Wednesday, June 10, 2009


It's funny that while we were having a light dinner at Heathrow, and I was looking around while chewing on the warm toasted cheesy panini Mr S bought for me with my left hand around the tall cup of hot latte I had ordered, the people I noticed , from the many, many people walking about, eating and drinking, all waiting for their flight there were the people who were also going on the same flight with me. One in particular was the teenage girl who was sitting on the tables and chairs reserved for the opposite cafe, eating a foot long sandwich. Her hair was ample, long, dark and curly, her face fair and beautiful and she had an air of well..."I AM RICH" about her. She was sitting opposite a similarly haired figure in front of her whom later I realised was her brother. She was tall and thin and was wearing a skimpy Burberry miniskirt and she was socialising with the other teenagers on the plane right next to Mr S's seat across the aisle. There were quite a few of them all looking bored and clad in designer clothes and bags. At first I thought they were children of British expats going to visit their parents in Saudi Arabia for the half term holidays. But then, I heard them talking together in English - with a foreign accent...

Oh..they were actually sons and daughters of rich Arabs who send their children to boarding schools in England..

Well, at least at the airport in Jeddah they would know how to speak Arabic and won't feel a bit I did the moment we stepped onto the hot and arid desert land...

It's not easy when you wanna go to a non English speaking country all by yourself. You feel a bit lost at times - especially at the airports where the workers there just shut you out when foreign words come out of your mouth and when other local travellers take advantage of you just because you look different.

I did feel a bit lost at the airport in Jeddah because of the differences in language, culture and system although I have to say, the workers there do understand a bit of English and we managed to check in our luggage for the domestic flight without any problem. But still, when you're travelling with kids, you feel a little bit more anxious than normal although Allah knows the kids themselves don't feel anything at all - only excitement.

We, as the parents are the ones who worry.

That is the reason why I had in the beginning wanted to treat our trip to Mekah and Madinah as a 'holiday' for the children.

It was because of my worries.

I worried that they wouldn't feel comfortable in the heat, they wouldn't like the crowd in Masjidil Haram, that they would be too tired to go to the mosque all the time and I worried that they wouldn't be able to benefit from the trip.

But most of all, I worried that because we had to look after them, Mr S and myself wouldn't be able to benefit as well.

And that would be the ultimate disappointment.

But even more than anything, I wanted so very much for Mr S to benefit from the trip.

So that left me. I decided I will have to be the one who will have to let go and sacrifice my time and extra ibadat there - for the children.

Crazy, I know. But that's just my demented way of thinking.

In order to quit myself from worrying, I made myself think this; "No...this will be just a holiday for the children..and I will not expect too much of them and I myself will not expect to get a lot from this trip."

There! Easy! So, it will be a sort of holiday for the children and I, no more.

But that was when my mother told me in a telephone conversation, "Jangan....perbetulkan niat kau tu...pergi ni nak beribadat bukan holiday. Niat mesti betulkan."

And then Allah gave me some 'time' to think. It wasn't easy...but somehow, I just learnt to let go of my worries.

I corrected my niat: no matter what happens, I want this trip to benefit all of us. We will all prepare for it and doa for the best.

And then I left it to Allah.


ibu,mommy,mom... said...

Assalamualaikum...I am a regular reader of your blog silently but I have been following it for quite some time now.

Actually kan,when my dad announced that he is taking all of his kids,in laws and grandchildren,the first thought that came to mind was this,"Mak,macamana nak kesana bawak anak kecik belum cukup umur ni mak?" Mom answered with "InsyaAllah,everything will be fine"
So I told myself,dari sini i memang nawaitu nak beribadat ke sana and nak memperkenalkan pada anak Tanah Haram and I put zero expectation in my heart...

Amazingly GOD is great...Anak I suka pergi masjid,pergi berziarah,makan and minum all alhmadulillah kat sana...

And when we came back,dia lebih rajin bertanya about our religion...
Thank God for that..

E h eh so sorry i write composition pulak...Anyway ,seronok nak dengar ur experience pulak...

Come visit my blog..

Nurie said...

Alhamdullilah on your family trip to Makkah and Madinah! Im sure it was a meaningful experience for each one of you....

As we are living in Riyadh, we have been to Makkah and madinah more than a few times (alhamdulilah). I had the same worries on our very 1st trip for umrah..worried abt my kids safety, abt this and about that. But Allah is almighty, u do have to have strong faith and tawakal to Allah as the children will be fine. They actually enjoyed their time in al haram and managed to complete tawaf including my 5 years old boy. Off course ice cream is always the upah after tawaf :-)

Msians here, brought new borns, babies, todlers and kids of all ages for umrah and even hajj. So far the kids seemed to be more energetic than their parents!

Cant't wait to read about your experience. Keep us posted!

ibu,mommy,mom... said...

Ohyaa lupa pulak nak cerita,my lil one managed to finish her tawaf and saeii at nearly 3am .

D said...

thanks for sharing dear... it's true. as parents we worry (to no end) ALL the time. But as your mom puts it, when we go to Tanah Suci, our intentions must be clear. I'd love to bring the kids but in my selfish thinking, I'd probably prefer to be without them so that I can concentrate.

more! more!! :)

Nurie said...

It is true about wanting to focus...when we went for hajj last 2 years, we decided to leave the kids with our neigbour in Riyadh eventho all our frens brought their kids. Reason being, we want to focus on our hajj and not worry abt them 24/7. Maklum la, we all pun still terkial kial on ibadah haji... and I do feel we did the rite thing.

littletati said...

Ada 1 ustaz tu cakap dalam radio, bila kita pergi umrah or haji bawak org tua atau anak2,kita jgn susah hati fikir susah atau senang nak jaga diorg n boleh ke beribadat dgn sempurna.Berserah bulat2 pada Allah.

knitfreak-to-be said...

humbling experience, i might have been there when you were there, mine was from June 15th, alhamdullillah it went well, although there were few test here and there..