I cannot believe how easy it is to forget things, maybe it’s only me, so I shouldn’t be generalising the story. It’s just I have been itching to tell you my short trip to Macca today, and how during the rituals I was trying to remember if I had done this before, and how did I feel at the time? Did my feet hurt? Was I tired? Did I become thirsty and had to stop to drink water? Or are these symptoms correlate with age?
The thing about our Islamic rituals is, we have to complete them very quickly, so as soon as the plane lands, and you do the intention, you have to literally run to do the anticlockwise circles around the house, then quickly do your prayers, and find the two mountains and so your runs, watching of course your steps and reading carefully the prayers so as not to forget the number of runs one had completed, otherwise you may have to run the 7 kilometres again!! So it’s either that god makes us forget so we go again (like pregnancy sort of, if we remember the agony of childbearing and birth we will only be a one child family, and if we vividly recapture the paid to our youngsters, then girls will never get married and thus humanity would be extinct, maybe that is way dinosaurs are extinct? Because they remembers the paid and aches of childbirth?
Seriously, the total amnesia that follows the performance of the pilgrim is something I must investigate, I mean am I the only one who is forgetful of the proceedings! Or everybody is? I think though that religious performances should not be forgotten as otherwise the whole religion ould be forgotten. However these are written in lots of books so the process will be there I guess, but what I am talking about is the feelings and the thoughts that happens when you are performing an Islamic duty.
So let me write it down. First I was thinking how the hell did I just think of coming for Omra and did it in the span of two days, nothing planned and nothing was organised? Then I thought what a coincidence to meet a person that I know who does hotel and car bookings fromJeddah to Macca, which means that it was meant to be. Then I thought gosh why are they pushing and shoving? Can we not be in queues depending on which position we are in? The my bottleneck theory started to draw circles marked one to seven, so people who just started will merge like a zipper in the number one circle, and then like a spiral we will go to number two and so on. The reason I had this thought is at because the person next to me read a prayer and I could hear it to be different than mine, I started to check the book I was reading from, and almost lost where I was, someone puts doubts in your mind so you don’t do the work well.
Then for a while I could taste the salty sweat, and my eyes were burning as the sweat was seeping through them, I think I lost all the water in my body, I could feel it going down from my head to my back and I could feel my feet becoming slippery. I thought what a fine day to be that hot! Again I thought shutup and keep reading. It was my seventh round completed, now I have to leave the imaginary circle, so I passed through all the other circles to do the prayers, which was fine, I didn’t have any thoughts or feelings at that time except thinking that I am wet all over.
When I went to the mountains, I remembered that in 1993, a hair went through my foot’s skin, it took me days to be able to remove it as during haj you cannot purposely injure yourself, so I watched my steps as I didnt want a similar experience. I actually enjoy walking in between these two mountains, I can imagine the wife of Prophet Ibraham running and hearing the echo of her voice on the other side when she was trying to get water for her son Ismail. And then I remembered when I told my daughter that the whole of haj is to celebrate the bravery of this woman? Imagine? It’s a fascinating story of course. You will have to read it one day.
The heat and thirst was a killer today, I went to the hotel straight away and took a long cold shower, and went to sleep. Too short really, as I wish I could have stayed longer. Life had kept me away from a Macca for 12 years, that, I thought will never happen again. I am coming back, even though there were. Any annoying situations. Like allowing my iPad in the morning and refusing to let me take it with me in the afternoon, or the women Pryor places gets filled faster then men’s, and the water places are not done properly so women and men can easily slip and fall (this old and large woman had a humpty dumbty fall, and we couldn’t pull her up again), then seeing lots of money on the floor and no one was touching it, was also annoying, why would people loose their money? When some had none at all, but due to being in Macca they cannot take that money?
Anyway, I blabbered a lot today. Sorry. I think it’s the exciting stuff that made me think this way.