Azlan Othman in Makkah, Saudi Arabia
Intending Haj pilgrims from Brunei Darussalam have reached Makkah to perform Haj rituals after spending eight days in Madinah.
A first-time pilgrim shared that witnessing the Kaabah was an unforgettable experience.
“The rewards of praying at An-Nabawi Mosque in Madinah is better than 1,000 prayers in any mosque, while praying at Al-Haram Mosque in Makkah is 100,000 times better,” he said.
Prior to departing for Makkah, intending pilgrims visited the tomb of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and Raudhah (garden of Paradise) in Madinah. Before reaching Makkah, the pilgrims stopped at Bir Ali Mosque, a 20-minute drive from An-Nabawi Mosque, to read their niat (intention) for performing Umrah.
Adorned in ihram (white cloth attire), the intending pilgrims took the seven-hour trip to the holy city where they performed Umrah, including tawaf (circling the Kaabah seven times), sa’ie (the journey from the hills of Safa and Marwah seven times) and tahalul (shaving hair for men and cutting a portion of hair for women).
Authorities in Saudi Arabia welcomed the intending pilgrims by presenting souvenirs at the international airport and at a highway heading towards Makkah.
A pilgrim Hajah Zan said they were greeted upon arrival at a hotel in Makkah by officers from the Haj Management Department of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Darussalam Holdings Sdn Bhd before proceeding to perform tawaf, followed by Sunnat Tawaf prayer, drinking Zam-Zam water, performing Maghrib prayer, sa’ie, Isyak prayer and tahalul.
“Before our departure, officials from the Ministry of Health briefed us on all health aspects in Madinah,” she said.
Intending Haj pilgrims from the Sultanate will continue their Haj rituals with wuquf in Arafah where they look forward to standing on the ‘Mountain of Mercy’ while performing the rites of pilgrimage, symbolising the consistency of following the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), who stood on the mountain and delivered the ‘Farewell Pilgrimage’ speech. While in Arafah, the pilgrims will also pray to Allah the Almighty to ask for mercy and forgiveness.
After Arafah, the pilgrims will gather pebbles at Muzdalifah to be hurled at the Jamarat, before returning back to Makkah for tawaf, sa’ie and tahalul. The stoning of Jamarat will be held in Mina.
Saudi Arabia welcomed about one million intending Haj pilgrims around the world this year after two years of deferment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Haj pilgrims are scheduled to return home on two separate Royal Brunei Airlines flights on July 15 and 16.