Everyday I learn more of the Islamic faith. This very morning listened to a scholar quoting the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH): Be merciful Don’t frighten people away. The best of you for Islam will be the best of you in Islam if they gain an understanding of the religion.
Merciful, used as an adjective, has many kind synonyms: compassionate, gracious, tenderhearted, benevolent. Its opposite is cruel and merciless.
Keeping the words.of the Prophet in mind, I shall be gracious when describing what I observed in Saudi Arabia. I shall not let my rage at the Western press poison my tenderhearted memories of these peoples.
I am tenderhearted as I was consistently treated compassionately and kindly. I shall provide two examples, one documented on Instagram. I had flown from Riyadh to Jeddah, it had been a difficult flights which I had taken in my goodnatured stride. The entrance was from the tarmac, it takes me forever to climb stairs because of knee problems. The man next to the window became sick, it was necessary to get up and get out of his way so another seat had to be found for me that was compatible with my left knee etc etc. The good news is that I was seated next to a famous jockey, who could not speak English but showed me his Instagram reels. We did communicate quite well.
Me: Born 1943
He: Me 1999
Me: I am old
The entire plane was laughing with my antics. We landed, I was being pushed in a wheelchair. Two non English speaking Saudi women greeted me with great joy, gave me a chocolate bar and asked that their pictures be taken with me. We follow each other on Instagram. Their photo will be shown. The Makkah hotel had a lounge for special guests – families would always ask me to sit with them, we would ask hotel staff to translate for us. They all took great delight in my recent entry to the faith.
This Makkah (Mecca) incident was priceless. Two guides took me to the King Abdulaziz Complex for Holy Kaaba It is the first complex to make hold Kiswa in Makkah. “King Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al Saud may Allah have mercy on him commanded to establish in 1345 AH to take care producing kiswa of holy Kaaba and renewal every year.” In more simple terms it is the black ‘curtain’ that surrounds the Kaaba. The cleanliness of the ‘factory’, the precision, the care, the dignity, the peace deserved such respect. There are so many steps beginning with the blending and dyeing of the fabric, the automatic weaving. Then the design is printed, then this design is embroidered with gold and silver threads. I had an opportunity to try embroidery, I was not very good at it to be very honest but I was most enthusiastic, laughing at my mistakes and being so grateful to be there. As my two marvelous guides and I went to leave a young man rushed up to me and gave me a ring, woven from the gold threads used for the embroidery. I was so touched, so thankful, so honored. Then, as I finally went to leave another young man rushed toward me – rewarding me with a handful of gold threads. I never have felt so loved, so treasured. The gold threads of the Kaaba Kiswa were gifted to me.
Then my treasured guides took me to lunch in an Arabic restaurant. We sat in a private room, on the floor with cushions and I ate in the manner of the country. The food was indescribably delicious and there was so much of it. We, of course, brought the leftovers with us.
I correspond on WhatsApp with one of the amazing women. She has invited me to her home to be with her family when I return to Mecca. She is sincere, I am sincere. I shall return to that Holy Place – hopefully soon. I was going to spend Ramadan in Riyadh but instead shall stay at home in Edmonton. The fasting, and more important, the intention making and habit reform is best done in the quiet and peace of my home. I have already received permission from my Muslim woman physician to fast during Ramadan. I have great confidence in her and she shall keep me well. The added benefit is weight loss. When I get me energy back will travel again to Saudi Arabia – worship and pick up the possession left there. Visit with the many friends that I made and properly make the Umrah pilgrimage. There were flaws in my first. My Umrah guide (not these two magnificent women that took me to this complex and lunch) was totally inexperienced and scammed me (constantly asking for money and using her ‘people’ for services and possessions, invited me to her family home in order to convince me that giving money to children was the custom (it was not). Her deceit and greed slowly was apparent and revealed, I did not loose my faith. I see her as a Satan who no longer whispers in my ear and feel certain that Allah shall remove her from her position as Umrah guide. I did correspond with her upon my return to Canada. She took no responsibility for what she did, she persisted in her lies and blamed others. I blocked her. She was only 21 – I do pray that she will not bring children into this world as her wicked ways must be inbred.
But she was only one person. The ast majority of Saudis are so kind and giving which can only come from an inner peace. Saudis feel comfortable in their country – their lives are predicable. They do not suffer fear, alienation, disillusionment and anger that the peoples of the United States do, like the people in the United Arab Emeritus do. I know both of those countries rather intimately. Canadians, in this city of Edmonton, are also comfortable in their existences, they lives are predictable and anger is not widespread. There are pockets of rage. Those who blame their failure on Trudeau, on the federal government, on taxation. But they are not educated, they have not lived under oppression. There were so-called Freedom rallies held in the neighboring Legislative grounds. They do not realize that in most of the world they would not be able to rally, to meet, to defile the flag of their country. Unfortunately, the likes of them managed to corrupt the United Conservative party of this province. Premier Smith assumed power when I was on my Umrah pilgrimage. I breakfast at the Legislative Cafeteria, it is humble, most inexpensive, the staff is hardworking and they are kind. Premier Smith’s platform insists that she is one of the people. She has never been seen in the cafeteria. Either she eats elsewhere, has her staff bring food or send out to have it delivered by profit making companies who pay their staff subsistence wages. Premier Smith should go and live in the UAE, recent insights into that country factually proves that I was not paranoid. I was lucky to get out alive on May 8, 2022. But I do remember this funny saying.
Me: Even paranoids have enemies.
Alter Ego: That is true, they probably do.
Me: But two things. Paranoids fail to see the good in most people. They are surrounded by poisonous people because they are so negative. Most positive people do not want to be around their hatred.
Alter Ego: You have been around negative people, ones who used you.
Me: True. But when their evil is revealed I get away. Step aside, not run away. They go on and whisper in another’s ear until they are stopped. I do not waste time getting even or trying to ‘save’ them. I just go on an enjoy my life. Most importantly practice my faith.
The photographs are ones taken in the King Abdulaziz Complex. Me embroidering, my two Saudi wonderful women guides and some photos of the interior. I feel so blessed to have been there and to be taken to that site in Mecca (Makkah).
It occurs that I should define kind. There are many definitions but this one, when used as an adjective, captures my meaning: having or showing a friendly, generous, and considerate nature. One gets a warm and cozy feeling just reading the synonyms: good-natured, kindhearted, tenderhearted, warmhearted, softhearted, good-hearted, tender, caring, feeling, affectionate, loving, warm, gentle, mellow, mild; helpful, thoughtful, obliging, unselfish, selfless, altruistic, good, cooperative, accommodating, attentive; considerate. compassionate, sympathetic, understanding, big-hearted, benevolent, friendly, courteous, agreeable, pleasant, nice, amiable, hospitable, public-spirited, well; generous, magnanimous,, tolerant, charitable, gracious, humane, merciful, clement, pitying, forbearing, patient; liberal, openhanded, lavish, bountiful, beneficent, munificent, giving; philanthropic; princely. Get me away from the antonym folk: unkind, inconsiderate, mean, cruel.
Please take note that one of the synonyms is merciful, was the word with which began this blog, I just noticed that actually. What goes around comes around.
That is used to say that if someone treats other people badly he or she will eventually be treated badly by someone else. You should not mistreat them. The metaphor “what goes around, comes around,” describes the evil or good things that befall and individual because of his or her choices or actions. Good people are often rewarded with good things. In contrast, mis fortunes often tend to get what they deserve.
My busy day shall include listening to a lecture on Alzheimer’s Disease, a Visit to my Doctor and Grocery Shopping. Already breakfasted at the Legislative Building.