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November 7, 2011

Feature: Hajj Diary Series, Part 22

by Simple Muslimah

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Second day Jamarat.  We go the long way but it feels like ten minutes. Amazing.

Mum is really in her element here.

We get to the Jamarat and decide to go up to the third level.
We are quickly faced with mum’s biggest fear. Escalators.
She hates them but has no choice.
She holds my hand and I help her up all eight of them one after the other.
We arrive and with complete ease again we do the stoning and make our way back.
The guards are a lot more organised and do not allow you to hang around to take photos or even go back on yourself.

On the way back we find an old couple lost. The woman is in absolute pieces and wailing.
I smile as I watch mum comfort her and take her by the hand. Mum is so calm that she is reassuring others. Another indication to the huge mercy Allah has bestowed upon us.
Mava leaves me and mum while he takes them back to their camp. He comes back for us and we off again.
We go a little bit further and find another four people who have been lost since yesterday. Mava helps them also and we make our way back to the camp.

We are really fortunate to have one of the imams for Islam Channel in our group. I was always impressed by how he conducted himself on television and in person he is even more amazing. May Allah give me manners like him. We benefit from him greatly.

We have a new member in our little group. A brother from Birmingham. He is not really a new member as I have seen him many, many times during this trip and we have shared some moments. He has been a cooling to my eyes each time. We shall call him Mr C. A science teacher by trade. He is a gentle giant but solid.
There are many reasons I love him and one of them is that he implements what he knows.
The first time we met was at Jeddah Airport and it was him who gave the bottle of water to my mum (if you recall, I mentioned this at the beginning). I will never forget that. It is fitting that was our first encounter.

My new nickname is ‘Mava Junior’. I don’t get it myself but the lads like it so who am I to deprive them?

Zinger wants to go on an adventure and after haggling with a couple of perfume sellers we find one that we decide we are going to work for, free of charge. We sit on either side and go at it Apprentice style.
I don’t think that bloke has ever sold more stock then he did at that time. People were flocking around and the great thing about crowds is that they attract bigger crowds. The bloke just could not bag the stuff quick enough.
Everyone wants the bargains we offering and we joke all the way. It doesn’t matter the nationality or the tongue; a laugh and a smile is currency in every country of the world.

Zinger is a blessing in himself. He is firm but very fair. Truly the souls are like conscripted soldiers.

There is not much I will not do but with Zinger by my side I know nothing is safe and there is nothing I will not try.
Few people have the effect on me that Zinger has.

By the close of business, the chap’s wallet is bulging. Me and Zinger clock out for salah.

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