Solidarity with our Shia family.
There are so many, but the one I have been thinking about, a lot, recently is found in Imam Bukhari’s Hadith collection, where Osama ibn Zayd, The Prophet’s adopted grandson, narrates:
God’s Messenger (peace be upon him) sent us (to fight) against Al-Huraqa (one of the sub-tribes) of Juhaina. We reached those people in the morning and defeated them. A man from the Ansar and I chased one of their men and when we attacked him, he said, “None has the right to be worshiped but God.” The Ansari refrained from killing him but I stabbed him with my spear till I killed him. When we reached (Medina), this news reached the Prophet. He said to me, “O Osama! You killed him after he had said, ‘None has the right to be worshiped but God?”’ I said, “O God’s Messenger (peace be upon him)! He said so in order to save himself.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “You killed him after he had said, ‘None has the right to be worshiped but God.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) kept on repeating that statement till I wished I had not been a Muslim before that day.
It is beautiful in its pain, how much love The Prophet had for people who declared the shahadah, a love we (all) have truly failed to achieve, unfortunately.
Dear Muslims who have been bullied, been told they aren’t Muslim.
Walaikum as salaam,
My heart goes out to you. Please, brothers & sisters & siblings, make d’ua for salam. I will. May Allah guide you and bless you, and ease the pain in your heart.
Before the Kaaba, we stop at a masjid near the Battle of Uhud to make wudu and change. It’s night, the masjid’s closed. An old man let’s us in. We pray, wash, change in darkness.
I’m struck by how small the masjid is. Four walls, a roof. Not much else. It reminds me of the mosques i grew up in. Converted houses and gas stations. Portable buildings we’d have to repair after Sunday school. Jummahs under an aluminum roof, the khutbah crackling through an old speaker.
The Harem was different in every way. 90 acres of marble, limestone, silver and gold. Lights illuminating every corner. Sound echoing through dozens of speakers. Multiple levels and ready access for the elderly and disabled. An army of staff to keep it spotless/organized at all times. It’s no exaggeration to say it is the most advanced, modern mosque on the planet.
And at the center is the Kaaba: a 40 foot granite box draped in a black tarp. And even that’s ornate compared to the original, a set of walls no higher than Ibrahim and Ishmael. Look at these side by side comparisons:
Look at it! This is house of God, the holiest site on Earth. What does that tell us, that something so revered comes in such a simple, humble presentation?
Every masjid falls somewhere between the Kaaba and the Harem, in terms of intricacy, size, modernity, etc. In the years since my Hajj, I’ve noticed a distinct trend towards the Harem. Even in my hometown, the portable buildings are being replaced by grander and grander structures.
Not that that’s a bad thing. I’m not one to fetishize tradition. There isn’t a single improvement to the Harem that I don’t agree with. Each one helps more and more people perform their sacred duty.
But it’s important to remember that not having these things isn’t something to be ashamed of. The sacredness of a masjid comes, first and foremost, from the prayers we offer there.
That makes me happy, actually.
I am happy to be humbled.
I am happy to know I am nothing.
I am happy to know my limitations.
I am happy to submit myself to Him.