The first glance of the Kaaba
My wife and I decided to get a taxi to Makkah (with Zeshan and Hena) so our journey would be a little quicker and (hopefully) easier. Our driver was a rather hurried and casual young man from "Balosh" (donning T-shirt, jeans and a baseball cap) who had a knack for avoiding the traffic cops whilst making haste on the highway. We stopped at the miqat about 30 minutes away from Medina where we had the blessed good fortune of meeting Shaykh Hamza and his family briefly.
Then the journey continued, much of which was spent discussing the arrival of the Dajjal and the Mehdi. As we approached Maghrib, the weather took a turn for the worse - dark clouds building up and frantic surges of lightening could be seen illuminating the horizon. I was still in a daze contemplating the prophecies of the Imam Mehdi. This weather only enhanced my imagination.
As we entered Makkah, we were amazed at the rugged landscape and harsh mountains surrounding ourselves - during our descent through the numerous tunnels, Zeshan mentioned a hadith of the Messenger of Allah (صلي الله عليه و سلم) which described Makkah's belly being opened up!
The contrast of the trees and sakina of Medina to the harsh mountains and humidity of Makkah was stark. It really did feel that we were approaching the House of Allah to beg his forgiveness.
After we reached our hotel and sorted out the rooms, we set off quickly to begin performing the rites of Umra at the Haram, continually chanting Labayk Allahuma Labbayk. On entering the gate of Baba Salaam, we steadily approached the entrance pillars to the Kaaba. As soon as our eyes caught sight of it, we began making repentance and the tears began to flow - as if they themselves were called by Allah's command - and I felt an aching sensation in the depths of my heart as it were begging to be cleansed.
- Atif Ghaffar
On our way to Makkah. Apprx 5pm