FAREWELL TO MADINAH
May 16, 1994 (Monday):
I walked to Masjid Nabvi for Fajr with Maulana, but returned by taxi with Sharif and the Syrian brother. It was my last time to see the Masjid. We bade farewell to Madinah and left for Makkah around 7:30 a.m.
It is 5th of Zul-Hijjah and Hajj time was near.
When we reached the checkpoint on the outskirts of Madinah, we were told to go back and put on Ihram, since no one was allowed to proceed to Makkah without Ihram.
It was useless to argue with them about different types of Hajj, so we went back to Madinah and had to purchase about twenty Ihrams, since most of us had left our Ihrams in Makkah. We then bade farewell to Madinah again and departed for Makkah. We had three buses and a small van. I happened to get a seat in the van.
The van was very uncomfortable with a useless A/C [air conditioner]. We ate lunch at a roadside restaurant in our Ihrams. During lunch a sudden thunderstorm came with hail.
At a checkpoint, some people were walking to Makkah. I heard someone say that the bus they were riding [on] was not an officially approved bus and they had to get off that bus and get a ride.
The journey was long with so much traffic. It took us about twelve hours to reach Makkah. It was about 8:00 p.m.
Normally it takes about five hours driving between the two cities. We ate dinner around 10:00 p.m.
Some people went for Umra that night.