Sometimes I get so “blah” that I go through my pics from Umrah. So I came across these two pics from Jumu’ah in Makkah. It was my last full day there.
Well, my friend, Faraz, and I went down to the Masjid to pray Tahajjud. We prayed, waited for Fajr, prayed, did Tawāf until sunrise, prayed, and then went to breakfast. Alhamdulillah.
We had already decided that we were going to try to get as close as possible to the Ka’bah to pray Salāt al-Jumu’ah. So, after breakfast, we went and sat inside the Haram for about 5 hours waiting for Jumu’ah. We couldn’t sit down and hold our spot around the Ka’bah because there were so many people doing Tawāf, māshā’Allah. At about 10AM, we started to see people sitting down close to the Ka’bah, though, so we went and sat there. Faraz REALLY wanted to sit in the first row, so I let him get the one spot that was open in what we thought was the first row. I sat behind him in the second row.
About half hour before Salāt il-Jumu’ah, the Masjid’s Haram Police—NOT Haraam Police lol—and Haram custodians started to roll the Minbar (where the Khatīb gives the Khutbah) close to the Ka’bah. They also moved everyone who was in the “first” row and told them to go back. Turns out that I was actually in the first row and Faraz was moved back a few rows. :/
Well, chaos ensued as the Minbar got closer and closer to the Ka’bah. There were people making Tawāf still and there were rows and rows of people sitting down waiting for Jumu’ah. The minbar was splitting through people and pushing them out of the way. Gaps started forming in the rows. The people that were making Tawāf started pushing and trying to step into the gaps and steal the spots of people that had been sitting there—like Faraz and myself—in the 99 degree heat and burning sun for hours.
Astaghfirullah, they were so rude and physical there. Like…have some patience guys. We’re gonna pray and we’re pretty close to the Ka’bah anyway. People are thousands of miles away facing the Ka’bah and it’s right in front of our eyes…
Anyway, I was in the first row and the Minbar was literally in front of me like in the first picture. Those are people doing Tawāf and trying to steal a spot. I took that pic standing. The guys in my row started to interlock our arms and hold tight so that people wouldn’t sneak in. People were pushing from all sides and at one point I was being pulled from both sides. Wallah il-‘Adhīm, I thought my arm was gonna snap off. So, I let go and as soon as I let go, I lost my spot. :( 5 hours in the Haram and I lost my spot in the first row.
The second pic is where I ended up after I was done being pushed around and stumbling to find a spot. Faraz got trampled and he said he felt like he was going to die. He said people fell on top of him and some guy had to drag him out from under other people. It was hectic. I didn’t see him until a bit after the prayer outside of the masjid.
Alhamdulillah, though. Sheikh Saud Al-Shuraim gave the Khutbah and led us in prayer. I recorded the whole Khutbah and prayer so that I could go home and translate it, but I still haven’t. :/
It was definitely worth the whole wait and commotion.