“… The vague longings that filled my soul,
Took the form of a prayer I upward sped,
To Him, the One, The Essence of All….
And the weird cadence of the Mueddin’s cry
Bid the faithful prepare for the day that was nigh….”
On her 1933 pilgrimage, she became the first international traveler to record the buses that had recently begun service in Makkah.
“Two hundred and fifty miles [400 km] from Jeddah to Medina took us fifteen hours to accomplish and I take off my hat to the little Ford that gallantly carried us through those sandy wastes…. Besides the pilgrims on camels, we met many on foot, toiling slowly through the scorching desert with water jugs in their hands clad in their Ihram (or two towels), and, as they were bare headed, many carried umbrellas. Ten days is the usual time it takes a camel to accomplish the journey between Medina and Jeddah and three weeks for the pilgrim on foot….
Today the news has come through that I am permitted to do the pilgrimage to Mecca and visit Medina. I had for so long lived in alternate fits of hope and despair, that I can scarcely credit that my great wish is at last to be fulfilled. Preparations for my journey are in the hands of my host…; while I prepare…my pilgrim dress which consists of a black crepe skirt, very full, and a cape and hood in one, to be worn over ordinary dress when I visit Medina, also a black crepe veil entirely obscuring my features; but for Mecca I shall be entirely in white, no colour is allowed in any garment….
I am in the Mosque of Mecca, and for a few seconds I am lost to my surroundings because of the wonder of it. We are walking on white marble through a great vault whose ceiling is a full fifty feet above us, and enter pillared cloisters holding the arched roof and surrounding an immense quadrangle…. I had never imagined anything so stupendous…. We walk on to the Holy of Holies, the house of Allah [the Ka’bah] rising in simple majesty. It would require a master pen to describe the scene, poignant in its intensity of the great concourse of humanity of which I was one small unit, completely lost to their surroundings in a fervour of religious enthusiasm…. I felt caught up in a strong wave of spiritual exaltation….”
This first Hajj account by an English woman also contains the first recorded trip by car from Mina to Arafat.
SubhanAllah how rapid the changes in such a short span of time. And yet all the rituals all Hujjaj remain the same. May the Pen have written Maqbool for all, Ameen.
All good is from Allah Ta’ala whereas mistakes are from this humble speck. May Allah Ta’ala Bless all readers, bringing you all closer to Him and His Rasul SallAllahu alaihi wasallam. May He accept our humble efforts and grant us the capacity to be good and do good. Ameen.