Tag Archives: Arabian Peninsula

Aside

The Peninsula

The blistering winds, stroking dunes of the Central-Region, known as an-Najd, cause many moods…
…They have always both whistled and swirled around these monstrous sands, for so many moons.

Northward, touching all of what’s Bilad-ish-Sham…
…We can see Cave-Dwellings of Thamud and Iram.

Towards the south, towards al-Yaman…
…The forestry there looks like Heaven.

The former residence of the People of `Ad…
…Punished by Tornadoes, for they were bad.

Eastward, you’ll find thousands of miles of Oil-Fields, which fuel the economies of the whole Planet…
…Its coast is host to such rich aquatic-life; who knew this such beauty lies in such a harsh environment?

And, Westward, there’s the most priceless treasure of all…

…al-Ka`bah, where all Men come to visit, great and small.

It used to be called the valley of Bakkah…
…But, Allah decided to name it al-Makkah.

It was built entirely for His pleasure…
…No one could ever plan it better.

Constructed by Abraham & Ishmael…
…Such a wonder is their arduous tale.

A father & son, who were separated and rejoined…
…At this very spot, they established Islam, rejoiced.

Just as our parents, Adam & Eve…
…After being separated on Earth.

They lost, and then, found one another in al-Jazirah, the Peninsula…
…An example that, even in sin, we can acquire the Mercy of Allah.

Gareth Bryant/2013

al-Jazirah/The Peninsula:

Some Brief Islamic-History (the origins of `Id-il-Adha):

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Author’s note:
This post is based upon the narrations of the history of the most important Islamic holiday, based exclusively upon the work, Qasas-il-Anbiya’ (Stories of the Prophets), by Abil-Fida’ Isma`il ibn-Kathir ad-Dimashqi.

The story & history of the Celebration of Sacrifice (`Id-il-Adha) is such an important Islamic holiday, it is imperative that both Muslims & Non-Muslims know how this celebration became an Islamic holiday in the first place, and why it has such an important status in Islam. The story of the Celebration of the Sacrifice is based upon the stories of Abraham, Sarah, Hager and Ishmael (Peace be upon them).

It goes a lil’ somethin’ like this:

Abraham (the hated son)-
Imagine as a teenager, you’re given the greatest gift of all, guidance from Allah, through direct-revelation. Now, the only problem is that you live in a place where everyone except you worships other than Allah…how is one to deal with that? Well, those of us whom have accepted Islam can relate to this, in certain respects, to a certain degree. I mean none of us reverts are Prophets, or recipients of revelation from Allah. However, we have similar stories as Abraham, which is to decide whether to hold on to the guidance of Allah & turn against your own flesh-and-blood (as well as those whom you’ve known your whole life), or to oppose them in their rebellion against the oneness of Allah. Abraham decided to sacrifice the love of his father & people, in exchange for receiving the love of Allah, which never fades & is always sincere. And, this was not an easy thing for Abraham to go through: He faced being nearly burned-alive, by being catapulted into a blazing make-shift fire-pit, to be used as an example to not go against the grain, of not worshipping the pagan gods of his people, and without the protection of Allah, he surely would have been burned-alive.

Abraham, Sarah, and Hager (one not-so-happy family)-
Abraham & Sarah were married for a long time; yet, unfortunately, they were not able to produce any offspring. So, Sarah, decides to suggest to Abraham to take another wife to marry. He chooses Hager, the once slave of Sarah, as his wife. She gets pregnant, with whom would soon to be Ishmael. But, Hager has decided to hide her own pregnancy from Sarah, to prevent her from becoming jealous of the fact that Hager was able to get pregnant, while Sarah was not. Unfortunately, this plan fails-Sarah is not a happy-camper. When she in fact does find out, she is very angry, it is made well-known how angry she is. Now, Abraham is literally stuck in the middle, in between the joy of being a father-to-be, with his new-wife & being in the “dog-house”, sort of speak, with his first-wife.

So, after the birth of Ishmael, Allah decides to test Abraham, with a very important, yet heart-breaking test as well: Allah has made the decision for Abraham to abandon his new wife & child, and stay with his first wife, for the time being. Now, for any father, at least a good father, anyway, this would never, ever be an easy decision to make. But, then again, this is the Lord of the Universe telling you to do this, so you figure it out. Now, with this in mind, you have to at least try to appreciate what’s goin’ on here: He’s just had a baby, he has no idea where he is to send them, he has no idea how to tell Hager that Allah has commanded him to leave her, and he really has no idea, at the time, whether he’ll ever see either of them ever again.

Hager (the world’s first single-mother)-
So, Abraham decides to take Hager & the new-born, the first-born of Abraham, Ishmael, on a road-trip. Now, obviously, unbeknownst to the two of them (Hager & Ishamel), they’re gonna be left for dead, in a short while. They approach a valley, in what is now known as the Arabian-Peninsula (modern-day Saudi Arabia). It is here where they are commanded to be left. So, once they stop, Abraham leaves them some food & drink, then, starts walkin’-off-Obviously a strange thing to Hager, she calls out to him; yet there’s no response from him. She then asks him whether or not Allah has commanded him to do this, and his reply is yes, he affirms that what he is doing is in fact a direct order from Allah. So, upon that, she encourages him to leave. However, there’s a great dilemma in the midst: She’s ran outta food & drink, really fast, Abraham is nowhere around and she has an infant whose hungry & cranky, from being hungry…what’s a gal to do? Well, she starts doing what any mother would do…she starts running around, to try to find some signs of food, water, life, something, anything, for her child & herself. And, ironically, just as though she had thought her plight had no solution, instantly, a spring of water gushed from underground, underneath the feet of Ishmael. Excited & elated, of course, Hager begins to make a make-shift well, to control/conserve the water. Just as she’s doing this, a flock of birds see them, both Hager & Ishmael, from way up high in the sky. They begin to fly around them, and guess what, they were looking for food & what not in the middle of this wilderness as well. And, soon enough, a nomadic tribe, known as Banu-Jurhum, were traveling through the desert (as is typical of desert/nomadic peoples), in search of water, food, etc. Now, they begin to see the birds, who are swimming around Hager & Ishmael. And, they figured to themselves that there must be someone or something there for these birds to just stop & fly around that particular location. So, naturally, they follow the birds, who lead them indirectly to Hager & Ishmael. They ask for water; but, Hager asks for something much more important: that they do not bring any type of harm to her or her son. They agree, and so does she & these people founded the well of Zamzam & the city of Makkah, together.

Abraham comes back to Hager & Ishmael (the greatest family-reunion ever)-
Fortunately, some time later, when Ishmael becomes a pre-teen, basically, he, along with Hager, is reunited with Abraham-Sarah actually had a child of her own by this time; Isaac [Peace be upon him] had already been born. Abraham, Hager & Ishmael start to establish a beautiful relationship, and Abraham begins to make-up for lost-time, for not being there, for both Hager & Ishmael-Abraham & Ishmael had even built the Ka`bah & established the Hajj, together as father & son.

But, just when ya thought it was over, there’s more-
Everything seemed like happily ever after. Yet, there’s still one more thing that Allah commands Abraham to do: He is commanded to kill Ishmael, to slaughter him as a sacrifice to Allah-Now if this isn’t a test, I don’t know what is!!! But, guess what? Abraham, being the Muslim, the Prophet, the man he is, falls in line and proceeds to set out to do what Allah has commanded him to do. But, this time, he does it differently. He actually tells Ishmael what Allah has instructed him to do. Now, any of us, regardless to much of a Prophet our fathers may be, if we were to hear anything remotely close to this, we’re gettin’ the hell outta dodge; however, let’s find out what Ishmael had to say about this.
He tells his father Abraham, that he will endure whatever Allah has set out for him, and he will be patient (i.e. he’s willing to deal with having his young life snuffed out, simply because Allah says so). Now, this is what I call true faith in Allah, something that, unfortunately most of us will never achieve or acquire. But just then, as Abraham is about to strike the neck of Ishmael, with a sharp blade, suddenly, a ram appears, in a thorny bush, unable to escape, Abraham sees the ram, and immediately recognizes it as a sign from Allah, that this was only a test, to see how far he’d be willing to go to please his Lord, and he passed every single one of his tests, with “flying-colors”.

Now, one may ask, “What do this have to do with `Id-il-Adha?”-
I’ll go a lil’ deeper, for those who couldn’t make the connections for themselves-Since the term itself “`Id-ul-Adha” means the Celebration of Sacrifice (as was already, previously mentioned in this article), the stories which were detailed represent how far & deep a sacrifice can take a person, particularly & especially Prophets and/or family-members of Prophets. Abraham sacrificed a life of privilege & comfort among his people, Sarah had sacrificed her husband, and encouraged him to marry another woman, who was younger than she (to ensure that he could have a child), Hager sacrificed herself, possibly putting herself in danger, by agreeing with & encouraging Abraham to leave her & her infant-son, in the desert wilderness of the Arabian-Peninsula, Ishmael sacrificed his own life, to show dutifulness to Allah, then, to his father, a Prophet of Allah.

This is what `Id-ul-Adha represents-
We celebrate these great, righteous, persons, who sacrificed all that they had or wanted, simply to please Allah, the one who created them. And, Hajj (the annual sacred pilgrimage to Makkah, during the 12th month of the Islamic-Calendar, known as Dhil-Hijjah, literally meaning “the possessor of Hajj”), itself, is also directly tied into the origins of `Id-il-Adha.

Now, let’s talk a lil’ bit about Hajj itself-
1. The Zamzam water-well, possesses blessed water, which has quenched the thirst of untold millions of persons, whom have made pilgrimage, from the time that the spring was discovered, until the present-day.

2. The Ka`bah itself, the first building on Earth ever constructed, exclusively built, for the exclusive worship of Allah, originally being a simple altar, built by Adam (Peace be upon him), which is where the famous story of the sacrifices of Cain & Abel took place. After the great-flood, during the time of Noah (Peace be upon him), the altar, along with it’s foundation, were long-lost within the great sands of the Arabian desert. However, Allah (via His plan, which is greater than any & all other plans), had decided to bless Abraham & his descendants, with a Prophet from among them, long after his death, which is actually something that Abraham had actually asked Allah any way. This prayer was duly answered & that Prophet, from among the descendants of Abraham, was none other than Muhammad, the son of `Abdillah (Peace be upon him).

3. Of all of the days of Hajj (which are the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th of Dhil-Hijjah), Allah has chosen the 9th of Dhil-Hijjah to be the best day of the entire year, for the Ummah (nation) of Muhammad, and it is said by Muhammad (Peace be upon him) that, “whoever fasts on this day is assured to have their sins, from the previous year & the following year automatically forgiven.”.(al-Muslim) And, he also mentioned that, “the Hajj itself is `Arafah.”(an-Nasa’i), and this is because the day of `Arafah, where the pilgrims go to the plain of `Arafah, is only to occur once during Hajj; so, if you don’t get to `Arafah, your Hajj is not accepted as such. So, for all you Muslims out there, make sure that you fast on the day of `Arafah

4. This place, where Hager was running to find food & water for her son & she, is actually in between the two mountain-hills of as-Safa & al-Marwah. She had ran back-and-forth, in between these two mountains, seven times. And, to commemorate her sacrifice of herself to find food & drink for her son & she, we, as Muslims, remember her, by doing this same back-and-forth running, in between as-Safa & al-Marwah, as part of the rites of Hajj, along with revolving around the Ka`bah, seven times, which was initiated by both Abraham & Ishmael, in commemoration of the building of the Ka`bah itself, as the very first building upon the Earth designated for the exclusive worship of Allah, the Lord of the Universe.

And, this, in my conclusion, is the history of the origins of `Id-il-Adha, Hajj, and the promise of Allah, to Abraham, of making Muhammad a messenger from among his own descendants.

Gareth Bryant/2012

Some Brief Islamic-History (the dismantlement of the Ottoman Empire):

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It is no accident that the recent revolutions, which have occurred in Tunisia & Egypt, and have swept across the entire Arab-World, to places like Bahrain, Yemen, Syria & Libya, have occurred close to the 100th anniversary of the toppling of the Ottoman Empire, the last officially recognized global ruling body over the Muslim-World. In 2022, it will be 100 years, exactly, since the Arab revolt against the Khilafah (the global Islamic political-system, based upon the Shari`ah [Islamic-Law]), with the help of European imperial powers (namely the United Kingdom & France), became the leading factor in the destruction of the Khilafah. Now, with all the chaos that exists within the Muslim-World today already, coupled with uprisings, as well as potential global insurrection of the current kingdoms & republics of the Arab-World, one has to wonder, “How are all of these happenings in the Arab-World going to play out?!!!”. Well, if you’re a person like me, who’s well-versed in the prophecies of the prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), concerning the trials & signs of the Last-Day & studies History, or just use the basic intellect that Allah has given all of us, you’ll be able to see that something big is about to hit the fan-No one will be able to ignore this reality, nor its everlasting affects upon not only the Muslim-World, but the entire Human race.

Why am I, or should I be even bringing this up, one may ask, and with good reason. I mean, am I a scholar on any religious or secular grounds, no. Am I an expert political-analyst, no. Am I an expert social commentator…..again, no. But, you better believe that I still know what the Hell I’m talking about!!! In light of all of these recent happenings, there has been a mad scramble among Muslim/Arab leaders to pacify their populations, to try their best to keep the thoughts of insurrection out the minds & hearts of the people. Particularly, the oil-rich Gulf-States (Saudi, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, The Emirates, Qatar), who have the most to gain out of stability in the region, and the most to lose if true revolution in the Muslim-World goes physically viral. The Gulf-States, in all honesty are on every one’s “shit-list”, for so many reasons.

If Allah wills, I’ll only mention a few:                                                                                 
The ancestors of the current Arab-World monarchs only rebelled against the Ottomans because they were not Arabs (yes, contrary to popular opinion the rebellion of the Arabs against the Turks was exclusively racially-motivated). They felt ways about being ruled over by Non-Arabs, so with the help of the European imperial powers, they succeeded in destroying the global unity of the Muslim-World, which has contributed to about 90% percent of all of the atrocities that have inflicted the Muslim-World for the past two centuries (both the 1900’s & the 2000’s) Two, their ancestors were the main on-the-ground military opposition to the Ottoman Empire, which made it easier for the European powers to flank the forces of the Ottomans, during World War I. Three, the natural resources found in the Arabian Peninsula, which according to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace upon him) is one of the three things shared by all Muslims (I’m referring to the petroleum right now) were divided among the future kingdoms of this region and became tightly controlled by the elites of these kingdoms (mainly the royal families themselves, and those in their financial/political inner-circles).

Now, the rebellions in Tunisia & Egypt are really rubbing the Gulf-States the wrong way, that’s why they tell their government-controlled scholars to propagate “Be patient with the Muslim-Leaders”, and so many other geo-political slogans of pacification-they do not want to be overthrown like their ancestors overthrew the Turks, really simple. But, they really have to watch their backs, especially since the leadership in Egypt is up for grabs.

The Egyptians have not forgotten that Saudi, along with the other Gulf-States lent absolutely no support to the Arab countries fighting the State of Israel, during the 50’s, 60’s, or 70’s. And, they have not forgotten how Saudi deals with other Muslim/Arab countries, with total oblivion and disregard. They view themselves as the supreme leaders of not only the Arab-World, but the Muslim-World, only because they have authority in the most important places on earth, Makkah & Madinah. However, the official regal title of “The Custodian of the two Sacred Mosques” is always enough to make any Muslim country think twice before invading Saudi. But, the Saudis may not be able to cash in on those religious chips, if revolution goes physically viral.

Now, let’s go back to the whole point of this article:                                                    
The enemies of Allah have a plan for the Muslim-World, to make it more religiously, socially, and culturally secular. They do what Muslims won’t: they study History, and learn from the mistakes of others. Also, they plan things out thoroughly. Their execution of what they plan is truly remarkable, yet we’re still asleep. My brothers & sisters: WAKE THE HELL UP!!! There are things happening that are not in our control, that only Allah can save us from. But, we have to be ready, and stop living with our heads in the clouds!!!

Gareth Bryant/2012