Tag Archives: Mecca


Reached here yesterday at three from Peshawar. It was a tiring journey. Had an enthusiastic welcome from my one year old granddaughter Maryam. Son was holding her when I exited through the door. At first she didn’t recognize me. I realized it soon enough, and removed my mask. After that she was inseparable from me, even if I needed to do something. At home she wouldn’t leave me for a minute probably worried that I may disappear again.

She hadn’t seen me since ninth December. She, and her parents had gone to Corpus Christi. In between my daughter came to visit me while on her way to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. She was going for Umrah. The day before she was leaving, she persuaded me to go with her. I had a hairline fracture, so wasn’t very sure in undertaking the journey. At the last minute I applied for a visa. Within half an hour got it, and bought an airline ticket.

Allah makes it easy when you think of visiting Mecca, and Madina. I had never traveled first class. Have always traveled economy, but all the way I was bumped to first class. Had a wonderful experience.

I had a one way ticket which is expensive when bought a day before traveling. It was the beginning of holiday time. Had to wait in Pakistan for the prices to go down. It wasn’t happening so bought the return ticket to reach home.

Day Forty Seven (A Journey with Quran)

Surah An Nisa: Ayats 91 – 100

You’ll find other (hypocrites) who want to gain your confidence and the confidence of their own people. However, every time they’re tempted (by their twisted desires), they fall into them. If they neither leave you (to openly join your enemy) nor give you any peace (while remaining among you), other than merely not (attacking you at the moment), then you may capture them and kill them wherever you encounter them. In their case, We’ve given you clear permission (to fight) against them. [91]

A believer should never kill another believer, though if it happens by mistake, (then a penalty must still be paid). If someone kills a believer (accidentally), then he must free a believing servant and pay monetary damages to the family of the deceased, unless they decline it freely. If the deceased belonged to a community that is hostile to you and he was a believer, the freeing of a believing servant (is enough). If he belonged to a community with which you have a treaty, then again monetary-damages must be paid to his family, and a believing servant must be freed. If someone cannot procure (a servant to free because of a financial hardship or some other reason), then a fast of two consecutive months must be observed by him, and this is a concession from Allah, for Allah has all knowledge and wisdom. [92]

If someone kills a believer on purpose, then his reward is in Hellfire, and that’s where he’s going to stay! The wrath and curse of Allah will be upon him, and a harsh punishment will be prepared for him. [93]

All you who believe! When you go abroad (to fight) in the cause of Allah, check carefully (before taking action against those whom you meet on the battlefield, and about whose intentions you’re uncertain). Don’t say to an (enemy soldier) who (seems to pause) to offer you the greetings of peace, “You aren’t a believer,” (wanting to kill him) in your greed for the temporary riches of this life. There’s plenty of profits and prizes with Allah. You used to (kill for profit) like that before (accepting Islam), until Allah placed His favor upon you. So check carefully (whom it is you’re confronting), for Allah is aware of everything you do. [94]

The believers who sit (at home) without a valid excuse and who never get hurt are not equal to those who struggle in the cause of Allah with their money and their persons. Allah has granted a higher grade to those who struggle and use their money and their persons over those who sit (at home). Allah has promised good to both, but those who struggle are distinguished by Him with a valuable reward above those who remain (at home). [95]

That’s a special designation given especially by Him, along with His forgiveness and mercy, for Allah is forgiving and merciful. [96]

When the angels take the souls of those who died while in a state of injustice against their own selves (through their constant mingling with the hostile among the faithless), they’re going to ask (the sinful souls), “What was your situation in the world?” They’ll answer by saying, “We were weak and oppressed in the land, (and that’s why we never left the enemy’s territory.)” The (angels will answer them,) saying, “Wasn’t Allah’s earth big enough for you to move yourselves away (to some place safer)?” They’re the ones who will find their resting place in Hellfire, and oh what an evil destination it is! [97]

However, those who were (truly) weak and oppressed, the men, women and children who had neither the means nor the ability (to flee) nor (who found a leader) to direct their way [98] (are not to blame), for Allah shall forgive them, for Allah pardons and forgives. [99]

Whoever forsakes his home in the cause of Allah can find in the world many safe hideouts, for it’s a wide and spacious place. If he dies as a refugee far away from home for (the sake) of Allah and His Messenger, his reward is due with Allah, and Allah is forgiving and merciful. [100]

Translation: Yahiya Emerick

Day Twenty Seventh (A Journey with Quran)

Surah Al Imran: Ayats 91- 100

91. As to those who reject Faith, and die rejecting,- never would be accepted from any such as much gold as the earth contains, though they should offer it for ransom. For such is (in store) a penalty grievous, and they will find no helpers.

92. By no means shall ye attain righteousness unless ye give (freely) of that which ye love; and whatever ye give, of a truth Allah knoweth it well.

93. All food was lawful to the Children of Israel, except what Israel Made unlawful for itself, before the Law (of Moses) was revealed. Say: “Bring ye the Law and study it, if ye be men of truth.”

94. If any, after this, invent a lie and attribute it to Allah, they are indeed unjust wrong-doers.

95. Say: “(Allah) speaketh the Truth: follow the religion of Abraham, the sane in faith; he was not of the Pagans.”

96. The first House (of worship) appointed for men was that at Bakka: Full of blessing and of guidance for all kinds of beings:

97. In it are Signs Manifest; (for example), the Station of Abraham; whoever enters it attains security; Pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe to Allah,- those who can afford the journey; but if any deny faith, Allah stands not in need of any of His creatures.

98. Say: “O People of the Book! Why reject ye the Signs of Allah, when Allah is Himself witness to all ye do?”

99. Say: “O ye People of the Book! Why obstruct ye those who believe, from the path of Allah, Seeking to make it crooked, while ye were yourselves witnesses (to Allah.s Covenant)? but Allah is not unmindful of all that ye do.”

100. O ye who believe! If ye listen to a faction among the People of the Book, they would (indeed) render you apostates after ye have believed!

Translation: Abdullah Yusuf

A Journey With Quran

Today on the insistence of my daughter (she did tell me several times in the years gone by) to start daily writing with the reading of Quran. I hope I continue with it. Since last year, I faltered with writing every day because of health reasons. I will try to remedy it.

The first Surah (chapter) of the Quran begins with Surah Fatiha. Fatiha means The Opening. It was revealed at Mecca. Each verse of the Surah is called an Ayah (plural Ayat).

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds

Master of the Day of Judgement

Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek

Show us the straight way

The way of those whom Thou has bestowed Thy Grace

Those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray

(Translation by Abdullah Yusuf Ali)

Eid Mubarak

A very happy Eid Mubarak to those who are celebrating Eid today.

Yesterday I had a tiny mishap— I fell down on my right side. I was sitting in the corner of one of the sofas. Nola (daughter) wanting to make me more comfortable pulled out the rest for the feet. After sitting for a while, I wanted to go upstairs. Getting up, I inadvertently sat on the rest, and fell down. It was horrible. The right side of my body throbbed with pain. Nola wanted me to take a pill, forgetting I was fasting, and couldn’t take any medication. My bones still feel jarred. It may take a while to feel normal again. Thankfully there are no broken bones.

Today is Eid al Adha in remembrance of Prophet Ibrahim’s sacrifice, plus those who had gone for pilgrimage, the period is over. They come out of ahrams , and it’s time for them to celebrate Eid.

For the last six years I have been sending money for the sacrificial animal to one relative, or other to make the sacrifice on my behalf. Since I’m not there, all the meat is distributed amongst the poor people. Normally the meat is divided into three portions. One portion is for one own self, the second one for relatives, and friends, and the third one goes to the poor.

I hope next year Insha’Allah I’m able to offer my sacrifice here.


My (late) husband R, and I were on Haj (Pilgrimage to Mecca, and Madina, Saudi Arabia). In our group, which was an Army Delegation there were nineteen men, and seven women. One of the officers had brought his mother along with him too. She was the only elderly lady among us, but had more stamina than the rest of us. Twelve officers had come without their spouses.

In both the cities Mecca and Madina, our hotel accommodation was just across the mosques. In later years there has been great expansions. Now you can’t walk to them. Now hotel buses take you, or you move in a  taxi to reach there, specially in Mecca.

The room in Madina where we first stayed, before the beginning of Haj days, was shared by women. The men had two bigger rooms to themselves.

There were matteresses on the floor. We used our own sheets and pillows. My matteress was exactly in front of the door. When we weren’t praying in the mosque, we would be lying or sitting in our room. 

One woman’s husband would poke his head inside the room at odd hours (when you were least expecting it), and catch us in various poses of lying, or sitting. The correct thing was to knock at the door, and call his wife. None of the other men did this except for this man.

I would be lying in front of the door, and the first person he looked at was me. For me the situation was highly intolerable. After suffering silently for a few days, I decided to mention it in front of his wife. I spoke hesitatingly, “Can you ask Brother (all men are considered brothers) that he should knock, and call you to the door?”

The woman flew into a rage, “What do you think he comes to look at you?” I wasn’t expecting her dramatic response. I was mortified. With red cheeks I couldn’t utter a word. I took to covering  myself with top sheet from head to toe, while we were in Madina. Luckily in Mecca I stayed with another group of women, and had no such problem.

 I kept the above episode from my husband till we came back home. I didn’t want my husband to feel angry during Haj, over what I suffered.




Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. 


Autonomy at Home

I wanted my own say where my bed should be placed in the room. My son had his own prerogative in which direction it should be. In the end hard earned autonomy won — the spot I chose.

There wasn’t a good option available. One thing was clear that my feet shouldn’t face the Kaaba. It meant disrespect. For those who don’t know? Kaaba is the House of Worship built by the Prophet Ibrahim together with his son Ismail at Mecca. It is in this direction we face when we pray to God five times a day, or more. Buried in the graves our faces are turned slightly right facing Kaaba too.

My son wanted my bed in a different spot then I had in my mind. He stopped objecting. It was my room after all. The hired men helped in putting my room together for me.




Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.


Going Back Centuries

This happened to me some years back when I found myself in a different century mentally. I was watching a movie The Message starring Anthony Quinn. As per the dictates of Islam there no image of the Prophet but you can feel the presence.

A scene was being shown in which the people are anxiously waiting for the arrival of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) to the city of Madina. Before that the Prophet hides in a cave with a trusted friend to escape from getting killed by the unbelievers of Mecca.

A spider makes his web over the entrance to the cave. The unbelievers are misled by the spider’s web and leave. From there the Prophet makes it safely to Madina.

I found myself really craning my neck to look into the distance for his arrival. My heart was thudding. I had totally forgotten that I knew the outcome, and the story. As the people shouted that they could see him, tears of relief and joy slid down my cheeks.

My world had suddenly gone centuries back.


Worlds Colliding

Take two main characters from two different books (either fiction or nonfiction) and introduce them to, or have them meet, each other. What would happen next?


Peace to All

There were times when the Green Eyed Monster would make a beeline to my heart. Sad! I would watch kids with their mothers being hugged and kissed. I couldn’t understand, “Why my mother wasn’t alive? Why God had to take her?”

I would watch having no reply. Then father died too.

After marriage I didn’t have a parent’s home to go to, or a mother who could come and help me with the kids when they were born; or the times I was sick.

There was always the question, “Why God?”

Then the pilgrimage to Mecca happened, and with that I was finally at peace. Before going my younger brother in law with a smirk on his face asked, “What are you going to pray for? Riches?” I could discern the inner laughter he was having at my expense.

I looked at his face for a moment and answered, “Forgiveness from God, and eternal peace”.

His mouth remained open for a while.

Daily Prompt: Green-Eyed Monster

Tell us about the last time you were really, truly jealous of someone. Did you act on it? Did it hurt your relationship?



 إِنَّنَا سَمِعْنَا مُنَادِيًا يُنَادِي لِلْإِيمَانِ أَنْ آمِنُوا بِرَبِّكُمْ فَآمَنَّا ۚ رَبَّنَا فَاغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا وَكَفِّرْ عَنَّا سَيِّئَاتِنَا وَتَوَفَّنَا مَعَ الْأَبْرَارِ

رَبَّنَا وَآتِنَا مَا وَعَدْتَنَا عَلَىٰ رُسُلِكَ وَلَا تُخْزِنَا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ۗ إِنَّكَ لَا تُخْلِفُ الْمِيعَادَ

Above are the two Ayats 193- 194 from the Quran, Surah Al Imran (Chapter 3)

These are about seeking forgiveness from God. Here is the translation by Abdullah Yusaf.

193- “Our Lord! We have heard, the call of one calling

(Us) to Faith, “Believe ye  In the Lord,” and we

Have believed. Our Lord! Forgive us our sins,

Blot out from us, our iniquities, and take

To Thyself our souls, in the company of the righteous”

194- “Our Lord! Grant us, what Thou didst promise

Unto us through Thy Messengers, and save us from shame

On the Day of Judgement; for Thou never breakest Thy promise.”

When I would read the Quran, and came upon some Ayats (verses) I made saying them a part of my daily life. The above two Ayats I repeat with myself once after Fajr (Morning) Prayers, and then again before sleeping at night.

This came about twelve years ago. Before that although I had read the Quran hundreds of times I had not made these Ayats part of my daily life.

Some relatives of ours went every year during Ramadan (the thirty days fast) to Khana Kaaba (The House of God), to which Muslims turn their faces when praying. It was built by the Prophet Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

I really felt envious of them. I thought of them as lucky people getting to spend time in a Holy place, and reaping great rewards from God; where as I was stuck in my own home. I felt in terms of prayers they had a greater edge on me.

I tried my best to get my (late) husband to agree to spend at least one Ramadan in Mecca, but my dear, darling husband refused. I was disappointed, but what could I do? Nothing.

Imagine my surprise when my those relatives came back that year, and told me their dream when they were in Kaaba. In the dream they are standing beside the Kaaba when they saw me in beautiful robes in the company of similarly dressed people passing closely by them.

I realized that was God’s way of telling me, that prayers does reach Him where ever they are done, irrespective of time, and place.

Forgive and Forget?

Share a story where it was very difficult for you to forgive the perpetrator for wronging you, but you did it — you forgave