Alhamdulillah, all thanks belong to Allah, the Lord of the world. Alhamdulillah to Allah, the one who always protects me every time and everywhere. I just returned from a two-week journey in Makkah and Madinah to do ‘umrah. It was a very memorable moment for me.
I do really think that this (going for ‘umrah in Ramadhan) was one of the best decision that I’ve made in my life considering the limited savings that I have =) and tight work/study schedule.
There are several key lessons that I got from my ‘umrah journey. I do really hope that it can benefit you also.
First, our life orientation should be to get Allah’s ridha. In most of the time, our routines, such as work, study, etc., have made our life orientation become a worldly orientated one. It may sounds like too simplistic or cliché but it is the way it is. Allah already mentioned that the life in this world is a test from Him, it is the chance to be prepared for the next (eternal) life. Our routines have made this world life become our orientation. This shouldn’t be the case.
Second, Qur’an should be our friend and our guidance. The thing that really amazes me in Saudi Arabian life is the high intensity of their interaction with Qur’an. It is very easy to spot people reading Qur’an, listening to Qur’an recitation in their room, car, etc. The taxi driver who drove for me from Makkah to Jeddah airport told me that in almost all masjid in Makkah there are tahfidz qur’an (qur’an memorization) programs for children. I do really think that this intense interaction with Qur’an is what we should take example from them.
Third, it makes me appreciate Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h. more. Simply just to see the scenery from Makkah to Madinah which span for about 500 km, we will appreciate more the sacrifices of Prophet Muhammad and his companion when hijrah or move from Makkah to Madinah. Between the two cities is just desert; and it is very-very hot. I can’t imagine how many days that they have to travel by foot and donkey between the two cities. Besides, the character of people of Saudi ‘Arabia is not nice, they are quite rude. I can imagine how hard it is for Prophet Muhammad to deal with those kind of people.
Fourth, Allah is everything-He will helps and protects us always. This is really the thing that felt during my 2 weeks journey in Makkah and Madinah. Going to Saudi Arabia is not as easy going to New York, London, Singapore and other developed western places. In those western places, things are very easy and clear: the public transportation, hostel, food, etc. But in Saudi Arabia, it really needs a nerve to go there, moreover alone. Alhamdulillah, Allah has made it easy for me. Alhamdulillah.
Those are among several lessons that I got from journey. May Allah always strengthen us to live this life and make it easy for us to visit his first ‘home’ on earth. Amin.
Note: Later I will post some tips on going ‘umrah alone (without travel agent), insyaallah.