First Impressions and Settling in… (Part 2)

Corniche as salam ‘alaykum wa rahmatullaah,

All over our apartment were the brothers books who was moving out, so although exhausted, I helped him  get all of those books out of the way and onto a truck then thirty minutes later he came zipping back ready to take us for some last minute shopping before I had to show up at work the next day. Good thing it was Tuesday night because the weekend in Saudi Arabia begins Wednesday after work (something I’m still adjusting to).


The first place we went was to get a nice Thawb and some shoes, so we went to Steps and a place that sells Thawaab called Shiaka. We bought some shoes and I purchased a Thawb along with a couple of nice Kufees to wear to work, we jumped in a cab and were off to Suqus-Sumaalee.

Now, the only decent Thawb I had was a cream colored Tunisian one that didn’t exactly match my pants which were only slightly visible, but my friend told me that I was about to get mauled by beggars and gawkers because I looked like a total foreigner. I thought to myself, “Hey, I looked like a foreigner when I lived in Canada,” but it’s not the same. After a few minutes in the Suq, I seen that it was actually a bad thing.

Before we went in, we got out of the cab and there were these dusty looking little alleys with makeshift cubicles that had stores in them (actually, more appropriately, it had vendors selling goods in them). I needed some household items, and we wanted to look for some Abayaahs for my wife. 

Before entering the main part of the Suq, I saw this older African brother on the ground, walking on his hands (not upside down) with his legs dragging behind him. The upper part of his legs were thinner than my own wrists and I felt very sorry for him, making du’aa and thanking Allaah for the blessings I had. The Brother I was with told me that they ship the most paralyzed, deformed, and malnourished people they could find to Saudi Arabia to beg for money and that it had now become big business.

Big business or not, I felt truly sorry for some of our brothers and sisters and that was when I saw a little girl whose hair lip was so bad that I couldn’t even describe it. I gave a bit of money and that was when it started. Everywhere I went I was swarmed by beggars! I told the brother that we were very tired, we went looking at a couple of places and we were ready to go back home. 

We fell into our beds and I had a deep sleep to wake up a few minutes before Saaltul-Fajr, I hurried my Wudhoo and followed some of the people outside who were walking to the Masjid and that was the first time I heard the most beautiful thing I have ever heard. Far, far away I hear an Adhaan begin to go off in the distance, then another, a little closer started up, then another and BOOM!!! Very close a loud voice began belting out the Adhaan, I continued to walk to the Masjid as my eyes filled up with tears! I lost count after at least ten Adhaans were going off, the one closest to me I could hear loudly and distinctly, but the rest were just a wall of noise. I have never heard anything that loud and beautiful in my life and that’s when the understanding that I was really in a Muslim country hit me. I sat down on the side of the curb near the Masjid and cried until the Adhaan stopped. Now I took some drugs in Jahaliyyah, I mean, I took some stuff that had me think I was on the moon, but nothing in my life experiences prepared me for that type of Euphoria. I mean Saudi Arabia was the place that we would see pictures of, you know? The Kabah in Makkah and Madinah… those places on that distant planet that everyone wants to visit but very few people actually get to go to… what in the world did I ever do, what good could I have possibly done for Allaah to have brought me to such a place? I felt so small, so insignificant, so grateful, so relieved. For the first time, I knew exactly where on Earth I wanted to be, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

I got up and went to prayer. I must have cried all the way through the Fajr prayer and by the time we were finished praying my head ached and I wanted to lay back down from the jet-lag I was experiencing. I walked back to my house (almost got lost on the way home) and laid down for another hour before going to work.   

(To be continued later)

(End of Part 2)

Published in: on February 23, 2007 at 7:10 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. La Hawla Wala kuwata Illa Billa. Masha Allah, that was such a beautiful post. Please keep your blog updated. We enjoy reading about life is KSA from a muhaajir.

  2. as salamu alaykum
    jazaakullah khair for the blogs ya akhi. your experience in saudi really does bring tears to my eyes. may allah allow me to make hijrah ameen and may he protect you and your family ameen. keep the stories coming i really do enjoy them and looking forward to the next one.
    barakallahu feekum

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