DAY 04 – 14/12/2012
Tweets from Mission Olivistan
Four Nations. One Journey

I’ve not yet been able to figure out how the overwhelmingly Christian West could allow the birthplace of Jesus to be surrounded by terror.

No true follower of Jesus could appreciate the evil hands behind changing this century-old land into an area of constant fear.

If fire, water & earth could co-exist here, then why can’t the three monotheistic faiths too?

Hoping for an eventful day ahead inshallah. A miraculous blessing to place the forehead at Masjid alAqsa.

A blessing which many brothers and sisters in several Muslim nations would be forced to forego.

Prayer at Al Aqsa. Visit to Salman Farisi & RabiaBasri mausoleums. And it’s raining. Friday couldn’t get better. Alhamdulillah.

My poetry collection on Divine Love, The Alchemy of Affinity, was dedicated to Rabia Adawiyya or Rabia Basri. May Allah bless her akhira.

A monastery in the name of Prophet Ilyas passes by. May Allah bless him.

Rabia’s mausoleum is also regarded by Jews & Christians respectively for their holy women.

One of my all time favorite Sufi saints, Rabia had challenged the all-male monopoly of then Sufism.

‘If Security catches a Muslim roaming without Id, then he has to prove his creed by reciting Fatiha. If he fails, then Awqaf is called’.

‘From today sunset onwards, Jews observe Sabbath. They don’t cook, bath or work on this day’.

‘Salman Farisi mausoleum is only memorial. Not his grave here.’

‘The places of Last Supper & David’s Tomb have minaret and Bismillah written inside it.’

Truth has always faced witch-hunt. Jesus met the same fate from Jews.

A musician is playing below the statue of King of David.

‘The old city has Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Armenian quarters separately’.

Heading for the Wailing Wall.

On the way to Al Aqsa. Masha Allah.

The Golden Dome mosque is open to ladies only for Juma prayers. Men pray at Masjid Al Aqsa

Enter Aqsa. Alhamdulillah.

A small talk precedes the Khutba. Heart-stirring. ‘Blessings be upon Rasoolullah who is the leader of all that is created’

Imam prays for help to end the plight of Muslins in Syria.

I’m seated next to a very gentle old Palestinian. He asked me where I’m from. ‘Al Hind’. He exclaims ‘Marhaba’ & applied perfume on my hand.

Greeted the tomb of Maulana Muhammed Ali Jawhar, the renowned Indian freedom fighter, who is also buried opposite to the Golden Dome Masjid.

The Sayyid says there must be something special in the Indian leader to be fortunate to rest in such a blessed place. He led the dua for the freedom fighter.

It made perfect sense to be standing in the land of Olives next to the tomb of brave son of Hindustan.

Imam Al Ghazali has visited Al Aqsa mosque and wrote parts of Ihya Uloomuddin, his masterpiece, from here

In Masjid al Buraq. It is believed that Prophet tied the Buraq here before ascending for Miraj, the heavenly Ascension.

‘There were separate quarters for each Madhab to be taught around the Al Aqsa’.

‘In year 638 AD, Caliph Umar came to Al Aqsa. It was then called Elia’

‘Umar ra built a mosque nearby. Abdul Malik bin Marwan rebuilt it in 691. Earthquakes partly damaged the Ummayyid & Abbasids-built mosque’

‘There is a chapel inside Al Aqsa’

Inside the Marwani mosque area of Al Aqsa.

‘Al Aqsa covers a wide area, not just the present day mosque.’

‘There is a consistent effort from Jews to capture the underground part of Marwani masjid’

‘The Dome Rock has been built and rebuilt by different dynasties and each inscribed their name over it’

‘The Holy Prophet ascended to Miraj from here’

Visited the Church of Nativity, where Jesus is believed to be born.

Prayed Maghrib-Isha led by the Sayyid in Caliph Omar Mosque, located opposite the Church. His recitation is as pleasing as his personality.

Roads here run up and down the hill similar to those in Makkah.

Al Quds is a faith triangle. Very few got its geometry straight.

Palestinians are very happy to see tourists from worldwide visiting & appreciating their culture & landmarks.

Fellow Muslim nations should promote tourism to this Holy Land to cheer the Occupied & Oppressed people & promote Muslim solidarity.

It’s a great feeling to be in a land which is always in the news for wrong reasons. May Allah bring peace here soon.

Indian passport maybe blue in color. But it’s got the best ‘green channel’ welcome everywhere I went. Glad my forefathers chose to stay on the right side of LOC then.