Umrah Day 4: Peaking Jabal Nur!
The parents will be following us but I don’t think they are climbing up with us. Lol.
Starting point. We actually had to walk up a steep slope before the start of the mountain.
After climbing up the slope, a few of the group members (the older ones) gave up. I was armed with a walking stick! I didn’t care what people will say but I really needed the stick if I want to make it all the way up.
Even I was breathless after climbing up the steep slope.
Spotted this really adorable cat that quickly warmed up to me.
Looking up, this was what we I saw. Oddly enough, I did not have doubts about my abilities.
We were not even halfway up but the view was spectacular.
The photos just did not do the place justice.
Look at all the stairs we climbed!
And the stairs we are going to climb!
We were out of breath and had to take frequent breaks.
Thankfully it was windy and not too hot so it was actually nice to simply look at the view.
The dry weather made it tougher because I felt my throat really dry and had to occasionally sip some water from the bottle. Each time I felt like giving up, I would turn back and look at how high up I have climbed.
Sometimes, leaving the other younger ones behind….
It was really an accomplishment because I was only depending on my right leg with each step. My left leg was only supporting my remainder body weight.
How much further up?
As we climbed higher and higher, we needed to take more frequent breaks. The sun was getting higher and higher and it was also getting hotter and hotter.
My mind was set on peaking it. Never mind the fact that even though I have hiked other mountains before this and did not manage to reach the peak, I was determined to peak this one.
This one is special.
I have the help of my walking stick! Yeah!
I can do anything I put my mind to! Yeah!
Even though I am out of breath and my legs felt numb….
…….with each step I get more and more excited because I am getting closer to my goal.
So there we were climbing up slowly but surely.
Look how far we have come!
Tired is an understatement.
But being tired is not an excuse not to smile.
And pose with such a beautiful scenery as background.
I can almost see the peak!
Taking a few minutes to capture the beautiful view and catch our breaths.
Oh look! There was a shop at the peak of the mountain selling cold drinks!
I have reached the peak! 2500 ft!! Let me pose with a can of coke in my hands. Lol.
We made it! Yay!
There were people doing prayers, I am not sure what prayers they were doing.
The entire city of Mekah in the background!
Looking at the crowd who wanted to enter Gua Hira’, I was not sure if I wanted to join in. There were all sorts of people pushing their way in and the route looks really small. I was not sure if I could make it.
However, I was blessed because one of the guys in our group was fierce and he shouted and made everyone lined up. He even scolded the people who tried to cut queue, thus making way for his mum and us to go into the Gua Hira’ for a short while.
To arrive at the entrance of Gua Hira’ was already a challenge. The cave-like path is too narrow and scary for me who is claustrophobic. However, I decided that since I am already here, I might as well go all the way into the cave.
The cave is really too small, it can only fit two people in.
This is where our beloved Prophet Muhammad received his first revelations from Allah SWT through the angel Jibril, thus making this place one of the most significant places in Islam.
Guess what? We made it inside and out safely!
According to my brother, the walls of the cave smelled really fragrant but I did not smell that at all due to my blocked nose. We only had a few minutes so I could only made dua there quickly before others pushed us out.
There were many times when I wanted to turn back and walk down slowly because my right thigh was aching so badly. Imagine climbing up using most of the strength from your right leg? That was how it was for me. Before climbing up, Mum persuaded me not to do it since it was really high and with my deteriorating knee condition, I may not make it up to the peak.
However, I knew that this was the best time to do this. Even if I am blessed with another opportunity to be here, both my knees and me would be older by then and I may not make it up there too.
So I went ahead, with pure determination and faith.
There was a 61 years old lady who was with us all the way and she was also facing some challenges with her knee. She was walking up with a walking stick in right hand and her left hand was held by her son. Each time we reached higher, she would utter ‘Alhamdulilah Syukur’ we have come this far. I was too moved by her perseverance that leaves me no excuse to ever give up.
In fact, when we reached the peak, she was so touched to tears and seeing her, I was also moved to tears, because I managed to overcome my own obstacles too.
The view was to die for, I am so glad I did this. Its really worth all the aches and pain.
For those who are not aware of my knee condition, its called ‘early degeneration’ which basically means that my knees are ageing faster than my actual age. My MRI scan last year revealed that my cartilage were thinning at a really fast rate, way too fast. In fact, the doctor predicted that by 40 years old, I would need to walk with a walking stick because my cartilage would have thinned itself and eventually disappear. He also said that the age of my knee was about 50 years old, 20 years older than my chronological age.
If you hear this piece of news from the doctor, what would you do?
I could not cast myself away and wallow into self pity can I? Its from then on that I decided to live my life to the fullest, with slight urgency because I know that in the future, I may not be able to do all the things that I can do now.
This is the first mountain I have peaked. Alhamdulilah God must have given me the mental and physical strength to do this because I really wanted to be there to view one of the most historical places in the history Islam.
Going down was also another challenge because I could not fully bend my left knee so I needed to land on my right leg all the time. With the help of my stick, I held onto whatever rocks or rails that was in sight to help me go down. Was it easy? Nope.
Was it worth it? Yes. I would do this a thousand times over.
We were not in time for Zohor prayers as a jemaah and on our way to the hotel, this was what I saw.
Everyone stopped what they were doing and prayed. MasyaAllah, amazing.
I will remember this day as a day of accomplishment for me! If I can do this with my knee condition, anyone can.