Saturday, March 10, 2007
going back to see mount arafat was interesting, not only did i manage to get a camel ride with my brother clinging on to me for dear life, but i got to see the mountain without the millions of peoples surrounding it.
so i stood at the bottom of this mountain, looking up at it thinking 'how am i going to climb this' it was possible as you could clearly see people at the top. i began by jumping onto the smaller rocks, then climbing, struggling, hanging on for dear life at one point, slamming myself against a jagged rock and shouting out my frustration, eventually i got to the top only to find that there where camels, old people as well beggars without limbs, how on earth did they manage to get to the top????????
simple, the answer is, they walked up the stairs on the other side, and those stairs where big, spacious and just easy, a 2 year old could do it, white african had to go about it the long and hard way duhhhhh, i seriously felt stupid lol.
the view from the mountain was splendid, and i kept thinking how amazing it was that just a couple of days ago this view would have been full of people dressed in white praying to Allah, now it was emptiness not to be filled with people until next year.
Arafat is overlooked by a huge mountain referred to as Jabal Al-Rahma or Mountain of Mercy. Muslims believe that Adam and his wife Eve were reunited on this mountain and forgiven by God, it is also where eth prophet Muhammad gave his last sermon, when you look at the mountain you will notice a white pillar at the top of it, it's just to symbolise the mountain as well as where the khutbah is held, it wasn't there at the time of the prophet and it has no connection to worship or any thing like that what so ever, but to see the people reacting towards it you would thing that this pillar held some sort of power, touching it and what not, when you come closer to the pillar you cant help but notice the amount of graffiti on it, and even when i was standing there some one took out a permanent marker and began to scribble something on the pillar.
i have to say i did get a little tempted to write 'white african was here 2007' but then i scolded myself for having such thoughts, tut tut tut.
i have never understood the concept of wiping your hands on an object, wanting to attain blessings or some sort of cure for a disease, or even forgiveness, its an object for crying out loud, if you have travelled all this way to perform hajj with the intention of pleasing god, gaining forgiveness and his mercy, then why on earth would you commit shirk (associating partners with god) by seeking something from an object that was probably made in Italy???????
it's mind boggling, and it's a very common sight to see, an you just want to shake people and say 'what is this object possibly going to do for you', in my opinion it's the same as idol worship, how else did people get into the stage of worshipping idols, through the same means. i remember once reading the life story of the companion umar al khatab (ra) and he said that there was one thing that he remembers from his ignorant time that makes him laugh out loud and that is he once moulded an idol out of dates and then began to worahip this ideal, then one day he was extremely hungry and couldn't find anything to eat other than his idol, so he ate the idol.
what is stroking a piece of glass, marble, metal possibly going to do for you? when i was in madina, i was standing next to a metal gate that looks into the grave yard where many of the companions are buried, i was just looking standing directly in front of the gate, when a woman started to shout at me telling me to move and give her a chance to stand where i was standing, i asked her exactly why she wanted my spot, to which she replied 'i want the barakah (blessing)', i asked her where the 'blessing; is exactly? to which she replied the metal gate your protecting, to which i told her that in that case I'm staying where i am and not budging as this metal you so want to touch and feel and pray to does not want you.
Allah swt is to whim they pray to but yet they feel that they need to find solace in metal, and other objects that have no meaning what so ever, I'm confused....
as well as the evident shirk that was happening all around me, there where people who where just admiring the view, and praying generally this guy was Turkish, you can tell from the little flag on his bag as well as the fact that they all wore the same clothes, it was a uniform to differentiate them from other groups, i wasn't sure what he was doing here, maybe adthan?
also on top of the mountain there was a man selling things, i swear any opportunity and people will be there trying to sell you something, soon you wont be able to enter the toilet unless a person sells you toilet paper and water, i can see that happening.
there are camels if you want a ride with a picture, and they really hassle you into getting on the camel, he got 10 riyal of me, no more.
also you will most certainly come across a beggar with some form of disability like this man:
he was wailing and crying, saying 'sabil illah' (for the sake of Allah) and people where putting money on to his jilabeeyah, he was acting like he couldn't move, lying on the stairs preventing people from passing. after i had taken pictures of everything and looked at the view, i decided to make my way back down to the valley (going down the stairs this time) when something passed me by in a fast manner nearly knocking me over, i looked to see who it was and low and behold it was the beggar man who couldn't even breath properly before never mind running down stairs at the speed of a marathon runner, hmmmmm when i saw that i thanked Allah i hadn't fallen for his tricks and given him money.
the beggars are really every where and its sad because you cant differentiate between who is genuine and who is a fake. we where told that the best people to give money to are the workers who work at the haram, cleaners and what not as they are in need due to their rubbish pay, they usually where orange suites, i called them the Guantanamo bay people because of their uniforms. the beggars became a nuisance and you can no longer feel any sympathy for them although saying that you cant but help feel sorry of r the children, as a child should keep its innocence and play like every other child and have the rights that each child should enjoy rather than be abused by working and begging all hours of the day and teaching the child to pick pocket and trick others, its a sad thing to see. sometimes a child will run up to you selling tissue or packest of chewing gum and your heart just goes out to them.
i remember once in egypt a little boy around 5 or 6 was selling chewing gum or something, we gave him money but we didnt take what he was selling, for like over an hour he was following us, each time we would go into the shop he would be waiting outside for us, and we thought we would never get rid of him, we mistakenly thought he wanted more money, and just as we where getting annoyed by him, i went up to him to tell him to go home that we had already given him money, to which he replies in cute Arabic, 'i don't want more money, i want you to take what you payed for'
how adorable is that? even a child has dignity and a sense of what is right and wrong, and for some one to take that away from them is an ultimate betrayal.
the most thing that affects me is seeing a child not given its basic rights.
on the note of children and charity for those who are based in Britain:
Islamic Relief Proudly Presents...
outlandish are going to be there and i have to say they are really good, so as well as entertaigmnet and a good night, its an oppertunity to help the children.
anglo and brave as well as manchester, there coming to london and birmingham as well :)