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).

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Converses of Wisdom

A poem by Abdullah Al Andalusi titled “Converses of Wisdom”.  What I like about this poem is actually the very last line… The attempt to stir up the insides of most average Muslims on the street. To do a bit more.
May Allah preserve him. You may follow his tweets and his blogs

Converses of Wisdom
by Abdullah Al Andalusi

The Skeptic said “What if you are wrong?”
I said “What if I am right?”

The Atheist said “How is there a Creator?”
I said “How is there a Creation?”

The Christian said “Love God and worship Jesus”
I said “Love Jesus and worship God”-

The Jew said “God will always be true to his covenant with us”
I said “Have you been always true to your covenant with God?”

The Buddhist said “The purpose of life is to discover Enlightenment”
I said “Enlightenment IS to discover the purpose of life”

The Polytheist said “I worship gods that hear me and intercede with the almighty God”
I said “I worship the one God, who is mighty enough to hear me without intercessors”

The Secularist said “Politics, Wars and killing for religion is bad”
I said “Politics, Wars and killing for materialism is evil”

The Evolutionist said “The universe created life by itself, without need for God”
I said “Did the universe create itself without need for God?”

The Democrat said “The majority must rule”I said “
But what will rule the majority?”

The Nationalist said “The Nation comes first, before God”
I said “God was first, before the Nation”

The Conservative said “Why don’t Muslims assimilate into our culture?”
I said “Because your culture demands assimilation”

The Patriot said “I support my country, right or wrong”
I said “A country has no right to be supported in wrong”

The Liberal said “Humans should be only individuals, free from oppression, and equal”
I said “You ‘free’ Individuals only from their humanity, to oppress each other equally”

The Communist said “The world is only matter, and society is the highest good”
I said “A society that is only worldly, has no higher good that matters”

The Zionist said “Palestinians desire the end of Israel’s existence”
I said “Desire for the existence of Israel, has ended Palestine”

The Neo-Conservative said “I believe WE are the superior Civilization”
I said “Your belief makes you the inferior Civilisation”

The American politician said “We resist only terrorism and those who use violence”
I said “You only use violence to terrorise those who resist”

The French Politician said “We have banned wearing the Niqab to free women”
I said “You have banned womens’ freedom to wear the Niqab”

The Islamophobe said “I hate Islam, and fear for my safety from Muslims”
I said “I fear for the safety of Muslims, from those who hate Islam”

The Feminist said “Women require to be treated identically to men, because they are equal”
I said “Are men and women identical, to require equality of treatment?”

The Radical Feminist said “We do not want Women to be told what to do by sexist men”
I said “You want women to be told what to do by sexist women”-

The Pacifist said “The just way is to be peaceful”
I said “To be peaceful to the unjust, is injustice to the peaceful”

The Utilitarian said “Always choose the lesser of two evils”
I said “Then your choices will always be evil”

The Ascetic said “Leave worldly affairs, and seek God”
I said “Seek God in your worldly affairs”

The Conspiracy Theorist said “I believe ‘They’ control the World”
I said “That belief controls your world”

The Defeatist said “Do nothing, for the evil is too strong”
I said “Evil is strong because you do nothing”

The Millennialist said “Wait for a sincere leader, who will be able to help us”
I said “How can he help us, if we are not able to be led sincerely?”

The Fatalist said “Fight not against our backward state, it is God’s will!”
I said “If we fight the state of backwardness, this too is God’s will”

The Apocalyptist said “Do not ignore the signs, we are living in the end times”
I said “These are signs only that you are living in ignorant times”

The Pragmatist said “Ideally, you should embrace compromise”
I said “You should embrace an uncompromisable Ideal”

The Extremist said “Extreme times, calls for extreme measures”
I said “Extreme times comes from extreme measures”

The Modernist said “We should reform revelation to fit the times”
I said “We should reform the times to fit revelation”

The ‘Moderate Muslim’ said “The truth is, only following Islam moderately makes you a good person”
I said “Then you are only moderately truthful, and moderately a good person”

Fiqh of Salah next

Really looking forward to attend Al-Maghrib’s Insititue, Fiqh of Salah with Sheikh Abu Easa Niamatullah, over the next 2 weekends, insyaallah.

Has always been a fan of his dark humour and straight in the face comments which trigger my thoughts into the many implications and underlying messages. He is the founder I guess of 1st Ethical and Prophetic Guidance, and most importantly, a Manchester United fan.

As for now, I will read again one of his articles that I came across while searching tips on khusyoo in salah. His witty article helps me to sort of rejuvenate my salah by knowing what is rukun, sunnah to freshen up ourselves but within the boundaries and guidelines.

http://www.propheticguidance.co.uk/pdf/Keeping_it_real_in_the_Prayer.pdf

Seoul Day 8: Nami Island (Halal Drama Cafe)

Finally we hit Nami Island aka Republic of Naminara. Looked forward to eat at the Drama Cafe on the island. We had trouble reaching there a few days ago, due to the shutdown of the old train services. A new line had in fact just opened on that day, and we did not understand the whole situation till we went to the tourist information counter. Even then, the counter was not able to print out a map of the new rail. We got a hand drawn one. We were hoping to go Nami in the old train. Can you imagine, we missed it by just a single day?? Such luck!!

Anyway, day 8, we took the new train system to Gapyeong Station. It was like only the 2nd or 3rd day in operation. Everything fresh and sterile.


Walk out of Gapyeong station, there will be a line of waiting cab and just say,”Nami Island Ferry Terminal”.

Bought “a VISA” to enter Nami Island. It was basically a ferry ticket, but as Nami Island prides itself as a Republic, they have their own passport and you will need “a VISA” to enter. I was wondering if the current UN president had a role in this, but this island was around even before his appointment.

Marketing itself as a UN ambassador or UNICEF of some sort, the global UN spirit is all around, the ferry that took us there was also full with an array of international flags.


 
We had lunch at the Drama Cafe a Halal certified Vegetarian restaurant.




The order came in 2 metal tins, 2 metal spoons and 2 pairs of gloves in a metal tray. Took a quick look around they were all shaking the tin vigorously. We were a bit apprehensive as it felt like playing with our food.

Single hand shake
Double handed shake

The Kimchi pancake. Egg, onion, cabbage, vege and kimchi.

Animals seem to roam freely here. Absolutely lovely. Pretty chicken.

 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Hong Kong Day 6: Return Home + RoundUp

We checked out from Butterfly on Morisson at 6am. It was already so bright as we strolled down to the City Flyer A11 bus stop located along Gloucester Street.

Goodbye HK. Thanks for the great trip.
And yes, I still have that cutesy “Its a Small World” tune from Disneyland Hong Kong in my head


It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears
It’s a world of hopes and a world of fears
There’s so much that we share that its time we’re aware
It’s a small world after all
It’s a small world after all
It’s a small world after all
It’s a small world after all
It’s a small, small world

There is just one moon and one golden sun
And a smile means friendship for everyone
Though the mountains divide and the oceans are wide
It’s a small world after all

Reminder for myself:

    • No more backpacks for holidays. I a had hard time, taking items in & out from the backpack. I had a hard time getting entangled with bag strap & camera neck strap. Ultimate mood killer.
      I really missed my Paul Smith messenger bag this trip.
    • Consider fly in from 1 country, cross a border and fly home
    • For countries with limited halal food, bring snacks along, like fruit bars, chips etc. Plenty of them, coz fruits are simply not enough.