I am in the Haram…………. the fast opens with dates and zam zam and there seems to be no need for any more nourishment. The iqamah resounds in the Haram and by an invisible hand millions of worshippers line up in perfect lines and the Maghrib prayer begins…….
I am separated from my friends as I have been doing tawaf when the Maghrib adhan is called.
By the time Maghrib salah is completed I continue my tawaf and it is time for Taraweh and we fall into lines again and the haunting voice of Shaikh Jouhany resounds in the corridors of the Haram, imprinting the words on my heart.
After taraweh there is rush for the outside. The exit doors are jam-packed. I have never felt safer in my life, as if I am in my own home as I make my way through the milling crowd to the restaurant where Iftar dinner awaits.
I look out of the window of the restaurant as I end dinner with a sip of mint tea. The green light is on but the courtyard is packed with worshippers moving towards the entrance of the Haram. I quickly pack a sandwich for Suhoor and hurry towards the Haram. It is almost midnight, and just like Cinderella I barely make it in as the green light changes to red denoting the fact that the Haram is full……………..!
It is the night of the twenty first of Ramadan, I am in Itikaaf in the Haram, it is an odd night and perhaps the angels are descending in droves as we speak. I cannot contain my excitement as I take the stairs two at a time to reach my place in the women’s section.
I reach the second floor as the women line up for Qiyaam al Layl……….
Will I ever be invited there again?