Some challenges in Itikaaf…..

Seeing more people than you have ever imagined in one place
Making your way into the Haram, without jostling people
Making your way out of the Haram, without jostling
Try not to be irritated when people put their shoes on before exiting the Haram
Women talking
Women talking
Women talking
On returning from tawaaf to find that your place of prayer has been taken over
Trying to hold on to your wudu in the last rakat of Taraweh
Splashing zam zam into your eyes in the last two rakah of the Qiyam al Layl
Trying to decide if sleep takes priority over suhoor after Qiyam Layl with only two to four hours of sleep in twenty four hours
Trying to change your body demands to body needs on request
Hurrying to make wudu at the mini mosque at the darul tawhid and hoping you wont get stopped by the guards.
Trying to ignore the delicious aroma of shwarma on the way back to the Haram for Asar prayer
Rushing to make wudu between prayers with the fear that if the entrance light becomes red, I will be excluded from getting back into my itikaaf place.
Coming back after wudu, on the 25th of Ramadan to the second floor where we are staying for Itikaaf and unable to find my companions in the sea of black abayas that have invaded the whole floor.
Having lost my place of prayer when I went for Tawaaf and begging people to give me a sliver of space to pray my next fard prayer.
Feeling guilty eating other people’s food at Iftar, without having anything other than power bars and Vit C drink powder to offer them.
Trying to Smuggle in fresh yogurt, laban and fruit juice for the fastees on our floor and being turned away by the entrance guard.
Wondering if I smell bad after having being drenched in sweat at the tawaf and having no time to shower before the completing of the night prayers.
Having to make a choice between saying the morning adkaars or going to the restroom after twelve hours of withholding.
Trying not to get irritated as “personal space” is continuously invaded.
Trying to decide if one should defy the nafs and withstand the heat of midday in tawaaf or succumb to reading the Quran in the air-conditioned second floor of the Haram.
Trying to shut out the noise of women’s chatter while trying to concentrate on nafil prayers.
Falling asleep listening to the translation of the Quran to be recited in taraweh that night and being irritated with oneself.
Doing wudu with one cup of zam zam gracefully.
Trying to take pictures and make a video of the kaaba without being disrespectful.
Trying not to wonder what life is like for the women who wear niqaab.
Being irritated with oneself for not knowing Arabic.
Wanting Imam Jahtee to go on an on in taraweh and feel the sheer disappointed when silence falls, and taraweh ends.
In Qiyam al Layl being in sajdah so long and forgetting if it was the first or the second sajdah.
Thanking God for never making me so sleepy at prayer times that I cannot concentrate.
In my personal marathon on the 25th of Ramadan, Having the choice of either eating a meal after Iftar or praying the fard prayers and Taraweh.(see details in the blog later) but not both.
Staring at the Kaaba during prayer and wanting the Imam to prolong his recitation so I could look upon the Kaaba longer.
Avoiding the guards while trying to find a place near the Muqaam e Ibrahim to pray after tawaaf.
To be continued…….

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