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Umroh - Makkah - 1

16 May 2013 - First Umroh

Duncan MacDonald  
Jakarta   16  June   2013   

      After arriving at Makkah we went straight to the Hilton hotel and changed into special robes to conduct the Umroh. Men wore 2 pieces of white toweling, arranged so the right shoulder was bare. No underwear. The boys had bare feet.
      Women wore a white garment covering their entire body. Their head was covered but no covering on the face. They were allowed to wear sox. Shinta put on 3 pair.
      This attire was decreed by the Prophet so everyone appeared equal while conducting the ritual. (No crowns, top hats or bling, thanks).

      First we walked around the Ka'ba seven times, counter-clockwise. Then we walked a couple of hundred meters to perform the Sa'i. The Sa'i was performed under cover. By this time it was dark but the rituals are conducted 24 / 7 under flood lights.
      The Sa'i requires one to walk and run from one end of this enclosure to the other, a distance of approx 400m. We do this 7 times. (Eight actually as we have to return to the start at the end).
      At the end, this poor country boy was in great difficulty. Walking and running, bare foot, over tiles, for a distance of approx. 5km played havoc with my feet, calves and back. However Shinta backed up and did it again the next day while I 'rested'.
      I had major problems with the crowds. There were tens of thousands, pushing, shoving, running, walking, chanting & crying, in a pretty small area. Attending a football match at the Sydney Cricket Ground with 80,000 people was a picnic compared to this.

Click on enlarge under the photo to see a larger image.

Duncan Makkah
1: Duncan all dressed & ready to do the Umrah-enlarge
2: Shinta with tour leader Sukerno, commencing the Sa-i-enlarge
Makkah Sa'i
3: Makkah Sa'i, our group's oldest pilgrim 84 years -enlarge
Makkah Sa'i
4: Beginning the Sa'i -enlarge
Sa'i Makkah
5: OK fella, you're going to go down & back seven (actually eight) times -enlarge
Duncan Sa'i
6: Duncan -enlarge
Shinta Sa'i
7: Shinta Sa'i, looking as bright as a button-enlarge
Shinta Sa'i
8: Shinta Sa'i - the red bag holds ones shoes -enlarge
Duncan Sa'i
9: Duncan, Sa'i - I'm doing it tough enlarge
Shinta Sa'i
10: Shinta, starting the Sa'i trek, again-enlarge
Shinta Sa'i
11: Shinta, photo op during Sa'i-enlarge
12: Womens section, outside Al-Masjid Al-Haram, or Grand Mosque, after Umroh. This is the largest mosque in the world and surrounds the Ka'ba-enlarge


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