My heart melted every time I saw the picture of people moving around Kaabah, meanwhile, I…
I was just sitting in my room.
I could be sad and all, but something happened recently, and it kinda healed me.
It was about me and Hajj.
Well. Will you believe if I say I have just experienced Hajj in a virtual world?
You can do it, too.
Hajj in Virtual Reality – Chapter 1
Through the virtual world, I visited Madinah and found people I’ve never met in my life smiled at me in front of Al-Masjid an-Nabawi. It was a welcoming smile as if they said, “Salam. You’re finally here. Welcome, welcome!”
Through the virtual world, I also visited Makkah and Masjid al-Haram. I was on the top floor, leaning on the balcony railing, seeing people move in harmony together around, in a counterclockwise direction.
That was when I saw a big black cube with the big golden door.
It’s so big that all people look so small; so magnificent that I just wanted to look at it all the time.
It’s the Holy Kaabah standing before me.
I was wonderstruck.
And, I was only in my room.
Hajj in Virtual Reality – Chapter 2
What You Need and How To
In this article, I will show you how to experience Hajj from your room. Beside the fact that it might heal your longing towards the Holy Cities, it will also give you the real condition during Hajj. If you have performed Hajj before, this will definitely relive those lifetime experiences.
First of all, you don’t need to prepare anything much, just take your seat and lay down, and…
- Grab your Android phones or iPhones—chances are you’re probably holding it right now.
- Make sure you have updated YouTube app.
- Download BeThere Makkah on Play Store or App Store.
- Get your BeThere Book: Travel Edition. This is a virtual reality glasses; a tool that will make you feel like you were standing among the pilgrims.
Now, let the journey begin.
Hajj in Virtual Reality – Chapter 3
Days Before Hajj
Visiting Madinah, Visiting Makkah for the First Time, Seeing Kaabah for First Time, and the First Tawaf.
When I first played this 360-degree video wearing BeThere Book: Travel Edition, I felt like I was standing among the crowd. People are walking around me, but I saw hospitality in their eyes. Some smiled at me like they were welcoming my presence.
Through this 360-video, I felt like walking with the crowd around the Kaabah. I was so astonished by how close I was to the Kaabah. My heart was beating and warm at the same time, and I couldn’t stop looking at the Kaabah.
You might cry.
Hajj in Virtual Reality – Chapter 4
To experience Hajj, please open BeThere Makkah. Download it on PlayStore or App Store.
Once you open the app, you might be wondering why the screen is split into two—that’s normal.
All you have to do is insert your phone into BeThere Book: Travel Edition. Wear it, move your head around…
… don’t you feel like you were there?
Anyway, there are four options in the application: Haram, City, Hajj, History. Choose “Hajj” by focusing your sight on it.
Hajj in Virtual Reality – Chapter 5
The first day of Hajj: Mina
As I “opened” Mina from the gallery menu, I felt like standing among another crowd.
I turned my head around, and I saw a tunnel.
It had to be the Mina Tunnel.
It was more crowded there.
Rich and poor. Black and white. Young and old. They were all here, standing next to each other, walking toward the same place for the same intention.
As I focused my sight to the next button, I moved inside Mina Tunnel. Seeing all people here made me realize that we all are from different countries with different cultures and different personalities.
It takes so much patience to walk in this crowd.
It takes so much patience and understanding. And, pray.
Hajj in Virtual Reality – Chapter 6
The second day of Hajj: Arafat
Sunlight moved upon people’s skins and clothes. Though I was only virtually there, I could feel the heat. Standing among the crowd (again), it seemed that most people were focusing their sights on one thing. So, I followed their sights.
And, I saw a mountain which full of people wearing white.
It’s Jabal ar-Rahmah.
After focusing my sight on the next button, I was suddenly moved to the top of the mountain, and I almost cried. No matter how the sun burnt their skins, no matter how it was so crowd, the pilgrims kept raising both hands up to the shoulder with palms open facing up.
Though it was hot and crowd, what I saw was peace.
Hajj in Virtual Reality – Chapter 6
The third, fourth, fifth day of Hajj: Ramy al-Jamarat
Every time I heard a Hajj story, I had always wondered how the people throwing pebbles at Jamarat. Thanks to BeThere Makkah, now I clearly saw it. I even visited the Jamaraat Bridge.
On the third day or the following day, the pilgrims have to come back to Masjid al-Haram for another tawaf.
Still using the same application, I went back to Haram’s option, and I was still astonished by the Holy Kaaba. It was like a magnet to my heart and my eyes.
Hajj in Virtual Reality – Last Chapter
Last day at Mina…
Going back to Hajj’s option, my eyes were already wet as I saw the tents at Mina. I was on the road, people seemed walking, the sky looked gloomy by the sunset.
It was like a perfect goodbye I would never be ready.
I knew it was only virtual, but the feels were so strong.
It was the end of the virtual journey, but this is the memory I’d never forget.
Someday I will BeThere.
And, when I took off BeThere Book: Traveling Edition, I felt like…
My heart was left in Makkah.
P.S. The pictures of Mina, Arafat, and Ramy Al-Jamarat are not taken from BeThere Makkah.