We had a briefing next to the golden door of Nabawi Mosque. A short explanation about what to do inside the mosque. After the pilgrims understood I guided them to read the entrance prayer. Our sandals were put into plastic bags or handbags while the winter wind was blowing in the direction of our backs.
The place we are going to go is raudhah, a garden of heaven that Allah sent down to earth. The Prophet told about it,
ما بين بيتي ومنبري روضة من رياض الجنة
“What lies between my house and my pulpit is one of the heaven’s gardens.” (Shahih. HR. Al-Bukhari (no. 1195) and Muslim (no.1390))
So touching was the journey to Raudhah. There was almost no sound except for the soft whir of a vacuum cleaner controlled by a cleaning service in gray or blue uniform. The more we go along the white pillars of we can hear so many people chanting the verses of the Qur’an. Sometimes I pause to listen to those verses that seem to speak directly to the heart.
The closer to Raudhah the carpet almost invisible due to dozens of pilgrims who asleep under the blanket. Some of them did not appear except their legs which protruded from the blanket. Most of them are Pakistani or Afghani, spending time in Nabawi only to worship Allah; And now they are relieving themselves for a while.
The white wall of canvas is in our left and behind it is woman’s section of Raudhah. We can heard women chatting in Bahasa Indonesia, Hindi, Urdu, Arabic, etc. But there is only one thing for sure, that the women are more noisy than the men.
“We have arrived at Raudhah.” I told to the pilgrims. Mr. Oni and his two sons named Farhan and Faris so fascinated to see hundreds of men gathered in a small room. On the left side is a white wall of canvas while on the right side we can find shelves of the Qur’an attached to a long golden fence. Some green-uniformed guards seemed to be watching over at some of the entrances that attached to the fence.
Thre is a distance around 50 meters between the place we stand and raudhah. The distance is divided into several rooms that are bounded by a white cloth of wall. This is how it works. If the group in the raudhah had finished the prayer and exited then the guard will open the veil between the space. So the next group are permited to enter raudhah to pray.
“Remember what I said earlier. Once you arrive at the green carpet means you are already in raudhah. Begin to pray. When you’re done, shift with your friend or others. God willing, our affairs will be facilitated by Him. ”
Each group is given about 5 to 10 minutes to pray at Raudhah. To ward off saturation, the groups that are still in line are getting acquainted and chatting. Whatever the nation or language is, this chat will connect even though the storyteller and who hear speak in different languages. Here we suddenly become familiar with the others, at least until the veil opened. Then the race begin.
“Farel and Rayhan, If you’re separated do not go anywhere. Stay towards Raudah and pray. Insha Allah I’ll pick you up! “i said to nephew and son of Mr. Nugie. Farel, who is already in junior high school, is an intelligent and kind-hearted boy but also naughty; As for Rayhan who is younger, also kind hearthed but timid.
“And which one is the pulpit of the prophet?” Asked Mr. Nugie.
“There is it.” I pointing to a white platform that almost as high as the ceiling.
Soon the canvas wall opened and we all rushed into it. Some did intend to run but some others, especially the elderly, just bounced around like a board hit by tsunami.
After that I looked down and found that the carpet is green. I prayed two rakaat of dhuha (morning prayer) because at time was nine o’clock in the morning. There is no special intention to pray in raudhah, one can intend for absolute prayer, dhuha, istiqoroh (to seek guidance of most important thing), or tahajud (night prayer) when we arrives there midnight.
After praying I look for my companion but none were visible. Suddenly a dreary-looking Indonesian gentleman looked at me in full hope. I understand that he hadnt found any playe to pray. I called him, “Sir, please.”
He smiled and go to where i stand, at the same time I went out from Raudhah to the wall which filled with shelves of the Qur’an. Apparently Mr. Oni and his two sons have arrived there.
“What’s this place name?” He asked about the section behind golden fences.
“Oh this is called Suffah, sir.” I said while pointing the rows of the Qur’an. “It used to be part of the mosque’s terrace and residence for the companions who came to Madinah solely to study the Islamic law.”
“Ohhhh ….” Mr. Oni’s eyes which wrapped in round glasses lit up. “Is this mihrab (place for imam on sholat) also part of the suffah?” He pointed to the mihrab which marked by a golden microphone.
“Yeah, that’s also part of suffah. But in the time of the Prophet it the form was different. ”