Discerning readers will notice that Free Palestine, with its accompanying article is now back on the banner of my blog. As days progress I may add more information, The dreadful plight of the Palestinians is constantly in the news – most of it is bad news. Instagram contains reels of US politicians passing the buck, denying responsibility. Recent security leaks have revealed how utterly, horribly and immorally is US involvement, not only with Israel but the entire world, aa we know it. However, this is Ramadan, I shall continue to follow my Intention to speak of the Islamic Faith and not World Politics during these Holy Days. Do admit that recent events are making me fighting mad – so brace yourselves for April 23 or possibly April 24. On that day I may not be kind, courteous and respectful to that United States of America. The damage is not known at the moment but goodness knows what my final US tax bill will be – I shall share the gruesome figures. My tax money goes to kill Palestinian women, Palestinian children, Palestinian youth and Palestinian men. I have a duty as a Muslim to take a stand – I shall. More about that later.
This quotation is from another book, The Revealed Path: A Guidebook for New Muslims. This book was very inexpensive, free actually. It was given at the Zayhed house for Islamic Culture located in Abu Dhabi. The plane fare was a bit expensive and living there proved impossible but I do have three free books and a Muslim name, which is Fatimah. This book will allow readers to skip ahead to the end, to the place we left off yesterday – on the sacred plain of Arafat.
“The most important part of the Hajj takes place where the pilgrims gather to stand on the sacred plain of Arafat. It was here on the Mount of Mercy that the noble Prophet gave his final sermon during his farewell pilgrimage before his passing, reminding his listeners to treat each other with kindness. At the final site he recited the last verses of the Quran to be revealed, to which God declared to all humanity “This day have I perfected your religion for you, and completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. Quran 5:31.
The standing at Arafat is a time of deep reflection, earnest supplication for many and contemplation of one’s life. Looking about, one sees crowds from every race and nation gathered together for a common purpose, foreshadowing the Day of Judgment when all of humanity will be brought forth and in one place to be judged for their actions.”
But now, back to the beginning. The birth of the Noble Prophet, in the words of A Glance at the Holy Prophet of Islam.
“Makkah was covered by a heavy blanket of darkness. No signs of life and activity could be observed in it. Only the moon slowly emerged from behind the darkened surrounding mountains and cast its pale delicate rays upon the simple, austere houses and upon the sandy regions outside the city. Little by Little, midnight gave way to dawn. A gentle breeze rustled through the burning land of the Hijaz and prepared it for a short rest. Now the stars, too, added to the beauty of the pure banquet of nature and smiled at the residents of Makkah. It was now early dawn and the early rising, vigilant night birds were singing beautifully in the heavenly weather. They seemed to be speaking in a romantic language to their Beloved! The horizon was on the verge of brightness of dawn but still a mysterious silence prevailed over the city. All were asleep. Only Amina was awake, feeling the contractions she had been expecting. Gradually the contractions became stronger. Suddenly Amina saw several unknown women in her room. Her room was filled with light and there was a fragrance in the air. She wondered who they were and how they had entered her room through the closed door. Soon her baby was born, and thus, after several months of waiting Amina had the pleasure of seeing her chid in the early dawn of the 17th of Rabi ul-Awwal. All were overjoyed with the child’s birth.”
Amina was alone, her young husband Abdullah had passed away at Medina while returning from Damascus and had been buried there, leaving Amina alone.
“The Prophet was born and his blessed birth gave rise to numerous wonderful incidents in the sky and on the earth, especially in the East, the cradle of civilization.”
As was the tradition the newborn was given to a woman from the surroundings tribes to be wet-nursed. This was done so the children could grow up in fresh air, natural environment. It also served as a protection against infant mortality.. Halima was selected, she took the infant to her own tribe which had previously suffered from famine. His arrival brought prosperity, pastures turned fresh and green.
At the age of six the Prophet travelled with his mother to Medina. But on the way back to Makkah she passed away at a place named Abwa. He was an orphan, raised by Abu Talib, his uncle. A few scenes from his early childhood and young adulthood are described. His first profession was as a Shepard which allowed contemplative thinking. He remained chaste in a foul city, both is friends and enemies regarded him as a best model of chastity and virtue.
The Prophet met his first wife Khadijah, a ‘lady of supreme character’ because she employed him. She was forty, was immensely wealthy, had great prestige and was most popular. She proposed to the twenty-five year old.
The Prophet spent 25 years of his life with Khadijah, who was not only a loving wife for him, but also his best and most helpful mate…Khadijah, peace be upon her, was the first woman who believed in the Prophet’s divine prophecy. She was the first convert, put all her wealth at his disposal to propagate and promote Islam. They had six children – two boys died in infancy and four daughters. “Fatimah was the most honored of them all.”
The Prophet was 40 living amongst “an extremely backward people who were devoid of any traces of civilization and humanity. Those hard conditions troubled his pure soul.” To find peace of mind he would go to Mount Hira. One day, while he sat in a cave at Mount, Mira, Gabriel, the Angel of Revelation, appeared to him.” He was unlettered. It was his First Revelation.
Are you aware of the expression: its not all about you? Or in a wider context: “It means that the one making the statement believes that the target always makes the situation about them, or that their life/problems are the only important thing and therefore become the entirety of any conversation.” It can be a clear signal that you are dealing with a narcissist.
I am about to turn this expression on its head. When you turn something on its head, you make it the opposite of what it once was. Or you totally change the way people think about something.
I am Now going to make this blog all about me. Faithful readers will know that I was in Arafat at the Jamal Thawr Cultural Center, near Mt. Hiro. What you do not know (but are about to find out) is that within that Center is a replica of the cave in which the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) received the First Revelation. It was a ‘stop’ on the tour of the Center. The most amazing occurrence happened at that time, at that place. There were many people waiting and hoping to sit there, in the cave, on the (replica) rock where Mohammed heard the words of Gabriel. The people saw me stumbling with my bad knee, made way for me, helped me navigate and allowed me to sit there. So courteous, so kind were these fellow tourists. I was aware that the revolution came in a cave, but it was so comforting and inspiring to see that it was not a frightening cave, as I had anticipated. There was an opening, light streamed in, there would have been a view of the surroundings. For some reason, it became even more inspiring.
There was, of course, a gift store, staffed by the kindest, the sweetest men. I was going to buy a wooden plaque of Mt. Hiro but then saw a wall hanging, and it was on sale! Decided to purchase the wall hanging, for my prayer room. The staff gifted me with the wooden plaque, I had abandoned it in favor of the wall hanging. I brought it home with me and it is in my prayer room. The wall hanging remains in the luggage room of the Riyadh Hotel Hilton. I was planning to return for Ramadan, the wall hanging would be the focus of my Riyadh small apartment’s private sanctuary. The wall hanging, along with my suitcase, crammed with summer clothes etc. would greet me upon my return. Well, for many reasons, I did not return for Ramadan and any future plans were cancelled. The wonderful staff at the Riyadh Hotel have been assisting me in an attempt to have the wall hanging and my luggage shipped to me in Canada. It has proven most onerous, most difficult as it has proven impossible to speak to.a person, DHL hire only robots, both in Saudi Arabia and in Canada. But I am determined!!! Perhaps it is a sign???
You will be the first to know if it is. In the meantime please view these photographs, The is a photo of me, wearing a Palestinian scarf, bought in Edmonton placed on my head in a stylish fashion by a Saudi man, an employee at my Makkah Hotel. One can see pilgrims worshipping in the background. Another photo of the pilgrims without me in the foreground. Two photos of the sunset that evening which go to prove that one cannot always choose the foreground. One is a garbage container, the other an Exit sign.