it’s like the first time.

I cannot tell you how much I hate this big clock.

It is amazing when you see people you have met on your journey. Some you have just spent a couple of minutes with. You meet them, smile at them, joke with them and treat them like your brother.
They then find you eating, shopping, in the masjid or just walking and they come with huge smiles remembering you.
It’s the Sunnah in full effect.

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