Story of A Visit That Almost Never Happened
In At 6 pm, I arrived at the Prophet Mohammed Mosque, Madinah (Masjid Al Nabawi), anticipating the crowds of pilgrims standing in line to see the grave of the blessed Prophet Mohammed (Al Rawdah).
Waiting To Enter The Grave (Al Rawdah)
The grave is inside the Prophet’s mosque, and its entrance via a side door that is supposed to open at 9 pm. Luckily, I was one of the early ones.
Two hours later, however, the line of people had increased, and by 8:30 pm, it was massive.
Looking back at the sea of faces, I felt confident to get in without problems. However, the crowd was beginning to push and heave. I feel worried and scared.
If they open the side doors to the grave area, I am afraid all these people will suddenly rush forward, stampede, and get crushed underfoot.
So many have died that way in pilgrimage (Al-Hajj).
The time is 10:30 pm and four hours later, and I am still waiting at the head of the heaving mass. People are tired and getting quite frustrated.
Getting Crushed In Line
Suddenly, a young girl behind me cries out. She is feeling squashed and panicking. She looks pale and having problems breathing.
I try to help her, but she does not speak English, and the people around us are not giving her enough space.
Right then, we hear chatter and a loud commotion. People are saying that we have been waiting at the wrong gate.
The crowd starts rushing towards the new entrance, and the relieved young girl begins to breathe again and feels better.
The Stampede To Enter
Suddenly, she and her tall friend grab my hands and start running. I rush along with them. The short one easily wheedles her way through the gaps in the crowd pulling us along with her.
We zigzag around pillars, leap over rolls of carpets, and snake our way in and out of the waiting crowd.
Eights gates later, we can see the lights illuminating the grave site (Al Rawdah) about 50 meters in the distance.
The crowd is still pushing and straining.
At this point, my other new friend collapses from exhaustion. She falls to her knees and speaks in another language.
Her breathing is laboured, and it looks like she cannot continue.
I glance at her smaller friend, nod and instinctively decide to pick up the exhausted girl and carry her the rest of the way.
Before reaching the grave area (Al Rawdah), I drag my new friends into a quiet corner and have them sit down on the cool tiled floor.
My New Friend Recovers
Luckily, I see a kind old lady holding a bottle of water. I point at the barely conscious girl and request she gives it to me. The poor girl drinks the water and feels better right away.
At that moment, the mosque police open the barricade, and the crowd surges onwards. We stand up and move toward the grave of Prophet Mohammed (SAW).
Sadly, when we reach it, we see nothing but green cloth and iron bars. However, we wave and greet the beloved Prophet Mohammed (SAW) as the security guards urge us to keep moving toward the exit.
At the exit door, I hug my new friends, thank each other, and say our goodbyes in our respective languages. Even though we do not understand each other, our actions speak louder than words.
The Happy Conclusion
That day, I felt a special connection with those two girls. We shared a unique experience.
Had they not insisted on taking me, I would have lost my chance to see the grave (Al Rawdah) in the stampede and to pray there.
I made sure to pray and make (Duaa) for them too. I asked Allah (SWT) to make it possible for us to get together again in the future. Perhaps, and by the mercy of Allah on the Day of Judgment, we will. Who knows?
In life, we meet others only briefly, but their influence can be profound.
My visit to Prophet Mohammed’s grave (Al Rawdah) was fun and exciting. On that day, I met two beautiful souls. I will never forget them as long as I live.
Who Is The Author?
Maryam Hussain is an accomplished web based writer, cook, and storyteller. She lives in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, with her husband and two young daughters.
Sometimes, when she feels like doing neither, Maryam indulges in reading novels and experimenting with new recipes.
Contact the author: email@example.com