South African pilgrims on umrah in the holy cities are on a spiritual high as they anxiously await the climax of Ramadan, the 27th night. Makkah is buzzing with pilgrims from around the world who have jetted in for the last ten days of the sacred month, considered the most important days.
Muslims believe that on the Night of Power, the blessings and mercy of Allah are abundant, sins are forgiven, supplications are accepted, and that the annual decree is revealed to the angels who also descend to earth.
Speaking to VOC News from Makkah, Travel Unlimited’s Meraaj Jacobs said Capetonian pilgrims were content and at peace, but now preparing for this important night.
“Many people went to the miqat, they are in ihram and they came back and are now resting until Asr. After that they will wait for the maghrib athaan, break their fast, and tawaaf. They will be busy from Esha till Tarwaah, to Salatul Layl then to Tahaajud salah and then to Fajr. It will be a complete night of ibadah,” Jacobs explained.
Jacobs says first time mu’tamireen were overcome with emotion at witnessing the Ka’bah for the first time and the sheer mass of the crowd.
“Many first time mutamireen didn’t expect this amount of people. We came in for the first time on the 20th night of Ramadan, so obviously you can imagine the crowd. They couldn’t comprehend it,” he related.
Waheeb Slarmie from Wynberg, who is on umrah with his wife and parents, plans to go to the Haram early to get a good view of the Kaaba.
“We are looking forward to the dua at the end of Taraweeh where each one of us will supplicate to seeking Allah’s forgiveness. It’s also important that we make dua for the betterment of everyone, especially those oppressed globally,” he added.
Slarmie described the atmosphere at iftaar time in Madina as “amazing”, saying it reflected the true unity and brotherhood of Islam.
“Various families and charity groups served the pilgrims at boeka time. We had various dishes from Laban (and Arabic yogurt), bread, dates to the most famous Albaik, which of course was eaten much quicker than the rest,” he related.
“What a great experience, alhamdullilah. Just before boeka time, you see the pilgrims holding hands to the sky, and making supplication to Allah.”
Speaking while within the confines of the city of Makkah and having only hours ago entered ihram, the president of the Crescent Observers Society, Hajji Omar Gabier said he felt at peace.
“When you are in ihram and make your niyyah, you feel closer to Allah SWT and you feel that barakah. We hope the salawat on the Nabi (pbuh) brings us closer to Allah SWT inshaAllah,” he said. VOC