And the mountains, He made them firm..
..when the mountains are set in motion…
One Day the earth and the mountains will be in violent commotion. And the mountains will be as a heap of sand poured out and flowing down.
..then take some clean sand and wipe your face and hands with it. Allah does not wish to place any burden on you:He only wishes to cleanse you and perfect His blessing on you, that you may be grateful.
Almost at this very moment, having been awestruck with the superb artistry of these looming sand dunes on our way to the Red Sea yesterday, we finally were able to receive a crackly radio frequency to a BBC program where the author of Sand, The Never Ending Story was being interviewed along with a female Sufi writer and a surfer/environmentalist. Unfortunately due to the poor reception I was unable to discern these names. The synchronicity of this still makes my head reel, and fills the heart with sublime ONENESS and inter connectivity of our existence.
From individual grains to desert dunes, from the bottom of the sea to the landscapes of Mars, and from billions of years in the past to the future, this is the extraordinary story of one of nature’s humblest, most powerful, and most ubiquitous materials. Told by a geologist with a novelist’s sense of language and narrative, Sand examines the science—sand forensics, the physics of granular materials, sedimentology, paleontology and archaeology, planetary exploration—and at the same time explores the rich human context of sand. Interwoven with tales of artists, mathematicians, explorers, and even a vampire, the story of sand is an epic of environmental construction and destruction, an adventure in staggering scales of time and distance, yet a tale that encompasses the ordinary and everyday. Sand, in fact, is all around us—it has made possible our computers, buildings and windows, toothpaste, cosmetics, and paper, and it has played dramatic roles in human history, commerce, and imagination. In this luminous, kinetic, revelatory account, we do indeed find the world in a grain of sand.
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
For look! Within my hollow hand,
While round the earth careens,
I hold a single
grain of sand
And wonder what it means.
Ah! If I had the eyes to see,
And brain to understand,
I think Life’s mystery might be
Solved in this grain of sand.
Robert William Service
The sand grain has become a symbol of impermanence and the fragility of our-and nature’s-works.
The birth of a grain of sand in this way signifies the death of a mountain…It has been estimated that on the order of a billion sand grains are born around the world every second…
from the fascinating Chapter 1 of Sand. …must title for the ‘wish list’!
SubhanAllah! How great is Allah Ta’ala’s magnificence! And to ponder on His wisdom in creating an Angel who can count these grains of sand is truly humbling! SUBHANALLAH!
Ar-Rais is a rather backward town west of Badr on the Red Sea that attracts visitors who either hire simple canvas tents, or bring their own which are erected a few metres apart for privacy. It may seem idylic and offering some recreational relaxation, but the excessive littering and lack of respect for the environment is shameful. Certain groups are concerned for the state of the Red Sea, regulary conducting awareness programs, but the greater problem of educating the average public is huge. it is almost a case of too little too late when one sees the extent of abuse with the rubbish floating in the sea and embedded in the sand.
Interesting textures from the presence of water birds…
…casually sitting on a sand bar…
…as well as ripples created by ‘sand communities’…as discussed in the interview…the same rippled patterns appearing on land and under the sea…reflecting the constant rhythmic vibrations that are the symphony of Universe.
Candid shots of this speck ‘fossicking’ among the rubbish while imbibing the sea air…
..and recalling the time when the Sahabah RadhiAllahu anhum came on an expedition to the Red Sea.
A vacated hire tent…
…groups of women in ffull burqa and niqab were seen wading waist deep beside some of the tents…
…this is the Masjid set back from the shore, eroded and rusted from the harsh sea air. The adjoining rest rooms made the wayside stops along the Makkah, Madinah highway seem like five star establishments…
…a rugged track leads to the small marina where boats can be hired for short ventures into the sea…this old
…we had intended to drive closer to the unique colourful vessels, resplendent with lounge couches on them for comfort, but as I was taking this photo a security guard stopped us and said he did not give us permission to continue…and yelled at us for taking photos! Meanwhile several cars passed us as we turned around and were not prevented from entering…time to head back to Badr…
…where along the way was an example of how vicious sand storms can be…depositing shifting sands as movable mountains…
…with a ship of the desert appearing as a scene from long ago…
… Badr was decorated with these spring flowers..
…sprouting from roundabouts and lining the main streets. We went to the place of the Battle of Badr to convey our Salam to the noble Shaheed, in the hope that it was not manned by the usual ‘vice squad’, but sure enough they were there, and once more Bid’ah and Mamnou’ was yelled at us…
…so time to head back to our beloved Madinatun Nabi as the sun began to set on little enclaves of villages nestled at the foot of mountains…
…soon to be folded up…
.. .in violent commotion. And the mountains will be as a heap of sand poured out and flowing down.
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. May He accept our humble efforts and grant us the capacity to be good and do good. Ameen.