Arrival and Check In
At approximately 11.30 p.m on November 28th, we were landing in Jeddah. Jeddah was filled with the sounds and atmosphere of Hajj. In fact, some men actually donned their Ihram right there on the aircraft! When we landed at Jeddah, a bus took us to Immigration and Customs. This is the place we were told, one would have to wait seven-to ten hours before being cleared. By the help and mercy of Allah, it took an hour and a half to complete Immigration and Customs.
leader, the very efficient Amir, Sheriff, had the foresight to inform the
Honorary Consul to Trinidad and the Nigerian Ambassador (who acts on behalf of
Trinidadians) of our arrival in Jeddah. Alhamdulillah, they were able to speed
up our processing. Our luggage, which was checked in at New York, was already
waiting for us. We were able to clear Immigration and Customs by 2:00 a.m. on November 29th.
Then food arrived-we had chicken and chips and soft drink at 2:00 a.m. In fact, we had so much that we gave away some to some waiting Pakistani pilgrims. Our passports were then surrendered to the bus drivers and we were ready to depart for Makkah. However, we did not leave until 5:10 a.m. as we were asked to accommodate on our bus seven pilgrims from another country.
We arrived at our hotel at approximately 9:30 am. We had breakfast. But I was very uncomfortable, not having performed Fajr. I kept thinking that we would have stopped along the way or that the Amir would inform us of the time to pray. I regret it still. I wish we had been told that we were to pray on the bus. Anyway, I performed it late and ask Allah’s forgiveness.
We were all very, very tired and most of us opted to rest for the rest of the day. We were told that there was a masjid quite close to our hotel in Azizia. We had to climb down some very steep steps to get to it. But it was just four or five minutes away across the road from our hotel. There were easily over a thousand persons-men and women who were praying in the masjid.
|CNN Hajj report|