UNEXPECTED EVENTS; MADINAH AWAITS!
May 10, 1994 (Tuesday):
I got up at the Adhan for Fajr and rushed to the Masjid thinking of it as a call for Iqamah. I enjoyed the local Masjid and the recitation of the Imam. I think Fajr was around 4:40 a.m.
While returning after Fajr, I saw a bus leaving for the Haram. Khalid was standing at the gate and asked me if I wanted to go with them. I told him that I didn't have any papers with me. He said not to worry, after all we were just going to the Haram. [We would] do an optional Tawaf, pray and return.
Imran, an electronics engineer and a manager, was in the same situation but wanted to go. We boarded the buses and reached the Haram [quickly].
After reaching [the] Haram, I realized that it may be difficult to perform a Tawaf due to the fact that there was a large crowd and my back and left leg were hurting. So I decided instead to do [Nafil] prayers, recite the Quran and just look at the Kaba and the Masjid. We were to return to the bus site around 8:00 a.m.
I went downstairs where the Zamzam fountains were located and drank to my fill. I also did Wudu using the blessed water and sprinkled it on my body and clothes in as much as I felt reasonable.
Around 8:00 a.m., I returned to the bus site. Since there were three buses involved, some had already gone and ours was the last bus. We tried to do a head count and found out that Imran was not there.
Someone remarked that he must have or he had gone with an earlier bus, therefore, we felt comfortable leaving after waiting for him for a while. Reaching home we found out that he was missing. Just like me, he was not carrying his papers and even his slippers were with Khalid. We spent the rest of the day searching for him.
After a long search to find Imran, we finally decided to leave for Madinah [at] around 5:00 p.m. It was decided that our local group headed by Ismael would continue the search while the intending Hajis [would] go ahead according to the plan.
On our way to Madinah, a short while after we had left Makkah, the time of Maghrib came. We found a roadside Masjid in rather shabby condition, with no lights and water.
A few yards from the Masjid was an equally dilapidated place which the attendant described as a hotel. We did Wudu there using a bucket of water and turned car headlights on towards the interior of the Masjid and prayed.
Later on we stopped for the Isha prayer and dinner at a roadside complex. We ate lamb burgers.
We reached Madinah around 1:00 in the morning. We had to stop at a couple of spots for security checks.
The group consisted of mostly Indian [and] Pakistani nationals. Someone in the group started reciting some Urdu [and] Punjabi poetry, called Naat.
I had a brief discussion with the person sitting next to me about the contents of the phrases being recited and expressed concerns [about] certain phrases which were, in my view, tantamount to Shirk.
The Naat is supposed to glorify and praise Prophet Mohamed (peace and blessings be upon him) and in some cases it may cross the boundaries and reach Shirk.
I was thinking of Imam Muhammad Idrees Ash-Shafi who undertook his first trip from Makkah to Madinah at around the age of twelve. According to his own narration, he recited the entire Holy Quran about seven or eight times during his trip on a camel ride.
More importantly, I reflected on Prophet Mohamed (peace and blessings be upon him) and Abu Bakr Siddique's journey to Madinah to flee from the persecution of the Makkans. Madinah is over 400 km away from Makkah. It must have been a long trip.
I wondered about the paths traversed by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and the Sahaba and their proximity with the current highway to Madinah.