January 23, 2020
Shakeeb and I were looking for a shared cab to Masjid e Quba to offer two rakats nafl which is said to be equivalent of one maqbool Umrah. One elderly couple seemed to have forgotten their hotel name and recklessly asked every cab to drop them to their hotel. Poor couple!
So, one cab came and immediately there were 9 passengers. He’d start the cab, you’d think but no. The cab is a van and has a capacity of 15. He didn’t leave until he got every single seat filled.
He drove rashly, spoke only arabic and was slow to count. The moment we alight from the cab and headed towards Masjid e Quba, Shakeeb and I said in unison, “We are not taking that cab on the way back.”
Of course, we were naïve.
It was already 7:25 PM. The night has set and the winds were freezing. There was only one cab – the one that brought us to Masjid e Quba. Left with no option, we headed for the cab. Thankfully, a big Pakistani family of seven also boarded with us. The driver left us to fetch more passengers. The restless Pakistanis got down, hoping to find another cab. If there was any other cab, you wouldn’t have boarded this one. I wanted to shout, but kept quiet.
Long story short, as we alight from the cab and Shakeeb handed over 4 riyals to the cabbie, the iqamat had begun. I ran like an athlete and made it just in time to join namaaz.