Monday, November 23, 2009
The Haj Story - A Small Sacrifice That Blew Big Argument
It's already the 6th Dzulhijjah today. 3 more days before wukuf at Arafah - Where around 3 million Muslims performing the 5th pillar of Islam congregates at and around Jabal Rahmah - The place where Adam met his long lost wife, Eve.
From 10th Dzulhijjah till the next couple of days, making sacrifices of sheep, camels, cows and buffaloes in and around the Muslim world follow suit.
Sacrifice is easy to mention but hard to perform. I remembered well when 5 years ago, in 2005, I was sitting outside Masjid Nabawi in chilly cold weathered Medina as the mosque was packed as early as 4.30am - waiting for Subuh, the early morning prayer.
The coldness took a toll on weathered legs of mostly very old Turkish women. I took pity on the Turkish woman sat next to my left.
Using the ginger-grass oil I brought from home, I massaged the old woman's legs. She thanked me for relieving the numbness in her legs.
Another woman came, then another, then another... each pushing and shoving their way. They started to shout at each other - A quarrel soon followed...
I have to get out of the once good-intention I had in mind. I have to get out of the situation. I just shoved the bottle of lemongrass oil to a hand that I did not recognise the face.
Yes, now they argue who should have the bottle!
Never once did I ever see a very heated argument among old ladies over a massage and... Over a bottle of ointment!!!
But, that very night, I dream 3 white-robed men, 1 of them with a long, light-red beard, eager, wanting to get-to-know the person who had massaged the legs of the women pilgrims outside the mosque, the place where the body of Prophet Muhammad ( peace be upon him ) laid.