Taraweeh in Masjidil-Haraam

Haraam  as salam ‘alaykum wa rahmatullaah,

Ramadhaan is here and I noticed that more people smile and extend the Islaamic salutations. The Muslims are more kind and the neighbours are more neighbourly with one another. I had just gotten home from work when one of my neighbours, a hip-hop listening Saudi youth, knocked on my door.

As-Salaam ‘alaykum brother Anwar, brother Muhammad sent these dates for you.”

Wa ‘alaykum salaam wa rahmatullaah, thanks akhee, where is he?”

He pointed and there was brother Muhammad, a young religious Saudi youth who lives in the neighbourhood. I waved and he waved back. I think Muhammad likes me ever since I was outside a few months back advising the youth about the harms of listening to music. Brother Muhammad is the type of brother I always see telling his friends, “Stop smoking that cigarette and eat some food.” With the exception of some of the students from my school, Muhammad is my favourite youth from the neighbourhood.

Sometimes for Taraweeh I get to different Masaajid, if there is one thing Jeddah doesn’t have a shortage of is experts in the recitation of the Qur’aan. It seems like almost every Masjid I go to the Imaam is an expert with a beautiful voice; from people you have heard of like Aboo Bakr ash-Shatari to Tawfeeq as-Sayyegh, to people you probably haven’t heard of like ‘Abdul-Walee al-Arkaani, Jeddah is a beautiful place to be during Ramadhaan and I am just thankful to Allaah that I am here.

I usually try to get over to where ‘Abdul-Walee is at Masjid Mu’aadh Ibn Jabal because it is close to my house, he prays 11 raka’at, and I just love his voice, but on Sunday I was afforded an opportunity to go to Makkah with my family. My friend came to pick us up about a half hour before Iftaar and we were on our way. We knew we would have to break fast on the way so we stopped at a side spot, gave all of our dates to our wives, made wudhoo, and joined the group of Muslims who were seated beside the shops near the Masjid and waited for the adhaan. The brothers we sat with never saw us before and were extremely nice and hospitable even though they were mostly poor, offering us samosas, dates, and chicken. The brother and I didn’t want to eat that much before the prayer so we thanked them and declined the chicken. We prayed and were starving by the time we finished so we stopped at Tazaj. It is a fast food restaurant that specializes in chicken, my wife is a huge fan of their chicken nuggets and assures me that Tazaj has the best nuggets in the world. I ordered her the nuggets but to me, nuggets are nuggets, so I ordered the Kabsa. Kabsa is a Saudi dish consisting of (what else?) chicken and rice with spices and dressing baked in an oven. It is pretty tasty and very affordable. You get a personal pan for 12sar! I got my daughter a kids meal and it came with a toy rabbit. You pull the string and put the rabbit on the ground and watch him run. The workers in the restaurant were getting a kick out of watching my daughter chase the rabbit around screaming, “Arnab! Arnab!” Arnab means rabbit. We jumped back in the car and were on our way to Makkah.

We drove under the Qur’aan stand that looks like a giant beautifully decorated stone stand that resembles the wooden Qur’aan holders in the Masaajid. I always try to get a decent picture of it for my blog but it never turns out right. The brother I was with told me there used to be a small Masjid inside the building but people started believing that you get special blessings for praying there, so the government closed it off to avoid any superstitious practices. May Allaah strengthen them in that regard. Aameen.

We parked the car and made our way to the Haram by Taxi, we haggled like the locals and got the driver to agree to 10 Riyaals for all of us, usually the Taxis try to charge everybody extra during Ramadhaan. Alhamdulillaah, he agreed and we were off to the Haram.

The streets were packed! Everyone wants to be in Saudi during Ramadhaan and the streets were supersaturated with people from all over the world coming for Taraweeh and Umrah. We couldn’t even make it into the Masjid in time, we dropped off our wives at Bab ‘Abdul-‘Azeez and joined the prayer outside the Masjid with massive amounts of people. Had we tried to make it inside we never would have caught the Ishaa’ prayer and since a prayer in the Haram area has a far greater reward than outside of it, we hastened to join in the prayer. After the prayer I knew I was going to be standing for 20 raka’at so I used the bathroom and we were on our way to the roof to pray.

My friend advised me not to get too close to the microphones and as we walked to the lines I could hear why. As a man, who before Islaam spent a lot of time working with sound systems, let me tell you that Saudi Arabia uses the finest speakers and the sound technicians are experts. For the most part, you rarely hear feedback and the sound is usually crystal clear. We drank some zamzam water and joined in the prayer.

 The new Imaam, Mahir al-Mu’ayqali led the first 10 raka’at. I busted up both my ankles pretty good in my early 20’s and my right ankle was causing me terrible pain. However, once Shaykh Sudays started reciting I didn’t notice as much. A cool breeze would occasionally blow across the roof and we were cooled down slightly. Sudays broke down crying once and almost broke down on two other occasions. I love the way Sudays reads and couldn’t help breaking down myself. Sudays made a beautiful du’aa and the people cried even more than they did from hearing Allaah’s speech, which always amazes me. We finished our prayers and my wife and the brother’s wife lost each other, so we went and collected our wives and were on our way back to home in Jeddah. We arrived before 12:00am and I got to get a few hours sleep before work. The experience was beautiful, and to be in the most blessed Masjid at that time was indescribable. I hope to go back soon, insha’Allaah.

That’s all for now.

As salam ‘alaykum,

Aboo Mu’aadh



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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Assalaamu’alaykum warahmatullaahi warabarakaatuh akhee,

    Mashaa Allaah, you are so blessed to be so close to Makkah, alhamdulillaah!

    I must agree with you, Tazaj is yum yum! It’s really delicious and not too pricey either.

    Arnab? That is rabbit in Malay.

    May you have a blessed Ramadhaan, and may He accept your good deeds, ameen, and increase you and family in eeman and taqwa. Ameen.

  2. mashaAllah, InshaAllah I want to go for Umrah in Ramadan soon. I have a picture of the Qur’an monument when I went for umrah in Aug 06:

    Also do you happen to know of any schools for women in Jeddah? (to learn Qur’an, arabic, deen) JazakAllahu Khayran. email is restingtraveller@gmail . com

  3. “May you have a blessed Ramadhaan, and may He accept your good deeds, ameen, and increase you and family in eeman and taqwa. Ameen.”

    Ameen and may Allaah give you the same Raylis, may Allaah forgive us and all of the Muslims.

    Sister Amatuallaah, would you mind if I used this pic? Then I could add a picture from underneath it at night when the lights are all different colours? As for Schools in Jeddah, there are tons, mostly Tahfeedhul-Qur’aan Schools, not a lot for just Arabic (I have only seen one), as for Deen classes, then yes, some of the Yemeni sisters have some set up but its opening has been delayed, if you need more info, feel free to drop my wife a line to my wife. If your husband is accompanying you for Umrah and you need a spare bedroom in Jeddah for a night or two, feel free, our spare room is always available to Allaah’s guests. Aameen wa iyyaki.

    as salam ‘alaykum

  4. wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah,

    BarakAllahu Feek, I have contacted your wife.

    InshaAllah you can definately use the picture, that’s why I posted it alhamdulillah.

    asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullah

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