Most of my Hajj stories are centered on the humorous light-hearted side. Today, we’ll go on the heavy part. I mentioned I was unwell in Muzdalifah. Because of my ordeal, I was fondly known as Hajah Muzdalifah. This, will be a long post.
No matter how many layers of clothing sis laid on me, the amount of rubbing her palms against mine to incite a little warmth, I was still greatly engulfed by the coldness. Stiff, feeble, daunted, literally on the verge of blacking out, I offered endless du’a to Allah S.W.T. to grant me the spirit, willpower, to keep me conscious. Strength was nearly fictional, owing to the massive lost of bodily fluids. Incapable of enduring it any longer, I asked for the doctor. Mum decided to approach the Malaysian Hajj authorities after seeing my deteriorating condition.
They and the mutawifs allowed my family and I to get a clear pass to Mina. Upon seeing my mum motioning us to cut the queue, the other Malaysian pilgrims began hollering curses. Even in my half-dazed state, I can hear the taunts. With the last bit of strength left, I told dad I’m fine. The amount of criticisms propelled had intensified. Relentlessly, I insisted that I do not want this. Dad said, "The family needs you to be safe."
The situation had taken a lot out of me that I actually fell down midway in which family had to support me. As I was nearing the bus, people no longer blasted curses. Echoes of sympathy filled the air. Few aunts helped me to get back on my feet. Now, all I can hear was “She is sick.” I kept on apologizing to all of them. They responded with, “It’s alright. You better get going now. Take care.”
Briefly recollect the utterances of a familiar mutawif, “Don’t worry. I’ll carry your bags. You just get there.” Too frail to do anything, I gave a weak smile. Going up the stairs felt impossible. With each step I took, I can sense the Arab driver patiently looking at me as if; if I were to slip a step he will definitely reach out for me. I sat behind him, in which he gestured with a silent assurance that he’ll get me there safe and sound. Sis, following closely behind, sat next to me.
Transfixed with sorrow, streams of tears flowed out of me. Already numb to the physical pain, the pain I had was impaled from the inside. It hurts to know that accusations were thrown at us, albeit it was more upsetting knowing these ridiculed words came from people here for Hajj. Throughout the journey, I asked for forgiveness from Allah S.W.T for me, my family as well as the pilgrims. Blaming myself as the root of the problem, a few brothers and sisters later lifted the heavy load I carried with me.
"Little sister, remember who's in charge. It is His will."
Once in Mina, the medical team had insufficient medical equipment. They along with the mutawifs and Hajj authorities kept vigilant of me. They were concerned that I might faint at any given time as my BP *blood pressure* was dangerously low and my palms hardly have any traces of blood. During one of the Jamrah throws, sis panicked when my palms turned blue. I assured her saying that she’ll be the first to know if I’m losing it, and that Insha’Allah I’ll be fine. Other than that, Alhamdulillah, there wasn’t any major complication with regards to my health.
Circumstances bring forth the good and ugly sides of people. Attending doctor appointments off and on, I witnessed a great deal of patients along with the characters of the people amongst them. The medical team was seriously under staff, thereby doctors were forced to work round the clock. Under those conditions, I am marveled that they were still able to smile, be empathetic and remain controlled even when medical resources were depleting rapidly. Rationing, improvising were the only options.
Head doctor :: You are in pain, aren't you?
Me :: I'm okay. :)
Head doctor :: You may be smiling, but I'm a doctor. I'm sorry that I'm not able to provide you with the proper medication for now. I really don't want to send you to the Arab doctors. Things ... are different here.
Me :: I know. It's okay. :)
Head doctor :: I'm really sorry. Keep me updated on your health. If you're in pain, let me know. Don't smile. Don't laugh. Don't let it be. Be patient hajah. Insha'Allah you will be fine. I have you in my prayers and I'm speaking to you as a brother that cares for his sister.
Me :: Thank you. :)
The head doctor coined me as Hajah Muzdalifah. Posts on the medical team and mutawifs will be kept for another day.
Rereading my journal.
3.40am Malaysian Time