Archive for November, 2010
Al Ma’alla graveyard in Makkah is in vicinity of Masjidul Haram blessed with graves of many companions of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and many other righteous followers. This ancient time cemetery is the main one in Makkah till in use.
It is located to the left side of road leading from Marwah gate of Masjidul Haram towards ‘Hayy al Muabda’. The entrance to the Ma’alla is almost one KM away from Marwah and one could reach there after passing two historical Mosques ‘Masjid al Rayyah’ and ‘Masjid al Jinn’.
Due to increase in number of deaths nowadays the graveyard is built as multiple layers. That is by constructing walls and filling soil above closed graves. New graves are thus dug in this fresh soil. But some prominent graves are still kept intact without closing for upper layers.
There is a road over bridge passing right across the graveyard. From top of this road Qabar (grave) of Sayyidah Khadeejatul Kubra (رضي الله عنها), first wife of Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) is clearly visible. Many people who posses very special love towards this doubtlessly great lady are seen offering salam (salutation) to her with tears flowing from their eyes.
Other prominent Qabars are
1. Qasim ibn Muhammad (رضي الله عنه) eldest son of Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) who died in childhood
2. Asmaa binth Aboobacker (رضي الله عنها), daughter of first Caliph Aboobacker al Siddique (رضي الله عنه) and elder sister of Ayisha (رضي الله عنها)
3. Abdullah ibn Zubair (رضي الله عنه) son of Asmaa (رضي الله عنها) and Zubair bin Awwam (رضي الله عنه) who was killed by cruel ruler Hajjaj bin Yousuf.
4. Sumayya Ummu Ammar bin Yasser (رضي الله عنها), first from Muslims sacrificed who was brutally tortured and killed by Abu Jahl in presence of her husband Yasser (رضي الله عنه) and son Ammar (رضي الله عنه)
5. Abdullah ibn Amr bin Aas (رضي الله عنه)
Great personalities buried there in recent times are Sayyid Muhammad Alawi Maliki (رحمة الله عليه) a famous scholar of Ahlu Sunnah wal Jamaa of recent times lived in Makkah and Muhammad Abdu Yamani (رحمة الله عليه) another great scholar died in November 2010.
People gather in groups to visit the past great personalities buried there offering them salam and praying for them. Many scholars assemble near Qabar of Khadeejathul Kubra (رضي الله عنها) after ‘Asr’ prayers on every Wednesday to recite verses from Quran and gift the thawab (reward) to those who are buried there. This is told by one of my friend staying in Makkah. Due to my busy schedule I missed that assembly last time while I was there.
السلام عليكم يا اهل المعلى و إنَا ان شاء الله بكم لاحقون
ذكروا في التاريخ العربي أن البرعي في حجه الأخير أخذ محمولا على جمل فلما قطع الصحراء مع الحج الشامي وأصبح على بعد خمسين ميلاً من المدينة هب النسيم رطباً عليلاً معطرا برائحة الأماكن المقدسة فازداد شوقه للوصول لكن المرض أعاقه عن المأمول فأنشأ قصيدة لفظ مع آخر بيت منها نفسه الأخير .. يقول فيها
It is mentioned in Arabian history that Shaikh Abdurrahim Al Bare’e during his last Hajj crossed the desert mounted on a camel along with Hajj caravan from Sham. When they were almost fifty miles from Madinah, a fresh breeze with nice scent blowing from Holy places reached him. His love to reach the Holy places got amplified. But his illness hampered his anticipation. Then he wrote a poem rhyming the last words as follows:
يا راحلين إلـى منـى بقيـادي *** هيجتموا يوم الرحيـل فـؤادي
Oh travelers to Mina with out me *** You are agitating my heart at the day of traveling
سرتم وسار دليلكم يا وحشتـي *** الشوق أقلقني وصوت الحـادي
You traveled and left without me *** Longing and singers voice have been hurting me
احرمتموا جفني المنام ببعدكـم *** يـا ساكنين المنحنـى والـوادي
You went away and left me with no sleeping *** You who live in the curve and valley
فإذا وصلتم سالمين فبلغوا *** مني السلام إلى النبي الهادي
When you arrive fine so say *** Salam from me to the Prophet (PBUH)
ويلوح لي مابين زمزم والصفـا *** عند المقام سمعت صوت منادي
He is signing to me between Al Safa and Zamzam *** In the Holy place I heard a caller voice
ويقول لي يانائما جـد السُـرى *** عرفات تجلو كل قلب صـادي
He says to me O h sleeper it’s time to go *** Arafat wipes every ill heart
من نال من عرفات نظرة ساعة *** نال السرور ونال كل مـرادي
Who gets an hour looking at Arafat *** He feels happy and gets his wishes and hopes
تالله ما أحلى المبيت على منـى *** في ليل عيد أبـرك الأعيـادي
I swear that there is no better than sleeping in Mina *** In holy night of the holy EID
ضحوا ضحاياهم و سال دماؤها *** وأنا المتيم قد نحـرت فـؤادي
They slaughtered their sacrifices and blood was running *** And I am the lover here slaughtering my heart
لبسوا ثياب البيض شارات الرضا *** وأنامن أجلهم لبسـت سـوادي
They hopefully dressed white cloths *** And I discouraged dressed black cloths
يارب أنت وصلتهم وقطعتني *** فبحقهـم يـا رب حل قيـادي
Oh Allah you gave them chance to go without me *** Oh Allah please give me the chance to go to
بالله يازوار قبر محمد *** من كان منكم رائحا أو غادي
Oh please visitors to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) grave *** You who are still going or coming back
يبلغ إلى المختار ألف تحية *** من عاشق متفتت الأكباد
Greet the chosen Prophet thousand greetings *** From a loves him to die
قولوا له عبـد الرحيـم متيـم *** ومفـارق الأحـبـاب والأولاد
Say to him I am a poor and enamored of him *** And I am leaving my family and children
صلى عليك الله يا علـم الهـدى *** ما سار ركب أو ترنـم حـادي
Peace be Upon you guidance Prophet *** As much as a human walk or singer sings
Badr, the battle between good and evil was one of the turning points in history of Islam. It was a strike between truth and falsehood, a war between the best of mankind accompanied with Angels against the worst of mankind in company of devils.
Makkah infidels who suppressed the truth to support their ignorance on Allah, the pagans who brutally mistreated early believers of Islam to deprive off their belief, the preachers of darkness who tried their best to pluck the bud of Islam from its origin were all given a smack on the back by the happenings in Badr.
The army formed by a small group of men with very few arms and provisions defeated a thousand strong and well armed men with much weapons and provisions. Muslim army in Badr didn’t aim a battle of this magnitude while started from Madinah. Their intention was only to intimidate traders who looted belongings of Muslims in Makkah while they migrated to Madinah and with that money they traveled to Sham (now Syria and Jordan) to trade and earn profit.
Abu Jahl, leader of Makkah infidels counted it as an attack to their trade caravan and marched to Badr with a well equipped army. But Allah had decided woe to the infidels and end of many proud among them. Muslims got ample support from Angel descended in Badr. Infidel army was hit on the length and breadth and seventy top leaders from them were killed.
Special to mention is bravery of Hamza ibn Abdul Muttalib (رضي الله عنه), uncle of Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) who fought with a solo sword against Aswad who came mounted on horse with many weapons to destroy water tank setup by Muslim Army. After a prolonged struggle he killed the enemy which flung open the war. Another important incident is Abdullah ibn Masuod’s (رضي الله عنه) slaying of Abu Jahl. During search in the battle ground he found Abu Jahl lying helplessly on his back. He jumped up to his chest and using sword of Abu Jahl slit his neck.
The battle was in 17th of Ramdan in second year after Hijra. Memory of Badr will electrify every true believer as he views it as success of his religion against infidels. In many Muslim societies special ceremony and prayers are held in memory of Badr warriors on this day. Our deeds are far less and incomparable to deeds of those who sacrificed their health and wealth for the sake of Islam. But we do respect them and love them from depth of the heart and hope Allah will reward us for this love.
There were 313 warriors fought in Badr and fourteen of them got martyred. Their names are seen adorned in marble plates kept in Badr. Though visit to this unforgettable site is regulated nowadays, many believers reach there and offer special salutation to the martyrs of Badr.
Photos taken before 125 years, that too of the sacred city of Muslims! It will be a hit for sure. An exhibition in Dubai displays this rare collection of a Dutch explorer. The Dutchman ‘Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje’ along with a local physician ‘Al-Sayyid Abd al-Ghaffar’ snapped many images of Makkah in 1885 A.D. He also recorded some sound clips from Makkah.
Probably one of the earliest of photos taken on the sacred land shows mostly undeveloped Makkah with tents of pilgrims and their camels. One can make out the developments visible in and around Makkah came very recently. One should praise Allah for his mercy on his believers by providing much wealth to the rulers. They developed the city to accommodate a lot of pilgrims of modern generations.
Interestingly there are many other photographs displayed in Makkah museum. There is a footnote which states ‘Historical and rare photographs of Makkah, Holy places, and al-Madinah, have being taken between 1297-1298H by the photographer Sadiq Bik’. 1297H is before 134 hijri years that is approximately 130 Gregorian years ago. So both collections are taken almost at the same time.
This news is reported by CNN as follows
(CNN) — He was an adventurer, a scholar, and possibly a spy — but as Dutchman Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje proved with his rare 1885 photographs and sound recordings of Mecca, he was also a pioneering multimedia journalist.
Snouck’s extraordinary collection of sepia-tinted images of Mecca in a bygone age have gone on display in Dubai ahead of the annual Hajj pilgrimage that originally drew him to the heart of Islam.
Accompanied by crackling, eerie soundscapes captured by Snouck using Thomas Edison’s newly-invented wax cylinders, the exhibition paints a very different picture from the ornate and built-up Mecca familiar to modern visitors.
Among the newly-restored platinum prints, one image taken from a nearby hillside shows the Kaaba, the instantly recognizable cubic building considered by Muslims to be the holiest place on the planet.
But though the galleried compound which surrounds it is echoed by Mecca’s contemporary architecture, the sparsely-built city of Snouck’s era bears only a passing resemblance, as do the rudimentary travelers’ tents on the dusty plains outside the city.
The images are all the more astounding, says Elie Domit — creative director of Dubai’s Empty Quarter gallery, which is hosting the exhibition — when one considers the lengths he went to to get them.
Can you just imagine going there and going through all the hardship to record that moment in history? It’s fascinating.
–Elie, Domit, Dubai’s Empty Quarter Gallery
“People tend to forget the situation because cameras today are so versatile and light,” he told CNN. “In Snouck’s day they probably weighed about 40 kilos, and he needed to take all the chemicals for developing, which he would have done on site.”
“And he not only took photographs, but also recorded sounds. Can you just imagine going there and going through all the hardship to record that moment in history? It’s fascinating.”
Also fascinating, says Domit, is the story of Snouck himself. A pioneering traveler, he was a rare Western presence in Mecca, but embraced the culture and religion of his hosts with passion, converting to Islam.
He stayed for five months, documenting the run-up to Hajj, but although he had intended to stay for the pilgrimage, he was forced to leave after unfounded accusations of his involvement in an attempt to steal a historical artifact.
“Being one of the first Europeans, people were suspicious of his agenda, particularly as he had gained the confidence of the Ottoman leader,” added Domit.
“So when they heard the rumor he was a thief, he had to escape — leaving his camera equipment behind.”
The equipment wasn’t wasted. After Snouck’s departure, Al-Sayyid Abd al-Ghaffar, a local physician that the Dutchman had worked alongside, began using the camera, possibly becoming Mecca’s first home-grown photographer.
Al-Ghaffar continued sending his images to Snouck in The Netherlands. Many of the photographs were originally credited solely to Snouck but they are now jointly credited, with experts unable to tell who shot what.
The images, archived by Leiden University Library, were published four years after Snouck’s trip. Original copies of the album now sell for about $45,000, according to the gallery.
There was, says Domit, more to Snouck than pictures and sound.
“He never said himself that he was a spy because there was no Hollywood to pay tons of money for his inside story, but there have been many documents and historians claiming this.
“Most likely he was working as an agent of espionage in order to furnish information to the Dutch who had an interest in finding out about Muslim insurgents trying to topple the colonialism of the Netherlands.
“But he was also very convinced about the state of Islam, very knowledgeable and very dedicated. He was a kind of dichotomy: Here was a guy sent on a mission, but after he arrived he was convinced by and converted to Islam.
“I’m sure in terms of his personality, it was quite difficult.”
According to Domit, Snouck also left behind a pregnant Ethiopian wife when he fled Mecca, but later married again while working in the what is now Indonesia. “He married several times, I believe. Very convenient when the Dutch government is paying your bill.”
Read it in CNN web site http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/meast/11/11/mecca.hajj.snouck/index.html
The Empty Quarter gallery is in building 2 among Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) buildings at Trade Center II sector in Zaabeel area. It is almost a kilometer drive from Dubai World Trade Center well known for many exhibitions. I could see the photos displayed in the gallery.
Click to view web site of ‘The Empty Quarter’ which shows the photographs.
Officials from the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques Affairs took down the old kiswa and replaced it with a new one, which is made from pure silk at Makkah’s Kiswa Factory.
The ceremony was attended by representatives from the Presidency of the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques and the Kiswa Factory. The changing of the kiswa is done in a particular way with the new kiswa hung over the old one from the top and then the old one removed from underneath.
The Kiswa Factory was built in Makkah about 74 years ago by the Kingdom’s founder King Abdul Aziz. A new kiswa is made every year by Saudis who work at the factory.
The black kiswa is made with 670 kg of pure silk, and 150 kg of gold and silver thread that is used for sewing the Qur’anic verses. It is 658 square meters in size and consists of 47 pieces, each 14 meters long and 95 cm wide. It costs about SR16.8 million ($4.5 million).
EID al Adh’ha arrives again sowing seeds of pleasure in the hearts of believers. It is a blessing from Allah; the Creator and the Sustainer of the universe as He offers forgiveness and priceless rewards to His devotees on the occasion of EID.
His messenger Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) permitted His followers to show joy and pleasure during EID. This is by glorifying and exalting Allah by obeying His commands and keeping away from illegitimate deeds. Yet one can enjoy EID with permissible deeds in the religion.
A joyful and splendid EID greeting to all visitors and well wishers of this blog!
عيدكم مبارك و كل عام و أنتم بخير