Sunday, June 13, 2010

An Aside: Makkah

BismIllah wa as salaamu alaykum wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh.

We have been for Umrah twice in the past few months - al hamdul'Illah. There is nothing so soothing and healing to me than sitting in the sahan basking in the healing medicine of the Kaaba air.

However, when we walk back to our hotel amongst the construction, the demolished mountains, the extravagant sky-high hotels, and fancy marble I remember, yet again, Surah al Asr..."By the time, verily mankind is in a state of loss!" We are in the holy city of Makkah, birthplace and one of the homes of our Prophet, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, and yet we see nothing of the life we are supposed to emulate. We cannot see the homes they lived in, we cannot find the foods they ate, we cannot even buy the simple, natural fiber, clothes they wore. We are told that the Prophet's example was the best way, and yet we have no real idea of his life anymore outside of books.

Subhaan Allah! When we travel in other parts of Saudi Arabia, the Middle East, Europe, the Far East, USA, etc. we can find preserved villages from hundreds of years ago, and places that show the history. However, we go to Makkah and see nothing but polyester abayas and thobes, processed cake and candy wrappers, extravagant marble and granite floors, high rise buildings, and electronic billboards showing plans to make it into a fancy, gleaming city of modernity.

The clock tower that is being built, the tallest in the world, may be a world renowned landmark in the future. However, to me, it is a great reminder of those ever true and horrifying two ayaat from Surah al Asr..."By the time, verily mankind is in a state of loss!"


  1. Masha'Allah well written, To be honest, I am up for progression and modernising but things have to add up. First we learn our deen, tawheed, then we aid the believers that are dying everywhere by benefiting from our money, skill and resource and then we do what we have to do. Of course, we should aim to be great in fields on medicine,technology etc...but we have to have our own criteria. One which is based on Quraan and Sunnah and not the poison that is capitalism.

  2. Jazaaki Allahu khayran Miss K.

    I have come to stage where I greatly resent the destruction of our history and evidence of the Sunnah. Living in Madinah, I see the same thing happening here. There is construction everywhere, the burial place of the Prophet, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, Abu Bakr and Omar is covered over in fancy gold work, and no trace of the original buildings can be seen. We must look at photos in books to see what it used to be like. I know that it would be so much more meaningful to see the actual places that Our Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam), his wives, and his companions lived.

    We, as an Ummah, are so far away from the Sunnah in our living habits and our refusal or inability to live simply and without material distractions. Muslims have been great in the fields of medicine, architecture, etc. and, frankly, I believe that much of that has disappeared with their ardent desire to imitate the West.

    Visiting the holy cities and the two Holy Mosques doesn't show or encourage us to az-zuhd. It puts yet more of the glitter of this world in our eyes, minds, and hearts. If they simply recycled the millions of plastic cups they use each day for the ZamZam water, they would probably have enough money to feed a city.

    Other places in the world maintain their centuries old buildings with pride and as a display of their history and heritage. What message does it send to the world that our original buildings have all but disappeared. By now, there are plenty of young Muslims that only think of the Kaaba and Masjid an-Nabawi in terms of huge, gleaming granite and gold palaces. They have no connection with the reality of our history and have nothing to even bring that reality home to them.

    I'm proud as punch that our Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) lived in a mud house, ate the simplest and most healthy of foods, used only natural medicine, and shunned the material comforts of this world to avoid any distractions from his purpose on this worship and serve Allah - The Creator. There are so many in West that are emulating that physical way of life, and yet it has been covered up as though of no importance or a matter not worthy of preservation and fame. May Allah Guide us all to His Truth and a better reality - ameen.

  3. Assalamu alaikum Dear Sister Mai, Mabruk on your Umrahs. I share the same sentiments about the direction the Haramain is heading, but all is by the will and Hikmah of Allah Ta'ala. This could be the test this generation is facing; how to maintain our Iman with all these rapid and glitzy changes happening around us. Insha'Allah we meet soon :)
    Wassalamu alaikum

  4. Wa alaykum as salaam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh Umm Bilal.

    Umrah maqboolah to you as well, my dear sister.

    I totally agree that this is Allah's Qadar and all just part of the journey to the Last Day. But what a huge heartache I have to see a majority of this generation, and sadly those leading up to this one, not learning or realizing these tests.

    I am amazed that even some of the most grounded Muslims cannot see some of the traps and mechanics of shaytaan in every crevasse and corner of our lives in this world. It is, by far, one of the things I am most fearful of...not having the eyes, mind, and heart to recognize that rotten devil's work. May Allah protect us and all his righteous servants from that fate - ameen!

    We are traveling to the UK for 1 month after a week or so, but bi ithn Illah, taala, upon our return we will inshaa'Allah share some Ramadan blessings together.

    As salaamu alaykum wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh