Very recently I traveled to Saudi Arabia for umrah and for ten whole days and nights; I was able to savor the sheer brilliance of Makkah as well as the magnificence that the golden city of Madinah has to offer.
The weather was very hot but bearable. The umrah excursions, circumambulating the Ka’aba and marching between Safa and Marwa, provided everybody with not only a spiritual boost but a thorough and much needed spiritual boost.
I and my family also toured the three mountain peaks in Makkah – Jabal Noor, Thawr and Rahmah. Jabal Noor was the sanctum of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the place of his devotions and meditations and the sacred spot where the Holy Qur’an began to be revealed.
The cave is situated on mount Al-Noor on the way to Mina near Makkah and its peak is visible from a great distance. Muhammad (peace be upon him) visited it frequently, when during a night in the month of Ramadan the first 5 verses of the Surah Al-`Alaq were revealed to him.
Jabal Thawr is the cave that provided sanctuary for the Prophet (peace be upon him), and his companion Abu Bakr (RA). Jabal Rahmah is the Mount of mercy - This is the place where Adam and Eve met after leaving heaven- as many like to believe.
The Makkah clock tower was a striking sight but most definitely Jabal Rahmah a distracting and overbearing influence which totally dominated the skyline.
The crowds were sparse and at most times we were able to roam; an amazing experience which I pray we can repeat next year. Our stay in Golden Madinah was short and we hope to stay a few days extra next time round.
Related Links:Saudis Eye ‘Smart’ Makkah
Modern Makkah: That’s What I Hate
Bosnian Walks to Makkah for Hajj