Sunday, January 01, 2006


Jabal Nur seen from below as we reached by car.

The year was 1996. It was the year I did my first umrah with mak, Sarah and my 2 sisters. And thus it was the first time I set eyes on the magnificently sublime Kaabah. Subhanallah! I cried out of sheer reverence. Circumbulating and praying near it, it's a truly fulfilling moment. Besides the usual umrah rituals, my sister, Ita and I had braved ourselves further by doing something we wouldn't have thought of enduring if we were in Malaysia. We decided to climb Jabal Nur! Yes, that's the rock-hill in the northen desert outskirts of Mecca, approximately 7 km away from the Kaabah, where Rasulullah used to ascend and in the Hira' cave he would seclude to contemplate life. It's also, by the way, the highest hill in Mecca.

That's me climbing up the rocky pathway.

Upon reaching the foot of the hill, we followed a rocky pathway. We took careful steps as it was easy to accidentally lose a footing on a lose rubble. To make the climb more achievable we wore pants on the inside and jubah outside, frequently lifting the outer garment as we climbed. Like all daytime in Mecca, it was stifling and scorching hot. But it didn't deter us a bit. We were adamant to make it to the top and visualize the famous cave ourselves.

As we progressed, we had to tackle a host of beggars in all forms and various ages. They were under the control of many syndicates. Many were physically deformed. One was walking on his hands as both of his lower limbs were amputated! But the daily chore of begging at the hill had rendered him so nimble and agile that he had mastered the rocky pathway , I am sure he could do it with closed eyes! Another young boy made a living by helping to carry loads and also small children up and down the hill. Needless to say he was steadfast in his footing and clambering the hill was second-nature to him, with or without load on his shoulders.

Not avid climbers, my sis and I, huffed and puffed all the way, stopping at junctures to relieve our dyspneic lungs. But never did we entertain the relinquishing thoughts of backing off and retracing our trail down. Our minds were set to imbibe whatever we can from the 'holy' surroundings of the rocky structure. A natural monument which housed a cave, where Rasulullah s.a.w. first received the words of Allah swt. The place where he would seek solace and peace of mind. And also upon visualizing the Angel Gabriel a.s. for the first time, he had trembled and rushed down the slopes towards Khadijah home.

We pushed hard and dragged our sore feet and breathless chest uphill till we reached the summit. Despite the thinning air of the rising altitude, we persevered and the breath-taking scenery up there was worth all the hard-effort. The invigorating mountain air almost instantly replenished our used energy. From there we could see a whole panorama that encompasses the whole of Mecca. The summit of Jabal Nur is just a small area of uneven plateau and here we could find a wooden shack with benches for respite and some vendors who sold bottled drinks which we gulped down with such vigor! (after that vigorous climb, water never tasted any better!). Now where's the cave, my inquisitive mind was asking. Only then did we realize that we had to climb down a bit to the other side to get near the 'holy' cave.

Now, this second part of our climb proved to be more difficult and in fact, more risky as it involved climbing down steep walls of rocks. Thus, we had to move in single file and maintain patience or you might accidentally push someone off the cliff! Nauzubillah! Alas! After cautious descend, we reached a flat clearing and at the edge we saw a group of people surrounding a cave-like structure which was in fact made by big stone slabs naturally arranged at an angle, erecting a hollow room just to fit a single man sitting down!

The cave viewed from top.

So there I was, standing at the edge of a cliff, gazing at a cave-like structure that had seen many important historical events pertaining to our great prophet. There and then I tried to envisage our prophet sitting for long hours overwhelmed by his thoughts searching earnestly for the truth. A truly awesome and engaging experience! If one was to sit in it, one would find oneself facing directly towards the Kaabah! Subhanallah!

People crowding the cave. Note the person sitting down in the cave.

So when iKelah knew about this 'great' climb of mine he was rather surprised. As I have told numerous others, iKelah's climbing spirits must have possesed me during that endevour or I would have cowardly declined the call in the first instant. I am proud to relate this story because I know many have not the opportunity to do so.

That's me touching down triumphantly!

Incidentally, this entry was inspired by Hiyoshi's recent entry on his successful scaling of Gunung Datuk in Negeri Sembilan. Eventhough my experience was much less difficult compared to his, still it was a venture to be cherished all the same. I share his excitement as mountain climbing offers an emotional glorifying satisfation that surpasses many others. (I am actually speaking from iKelah's experiences as he had conquered Gunung Ledang, Gunung Tahan, Gunung/Bukit Bekelah, Jerangkang, Raja and several others). After all, isn't a life-achievement equivalent to conquering a mountain?


NBB said...

mencabar nampaknya tu ye?

Rubbish Scribler said...

All this talks of voyages ('s close enough!) makes me want to go on an adventure! I should just start packing and go somewhere.

After I have my own money that is.

crimsonskye said...

ikelah is quite the mountaineer, it seems :) but the way you described your climb jabal nur, it must be due to your own determination and sheer wanting to make it to the summit. after all, this is no ordinary hill. far more significant and special compared to any mountain, mount everest even!

anggerik merah said...

Dr Roza, It was really wonderful feeling to be able to reach there. I did not get a chance to climb when I performed my Umrah in 2000. Insyaallah, with Allah bless I plan to go again for Haj. My cousins had climbed it. They told me that it was very challenging. I can imagine how you feel.

I love jungle tracking and monutan climbing. Had chance to conquer Mt Kinabalu when I was very young.

May this new year bring you and family with joy and happiness. And more winderful memories to share. Lots of Luv from AM.

lentiform said...

I pray that I'll be able to make my journey there soon, Ameen.

Em said...

Salaams Doc

Ur post has inspired me so..Insyallah one I do will make dat climb..

anasalwa said...

what a blessed experience. thank you for sharing it with us.

pycnogenol said...

I was only admiring from afar to see all those jemaah scaling Jabal Nur. (They all appear like black ants crawling up the mountain)
Now, looking back, I should have taken that challenge. I was much younger and stronger then. Sekarang ni?...dah reput tulang (the phrase said, accompanied with the exact hands and fingers movement and facial expression of Aziz Sattar)
Congratulations to you!!

Count Byron said...

Dr. I tabik spring. What a beautiful entry!

You have achieved a feat I had not during my Haj trip of 90.

A wonderful feeling it must be. To be surrounded by history, and history of non-other than the Rasul himself s.a.w. The climb to the gua looked precarious and patience learnt in that climb is what you have with you as a doctor. Syabas.

BTW, huff and puff is a method of oil recovery to get more oil out of the ground :)

hiyoshi said...

Just a question; why weren't your pictures taken up close?

InsyaAllah I will climb Jabal Nur when I go there. The feeling one gets when climbing is different with each individual mountain, and I 'm sure that Jabal Nur has a lot to offer me :)

Zed said...

hmmm... makes me kinda miss the Holy Land. Insya'allah 2006 will be another trip. it does bring a lot of emotions thinking of the places where our Prophet and his "Sahabats" were. The places where the wars took place, and where the shahid's were buried.

dr in the house said...

NB- mahu tak mencabar! Mencungap2 dibuat nya!

Scribler- I heard you've taken a road journey up to Bangkok few yrs back. Now that's a voyage I reckon!

Crimson- Indeed it was one of my out of the ordinary physical achievement

AM- insyallah, remember to ask the mutawif to arrange a trip up there and once up there, keep me in mind of what I wrote in this entry, :)) All the best to you!

Lentiform- Ameen!

EM- Ameen to your prayers too!

Anasalwa- Indeed it was!

Pycno- No you're never too old to make that climb. I saw old ladies and men, even toddlers making the climb. So the next time you're there insyallah make an effort (suruh Bea pimpin!)

Count- If my huff and puff that day could drill out oil...that'll be the day!

hiyoshi- the pics were taken by my sis at a distant. No digital cam then

Zed- Do you do umrah yearly?

Anonymous said...

it reminds me of my mum's haj trip, she went in 97' and of how till these days sometimes when she recollects about climbing jabal nur, she's just amaze of how she was able to do it when she's not really that strong.

am happy that she did it and in a way, it makes her feel happy that anything is possible when you have the will, especially in the holy land.


easylady said...

Seronoknya baca.Belum berkesempatan ke sana,InsyaAllah kalu pergi nak juga mendaki. Bilatu..

Queen Of The House said...

What an inspiring entry indeed. I pray to one day be able to do this, although I am not sure I am as nimble as you were in scaling in Jabal Nur :) Inilah sebab orang pergi masa muda2 & bertenaga, ye?

Arifah said...

Drroza, talking about all these traveling makes me wanna go backpacking NOW!! Jom kite?! Ehhhehe.
Anway been to Mecca and Madinah once when our was in standard 2 I think (and rubbishscribbler almost 5 yrs old, she can't remember a thing though! lol) and it was an amazing and unforgettable experience indeed!! Subhanallah.
Although I wish I cud have been a bit older, supaya boleh lebih paham tujuan ibadah umrah dilakukan. But InsyaAllah He has other plans for me. So, bile lagi ur next umrah excursion?

ayumi_of_mirkwood said...

Subhanallah.. I really hope I will get there someday. A lot of my friends who had been in Mecca and Medina had told me the sense of tranquility they felt at both places.. and I'm looking forward to that. Insya-Allah..

kenakelayan said...

How lovely! For myself, unfortunately we just passed by Jabal Nur since we were pushed for time. I do wish I had the opprtunity to make the trek up.
When r u going again?

dr in the house said...

Raftah- yes insyallah, the Holy Land definitely is filled with blessings and the unexpected can happen!

Easylady- insyallah kalau ada niat yg kuat, Allah akan perkenankan

Queen- I saw old ladies and men did the climbing even better than me so dont you worry! Even though it's not a rukunn of Haji or umrah but it enhances our outlook of things overthere and helsp us draw closer to ar Rasul.

Afie- Insyallah you nect umrah will be even better and more meaningful

Ayumi- Yes we all hope and wish for the same

Kenakelayan- When? Insyallah when time and fulus permit, :). I can imagine already huggybear giving you a piggyride up there, heheh

Arifah said...

I'm back for a while only. Hehhe. Pray for your blog "children" successes eh doc? Cya around~

Nurelhuda said...

Yes Jabal Nur! I have been preoccuppied with the Nur aspect of our being and the Prophet's being and Allah...all Nur!

Has said...

Now I really think Lentiform kena panjat bukit Jabal Nur, lambai Lentiform, jangan tak lambai.

Ku Keng said...

Thanks for bertandang to my blog. I must relate one day as to how I (with 3 friends) got lost in Mina on the night before Arafah. Mina was razed by fire that day. That was in 1998. Really great test. One of the most interesting events in my life. Managed to Arafah without any mutawwif; for a first timer, and returned to Jamrah via Muzdalifah also on our own.

dr in the house said...

Afie- Insyallah I will. Just study hard!

Nurelhuda-Yes all the lights belong to Allah swt

Has- arent you confusing it with Jabal Rahmah at arafah?

Keng- Yes, I remember the fire in Mina. So you were lost within the inferno. Masyallah! So you went to Mina first before wukuf...yes that's what Rasulullah did...but our Malaysian jamaah usually goes straight to Arafah from Mecca...but it's sunnah to spend a night at Mina first then to Arafah for wukuf.

There's so many story of people getting lost during Hajj because of the oceans of people around. But the worst story is during the yr I did hajj, I heard a whole bus of TH jamaah got lost because of jam on the road. They didnt reach Arafah for wukuf! Once they arrieved it was over! Sad indeed!. The whole bus-full of jamaah's hajj was nullified simply because they didnt perform wukuf!

Ikelah said...

A msg from Boogey. A hotel at gazzah collapsed. Still unknown weather there r malaysian among the victims.

innalilla hiwainna ilaihirojiun.

pycnogenol said...

Drroza, were the TH jamaah (who got lost) compensated or were they taken for Hajj for free the next year? Afterall, that was not their fault.
Or were they again asked to "bersabar" and accept that, as yet another "dugaan di Tanah Suci?"

dr in the house said...

iKleah- is Gazzah the area we stayed before?

Pycno- that's exactly what everyone had queried and suggested them to do but unfortunately I didnt have the opportunity to follow up this case like I would do for my patients, :))
Maybe we can ask Boogey if he knows about it. *drroza makes a mental note to ask Boogey when he comes back*

Anonymous said...

That's a great story. Waiting for more. »

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