Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Zamzam

A mystic trip or voyage of pilgrims to sacred destinations requires a long preparation.  For Moslems, to be eligible for undertaking the haj to Mecca and Medina, he must have paid off all his debts; he must have reconciled with his neighbors; he must have put in order his relationship with the members of his family and business. 

A Moslem must have satisfied his civic duties; for example, be married and preferably with children, and earning a good living: not many people can afford going to pray at Al Kaaba.  If the neighbor or a member of the family is in distress then, it is sufficient cause to postponing the haj.

Before going on haj, a Moslem must have memorized all the required prayers during the 13 days of haj, have exercised the proper ways to the “zikr” or how to focus and meditate repeating the words and sentences “There is but one God Allah”, bismillah Allahu akbar, soubhan Allah for over an hour.  The goal is that on reaching the 10th level of zikr you should be thinking of God with every breath you take and go on with business as usual while God is present in your dealings.

The haj purifies you of all sins committed, but it does not necessarily render you a better person:  If you go to the haj a hypocrite, you return a hypocrite; if you go a scoundrel you return a scoundrel unless you prepared well for the haj.  The haj is not a goal in itself: a haj done with bad preparation and without proper piety is worse than not going to the haj.

A Moslem, regardless of genders, going to the haj must leave enough money to his family and leave no debts:  Thus, only the well-to-do can afford the expensive trip to Mecca.  When you board the plane, you are already dressed in the “ihram”; the ihram is a two-piece of white cloth with no sewing; one piece is wrapped around the loins and the other covering the left shoulder.  The ihram could be used to covering the dead body.  Many Moslem friends ask you to think of them in your prayers:  Prayers done on behalf of others (the sick and elderly) are more efficient for people in distress.

The most repeated chant is:

“Labbayka la homma labbayk (Here I am facing you my Lord)

“Labbayka la charika laka labbayk (You have no associate)

“Inna le hamda wa niaamata laka wal molk (To you praise, grace and sovereignity)

“La charika lak (You have no associates)

The first day of the 13 days of haj starts by the “tawaf” or walking around the Al Kaaba seven times and then drinking from the well Zamzam.  This is the mini-haj.  The greater haj is done in the desert to Mina, Muzdalifa, Mount Arafat, dilapidation of Satan with stones (and the consequent deaths by trampling), and then back to Mecca for more tawaf.  Many resume their trip to Medina,which requires more control to getting into that first city-state of Islam.  (The next part will describe in more details the haj).

When I hear people going on pilgrimage to a “sacred location” I assume that they know the consequences of being trampled and submitted to all kinds of humiliations in foreign lands.  It is normal human behavior to snap in a “sacred environment”, for example a football field, believing that whatever you do during the ceremony is holy and sins are forgiven.  When amid a crowd of million, there is high probability that many will snap, stab, rob, hurt, or trample people.

I prefer that every Moslem State build its own local copy of Al Kaaba for the pilgrims not able to afford this expensive and long pilgrimage to Mecca.  The local cube Kaaba will be shrouded with the black veil without the gold strings and tents erected all around the kaaba for an overnight sleep, at most.  Thus, the poorer Moslems and citizens of other religious denominations will be walking around the local kaaba, pray in their tents facing the Kaaba, and not having to stone any columns representing satan.  Since no sandals should be lost then, no sandal merchants should be allowed in the vicinity.

The only requirement for pilgrims is to sign an affidavit that, on returning from this mini-haj, they should return the favor to those kind-hearted people who were of service to them, instead of hating them.  If they insists on being called “haji” then, a certificate of “national haj” could be delivered, at no cost to the tax payers.

“The Satanic Verses” by Salman Rushdi, Part 1 (October 30, 2008)

This manuscript is of 547 pages and divided into nine parts: The Angel Gabriel (Gibreel), Mahound, Ellowen Deeowen, Ayesha, A city visible but unseen, Return to Jahilia, The Angel Azraeel, The Parting of the Arabian Sea, and A Wonderful lamp.

I will review the chapter “Mahound” because this section is crucial for setting the geo-political, commercial and society structure in Mecca and the neighboring towns.  This description would help comprehend the climate within which Islam was born and grew.

Mahound is one of several names given to the Devil.  It is very unfortunate that Rushdie decided to represent the Prophet Muhammad by this name just to state that one of the verses was inspired by the Devil, and thus forbade over one billion Moslems from reading this essentially wonderful and most informative book.

Many “fatwas” in the Moslem World, and especially in Iran of Ayatollah Khomeini, permitted the killing of Salman Rushdi for this blasphemy.

Rushdi has been since then protected by the British police and been mostly in hiding.  Actually, Moslems should be thankful to Rushdi in not naming Muhammad as the one who delivered the two “Satanic” verses that deviated from the message of One God.  I will use the name of Muhammad in the remaining review.

Mecca at the time of Muhammad was built four generation ago to cater for desert caravans bringing goods from Zafar and Yemen to bifurcate toward Egypt, Iraq/Iran, or Syria/Turkey and back to Mecca.

It barely rains in that region and the only potable well was called Zamzam.  The story goes that Abraham abandoned his Egyptian wife Hagar and his son Ismail to their fate in this unforgiving area.  Luckily for Hagar, Angel Gabriel (Gibreel) uncovered for Hagar the well Zamzam and she survived with her newly born son.

Once a year, the Bedouins of Arabia who adored 360 idols, which are imported from the neighboring countries to encourage pilgrimage to the Black Stone (Al Ka3ba), celebrated the passage of this same Abraham (Ibraheem) in the vicinity!

Mecca was structured around concentric dwellings starting from the Black Stone and fanning away.  Houses closest to the Black Stone belonged to the most prominent personalities in the city council and their respective clans in the extended Kuraich (Shark) tribe.

There were four main clans and each clan was specialized in one kind of commerce; the Scarlet tents sold spices and scents, the Black tents the cloth and leather, the Silver tents precious metals and swords and the fourth colored tents or the owners of the Dappled Camels specialized in entertainments, wine, hashish, and the slave trade. Water carriers were despised because any overflowing of water would damage the streets and homes built out of sand.

Around the year of 600 the businessmen in Mecca were losing trade to the sea transports; worse, another new and famous Temple was built in Sheba in Yemen and pilgrims were investigating these new regions.  The pilgrims were getting scarce in Mecca because they realized that they were being bilked (milked) from every penny they had and young girls were abducted for ransom.  Consequently, in order to keep afloat the Kuraich tribe encouraged vile entertainment activities during the pilgrimage season to attract more customers.

The Black Stone enshrined around 360 idols brought from around the neighboring civilizations to entice pilgrims in from all around the regions.  The colossus Hubal the shepherd was sent by the Amalekites of Hit, the idol Kain was the patron of musicians and blacksmiths, Astarte (He-of-Shara) was brought by the Nabataen as well as saturnine Nakruh.  Manaf was the sun-god, in the eagle-form Nasr, Quzah or rainbow; Uzza the goddess of beauty and love, and Lat the all-powerful mother goddess.

The idol Allah had some sort of overall authority, an all-rounder in an age of specialist idols and thus was not that popular and didn’t generate money.

Hind, the all-powerful wife of the preeminent Karim Abu Simbel owned the three most famous goddesses of Al Lat, Manat, and Uzza.

Muhammad was rich (he married one of richess women in Mecca Khadija), but he was an orphan and his clan was of lower stature and thus was not represented in the city council. His wife Khadija was 10 years older than him and she had hired Muhammad to lead and manage her caravans heading to Damascus.

Khadija was the first person to believe in the predication of Muhammad.  By the age of 44 Muhammad message of “no God but Allah” was not making any major breakthrough among the city dwellers.  The lampoons of the very young and most famous poet named Baal were pinned up all over town “Messenger, do please lend a careful ear.  Your monophilia, your One, One, One, isn’t for Jahilia. Return to sender

Beside his uncle Hamza and a few poor fellows not many were paying any attention to Muhammad revelations.  Among those poor individuals were Khalid the water carrier, Salman from Persia (who later would suggest to dig a wide ditch around Medina to prevent the cavalry of Kuraich to enter the town), and Bilal the mighty slave that Muhammad set free from his owner and would later be appointed the first official “muezzin” calling the believers to the five prayers of the day.

In order for his message to breakthrough Muhammad was inclined to accept the deal of Abu Simbel.  Abu Simbel would recognize Allah as the mightiest God and would offer Muhammad a seat in the city council in return of recognition of Al Lat, Manat, and Uzza as Gods or the best interceding goddesses to Allah.

The clan of Hind, the Umayyad, owned these three most privileged Goddesses from pilgrimage revenues.  Muhammad thus returned from the Mount Cone and delivered publicly the verses stating that “Lat, Manat, and Uzza are the exalted birds, and their intercession is desired indeed”.  I guess these were the “Satanic verses” alluded to by Rushdie

The disciples of Muhammad were beside themselves and could not assent to accepting a God but Allah.  Muhammad did not dare face his wife Khadija that night and did not enter his house.

Follow the story in the next part or the chapter “Return to Jahiliahttps://adonis49.wordpress.com/2008/11/02/the-satanic-verses-part-2/

“The Satanic Verses” by Salman Rushdie (Started October 30, 2008)

This manuscript is of 547 pages and divided into 9 parts:

The Angel Gibreel (Gabriel), Mahound, Ellowen Deeowen, Ayesha (Aicha), A city visible but unseen, Return to Jahilia, The Angel Azraeel (Satan), The Parting of the Arabian Sea, and A Wonderful lamp.

I will only review Mahound because this section is crucial for setting the geo-political, commercial and societal structure in Mecca and the neighboring towns.  This description would help comprehend the climate within which Islam was born and expanded.

Mahound is one of several names given to the Devil.

It is very unfortunate that Rushdie decided to represent the Prophet Muhammad by this name which forbade over a billion of Moslems from reading this essentially wonderful and most informative book.

Many “fatwas” in the Moslem World and especially in Iran of Khomeini permitted the killing of Salman Rushdie for this blasphemy.

Rushdie has been since then protected by the British police and been mostly in hiding. Actually, Moslems should be thankful to Rushdie in not naming their Prophet for two verses that deviated from the message of One God.  I will use the name of Muhammad instead.

Mecca at the time of Muhammad was built 4 generation ago to cater for desert caravans bringing goods from Zofar and Yemen to bifurcate toward Egypt, Iraq/Iran, or Syria/Turkey.  It barely rain in that region and the only potable well was called Zamzam.

The mythical story goes that Abraham abandoned his Egyptian wife Hagar and his son Ismail to their fate in this unforgiving area.  Luckily for Hagar, Angel Gabriel (Gibreel) uncovered for Hagar the well Zamzam and she survived with her newly born son.

Once a year, the Bedouins of Arabia who adored 360 idols, and imported from the neighboring countries to encourage pilgrimage to the Black Stone (Al Ka3ba), celebrated the passage of Abraham (Ibraheem) in the vicinity!

Mecca was structured around concentric dwellings starting from the Black Stone and fanning away.  Houses closest to the Black Stone belonged to the most prominent personalities in the city council and their respective clans in the extended Kuraich (Shark) tribe.

There were 4 main clans and each clan was specialized in one kind of commerce:  the Scarlet tents sold spices and scents, the Black tents the cloth and leather, the Silver tents precious metals and swords and the fourth colored tents or the owners of the Dappled Camels specialized in entertainments, wine, hashish, and the slave trade. Water carriers were despised because any overflowing of water would damage the streets and homes built out of sand.

Around the year of 600, the businessmen in Mecca were losing trade to the sea transports; worse, another new and famous Temple was built in the town of Sheba in Yemen and pilgrims were investigating these new regions.

The pilgrims were getting scarce in Mecca because they realized that they were being milked from every penny they had and young girls were abducted for ransom.  Consequently, in order to keep afloat the Kuraich tribe encouraged vile entertainment activities during the pilgrimage season to attract more customers.

The Black Stone enshrined around 360 idols brought from around the neighboring civilizations to entice pilgrims in from all around the regions.  The colossus Hubal the shepherd was sent by the Amalekites of Hit, the idol Kain was the patron of musicians and blacksmiths, Astarte (He-of-Shara) was brought by the Nabataean as well as saturnine Nakruh.  Manaf was the sun-god, the eagle-form Nasr, See Quzah that hold the rainbow; Uzza the goddess of beauty and love, and Lat the all-powerful mother goddess.  The idol Allah had some sort of overall authority, an all-rounder in an age of specialist idols and thus was not that popular and didn’t generate money.

Hind, the all-powerful wife of the preeminent Karim Abu Simbel owned the 3 most famous goddesses of Lat, Manat, and Uzza.

Muhammad was rich after marrying Khadija, but he was an orphan and his clan was of lower status and thus was not represented in the city council. His wife Khadija was about 7 years older than him and she had hired him to lead and manage her caravans heading to Damascus.

Khadija was the first person to believe in the predication of Muhammad.  By the age of 44 Muhammad message of “no God but Allah” was not making any major breakthrough among the city dwellers.  The very young and most prominent poet lampoonist Baal had pinned up all over town “Messenger, do please lend a careful ear.  Your mono-philia, your One, One, One, isn’t for Jahilia, return to sender”

Beside his uncle Hamza and a few poor fellows, not many were paying any attention to Muhammad revelations.  Among those poor individuals were Khalid the water carrier, Salman from Persia (who later would suggest to dig a wide ditch around Medina to prevent the cavalry of Kuraich to enter the town), and Bilal the mighty slave that Muhammad set free from his owner and would later be appointed the first official “muazen” calling the believers to the five prayers of the day.

In order for his message to breakthrough Muhammad was inclined to accept the deal of Abu Simbel.

Abu Simbel would recognize Allah as the mightiest God and would offer Muhammad a seat in the city council in return of recognition of Lat, Manat, and Uzza as gods or the best who can intercede with Allah.  Muhammad thus returned from the Cone Mountain and delivered the verses stating that “Lat, Manat, and Uzza are the exalted birds, and their intercession is desired indeed”

The disciples of Muhammad were beside themselves and could not assent to accepting a God but Allah.  Muhammad did not dare face his wife Khadija that night and did not enter his house.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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