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 site was our closest encounter with the IDF. With high fence, barbed wires, metal detectors, turnstiles, concertina wire and loaded rifles pointing at us, the IDF here were ready to engage. The guy in View Tower was 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 screw them IDFs.
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.
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.
We toured the Golden Dome.
We also visited the Western wall aka the Wailing Wall.
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.
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.
After the Western Wall, we headed for the Dead Sea. The Neve Mid-Bar Beach.
“Take a Journey Towards Allah…” and increase our Tawheed. Narrated Anas: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “My Lord says, ‘If My slave comes nearer to me for a span, I go nearer to him for a cubit; and if he comes nearer to Me for a cubit, I go nearer to him for the span of outstretched arms; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running.’ ” Sahih al-Bukhari 7536Book 97, Hadith 161
Anthony Green shared his Catholic boarding school experience, and ultimately found Islam. Alhamdulillah.
I had the experience of attending a Anglican missionary school during my teenage days. Being a young Muslim, it was challenging but interesting.
Why interesting? It made me ponder why Christians do what they do. Some rituals felt almost pagan although the Father was always explaining the significance of it.
My schoolmates were the nicest of people, though there were some nasty students and teaching staff trying to sway my faith. We also had a Jew classmate and the typical Asian cocktail mix of Buddhism, Hinduism and Taoism.