Roudhoh - the garden of paradise

My trip to Madinatul Munawwarah this time was a very short one - 2 and a half days only... the hotel is the farthest I have been living in throughout my trips so far. We stayed at Mawaddah AnNoor Hotel which is located at the far east of Masjid Nabawi AsSharif. Everytime I visited and prayed at the mosque I will never miss going to visit Rasulullah (may peace be upon him) and Roudhoh- the garden of paradise except during my visit in 2006 with the whole family because I had my mensus throughout my stay in Madinah. 

Roudhoh is located between Rasulullah's (saw) house and his mimbar. I believe that the area of Roudhoh allocated for the men is more spacious as compared to the area for the ladies... So we ladies have to struggle every time we would want to visit and pray in Roudhoh. Roudhoh for ladies is only between the two while beautiful poles. The colour of the carpet in Roudhoh is greenish white with small prints as compared to red used in the rest of the area in the mosque. 

Besides Roudhoh, we also will not let go the opportunity to visit Rasulullah (saw) and to convey all the salams given by others from our homeland. You will find that your heart is so close to Rasulullah (saw)... tears will be streaming down voluntarily. Once you get this precious opportunity, don't forget to ask from Allah that you will be one of those who will receive 'shafaah' from Rasulullah (saw). The mosque used to open up door no 22 (if I got it right) to ladies 2 times a day...after subuh and zohor. Door no 22 is meant for the men but ladies were allowed to go in from that door to visit Roudhoh and Maqam Rasulullah (saw) during the allocated time. If we go in from door 22, we will be able to see the green dome from outside. Under this dome is where the body of our beloved Rasulullah (saw) is placed to rest. 

 Well, that was then. During my recent visit, we could not do that anymore... at present, ladies could only enter Roudhoh from the inside .... meaning, we have to enter from door 25 (door Uthman ibn Affan) - ladies praying area and wait for the guards to pull out some sort of signboard which carries name of the country or language that you belong too. In my case, I have to look for a signboard which says "Bahasa Melayu" ... I guess that would include people from Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Thailand and the like. We will have to sit obediently among our groups and wait for our turn until the guard let us get up and walk towards Roudhoh. 

 There will be one or two more pit stops for us to wait inside before we are allowed to struggle for a space to pray in Roudhoh. When the opening is made from the inside, normally, the guard will let the ladies from the Arab countries to go in first, then Egypt, Turkey, etc. The last will be the group of Bahasa Melayu. The main reason why they separated the groups is to avoid commotion and injury... our small frame is too fragile as compared to those from the Arab regions. But why they put us last? I wonder... Why they put us as the last group to enter. We are the most obedient group. We sat when they asked us to sit. 

 We waited when they instructed us to wait. We walked quietly when they led us inside.... we would normally pray 2 rakaahs and move away from out praying spot to allow others to have their turns ... Why can't we be the first group since we would not take long. We are not the extremists... crying, kissing and wiping the poles. If we were given the first turn, I bet nobody from our group will over stay or nudge or push others aside. I guess I got my answer... well it is just my personal opinion ....I think it is all due to Arab superiority. The Arabs think that they are superior as compared to other muslims especially as compared to us the Malaysians.... if they did not feel that way, they would give way to us - petite ladies from South East Asia. 

Well I just have to accept the situation with an open heart and mind since I know Allah knows best. It is a part and parcel of life that I have just to live by it. If anyone really wants to visit Roudhoh and Rasulullah (saw), you have to sacrifice in skipping your breakfast, or lunch or dinner. You have to be at the waiting area immediately after those 3 prayers: subuh, zohor and isya' or otherwise you will miss the visit. I tell you.. it is not easy... the journey and the waiting test your physical and mental ability, your determination and your patience. 

 The waiting could be very long... you will feel thirsty, hungry and sleepy... but you have to take charge, persevere and steadfast. Many would just walk away even though they have walked inside. Once you get the opportunity to go to Roudhoh make sure you bring yourself to the first saf. The guards will tell you to pray at the back and at the side and they will insist that it is Roudhoh. But... after the waiting... don't you want to give yourself the best reward? Just brisk yourself to the first saf right in front... wait for your turn. You might want to gently tap on the ladies's heads or shoulders if you see that they purposely prolong their prayers. You could also say "Yallah, hajjah.. bi sur'ah - solat ya hajjah' to indicate to them that there are more people waiting for their turn. Once you got your turn .. pray solat taubat or hajat or mutlak and ask for Allah's forgiveness. 

 Then let others take your place so that they could also get a chance to pray. Roudhoh is indeed beautiful... you will be mesmerised! It was worth all the waiting, the hunger, the tiredness and all the trouble faced. You will walk away with satisfaction, gratefulness and humbleness. Allah is GREAT!! ALLAHUAKBAR!!!
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