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April 19, 2012

My Trip to Palestine and Jordan (Part I)

by Simple Muslimah

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

*Amazing pictures from an amazing land!  Many thanks to the owner for allowing their publication on LTML*

Click on the thumbnails to view the images in full.


Top row:

1,2 and 3: These photos are taken in and around the Masjid al-Aqsa and Masjid as-Sakhrah (commonly known as the Dome of the Rock) area, before and just after Fajr (the morning prayer).
Each and every time we entered this area, I got asked to recite al-Fatiha and another Surah to “prove” I was a Muslim. Sometimes it was difficult to tell exactly who was doing the asking, whether the Jewish oppressors, or a Muslim working for a religious organisation. I didn’t like it at first, but many Palestinians told me it was a good thing because it kept out trouble-makers from among the extremists Jews, and I should tolerate it.

Second row:

4. Masjid as-Sakhrah again.
5. This was Friday morning, walking back down to the old city to pray Jumu’ah at al-Aqsa.  It’s very special for Muslims to pray in al-Aqsa because of the significance of the area, and because of a hadith that states a prayer in al-Aqsa carries a reward of 5,000 ‘normal’ prayers.
6. This is Masjid al-Aqsa. Many people confuse this masjid with the golden-domed masjid of as-Sakhrah. It’s very beautiful inside and it’s also very humbling to be able to offer one’s daily prayers in such a special place.

Third row:

7 and 8: More photos from the area around al-Aqsa and as-Sakhrah.
9. The interior of Masjid as-Sakhrah. The sisters normally pray inside as-Sakhrah during Jumu’ah, so I had to wait for them to come out.Eventually, my wife told me it was safe to come inside Masjid as-Sakhrah. It is such a beautiful masjid masha’Allah, the photos
really don’t capture it’s true qualities. It is an abolutely stunning and breathtaking place of worship.

Fourth row:

10 and 11: Two more of the interior of Masjid as-Sakhrah. Inside the Masjid is the rock upon which the Prophet of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) stood up before ascending into heaven (commonly known as mi’raj). You can actually touch the spot – it smells like the most beautiful of perfumes. Allahu Akbar, may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon our noble Prophet, his companions and his family.  You can also go under the rock. It’s a truly moving experience – we prayed asr under the rock and subhan’Allah I cannot even begin to describe how that felt.
12. We also took a trip to Ramallah, where we wandered upon the bizarre sight of Yassir Arafat’s burial place.

Fifth row:

13. There was also time for a short visit to the rather nice city of Nablus.
14. Nablus is reckoned to be the home of the most delicious knafeh in the world. Here is my plateful of the stuff. I’ve tasted knafeh in a few different places and this was indeed delicious masha’Allah.
15.This is damascus gate, one of the many entrances to the old city of al-Quds (commonly known as Jerusalem):

Final row:

16. Damascus gate, again.
17. This is Masjid Umar in jerusalem/al-Quds, built on the spot where one of the great companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) named Umar ibn al-Khattab prayed after refusing to enter the church out of fear that, in years to come, the Muslims would try and reclaim the church as their own. It’s been damaged by a leak in recent years and much of it was closed. It’s a beautiful and interesting little masjid though masha’Allah.

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