Al-Quds (Apr 2012) – Part 7

  • Post category:My Travels

Continued from Part 6

Masjid al-Burāq, Footprint of our Holy Prophet صَلَّىٰ ٱللَّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, Emotional farewell to al-Quds

Saturday 5th May was our last full day in al-Quds. After Tahajjud, Fajr, rest, and breakfast, we made our way to the al-‘Aqṣā sanctuary (Ḥaram) again and headed for Masjid al-Burāq.

This a very small Masjid on the right of Masjid al-‘Aqṣā as you face the Qiblah. Our host showed us the place where the Burāq was tied on the night of Mi’rāj. We again did a full tour of Masjid al-Marwāni, and then did a full inside tour of Masjid al-‘Aqṣā (Qibli) and the Dome of the Rock. There are so many places of significance in both Masjids. In the Dome of the Rock, we were shown the place where there is a footprint of our Holy Prophet Muḥammad, صَلَّىٰ ٱللَّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ‎, from where there still emanates a beautiful fragrance, سُبْحَانَ الله.

After offering Ẓuhr in Masjid al-‘Aqṣā, the Imām took us to a house where a Janāzah had taken place 3 days earlier. It is a custom in Palestine that only close family and relatives visit on the first 2 days and others pay their respects on the third day. This time (afternoon) had been allocated for shopping, but we couldn’t refuse the Imām. Believe it or not, although we had passed by hundreds of shops and stalls everyday, not one thing had been bought for family & friends. So we went along with the Imām for Ta’ziyah (consoling the bereaved), where we partook in the meal of the traditional Palestinian Maqlūbah, rice with lamb on the bone.

Then it was time for shopping. We looked for Shaikh Jamīl’s stall and found it after a lot of wandering around. We separated into small groups. Shaikh Usmān and I were exhausted, at this point, so we decided to take a rest and continue after ‘Aṣr.

After offering our Aṣr in Masjid al-‘Aqṣā, we started the shopping. Upon coming out from one of the main gates of Bait ul-Muqaddas, either the Chain Gate or Cotton Merchants’ Gate, we emerged into the real place for shopping. Within an hour, we had bags & bags of Palestinian souvenirs to take home. Plaques with the Dome of the Rock, fridge magnets, keyrings, Tasbīḥs in Palestinian colours, bangles, a wooden carving of The Dome of the Rock, and not to forget the fresh Palestinian Medjool (Arabic, Majhūl) dates and wonderful Palestinian Turkish Delights (lokum, pronounced luqūm). We could have shopped till we dropped but with half an hour to go to Maghrib, we called it a day.

This was our last evening in Palestine. We offered our Maghrib & ‘Ishā in Masjid al-‘Aqṣā, spending the time in between in the Masjid. We were all in our own corners; our hearts were crying. When will we get an opportunity to return again? It was so emotional.

That evening we went for a Maqlūbah Dā’wat and had invited Shaikh Jamīl & Saleh to eat with us. This Maqlūbah was brilliant, similar to Biryani, it was very very tasty.

Sunday 6th May was our final day. We prayed Tahajjud & Fajr in Masjid al-‘Aqṣā. The Imām did a short Du’ā after Fajr for us and finally the moment arrived when we had to say farewell to Masjid al-‘Aqṣā for the time being. Words will not do justice to the sadness and emotions felt at that precise moment, hearts were shattered, eyes were full of tears and it felt as if Masjid al-‘Aqṣā and The Dome of The Rock were saying ‘Is that it? Are you going? Can you not do anything for us?’

Most of us had been to Makkah & Madīnah from where, although the parting is full of sadness, you leave with the feeling that they are in safe hands and custody. However, leaving Baitul Muqaddas makes you feel so guilty; it truly was a sad moment.

We had our breakfast, said our farewells and soon we were travelling in a minibus back to the King Ḥusayn Bridge (Allenby Bridge). As our minibus left Jerusalem, we caught one last glimpse of the Dome of The Rock, and soon it was out of sight.

The return border crossing was very straightforward, security checks at the terminal, exit stamp and cross over to the other side, all within an hour. We had left Hāshimī Hotel at 8am, and at 10am we were in Jordan. We had phoned Muḥammad Shuraim, and soon we were back into our 2 vehicles heading back to Amman.

Continued in Part 8