Hebron and Bethlehem

We visited al-Haram al-Ibrahimi, also known as The Cave of the Patriarchs (Christians), and the Cave of Machpelah (Jews). Located in al-Khalil, aka Hebron.

Very rich in history. My mind just couldn’t absorb it all. And with doubts lingering especially when the guide goes…”The Jews believed…”. I mean we were not supposed to consult the Jews as informed in Al-Kahfi.

Anyway, this has to be the closest encounter with the IDF. With high fence, barbed wires, metal detectors, turnstiles, concertina wire and loaded rifles pointing at us, the IDF here are ready to engage. I can even sense the guy in in View Tower reporting back about each and single one of us back to central command.

Nevertheless, we took wudhu and proceeded into the masjid; the House of Allah. And we forgot about the IDFs.

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Al-Quds

We went out early for Fajr prayers at the Al-Aqsa mosque. A comical sight as we saw Ustaz in a black polo shirt and wearing bright red gloves. He had to borrow his wife’s gloves.

That walk along the Lions’ Gate took us pass the Golden Dome first.

First sight What a sight. The shining golden dome. Walk past it. It was truly humbling. I imagined our beloved Prophet (sa , walked down the stairs and we see the Masjid Aqsa. Masjid Al-Aqsa
We toured the Golden Dome.
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We also visited the Western wall aka the Wailing Wall.

Untitled Along the way we actually encountered some European men trying to enter the Aqsa compound but was stopped by the IDF soldiers. One was pretty persistent. IDF Soldier: You can’t go in. European guy: Why? I want to go in. I am a tourist. IDF Soldier: Are you Muslim? European guy: Yah. IDF Soldier: Read. European guy: Read what?! IDF Soldier: You are not a Muslim. European guy: I can be a Muslim. Why not. At that point, I actually said Ameen. May you be a Muslim one day. Interesting to note here is that the IDF soldiers are actually protecting the Aqsa compound. 12053429

That bridge though... After the Western Wall, we headed for the Dead Sea. The Neve Mid-Bar Beach. The creepiest beach
And Makam Nabi Musa (alaihi salam).

Tel-Aviv

We landed in Tel-Aviv after a stopover in Istanbul.

The immigration officer, flipped through our passports. Raised the eyebrow and asked, “You visited Saudia Arabia. When? How long were you there? Please go over there. We waited for like close to 2 hours.

We proceeded quickly to the Old Town of Jaffa for a very very late lunch.

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Our first hummus. And many more delicious ones to come on this trip.
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By the time we finished, it was just enough time to do our Jama Takhir of Dzuhr and Asr. We stayed for Maghrib. It was a nice beautiful quaint masjid called the Masjid Al-Bahr (the Sea Mosque), named because it was overlooking the harbour. It was built in the 16th Century during the Ottoman.

We then took a stroll at the seaside area. Noticed the people here in Tel Aviv are on the edgy side towards us.

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What was sad, when I reviewed the pictures, the dark background could have possibly been Gaza. And the fish that we were served.