Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Umrah Ziarah Jordan 2010 The Series - A special post for benazirjb

A reader of the blog asked me about luggage during the pilgrimage. What to bring and how many pieces are enough?

Attire ready for prayer: Jubah, a pair of thick socks and telekung. Simple.

If you fancy nice jubah from Madinah or Makkah and intend to buy 1-2 pieces for yourself, then I suggest you not to bring too many clothes from Malaysia. Enough if you have 2 pieces of long pants/slacks (normally white is preferred, but black is also common), worn with long muslimah shirt or blouse (2-3 pieces), best material are those made of cotton and comfortable to be worn under hot weather. 2 pieces of telekung (top only) is sufficient, because you'll find that when you wash your clothes, they dry very fast, even if you hang them only in the bathroom.

Another option: blouse, long pants and telekung (or mini telekung). Easy for me to pray and later climb Jabal Rahmah.

Dont forget to bring thick socks, they are very useful for praying and must be worn when you perform umrah (tawaf and sa'ei). Other than that, of course yo need to have your hand socks (not gloves), nightgowns when you sleep, and sufficient undergarments. Buy your jubah in Madinah because it is much cheaper there compared to Makkah, unless you know how to bargain for very low price. They will add to your wardrobe selection. Later you can wear the jubah when you go out.

Wear a long sleeve shirt together with hand socks, long pants and don't forget socks for your feet! The weather is hot, but trust me, you'll not be sticky with sweat.

What normally happened was that at the time when you arrived either at Madinah or Makkah, your luggage is of small size and not heavy. On the contrary, when you're heading back to Malaysia, you'll find that your luggage has grown in size and weight and also in quantity! So be ready with the bags of proper size. Of course you can buy new bag in Makkah, but you can save yourself from the trouble by planning properly.

It's a wonderful moment to spend there, so do not concentrate only on religious matter at all times. You must explore the place, see the people, admire the beauty of nature, acknowledge  and admit the power of Allah in ruling the earth and its living being. You'll be calm and happy. Insya-Allah.

I wish you all the best. Have a safe journey to and fro.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Selingan 5 minit

Sibuk gila sekarang ni. Sampaikan dalam tidur pun boleh bercakap merapu-rapu pasal data analisis. Sebab sibuk bagai nak gila la, blog ni terpaksa aku lupakan sementara. At least sampai lepas aku hantar artikel baru aku untuk satu persidangan kat Gold Coast hujung tahun ni nanti. Tu pun kalau lepas... hik hik..

Tapi hari ni tangan aku sangatlah gatalnya macam kena kurap gajah setebal 5 inci, mesti nak tulis gak kat dalam blog ni. Aku bukannya nak cerita panjang-panjang. Cuma nak meluahkan perasaan aje. Sakit hati jiwa. Semakin lama semakin parah. Semakin #$%&@ rasanya....

Mula-mula dulu dia start dengan 'Salam 1 Malaysia'

Macam nak tersembur keluar kuih pau dalam mulut aku masa tu. Kalau betul-betul aku muntah hari tu, sure laki aku haramkan aku naik keta dia untuk 2-3 minggu. Dalam hati aku kata, apa kejadahnya Salam 1 Malaysia ni? Orang Islam boleh ke bagi salam macam ni?

Sekarang macam-macam menatang pulak dah berkait dengan fesyen 1 Malaysia ni...

1 Malaysia 1 Dunia

Selama ni ada ke 2-3 bijik Malaysia kita jumpa kat mana-mana? Ayam Malaysia ada la. Bukan setakat 2-3 lagi dah, tapi dah naik taraf berlambak-lambak tak terbendung kat internet ni, thanks to 'dacing hikmat'....

Contoh-contoh lain...

- Colours of 1 Malaysia
- Pesta 1 Malaysia 1 Port Dickson
- 1 Malaysia Restaurant
- 1 Belia 1 Malaysia
- Biasiswa 1 Malaysia
- Kem 1 Malaysia
- Klinik 1 Malaysia (mati la aku...!)
- Unit Amanah 1 Malaysia
- wat de hell...

Agaknya abang Najib takut tsunami akan melanda Malaysia dan membahagi-bahagikan negara kecik ni kepada 2-3 bahagian berasingan. Tu pasal la dia bergasak-gasak men'satu'kan Malaysia....

Aku pening.

Benda yang tak boleh diterima akal ni buatkan aku rasa nak muntah darah.

Nasib baik dalam kartun ni takde gambar pompuan gemuk tengah muntah darah.....kalau ada, aku la tu.


Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Umrah Ziarah Jordan 2010 The Series - Tour around Amman 1

During our stay in Amman, we visited three historical places that is related to Islam:
1) Ash-Habul Kahfi masjid and cave
2) Prophet Shu'ib's masjid and shrine
3) The Dead Sea

The story of Ash-Habul Kahfi

Walking to the masjid, which is situated on top of a hill

Relates about seven young men who embraced Islam but then forced to abandon the religion by the kafir people. In order to save themselves and protect their Iman (faith), they ran away and ended up in a cave. Satisfied that the cave is a safe place to hide, they decided to take some rest but soon fell asleep.

The outskirt of Amman, I think Kampung Baru is 1000 times nicer...

The seven young men later woke up feeling hungry and thirsty. They thought they had slept for one whole day, that's why they were hungry. When they searched for a dog that loyally followed them from the city to the cave, they were surprised to find only bones were left of the dog, situated at the entrance of the cave. The dog has obviously guarded the seven young men from danger while they were sleeping. Thinking of the good deed made them cried. This dog is the one and only dog that Allah has promised will enter His Jannah (paradise). No other dogs in the world will ever enter Jannah but this one.

We both were standing right on top of the cave (beneath our feet)

The Ash-Habul Kahfi masjid, erected to remember the seven young men who protected their faith and iman

The seven young men of Kahfi decided that one of them should go to the city to buy some food. They chose one of them and this man, carefully disguised himself, managed to reach the city safely. To his surprise, the city and its people have totally changed. All the people has embraced Islam and there were no more evil and cruel kafir people. When he wanted to pay for the food he bought, the seller told him that the money he gave was of no value at all.

The masjid, from far

"What currency is this? Where are you from? We don't use this money!!!"

"Are you kidding me? This is pure money and it has value!!"

Later more people gathered to see the commotion, and finally one of them suggested the young man of Kahfi go see the Govenor of the city. He did this, and the Governor himself was taken aback to see the ancient money the young man of Kahfi presented before him.

"This used to be the currency of this city, but that was over hundreds of years ago!!!" exclaimed the Governor.

"How many days you said you were sleeping with your friends in the cave?"

"Only one night"

"Are you sure???"

So the young man went back to the cave to talk to his friends about their sleep.

The sepulcher of three of seven of the young men

"Dear Sahabah (friends), we have been sleeping in this cave for 309 years!!!!"

"How could that be possibly true?"

"The money I brought to the city could not buy us food. It has no value"

"No wonder only bones are left of the dog"

"What year is this?"

"While I was in the city, I have not seen any familiar faces at all. I can't even find my house and my family!"

"No one knows us!!!"

In one of the tomb. Can you see the human bones still nicely preserved after hundreds of years?

Later the Governor of the city decided to visit the seven young men at the cave, only to find that these men have died, this time for real, and this time with proper burial. For remembrance of the Greatness of Allah, the governor instructed his people to build a masjid on top of the cave. He named the masjid Ash-Habul Kahfi.

The sepulcher (stone grave)

Another view of the masjid from different angle

Allah is Great. The history of Ash-Habul Kahfi has proven that Allah can make living things die and resurrect the dead to live again, at His will, as He please. SubhanAllah...

A pose with Jordanian school girls at the age of 12 to 15. Sama tinggi dengan aku, beb!!!

Monday, 3 May 2010

Umrah Ziarah Jordan 2010 The Series - KLIA-Bangkok-Amman Journey

Betullah orang kata, kalau hati dah ke sana, yang tinggal terus dilupakan…

I cried a bit thinking that I have to leave my children behind to start the journey. But then, the moment I stepped inside the departure hall, it seemed miraculous that I instantly forgot them. First unpleasant experience we encountered at the boarding gate is the strictness of airport regulation in determining what we can bring and what we cannot bring on the plane: ever since 9/11 all types of liquid containers exceeding 100ml shall not board the plane. We have to leave all our drinking water behind. I decided to opt for “drink till u bloat” campaign, and stayed back a while to finish all my precious drinks. Later I had this devillish look in my eyes when I looked at the boarding officer as if saying to him "I have nothing to leave behind". Hehehe...

Some of us even have to let go of their beauty products such as body lotions, moisturisers and whatever they were taking with them. I know some of these products are expensive. Imagine leaving behind a brand new bottle of SK-II Miracle Water at the counter! Huaaaaa..... boleh sedih gak kalau aku yang kena..

And let the journey begin....our route:

1)  KLIA to Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Bangkok, Thailand via Malaysian Airlines System.

2)  Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Bangkok to Queen Alia International Airport, Amman, Jordan via Royal Jordanian.

Flight to Bangkok took about two hours. Since there is no direct flight from Malaysia to Jordan, we need to get on board of the Royal Jourdanian from Bangkok to continue journey. Transit in Suvarnabhumi Airport was NO FUN. Immigration was worse than KLIA. You need to take off your shoes and even belts for inspection. I became a squeezy toy during the inspection when the lady officers wanted to confirm that my brassiere is of underwired type. Haish! Angin aku satu badan dengan diorang ni!

No food sold here is halal, except for the ones sold at Ichi-Ban restaurant. My husband and I decided to window shop from one end of the terminal to the other faaaaaaaaaar end (the airport is damn big!)and ended up with both our legs sore and painful. But then we had fun spotting and counting how many transveties we saw at the airport. Well, they are easy to detect, actually. Face like beauty pageants, body solid-molid like calendar girls, but still, they can't hide their manly features. After wasting much of our 3 hours wandering, we were seated again on board, very much to our relief, but this time journey took up 8 - 9 hours to reach Amman.


One thing that I noticed about the Jordanians - their body frames are huge, both men and women. They are tall, fair skin and bear features like the Arabs. And mind you, they built their aircrafts to suit their height, too. We ladies found it difficult to keep our hand luggages into the high overhead compartments. Even when the men of our group offered to help, we still need the assistance of the flight attendants to put away all the the bags safely. Food served on the flight consist of spicy (using the Jordanian whatever spice, I think) chicken cooked with potato, white rice (long and fat!), fruit salad and bread. Not bad at all. It reminded me of MAS catering during the kaya-raya time in the 1990's. Heavenly. Praise be to Allah for this plenty of delicious food!!

When landed, the outside temperature was 8 degree celcius. Cold and windy. Macam kat London la pulak...

My husband, at the visa counter in Queen Alia International Airport, Amman. Later the airport authority made an announcement prohibiting the use of cameras within the area. Opps! (By the way, the Levi's jean he was wearing in the picture went missing when we got back to Malaysia. We figured out that we did not pack the jean in our bag when we left Madinah for Makkah. That's the last of his favourite RM500 jean, bought in Colorado, USA a year ago...)

These are some photos I took from the bus around Amman outskirt.

This is a residential area, for the poor, I was told by our tour guide, Achmed. They have this interesting building infrastructure where they do not build any roofs on top of the house. Reason: when the need comes and there is sufficient funding, they will erect another floor on top of the building. So a single storey house could become a five-storey apartment after several years. Wow!


You'll find rows and rows and rows of trees of olives along the road, as this is one of Jordan's commodity that contribute to one of the main source of income to the country. Jordan has no oil like Saudia Arabia, it is a country that exports agricultural products like corns, olives, fruits, and vegetables to neighbouring countries. Though bigger than Malaysia in terms of size, Jordan has only five millions population.

Just arrived at the hotel.


This is The Golden Tulip hotel, situated within the airport vicinity. To get out of this hotel and travel to the city or anywhere you like, you'll have to obtain a visa from the immigration counter at the airport, which cost you 10 Jordanian Dinars. Oh! Talking about currency, you'll be surprise to know that the conversion rate is so unbelievably high here. 1 Jordanian Dinar is equvalent to 6 Malaysian Ringgit. Wow again! Mahalnya!  

Next posting: A visit around Amman to historical places in Islam.


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