And the pesky pranksters persist! The barrage of crackers exploding, a staccato of mock gun shots and multiple volleys crackle the serenity of Madinah. Insha’Allah their supplies will run dry, or their money totally burns up in this futile smoke, or they come to their senses realizing the disturbance they are causing, or the danger in this activity or the havoc to the innocent passing by as their missiles project into the neighbourhood. This is annoying play. War, aggression, hate, injustice, death, casualties, destruction, oppression are sadly real and have penetrated the lives of so many of the Ummah. As we celebrate Eid may we take time to make Dua’ for all facing such hardships. May Allah Ta’ala save us all. Ameen.
Apart from the above, a relative calm has descended upon Al-Madianh Al-Munawwarah. Cars, vans, mini buses, buses all heavily loaded with people and luggage form a constant stream exiting the blessed confines of the sacred precincts. Thousands returning to remote villages, other parts of the Kingdom and thousands to the Gulf States. Many of the common pick-up trucks have attached blankets and mats as a temporary roof to protect the dozens crammed in the back. Amusing to watch so many bodies squeeze into such a limited space, all laughing and joking as they push and pull each other to get in.
Sweet stalls now replace the Zakat rice bunkers on the footpaths, as cars stop for supplies to give to family and friends they visit. At least this trading should be honest!
A new flashy gaudily coloured screen has been mounted above one of the ablution blocks, in Arabic, instructing brothers to turn off their mobile phone, not to smoke and to take control of their children. This message is duplicated at other entrances to the men’s sections on boards attached to the pillars, but they are a simpler poster like format, whereas this new one is so much like a television screen. I find it graceless, hoping the plan is not to clutter every ablution block with a similar attachment!
The smoking issue has seen interesting developments over the past few years here. A committee has been set up outlining plans aiming at making Madinah the first smoke free city in the world! Originally they banned smoking within the confines of the courtyard fence, and prohibited all outlets, including supermarkets within the first ring road, to sell any tobacco related products. Billboards were erected on some of the major hotels discouraging smoking, as well as many smaller no smoking signs placed all around the Haram fence. The incidence of smoking within the first ring road is certainly less than a few years ago.
This is a summary of the Eid Khutbah from Makkah. Unfortunately Arab News long ago stopped publishing summaries of the Haramain Khutbahs, and the official site that used to translate the entire Khutbah from Haramain no longer functions. I cannot access Arab News online, they block it for those in the Kingdom, (along with so many other sites?) otherwise I would post the relevant paragraphs.
Eid in Madinah is mentioned in this article.
Eid Saeed to those still celebrating. Taqabbal minna wa minkum!
And yet again, jazakillahu to dear little Asiyah for her colourful contribution to this Eid message with her creative depiction of the Blessed Dome of Peace. May Allah Ta’ala soon bring her and her family to visit the Mubarak Sacred Cities. Ameen.
All good is from Allah Ta’ala whereas mistakes are from this humble speck. May Allah Ta’ala Bless all readers, bringing you all closer to Him and His Rasul SallAllahu alaihi wasallam. Ameen.