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
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 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.
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.
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.