Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Journey to the Heart of Islam

THE first view of the area outside the holy mosque. A giant clock tower (second tallest building in the world) overshadows everything in its vicinity, sadly, even the house of God. Did Mecca really need it? That too so very close to the mosque. The towering hotels challenge the very principles of the pilgrimage. People with money can have the best view of the holy mosque. What about the white 'Ihraam', which stands for unity in simplicity!

As a Muslim you grow up prostrating in the direction of the Kaaba, five times a day. You hear stories about prayers being realised on its first sight. Naturally, you long to visit it one day. So when your plane touches Saudi Arabia, it's this very moment you are looking forward to. When you do see it, you are speechless! You feel the closest to God and that's when he answers your prayers.

Technology and spirituality merge at the Prophet's [PBUH] mosque in Medina. The beautiful pillars double as umbrellas during the day. You feel trasported to another world altogether.

 The mountain of Uhud in Medina is a grim reminder of hypocrites in Islam. They fled the battlefield while the Prophet [PBUH] was alive, what to talk about the state of affairs 1400 years after him.

A mosque established by a prominent follower (Salman Farsi) of the Prophet [PBUH] in Medina is one of the last few old structures holding ground. Heritage has given way to grandness. Is this our legacy to the generations to follow!

Jannat-ul-Baqi, Medina - the final resting place of many members of the Prophet's [PBUH] family, some of his prominent followers and other Prophets [PBUT] of Islam.

Although the Saudi government is doing a fine job in safely handling millions of pilgrims every year but they need to strike a balance between modernity and care for Islamic heritage.

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