I finally had a chance to pay a visit to my other ‘homeland’ this month. I’m so glad to be able to go in early April where the weather there is still breezy in the morning and night, and not too hot in the afternoon. Even though I’ve been planning this trip since two months ago, I didn’t actually get a confirmation until 4 days before the departure day! I found my suitcases were still empty 24 hours before I had to leave to the airport, and mind you, I didn’t just have to prepare for my self but also for the kids and the husband. Anyway, since my sister, Hana, is wearing hijab (In fact, she owns a Facebook store called Hijab Castle), I didn’t have to worry about what I was going to wear. I could just raid her closet :D.
The whole experience was short and sweet. I will not go into detail about my spiritual journey here. I might share it on my personal blog when I have the time. So in here, I’m just going to show you the outfits and a few pictures of the places Outfit wise, it was challenging because I’m not a hijaber and I’m pretty particular when it comes to dressing up. I couldn’t wear pajamas everyday and cover it with my black abaya or wear flip flops to the masjid as most people suggested. I don’t even wear flip flops to the warung accross the office, so there’s no way I’m going to wear them to one of the beautiful places on earth :D.
The picture below was taken right outside of Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz airport in Medina, around 9PM. We took Saudi Arabian Airlines and got a very old fleet. In fact, it was so old that there were water leaks in many spots from the roof when it took off. It was a scary scene to see.
Scarf: Borrowed from my sister Pants: Zara Top: A uniform from the travel agent and my mom brought it to the tailor Shoes: Tory Burch Wedges Bag: Prada
A glimpse of Masjid Nabawi from my hotel room, with the umbrella tent closed. I could still remember how it felt when I caught the first glimpse of the beautiful Masjid. Next to it is the picture of how the streets all the way to the Masjid look like in the wee morning. Street vendors selling their stuff; hijab, tasbih, accessories, etc. It gets even more crowded after Shubuh prayer.
The first morning in Medina. Not really modest clothes according to Medina standard because the chest area is quite exposed. And look, I forgot to put on my socks! Did you see that H&M truck in the background? I was standing in front of Starbucks and H&M just right next to it. Payless Shoe Source, Mothercare, Next are just up on the second floor.
Hijab: Borrowed from my sister Beige Top: Cotton Ink Long Cardigan: Mango Pants: Zara
Same shoes and bag
Look, Starbucks just right outside of Masjid Nabawi gate! I was so happy when I saw this because I knew I would need more cups of coffee here than my regular intake.
The outside area of Masjid Nabawi with the canopy opened. So pretty! I enjoyed praying at the outside area during the night where I could see the stars and the moon, with the wind breeze slowly caressing my skin.
Right at the main entrance of Masjid Nabawi, wearing bergo from the travel agent.
The first picture below was taken at Masjid Quba, the first masjid in the world. And the second picture was taken in one of the dates (kurma) plantation
Sunglasses: Fendi Scarf: Zara Top: Unbranded Pants: GAP Shoes: Dexter from Payless. New purchase because I couldn’t abuse the Tory Burch anymore and the strappy sandals I brought took more effort to wear than I realized, considering we have to take our shoes on and off all the time.
Last day in Medina before I changed to my ihram clothes and headed to Mecca. I went to Rawdah again that morning. For those who don’t know, Rawdah means garden of the paradise. It’s a special area inside the masjid which extends from the tomb of the prophet Muhammad SAW to his pulpit, where he used to stand and deliver his speech. The place is tiny compare to the rest of the Masjid, I think it can only hold a few hundreds people at once and it’s only opened during certain hours. So it’s kind of a challenge to enter the area, especially for women. I’m so glad I could step my feet there twice. The vibe is totally different. I didn’t know what got into me but I was immediately wept as soon as I stepped into the area, shaking. I couldn’t believe I was in the same area where the prophet was present. It was as if I feel that he knew my presence there. I then discreetly and stutteringly said salam, performed the Sholat, prayed and thanked the prophet for his noblety, and of course, pray and cry some more. It was indeed a mystical and overwhelming experience. One that I’m longing to experience again.
Somehow, the women area in Masjid Nabawi is stricter than the men’s area. Camera is absolutely not allowed in there, where the men can easily snap pictures here and there. I guess it’s because if it’s allowed, women would spend more time taking pictures and distracting others, that’s why they have that restriction. I always took my iPhone and snapped a few pictures discreetly, because I wanted to capture the beautiful experience visually. Unfortunately, there was not much to see for the women in the Raudhah area, though. The last two pictures were taken from the men’s area. My husband took the pictures to show me how it looks like. I think I would be more emotionally affected had I was allowed to see such scene.