The Makkah and Madina dairies

Altaf Aman

Once someone has spent Ramzan in Makkah and Madina, they naturally want to return year after year. It feels incomplete and insecure if one is unable to do so!

Something within says, “Make the intention, and the rest will fall into place by the Grace of Allah.”

The same is the case with me, may the Almighty keep it going, Ameen, Summa Ameen.

MS Education Academy

When to buy the ticket

For the best deal, according to me, one has to book whatever class of ticket at least six months in advance.

Individual vs group reservations

I personally recommend a group reservation as it is value for money and overall per unit amount spent is the cheapest. With a group, one gets both meals included, which generally won’t be the case with individual booking. In that case, getting a meal is a monumental task, like staying in line, getting frustrated and all that takes an hour, which makes one behind in case one wants to enter Mataaf area in a timely fashion since gates close.

Number of days

I personally choose a minimum of 15 days. Madinah gets the first 5-7 days and the last 10 days go for Makkah.

Makkah feels electrifying for me personally with all the high-intensity energy and especially getting the Qiyam prayers that begin at 12:45 am through 2:20 am with a 15 min Dua at the end (my most favorite part of the last 10 nights).

Best Ibadah of a life time

No one can achieve that level of satisfaction, that one attains while in Haram during Ramzan.

Priority

I understand we all are busy in our life cycle, trying to make ends meet but taking out a few days exclusively, will give one much more satisfaction than earning any amount of money during the same time frame, and add tremendous amounts of unparalleled Barakah in one’s life, after all we all have been born to worship the unseen Almighty.

My Daily Routine

Makkah

Get up at 3 pm, finish shower, and set out for Mataaf in Ihram ( since that was the only way to enter during current times ) for Asr and do Tawaf and stay inside Haram till 6 pm

Then walk back to the hotel, change to regular dress and go to Musalla in the clock tower and right after Maghreb walk down to the restaurant which is one floor and two min walk and eat quickly and run down to room and do Wudu and all and change to Ihram again and enter Mataaf before 8 pm since entries closed after that.

Keep doing tawaf including during Taraveeh

Since no Taraveeh is allowed in Mataaf until the end of the prayer, return to the room at 10:30 pm and then relax and take time out to unwind till 12:30 pm.

From 12:45 till 2:20 is Qiyam at Musalla again and following that go for Suhur 2 min walk down and go to the hotel room again, change to ihraam again and enter Mataaf before 3:15 am and do tawaaf and Fajr inside and return to the room by 6 am.

Sleep until noon and get up and put on ihraam again and go for Zuhr and return by 1:15 pm and sleep till 3 pm and the same cycle continues daily

Madinah

Get up at 3 pm, and take a quick shower. Head into the Masjid area and stay till end of Maghreb

Then head back to the hotel for Iftar and quickly return to the same area until isha begins, until Taraveeh

After Taraveeh, go to the hotel to unwind. From about 1 am onwards, walk around circumference of the masjid maybe twice or thrice until Tahajjud and enter the mosque and stay till Fajr

Love going to Baqi to see burials as a reminder of the imminent end for all.

Alhamdulillah was about to enter Rawdah three days in a row, for 30 min each time around 2 am.

Things to avoid

I would totally abstain from any social invite to a place outside the Haram area, since for me, being there physically is priceless and my heart won’t agree to accepting an Iftar in Jeddah or any nearby place

AirPods/ Headsets

Jzk to Haseeb Ateeq, my friend, who got me into this. The moment I step out of the hotel room till I come back, I would hear Quran or Zikr audio until I come back to the hotel room which means you maximizing and utilize every minute. And yes, it avoids hearing unwanted loud noises from some groups when doing tawaaf

Personally, this gave me immense satisfaction and all the ajar for this will also go to Ateeq for introducing this to me. This plan is good for single person or a couple, not for families!

Altaf Aman (M.D) is a doctor in Chicago, Illinois, US.

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