after the adhan for maghreb, people began to leave for muzdallifah, there where sooooo many people waiting to get onto coaches and so there was no point in standing for so long waiting, so we went back to the tent to wait until we where called. going back to the tent and entering it was totally different to the morning, you sense a difference in you and in others, every one is so much calmer and at peace and you feel like nothing can get you down, a sense of zeal for life takes over you and you see life in a different light to how you used to, i know it sounds confusing but its difficult putting the feelings that where going through me then.
We all sat down together, there was no need for words, we where all contemplating on the days events and there was a sense of unification amongst us all. obviously i broke the silence by asking people if they had any food because i was starving and i felt like i could eat a camel with the bones, i hadn’t eaten before so i really was starving, so every one began to rummage around in there bags looking for something for me, i ended up with a croissant, cheese and half a chocolate and orange juice mmmmmmmmm.
One of the girls with us was constantly reading a book on hajj and she was a great help bless her, we would go back to her book all the time to check some information out and to know what the next stage would be. Here she is sat amongst all the sleeping bags, thanks sis you where a great help :)
after munching away at the rations i had i thought i would be adventurous and venture out and it felt so weird, kinda like a ghost town, it was only hours before that the place was buzzing full of people, all that was left was empty tents, a random shoe here and there (i know even in hajj random shoes where following me, i realised its an international thing lol).
i went back to the tent and every one decided that they wanted tea, all we needed to do was find the tea men, not a problem, seriously its like they wait round a corner for you and when your brain yearns for tea they pick up on the signals and appear cool to watch.
we didn’t have to walk long, right outside our tent we found a dude serving tea and coffee, so we walk towards him and order 22 teas, he just looked us at like we where pulling his leg, but we where serious we wanted 22 teas and he smiled and said no problem, he just needed to boil the water which was fine until it was announced that we gotta join the queue to board the coach, then it was panic time, we had ordered the tea, we had 22 people who would kill for a tea, ok maybe not kill but near enough, so we where saying to the man 'hurry up hurry up hurry up' the men where shouting at us saying 'hurry up hurry up hurry up' i found it all so hilarious so i was laughing away, the tea man was getting stressed bless him, i think he’s never been rushed to do anything in his life that is until he met us.
Eventually we got the tea and managed to join the queue and drank our tea and still not board the bus, all that rushing for no reason lol.
some people had brought sleeping bags with them and thats what we did, as well as wearing 10,000 layers, seriously it was freezing, people who had gotten ill in hajj was mainly because of the night in muzdalifa, some people had nothing apart from the clothes on their back, alot of men only had there ihram they must have been soooo cold.
Eventually we got on the coach and headed to muzdalifa to sleep under the stars, thats why we where carrying our sleeping bags around with us. muzdalifah is actually not far from arafat but again we had to find our spot, we got there and it was an amazing sight walahi, millions of people just spread out on the ground in the open, not in a tent but under the stars subhanallah.
looking around at the many people was a reminder of god and our place here on earth, because it was a sight like no other, one of the ladies with us said it reminded her of when we depart from this earth all we will have is ourselves, individually with nothing to take with us, all being equal, rich poor, black white, it was a thought to ponder on. We had to pray magheb and isha combined and after the prayers i went looking for pebbles. There’s something about being out in the open in the middle of the night, picking up chick pea size pebbles with thousands of others that is strangely satisfying and surreal, the pebbles where for the stoning of jamarat, my mum had bought me a little pouch thing just for this occasion, so if you get to do hajj remember to take something similar, you will need it.
After picking the pebbles, i dived into my sleeping bag, it really was very cold, what we did was huddle together to get as much warmth as possible, we had cleared the ground of any jagged rocks to try to make our sleep as comfortable as is possible.
it took me some time to fall asleep because i was so excited about the days events and also the person next to me had such a powerful snore, bless her she really was tired...
its such a beautiful thing to sleep under the stars, for some time i just looked up to the sky and eventually fell asleep with a smile upon my face...