We just got back yesterday after a very busy winter break.. busier than usual as we went on two short trips.. First was a spiritual one (To the Holy Cities of Makkah & Madina) and the next one was an emotional one (back home to Karachi)… this post is about a humbling experience with my kids..
I have been to the holy cities before as well.. but this was a very different experience.. It was the first time we went together with all 3 of our kids.. and I would not lie and say it wasn’t difficult (It was and more than being physically tiring.. it was a test of patience with kids!!) BUT it was totally WORTH it..Though Amna was the only one who could understand the importance and history of these places.. but I feel even Hamza and Hassan got some sense of the importance of these places.. (they do what they see.. its always good to start them early ).
We flew directly to Madina first, and joined my sister and her family there (which was a BIG help – with my two lil monkeys and NO nanny with us this time!). The experience, the feeling is surreal.. of actually being there in the city of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). I cannot express in words the peace that you feel there…
We stayed in Madina for 2 nights and then started our journey for Makkah while my sister and her family left for Karachi (They had been to Makkah before coming to Madina..). So basically now it was only the 5 of us.. 2 adults and 3 kids.. (Not a good ratio.. but Alhamdolilah we managed well .. He made it easy for us..).
It was a 5 hour drive to Makkah and the kids mostly slept through the drive.. We checked in to the hotel, gave dinner to the kids and started our Umrah around midnight, which we completed around 4 am.. We borrowed two wheel chairs-Amna and Hassan in one and Hamza in one…(a strategic division)
The sight of the Holy Kaaba is always very overwhelming -no matter how many times you have been there! The only word that I can think of is Majestic! Its aura makes you feel so humbled, so grounded… everyone.. rich or poor.. young or old….white or black.. everyone is together.. everyone is equal.. with one feeling in their hearts.. seeking God’s consentience. Standing there makes you feel that you are just a small speck in this universe.. infront of God – The Supreme Power!
Its the city which truly never sleeps…. there is no time when someone is not praying or doing Tawaf. Amna went with me every time I went to pray… She wanted to pray at the Kaaba.. and that for me was a proud moment as a parent… Other than the learning, the kids enjoyed the over all experience too.. Saee ( the walk between the Al-Safa and Al-Marwa) had become a fun race for them.. whenever they would see the green light (where you are supposed to walk faster), they would go.. run Mama. run Daddy.. faster faster! 🙂
The next day while praying in the Haram, I noticed them playing between two pillars where they had to run between the pillars (which they pretended was Al-Safa and Al-Marwa), 7 times and see who is the winner! I found that really heart warming.. they grasped something even though they are too young to understand it..
I am so glad we went with the kids, it grounded us as a family… We came back as a very ordinary & humbled family.. Thankful to God for all his blessings .. for our three bundles of joy… for basically EVERYTHING!!