Archive for January, 2011

Taif, a beauty in desert

Taif, a beautiful hill station not so far from the Holy city, Makkah has a prolonged history to tell. History of Thaqif tribe who inhabited over there during Dark Age, Visit of our beloved Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) during 10th year of Nubuwah and the regretful event occurred then, Supplication made by Mercy of the universe (رحمة للعالمين) Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) to Allah and his forgiveness to the aggressors, Battle of Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) during 8th year of Hijra to cleanse Taif out of Infidels … so on and so forth!

Taif is a cool destination some eighty km east of Makkah. Traveler from Makkah is greeted by a spiraling highway with multiple bends and curves which thrills the journey. A few view points have been set up alongside the road for the travelers to have a glimpse of the natural beauty. Monkeys often seen at such hill top view points also welcome the tourists. Though recent economic development in the country has set a footprint of modernity there, still one would feel the place is serene and tranquility over there is pleasing and the atmosphere enjoyable.

Looking down from one view point, my guide pointed to a small alleyway between hill bends. He explained it as ‘camel path’ which was the path used by travelers riding horse and camel to commute. I counted it would be a difficult journey if one has to ride using non motor aids through such pathways because even riding in an air conditioned four wheel drive I felt exhausted.

A grieve feeling reached me while I thought about journey of Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) to propagate Allah’s commands to people of Taif. Contrary to His expectation none was ready to hear His eternal advices. But the crowd assaulted Him and He had to retreat dejected. Yet, He objected Angels descended to punish the crowd and prayed for them. What a superior quality is this! This very unprecedented mercy is among many other unique qualities of our Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

Check my previous post on Masjid Addas for a detailed account of this incident.

None can call Him and His followers as aggressors. Such a tag is being burdened over Muslim community by mass media. But if one checks many events of this sort during life of Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and His companions, he can ever call like that.

A Masjid is built where Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) rested after the incident called Masjid Koo’e (مسجد كوع). As per some historians there is a mark on the rock at which Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) leaned impacted by His leaning. I couldn’t locate this rock there, might be obscured by construction of the Masjid.

Al Kou' Masjid

Al Kou' Masjid

Al Kou’ Masjid

This Masjid is thought to be built on the approximate spot the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) stood or when he first came to Al Taif. This Masjid was built by the end of the Ottoman era and has been recently renovated.

Al Kou' Masjid

Al Kou' Masjid

Al Kou' Masjid

Al Kou' Masjid

Al Kou' Masjid

Al Kou' Masjid

Al Kou' Masjid

Al Kou' Masjid

Al Madhoon Masjid, a distant view

Al Madhoon Masjid, Taif

This is an ancient yet recently renovated Masjid near Masjid Kou’. This Masjid is also known as Al Qantara Masjid and it is famous for its Athan tower which looks like a cylinder and ends with a spherical peak.The Masjid was built of stone and gypsum it is rectangular in shape and has an inclined ceiling. This Masjid probably dates back to the end of the Ottoman Empire.

The Masjid is locked and is not opened for Prayers but the Adhan tower (Minarat) is accessible. Checking the interior of the Adhan tower one would admire its design and architecture considering the era at which it was built. There is a cyclic ladder leading to the top of the tower and there is a door which opens to the roof of the Masjid. Many tall but lean holes in the wall provide sunlight and air inside the tower.

Al Madhoon Masjid

Famous minarat of Al Madhoon Masjid

Al Madhoon Masjid

Al Madhoon Masjid, recent renovation didn't hamper the antique structure much

Al Madhoon Masjid

Stones packed amidst wooden rods, a past method for reinforcement instead of concrete

Al Madhoon Masjid

Cyclic ladder to peak of Adhan tower, artistic as well as architecturally significant

Al Madhoon Masjid

These holes supplies sufficient sunlight and air inside the Adhan tower

Al Madhoon Masjid

Slanted roof for quick drain of rain water

The Fruit Market
The Fruit Market

Fruit market at the peak of the mountainous highway towards Taif is a refreshing seen with fresh and juicy fruits on display. Locally produced grapes and pomegranate are available in most of the stalls along with many imported items. A special fruit here is ‘Prickly Pear’ which is a desert fruit from cactus plant. Shopkeepers peel this fruit to remove its thorns and pack it in small containers.

Prickly Pear

It was in a night when I reached the fruit market. After having a quick round through the market, I started taking some snaps. But suddenly the light went off and so I missed some good photos. I am bad in photography and this power failure made my effort even worse.


January 25, 2011 at 9:41 pm Leave a comment

Rare belongings of Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) in Masjid Imam Husain

Having custody of objects related to Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) is considered a great privilege. Believers who love Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) treat it as a prestige and admiration. They cherish it passionately and take blessings from it.

There are many such items exhibited in Masjid Imam Husain in Cairo. Sword, piece of a stick and piece of a dress used by Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) are displayed there. Four hairs of Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) is also kept there with utmost dignity. The custodian of the sacred items, Al Shaikh Ahmad Ridhwan Abdul Khair explains that normally human hair will disintegrate by passage of seventy to eighty years. But hair of Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) is extraordinary as it withstood more than 1400 years!

Egypt has a remarkable tradition of respecting and caring monuments and objects of historical significance. If you travel through length or breadth of the country you could witness many of such effects.

Masjid Imam Husain is a popular tourist destination in a busy alley in Cairo, the city of thousand Minarets. Visitors from all around the world flock at the site which is adjacent to Al Azhar University campus. When we visited the shrine unfortunately the exhibition room of sacred items was closed. So we missed to have a glimpse of it.

Check my previous post on Imam Husain Masjid

January 14, 2011 at 4:55 am 7 comments

Sacred Hair of Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) in India

Sacred hair of Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) with certificate of authenticity is being handed over to Shaikh Aboobacker Ahmad

The document of authenticity relating to the sacred hair is being signed by Shaikh Aboobacker Ahmad

It is quiet sensational! Words can’t express the feelings if one is given possession authority of sacred hair of Rasoolullah(صلى الله عليه و سلم), verily Allah’s beloved. The emotion is paramount if one loves Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and he is offered to keep the sacred traces with full authority.

The sacred hair handing over event held during Markaz Conference was really emotional. Shaikh Ahmad Al Khazraji, Abu Dhabi, UAE handed over one hair of Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) to renowned Indian Scholar Shaikh Aboobacker Ahmad during the conference with a massive crowd watching virtually breathless with tears in their eyes. The event was telecasted live over internet allowing many to witness glimpse of it round the world.

The Sacred Hair was handed over after reading names of greats who inherited it starting from era of Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) till date. Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) during his Hajj pilgrimage (الحجة الوداع) had distributed his hairs to his companions. The companions kept them sacredly and passed over to next generation. Passing from generations to generations many such hairs are available now kept with high dignity in many parts of the world.

Shaikh Ahmad Al Khazraji, son of Shaikh Muhammed Al Khazraji, former Minister of Endowments and Islamic Affairs, United Arab Emirates inherits many traces belonging to Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم). He is a descendant from Khazraj tribe, one of the prominent tribe in Yathrib (Madinah) at the era of Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم). They are ‘Ansars’ as they welcomed and offered unmatched helps to Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and his companions migrated from Makkah.

Shaikh Ahmad Al Khazraji used to exhibit his sacred collections to general public in his home in Abu Dhabi on 12th night of Rabiul Awwal. He dips the hairs in water and presents bottles of that water to the keen visitors on the day.

Shaikh Ahmad Al Khazraji, has mentioned that he got order from Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) through dream to hand over the hair to the leader of pious Muslims in Kerala. Markaz already keeps one hair of Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) which was collected from another source.

Markaz conference is conducted during two or three years to grant certificates to young Islamic Sharia graduates and Quran Hafizs. A huge crowd of around a million people were present at the vicinity of Markaz Conference. Markaz is an Islamic educational center located in south Indian city Kozhikode, Kerala which teaches principles and practices of Ahlu Sunnah wal Jamaa’h. Markaz also offers quality education to thousands of students on various trades and skills apart from its rudimentary ethics of teaching Islamic Sharia.

Another notable incident during the conference was presentation given by Dr. Ali Jomaa to Scholars of Markaz. Dr. Ali Jomaa, Grand Mufti Egypt is a dignitary respected by Muslims all over the world. He is a noted preacher and author of many books on Islamic faith and jurisprudence. He presented ‘sanad’ the certificate of authenticity he has being keeping relating to various scholars of Madhab of Imam Shafii to Shaikh Abubacker Ahmad during the conference.

Markaz with more than 30 years of experience in breeding Islamic pundits has started spreading its wings to other states of India like Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, West Bengal, Andamn Nicobar Islands and Kashmir. Shaikh Aboobcker Ahmad, one of the founders of this unparalleled institution is a famous scholar, author of many books and a good preacher. His long term vision and hard work in setting up the Markaz has paid off with the sort of appreciations Markaz getting from worldwide Scholars.

Dr. Ali Jomaa, Grand Mufti Egypt is being warmly welcomed by Shaikh Aboobacker Ahmad at Kozhikode International Airport

January 11, 2011 at 5:03 pm 64 comments

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