A Drummer's Testament
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Chapter II-21:  The Pilgrimage to Mecca   <PDF file>

Dangers and benefits of the Hajj; preparations; Hajj agents; foreign exchange problems; arrival at Jidda; arrival at Mecca; Arafat; Mina; Mudzalifah; Medina; Alhaji Ibrahim’s piety and his feelings of pity during the Hajj; return from Mecca; greetings

Paragraph outline
Proverbs and sayings
Dagbani words and other search terms



Contents outline by paragraph  <top of page>

Preparation

1.    Introduction:  Alhaji Ibrahim’s experience

Agents

2.    agents handle passports and foreign exchange
3.    how agents take bribes and deceive their clients
4.    how agents cheat the people who go on the pilgrimage
5.    example:  pilgrims pay different amounts for the same services
6.    example:  how Alhaji Ibrahim’s agent defrauded his clients for luggage costs
7.    example:  no one was able to recover the luggage money
8.    pilgrims have no strength or voice with agents; people who go should be aware
9.    the cheating continues in Mecca; need for money to see things; pilgrim must ignore it
10.  for those who are dropped from pilgrimage:  grief, shame, debt

Anticipating the dangers of the pilgrimage

11.  danger of dying; leave money for family; share property in case die on the trip
12.  possible to die at the Kaaba, at the stone throwing, at Medina

The trip from Ghana to Jidda

13.  at airport, Alhaji Ibrahim is robbed in the check-in line
14.  customs search for foreign exchange; hiding money in a water bottle
15.  farewell to families; waiting
16.  soldiers remove people from the plane
17.  worries during the flight
18.  the long, uncomfortable flight to Jidda
19.  thoughts during the flight

Jidda

20.  disembarkation and immigration
21.  the customs area; Alhaji Ibrahim’s honey; the transition to the status of pilgrim
22.  students from Ghana help the pilgrims to find transport and lodging
23.  advice from the students about Jidda and the pilgrimage
24.  changing money
25.  Alhaji Ibrahim’s easy situation in Jidda

Mecca

26.  traveling to Mecca
27.  arrival at lodging house in Mecca; houseowner Moro
28.  the charge for accommodations; some people refuse but later return
29.  other lodging charges for Ghanaian pilgrims
30.  services and transportation provided by the householder at their lodging
31.  advice and instructions on first visit to the Mosque
32.  going around the Kabba; tawaf; starting point of the pilgrimage
33.  Safa and Marwah
34.  return to the house; lodging arrangements
33.  eleven days in Mecca; further description of the Mosque and its dangers
34.  Alhaji Ibrahim finds money at the Mosque to replace the stolen money
35.  the luck of the found money; from God

Arafat

36.  travel to Arafat
37.  description of Arafat and lodging
38.  the houseowner slaughters cows for his lodgers and prepares food
39.  the extent of some of the sacrifices at Arafat; reflections on the poverty of Ghanaian pilgrims
40.  lectures about Arafat and sermons
41.  climbing the mountain

Muzdalifah and Mina

42.  travel to Muzdalifah and Mina
43.  the three statues at Mina
44.  the dangers of the stone throwing
45.  return to the Mosque at Mecca; removing the harami, shaving
46.  return to Mina; three days
47.  sacrifice and fasting

Medina

48.  farewell to the Kaaba; travel to Medina
49.  why and how the pilgrims visit Medina
50.  finding lodging; assistance from a Zambarima man
51.  hesitation of some in Alhaji Ibrahim’s company
52.  description of the lodging house; anxiety about the charges
53.  the negotiation of the lodging charges
54.  the negotiations for visiting the sites in Medina
55.  the graves of the Holy Prophet and the Sheikhs
56.  the mosques of Medina; the Holy Prophet’s friend Hamzah

Return to Jidda

57.  no plane comes from Ghana; many pilgrims finish their money and have to manage by trading and begging
58.  Alhaji Ibrahim’s situation was better; ten days in Jidda

The return trip to Ghana

59.  carrying things from Jidda to Ghana; some overweight items are thrown away
60.  the overbooked plane; removing some passengers
61.  arrival at Tamale; soldiers confiscate the goods people brought back and extort money
62.  the corruption and cheating of Ghanaian soldiers under Acheampong
63.  complaints about the government’s seizing of goods

Arrival home

64.  the guarded happiness at first after the return
65.  people come to give greetings; gifts; zamzam water

Reflections on the pilgrimage

66.  the religious benefits; inspiration of seeing the places adds to religion
67.  the benefits of prayers at Mecca
68.  the blessings of helping others or friends go to Mecca, even strangers
69.  Alhaji Ibrahim’s conversation about being sent to Mecca by a friend
71.  Alhaji Ibrahim took John’s picture and talked about the friendship at Mecca; the friendly social atmosphere in Mecca
72.  praying for a friend and good thoughts about a friend
73.  how friendship and love extend through generations
74.  friendship and patience; Alhaji Ibrahim gives John the name “Patience gets everything”; the good names and bad names of patience
75.  the Hajj brings thoughts of happiness and pity; despite the Holy Prophet’s work, he still had to die
76.  people wish to return to Mecca to see more of the experience
77.  how Alhaji Ibrahim’s life has changed; the additional respect of being Alhaji
78.  conclusion of the talk


Proverbs and sayings  <top of page>

As for the problem of a hundred people, if you one person are going to take charge of it, you will come to face the problem on your own. 

Old Dagbamba say that if something is falling from the air, nobody knows whose head it’s going to land on. 

Too many thoughts is sleep.

What brings fear?  It is darkness.

Prayers know where to go.

Patience gets everything.

Even if a dog goes to Hajj and comes home, its name will change. 


Key words for ASCII searches  <top of page>

Places in Saudi Arabia
Arafat
Jidda
Kaaba
Marwah
Medina
Mina
Muzdalifah
Safa

Muslim terms and figures
Alhaji
Allahu Akubaru
Faatiya
Hajj
Hamzah
harami
Holy Qu’ran
Ishai
maalams
Magarbi
Holy Prophet Muhammad
Sheikh Abu Bakr
Sheikh Umar
Sheikh Usman
tawaf
zamzam

Names
Acheampong
Alhaji Ibrahim Abdulai
Alhaji Iddrisu
Alhaji Muhammadu
[Alhaji] Mumuni
Alhaji Ohenedjan
Alhaji Osmanu
Alhassan
Moro
Nkrumah
Sulemana
Yakubu

Miscellaneous words and idioms
cedi
Chimsi
drumskins
guinea fowl
houseowner
housepeople
mother’s children
pesewas
Yaa-Naa

Towns and places
Accra
Dagbon
Kumasi
Savelugu
Sunyani
Tamale
Yendi

Cultural groups
Arab
Dagbamba
Wangara
Yoruba
Zambarima