Monday, July 17, 2006
Thursday, July 13th, 2006
My heart is heavy with sadness, for what is happening to Iraq, Palestine, and Lebanon these days.
The enemy is one, and evident, but the weakness of the Arabic leaderships is shameful and distressing. And they do not feel ashamed of themselves, with their negativity that insulted this nation's dignity, and led it to the lowest level.
Why don't they stop the outside forces that are assaulting the Arab-Muslim people?
Is the problem a lack of money?
Is it the lack of human resources?
Is it a lack of scientists, intellectuals, and nationalist people in this nation, who want to defend it?
I do not think there is a shortage in any of these items, for we are one of the richest nations, one of the most populated, and we have many scientists, intellectuals, and nationalists among us…
But the dilemma is in these cowardly, corrupt leaderships, who agreed upon the ruin of this nation, present and future.
Behold God, our Lord, and the best of allies.
There will come the day when they will be asked for the crimes they committed against the nation; how they betrayed the trust they held over their shoulders, how they turned our nation into one of the weakest, until it became the easiest for all, and thus was crushed under the feet…
A few weeks ago we went to meet a group of some Iraqi detainees out of the occupation force's prisons. We listened to their stories; full of pain, injustice, and torture, and the killing of relatives and loved ones of their families.
I got out of the meeting with my heart squeezed by sadness. I felt myself suffocating because of what is happening of the crimes against humanity in Iraq.
And the stupid international media collaborated to ignore talking about the wasted human rights in Iraq. They agreed to cheer and praise the democratic process, the freedom, transparency, and the empty talk that the silly Bush is propagating, along with the criminals in his administration, since the war on Iraq, till now.
Iraq has turned, due to their malicious policy, into a heap of rubble, on top of, and under which lies the bodies of the Iraqis.
There are different prisons and detention camps, numerous victims of men, women and children, and Iraq has turned into a piece of hell, in which the occupation forces are devastating corruption and shredding. And along with them works sectarian militias, Iraqi or Iranian, the identity is no longer important, but they do waste the innocent Iraqi blood on the streets, in the houses, and everywhere. And the whole world is watching, and no body can stop the Iraqi bloodshed; not the Iraqi government, nor any else.
We have an old proverb saying: when a madman throws a stone into the well, a thousand sane people couldn't remove it out…
And here is Iraq now, if thousands of wise people gathered to solve the chaos and the ruin which the American war against it produced, they wouldn't be able to solve that; for the threads are entangled, the hands are multinomial, and so are the interests.
And we, the Iraqis, are the only victims.............
Two weeks ago, I said to myself; I was tired of Iraq and the news from Iraq. I decided to travel with a group of women and families to visit the holy places of Muslims in the Blessed City and Mecca. I said; I shall go there only to ask God to grant calm and safety upon Iraq. I want nothing for myself, I only want the turmoil provoked by the criminals who came from outside of Iraq to be extinguished, whoever their identities are, may God curse them.
But they all had one common interest: to shred Iraq and divide it into three zones.
And all this blood that is being shed is to carry out the accursed scheme of Federalism in Iraq.
We went by bus from Amman to the Blessed City. The trip took exactly 24 hours. And we stopped in many places inside the Jordanian or Saudi territories to rest, pray, and eat.
There were no problems at the boarders, and all went smoothly and quickly, thank God. But what annoyed us all, were the unclean conditions of the rest houses and the bathrooms on the way. Until we got to the Blessed City, where everything was clean and orderly. But we were amazed at this inland road, used by pilgrimages for tens or maybe hundreds of years, but the neglect was clear at the rest houses and bathrooms. We were wearing clean clothes, for we were on our way to visit the House of God. But we felt angry, and frustrated, for the annoying scenes we encountered, which the visitors of the House of God shouldn't have seen. We reproached our governments who forgot to give this matter true care, for they talk a lot in front of the TV screens about their care, but the reality of things says exactly the opposite…
This was the first of the trip's disturbances. We used to say to each other: that's all right, as much hardships we face, we will be rewarded accordingly. And that was a hardship.
We arrived at the Blessed City in the evening. And for myself, I forgot all the aches and hardships of the journey; the city is very beautiful, sprawling, just like my beloved Baghdad before the war, its avenues wide, the trees nice, and the lights sparkling.
The Madeena Sanctuary (in relation to Al-Madeena Al-Munawara= Blessed City) is very wide, very beautiful, and takes the mind away.
We prayed Al-Magreb Prayer (the sun-set Prayer), then Al-Isha'a Prayer (the night Prayer, the last of that day's), then sat down to read the Holy Quran, and supplication. Then we went out to walk around, and look around. Around the Sanctuary there were hotels, supermarkets, clothes boutiques, incense, perfumes, and jewelry.
My heart was completely sealed-off; I had no wish to buy anything, for Iraqis are dying everyday, and every hour.
After two days of being there, I bought some of Al-Madeena's dates, which is famous, and distinctive. I also bought a bunch of rosaries, to take as presents to relatives and friends.
I sat in my hotel room, thinking; why is this city basking in calm, happiness, and welfare, with every commodity beautiful and moderately priced, while the Iraqis live in hell?
I do not know…
I couldn't find the answer…
Does God love these people more, and thus gave them calmness and security?
Or that He sent disasters, killing, devastation, ruin, and bloodshed onto the Iraqis, to try them?
In Islam, we have a principle; that if God loved a follower, He would test him.
And I kept asking myself; whether what is happening in Iraq the wrath of God, or a test and a trial?
I do not know, I found no answers.
But my heart remained sad and suffocated, with no happiness in it, carrying the sorrow of the Iraqis there. Of those who suffer and die every hour of the day or night.
After three days, we traveled to Holy Mecca.
All the way, which took some 5 hours by bus, I looked at the desert around me, and thought about the Prophet, (may the prayers of God be upon him, Hid mercy, and blessings), when the people of Mecca accused him of lying, oppressed him, persecuted his followers and fought them, than he had to emigrate to save his religion from the rich, arrogant, unjust Quraish (= his tribe).
And I loved Al-Madeena Al-Munawara (= Blessed City), because its people aided the Prophet, believed in him, and provided him with shelter to establish the new religion, and the new state in the Arabian peninsula.
We stopped at the Abar Ali (= the water wells of Ali) area, for ablution, prayer, and to announce the intent for the pilgrimage (Umrah), and to put on the special clothes of Ihram (= the special dress of pilgrimage) for the men. As for us women, we were dressed in long, rightful dresses in the first place, and our heads were covered, and that was enough to be Ihram cloths for the Umrah.
We arrived in Mecca before sunset. Its nature was rough, and completely different from that of Al-Madeena Al-Munawara. The weather was very hot, the ground of rough rocks, and the houses were built on the slopes of the barren rock mountains.
We put our bags quickly in the hotel, washed our faces, renewed our ablution, then went out to walk in the direction of Al-Qa'aba (=the house of God).
My heart was pounding very strongly. I couldn't believe I was here.
While in Iraq, I used to dream of visiting this holy land. We lived under an embargo, then through the last war, and there was no chance to travel to Umrah (=pilgrimage at a season other than that of the holy month of Thu Al- Hijah), or Hij (=pilgrimage at the season of the holy month of Thu Al- Hijah).
And after we left Iraq because of the bad security conditions, blessed be God, this matter was made easy for us from Jordan instead of Iraq. Thank God for every thing.
We started the rituals of Umrah after Al-Isha'a Prayer; and they are: circling around Al-Qa'aba for 7 times, then a prayer of two Ruqa'as (= 2 parts) in the holy Sanctuary, than trotting between Al-Safa'a and Al-Marwa (= the names of two places where Hajer, Ibraheem's wife and Ismail's mother, trotted back and forth in the same way) for seven lengths.
We finished all this in about 2 hours.
I was very tired and exhausted.
But I was so very happy, and deeply satisfied
For at last, my dream came true…
I cannot describe my feelings as I stood to pray in the company of women, in the Meccan Sanctuary, or that of Al-Madeena. On the first days, I couldn't stop my tears from falling down all through the prayers. The voice of the Imam was very beautiful. In Al-Madeena Al-Munawara, Al-Huzaifey usually performs the prayers. And in Mecca, they are usually either Al-Sudayse or Sauood Al-Shareem.
Their voices are beautiful and effective, blessed be God who created them. They read the verses of the Holy Quran, so the hearts yield upon hearing them.
And when one of them recites, in the prayers, a verse like: "… and We shall afflict you with some fear, hunger, and a lack of wealth, people, and harvest. So bode well the patient. Those who, if a disaster befalls them, they would say: We are to God, and to Him we shall return…", I suffocate, and my tears run down, as if I see him describing the situation of the Iraqis, who have no power or might in these grave days, surrounded by hunger and fear, who lost possessions, and the loved ones…
So bode well the patient….
Sadly, I looked at the supermarkets, restaurants, and hotels surrounding the Holy Mecca Sanctuary. Most were American restaurants, first class hotels, perfume shops, jewelers, and world designer labels.
At each prayer time, the shops and restaurants close down, and people go to pray, then they get back to the shops and restaurants.
I thought to myself; that somehow, there is an evacuation to religion of its true meaning.
Islam was never, on any day, a religion of worship only, but it is a religion of worship and a way of life.
And I remembered a saying of the Prophet (may the prayers of God be upon him, Hid mercy, and blessings), saying: [he doesn't believe in me, he doesn't believe in me, he doesn't believe in me. And people asked: and who is that, oh messenger of God? He said: a man who sleeps his night with a full stomach, while his neighbor is hungry.]
And how, now, in Iraq and Palestine, the innocent blood is being shed by foreign occupation forces, who commit all crimes, by their own hands, or by those of others. But there is innocent Muslim blood being shed, and people here are praying, reading the Holy Quran, then go shopping again.
Is this all what is left of Islam?
But I find consolation in that the Prophet (p), has spoken about all this, and foresaw it.
He said:[Islam shall revert a stranger, like it started, so blessed are the strangers.]
And he said:[there will come a time when there will be nothing left of Islam but its name.]
And he said:[ the last of this nation shall not be virtuous, unless it was like its beginning.]
And by this I understand that, this nation's conditions will not turn good unless it would be led by believing men and women, strong and stern against their enemies, merciful among themselves, true in their faith. Believing in God and his Prophet, and carrying the message with all fidelity, as Muhammad (p) and his early comrades has done…
But now, the nation is going through a phase which the Prophet (p) described as:[ the charge is being handed to those who are not worthy of it, and the nation is being guided by the people the least concerned with its welfare.]
But everything shall change, like the noble Prophet (p) told us. And this nation will be led by its honest men and women, one day.
For Muhammad (p) does not speak without Holy inspirations….
And may peace be upon you........
* * *
I have put pictures about my last trip on the link