Our group had decided to go to Makkah for their Umrah after Isha, we couldn’t wait that long, we were eager to go see the Ka’ba. So me, Hubby and another couple from our home town decided to go after Asr. They became our Hajj buddies though out the journey, we were very lucky to have them on this journey with us. Brother M had been for Hajj 2 years ago and had done Umrah many times so we were in safe hands. We got a taxi to the mosque and got there an hour before Magrib.

We were walking up to the mosque and had gone round a corner, right in front of us stood the crane that had fallen down a week before. Surrounded by green barriers it stood out like a sore thumb. I remember us all just standing staring at it for a little while, reality hit. No matter where you are, even somewhere as holy as Masjid al-Haram, death will find you. But, oh what a place to die in the state of ihram. May Allah grant all those that lost their lives Jannath UL-Firdose.

Most entrances to the mosque had been closed, they kept saying the haram was full and made people stay outside. We managed to get into the new bit and found a place to pray right in front of the entrance which would lead to the Mataf area.

Before Magrib the guards had closed the entrance and told us it would be open after prayers. Once we finished praying, we patiently waiting in front of the entrance for the guards to move the barriers. We then get told they won’t open it till after Isha and that we should go find another entrance. This is common in Saudi, the guards will tell you one thing and then change their mind. More and more people started gathering to try and get in, people were arguing with the guards, other guards were even telling them to open it, but they wouldn’t. We were right in front of the barriers and looking back at the amount of people we had behind us, I knew if people start pushing we would be the first to go down. Of course once they started moving the barriers people decided to push, we would have fallen down if Brother M hadn’t shouted out “SAB’R SAB’R”. Even in the holy mosque people forget the etiquettes of being a Muslim brother and sister. We had managed to get through and I had thought the hardest part was over and done with, boy was I wrong.

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