USA (Jan 1996) – Part 3

  • Post category:My Travels

Continued from USA (Jan 1996) – Part 2

The next day was JumuꜤah and we decided to rest for the day, offering our JumuꜤah at the Tampa Islamic Centre, where we met Imām ꜤĀdil al-Asīr who had been the Qāḍī of al-Quds for 20 years, and in the US since 8 years. We also met a brother called Fazal, who took us to see his office in a high-rise block overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, which had a breathtaking view, and invited us for Ifṭār that evening.

The next day was spent shopping at International Drive (Orlando) where you can buy almost anything, and the amazing thing we noticed was that the majority of the shops were owned by Asians (Pakistanis & Gujarātīs). We offered Ẓuhr that day at the Jāma Masjid of Orlando, a classic Masjid. Today’s Ifṭār was hosted by Dr ꜤAbdur Raḥīm at a sports complex.

Fresh & refreshed, we visited Sea World on the 11th of February, again travelling some 60 miles. Another excellent resort, where the show of the day, ‘Shamu – The Killer Whale’, was absolutely spectacular, soaking spectators in the first 10 rows.

Ifṭār that evening was at the sports complex again, this time courtesy of Iqbāl Shaikh.

The next day was planned for the final big theme park, but our tiredness got the better of us, so we decided to stay at home and finalise our shopping.

13th Feb was another spectacular day with some more amazing rides, ‘Back to the Future’ and ‘King Kong’, at Universal Studios, and topped by Ifṭār hosted by Ījāz.

The next day, we spent a few hours in Clearwater, on the beach, taking in the magnificent scenery.

On our final day in Tampa, 15th February, after finishing our packing, we departed for the airport to catch our flight to Newark. As we landed, there was so much snow that we were lucky that our host from New York was able to make it to the airport.

After spending the night in New York, we did a whistle stop tour of New York, taking in the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty and the Twin Towers. We managed to take the lift up to the 96th floor of one of the towers but, due to excessive snow, couldn’t get to the top (103rd storey). The view of New York from here was amazing, with skyscrapers left, right & centre; it was breathtaking.

On the 29th of Ramaḍān, we boarded the evening flight from Newark to Manchester which arrived in to the UK the next day, 30th Ramaḍān. It had been a memorable Ramaḍān in the US, thoroughly enjoyed by all 4 of us.