Saturday, January 31, 2009

My Experience during Hajj Pilgrimage 2008 (10)

Bir Ali Mosque

After spending 8 days in Madinah, we went to Bir Ali mosque and then we continued our journey to Makkah. It’s time to perform Umrah. From Madinah we went by bus to Bir Ali mosque.

Bir Ali is the place for Miqat (starting to perform Umrah). We were amazed by the beauty architecture of the mosque.

Friday, January 30, 2009

My Experience during Hajj Pilgrimage 2008 (9)

Indonesian Food in Madinah

Every time I visit a place, no matter where, the first thing I want to try is its special food. In Madinah I‘d tried eating Briyani Rice, and Kebab for the first three days. But still, I missed Indonesian food.

Walking along the street near Masjid Nabawi, I was excited when I found a man, an Indonesian man, were standing in front of a building offering people to come to Indonesian Restaurant.

I and my husband came to the restaurant. We found bakso (meat ball), rendang (spicy meat, traditional food of Padang, West Sumatra), rempeyek kacang, and tempe (Indonesian traditional food made of soybean), and many more. That’s good enough to cure our longing of Indonesian food!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Kitchen Appliances for my New House

On June 2009, I and my family will move to Bogor. We've found a beautiful house there in Bogor and we couldn't wait to make it our own. We will buy the house at the end of this month.

I'm so excited, because decorating a new house is always challenging. I feel that decorating home is my authority. So I can't wait to buy proper furniture and appliances for living room, bed rooms, dining room, kitchen, etc.

The most important part for my activity as a house wife is kitchen. Since I really like cooking, kitchen appliances are something urgent for me. Appliances such as range, refrigerator, oven, juicer, blender, mixer, fryer, food processor, and grill should be there on my kitchen.

Browsing internet, I found it was well-pleasing to find a site that had Kitchen Appliances Buying Guide. It was helpful for me to decide the best appliances to buy.I could find not only a wide range of kitchen appliances but also the related products such as dinnerware, cooking tools, and even cookbooks!

Wow, I can imagine how exciting it will be when I and my friends have a barbeque party on my backyard equipped with a grill as seen on the site.Awesome!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My Experience during Hajj Pilgrimage 2008 (8)

Mantakotul Baido ( Jabal Magnet )

The most interesting place that has an amazing natural phenomenon located outside the Holy City of Madinah is Mantakotul Baido, or Jabal Al Baido or Jabal Magnet. People said that any car or even bus can run fast there although the engine is off because of its magnetism.

We were very curious to see the phenomenon by our own eyes so that our chef de mission, H Yunani took us there.

On the road in Jabal Magnet, the driver stopped the car, turned off the engine, and rested the gear and hand brake. We wait for seconds, and… the car started to move gradually, faster and faster. Wow, it was such amazing experience, being inside the car that ran by magnetic attraction!

Jabal magnet was so beautiful. It was the place were people in Madinah and around went for refreshing and picnic. We enjoyed the beautiful views and hoped that someday we would visit this place again.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My Experience during Hajj Pilgrimage 2008 (7)

A Cozy Park in Madinah

Acctually, I didn’t know the name of this place. I found this place when I was walking for sightseeing around the stores and hotels near Nabawi mosque. It’s a small park, with palm trees, decorated plants, and gazebos for sitting down. The roof of those gazebos were unique, they seemed like white tents. Many people spent time there, eating, chatting and jesting with their family and friends.

After praying subuh, I and my husband went there. We bought Briyani rice, roasted chicken and kebab, and we enjoyed our breakfast there. Nice place!

Monday, January 12, 2009

My Experience during Hajj Pilgrimage 2008 (6)

Madinah Date Market

After visiting the mosques and historical places, we went to the central date market. For date lovers, this was indeed a favorite place to buy many kinds of dates locally grown in Madinah area.

There are 170 varieties of dates. The two well known varieties are the black rounded Ajwah; believed to the Prophet’s favorite and the other, the long brownish ambar.

I could also get fresh dates here and these desert fruits were sold along with their ripened golden stalks.

Fresh Dates

The good thing was, in this market customers were allowed to eat as many samples as their liked. Mmm… yummy !

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My Experience during Hajj Pilgrimage 2008 (5)

Ijabah Mosque

Our chef de mission of Nurindayu hajj leadership, H. Yunani, told us that there was a mosque called Ijabah or Al- Ijabah that was worth visiting. He said when a worshipper prayed there on the mosque, It was a big chance that Allah SWT would grant his prayer.

So, I and my husband took the opportunity to visit the Ijabah mosque. After doing shalat Subuh in Nabawi mosque, we went in hurry to Ijabah mosque on foot. The location of the mosque was not far from Nabawi mosque. It was on the eastern of King Faisal road (route 60). I enjoyed walking down along the road, hand in hand with my husband, reminded me to the time when we fell in love.

Well, let's get back to the mosque. Ijabah or Al-Ijabah mosque is also known as the mosque of Banu Mu’awiyah, due to its location in the district of Banu Mua’awiyah from the Ansar.

As for the reason for its being named Al-Ijabah, It was because the Prophet Muhammad SAW supplicated Allah SWT three times and Allah SWT answered two of his supplications and forbade him the third. It was reported by Muslim that Amir bin Sa’d narrated from his father:

One day, the Prophet Muhammad SAW came from Al Aliyah. He passed by the mosque of Banu Mu’awiyah, went in and offered two rak’ahs there. He made a long supplication to his Lord. He then came to us and said: “ I asked my Lord three things and He has granted me two but has withheld one. I begged my Lord that my Ummah ( follower) should not be destroyed because of famine and He granted me this. And I begged my Lord that my Ummah should not be destroyed by drowning ( by deluge) and He granted me this. And I begged my Lord that there should be no bloodshed among the people of my Ummah, but He did not granted it. “

( Reference : History of Al-Madinah Al Munawarah, By Safiur-Rahman Mubarakpuri, Nasiruddin Al-Khattab. Translated by Nasiruddin Al-Khattab. Published by Darussalam, 2002 )

The mosque consists of a roofed building, whose area in 1,000 sq, height is 13.7 meters and it has a minaret whose height is 33.75 meters, in addition to the adjoining buildings.

My husband and I spent time to pray there. Hopefully Allah will grant our supplications.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My Experience during Hajj Pilgrimage 2008 (4)

Jabal Uhud

The most emotional part of our itinerary was to visit the Uhud battleground with its graveyard located about 5 kilometers north of Madinah. This is the mountain where the battle Uhud happened.

Mount Uhud extends from east to west with a slight slope towards the north. Most of its stones are red granite, and some parts of it are almost dark green and black.

Jabal uhud has an attractive look. The Prophet Muhammad SAW felt relieved on seeing it, and the people of Madinah also loved it very much.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My Experience during Hajj Pilgrimage 2008 (3)

Al-Qiblatain Mosque

After doing prayer in Quba mosque, we continued our tour to Al-Qiblatain Mosque. Masjid Al-Qiblatain or mosque with two Qiblas is situated a few kilometers from Masjid Nabawi. It is one of the oldest mosques in the world and uniquely contains of two mihrabs; one in the direction of Bait Al- Maqdis (Jerusalem) and the other toward Mekkah.

This mosque was originally built by Bani Salamah, who were of the Al-Khazraj tribe on a small hill near Wadi Al-Aqeeq. Over time, the design and structure of the mosque changed greatly.

Qiblatain mosque can accommodate up to 2000 worshippers. The main prayer hall adopts geometry and symmetry which is accentuated by the use of twin minarets and twin domes.

When I took ablution before doing shalat, I found an identity card on the floor of the ablution room. It was belong to someone from Thailand. So, when I saw a woman with dark blue veil, with the word " Thailand" written on her veil, I gave the identity card to her. I tried to explain how I found the card, but she did not understand English. She smiled when I used sign language, and she took the card, nodded at me and then she went away.

Well, It seemed that my English was not very useful, because many people here couldn't speak English. But I knew there was an universal language which could be understand by anyone. It was smile!

Monday, January 5, 2009

My Experience during Hajj Pilgrimage 2008 (2)


On the second day we stayed in Madinah, we joined a tour to the historical and interesting places in Madinah. The first place we visited was Al-Baqi.

Al-Baqi or Jannat Al-Baqi is a cemetery, located across from Masjid Nabawi. This cemetery contains many of Prophet Muhammad SAW’s relatives and companions.

Jannat Al-Baqi means The Garden of Heaven. These graves continue to be visited by numerous pilgrims and burials continue at the cemetery up until this day.

The visiting of graveyard is recommended to remind one of the hereafter.

Quba Mosque

We continued our tour to visit the Quba mosque. Quba mosque is the first mosque built in history of Islam. Its foundation stone was laid by the Prophet Muhammad SAW himself when he reached Madinah.

After the building was finished, on the following Friday, he led his Muslim’s congregation in prayer. This premier mosque continued to hold a special meaning for Prophet Muhammad SAW who made it a practice to visit it every Saturday.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

My Experience during Hajj Pilgrimage 2008 (1)

Doing hajj pilgrimage was one thing I’d been dreaming of since I was single. It is one of Muslim’s duties as described in five pillars of Islam. This is a pilgrimage to Mekkah (Mecca) in Saudi Arabia which should be done at least once during a Muslim’s lifetime.

I was so grateful, finally my dream came true. I, my husband and the other 261 pilgrims from Palembang, leave to King Abdul Azis airport in Jeddah on 7 November 2008 at 15.00 WIB. The trip took 9 hours. We arrived on 12.00 WIB or 8 pm Saudi Arabia time.

Our next destination was Mekkah (Mecca). We went there by bus. Actually, going to Mekkah was not a part of Hajj ceremonies. The pilgrims went there to visit Nabawi Mosque and doing shalat Arbain (40 times shalat) and also to get more knowledge about the history of Prophet Muhammad.

Staying 8 Days at Madinah

We arrived at Madinah at 3 am SAT. The weather was so cold. We stayed at Haramain Hotel, about 400 m away from Nabawi Mosque.

I stood in front of Haramain Hotel

Madinah or Al Madinah- Al Munawwarah is a city in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia and serves as the capital of the Al Madinah province. It is the second holiest city in Islam and the burial place of Prophet Muhammad SAW.

We stayed 8 days in Madinah in order to do Arbain or 40 times shalat fardhu by jama’ah in Nabawi mosque. In the leisure time we visited many historical places in Madinah such as Nabawi mosque, Baqi, Quba mosque, Qiblatain mosque, Jabal Uhud and other interesting places such as Dates market, Jabal Magnet, Ijabah mosque, etc.

Nabawi Mosque

After getting some sleep, I and my friends, Yati, Latifah and Widya went to Nabawi Mosque, the second holiest mosque in Islam, enthusiastically. We walked to the mosque together with many pilgrims from all over the world.

The view when we got there was so amazing. The Mosque was so big, beautiful and artistic looked from inside and outside. I spent time to admire every detail of the beautiful mosque.

Nabawi Mosque is also called the mosque of Prophet Muhammad SAW. It is the final resting place of Muhammad SAW.
The original mosque was built by Muhammad SAW. Subsequent Islamic rulers greatly expanded and decorated it. The latest renovations took place under King Fahd and have greatly increased the size of the mosque, allowing to hold a large number of worshippers and pilgrims and adding modern comfort like air conditioning. He also installed 27 moving domes at its roof and decorated the mosque with the best quality marble.

The mosque enclosure is 100 times bigger than the first mosque built by the Prophet and can accommodate more than half million worshippers. The shiny new Prophet’s mosque contains the older mosque within it. The older section has many colorful decorations and numerous small pillars while the new section is in gleaming white and grey marble and is completely air conditioned.

Here are some photos taken by my husband to describe the beauty of Nabawi Mosque.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Coming Back after Two Months off

Hello everybody!!
I’m happy to be back again after 2 months off from blogging. For about 40 days I and my husband spent time at Madinah and Mekkah, Saudi Arabia for hajj pilgrim. We went back to Palembang on 16 December 2008.

Then my mother told me that my father was hospitalized because of heart attack since 15 December. He was on ICU (Intensive Care Unit) and his condition was bad. I took care of him, together with my sisters and relatives. Thank God, finally he could survive. He was getting well and now he has already been at his home.

On 27 December- 31 December, I and my family visited Bogor again. On my post before (Visiting Bogor), we decided to buy a house on Harmony-2 cluster. But since the global crisis came, there were many companies got the bad effects, especially the companies in the field of property. We got a lot of input from our friends. They informed us that it is safer to buy a house that has already built. So, finally we decided to find the other house. We start from the beginning again.
Some other time I will write about finding house at Bogor.

I really wanted to write again, but there was one thing. My Internet connection was broken. I didn’t know why it took so long to fix it.

But now, here I am. I went back here to see you, all my blogger friends.
Happy New Year 2009 to all of you!