Today’s rain at Arafat reminded me of my Hajj journey back in 2005 (when I was a 17 years old girl). It gave back me lots of beautiful memories and some of them were adventurous too. I shall write a detailed blog on my complete Hajj journey soon in sha Allah.
Today I’m writing about the rain which started at Tawaf e Wida. It was extremely hot and suffocating during tawaf since it was packed (overcrowded). All of a sudden it started raining and the floor became quite slippery for a while. But the heat reduced and we started enjoying.
We completed our tawaf and we were waiting for the rain to stop as we were planning to leave Makkah. It was time for Asar and the continuous rain resulted in the flood-like scenario in Makkah and Jeddah. When we did sujood on the floor, our head would dip in the water.
Leaving for Jeddah:
We left Mina in the first batch. Many Hajis were still in Mina and the camps were flooded with rainwater causing huge damage for hajis. They were left homeless and faced real troubles. Many buses were swept away by floodwater resulting in major accidents. Cars were drowned.
The rain didn’t stop and we had to leave for Jeddah anyway. We took a bus and requested the driver to drop us near the car park area before entering Jeddah. He agreed. At halfway through, the driver got a call that another bus had an accident and he needs to pick passengers on his bus. He picked up another few dozens of passengers on his bus.
He dropped us on a dark desert:
The bus was already packed. Welcoming more passengers from the other bus, standing in between seats blocking any of our communication with the driver. It was noisy and suffocating. My uncle (Mamu) started shouting when it was time to drop us. His voice could not reach the driver.
After shouting for half an hour, somehow someone told the driver that a family needs to get dropped near the car park. He didn’t even think and dropped us in the desert, 30 kilometers away from the car park. Now we were three ladies (my mother (late), my elder sister and me) with my uncle.
An old Saudi man:
My Uncle had no idea what to do now. Since it was his first experience of being left helpless on a desert on a dark night with young women and no transport moving on roads because of the flood. After waiting for long, a car came and my uncle asked for help. He was an old Saudi man. He agreed to drop us to the car park.
At that time, I really felt like Allah has sent an angel to help us. Our clothes were wet. We were shivering with cold. That Saudi man switched on heaters and accommodated us in his car. But unfortunately, Allah had planned something different for us. We reached an area where his car would drown and he couldn’t drop us and we had to leave his car. He tried his best and was kind to us in that situation. Many prayers for him.
That suspicious Bengali driver:
Luckily, an empty bus was coming our way and because his bus would not drown in that floodwater, he agreed to drop us to the car park. We sat in his bus and the journey began. He was a Bengali guy. He drove for around 20-40 minutes and took us to some strange place.
It was completely dark and there were huge mountains. My uncle noticed that he was not taking the right route and questioned the driver. The driver looked suspicious and my uncle had to argue with him for quite some time to stop the bus. Allah saved us from only Allah knows what. Now we were standing between huge mountains and no light except the moonlight.
Finally, a police car showed up:
We had no food, wet clothes, no rest. we were begging Allah to guide us and send us help. We saw a police car coming from far. When a police car came, we asked him for help. He told us that he was going for an accident ahead and he is reporting at head office.
He gave us hope that another police officer is going to help us. After waiting for half an hour, another police car came to the rescue. He dropped us to car parking. He made sure that we are able to find our car from the flooded area.
Ultimately, we started our journey to Jeddah:
Unfortunately, the flood had drowned all the cars including ours. But we had to sit in the wet car since we had no energy. Our bodies were aching and we were hungry. It took a long time to start the car engine. We purchased some snacks from a nearby shop and left for Jeddah. we started our journey to Jeddah before maghrib and reached Jeddah the next morning. This Hajj was quite adventuresome. Yet taught us lots of patience, being thankful and tawakkul on Allah. May Allah accept our struggles and hardships. May Allah accept our hajj.
I request everyone who reads this to pray for my late mother. May Allah grant her highest ranks in Jannat-ul-Firdous.