Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education

The Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education (NFIE) is a non-profit, tax exempt, religious and educational organization dedicated to serve Islam with a special focus on Tasawwuf(Sufism),

Thursday, March 4, 2021

The Importance of Jerusalem to Muslims - Shaykh Abdul Hakim Murad

Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad speaking mainly on Palestine and finding the key to Jerusalem again . “The loss of Palestine, and the ongoing loss of the remaining Palestinian lands, have clearly made it harder for the Islamic world to love the West . There will not be a resolution of this any time soon. But this must never be deployed as an excuse for breaking moral boundaries.”
YouTube Lecture

A special piece - ‘Tarawih in Jersualem’ by Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad who is in Jerusalem at the moment with Al Buruj Press: 7/3/2016

Three cannon shots, not one! This tells us that the sun has set and it is Laylat al-Qadr. The streets are festooned with coloured lights, there are food stalls of every kind, aromas arise, the old honeycoloured walls carry placards blessing the Prophet. Green canvas canopies are slung overhead.
A river of humanity courses towards the ten ancient gates of the Noble Sanctuary. Inside the crowd is enormous, unguessable in scale. Two hundred thousand? Three hundred thousand? The women are ranged in and around the majestic Dome of the Rock, perhaps the most beautiful building in the world. Some are wearing their finest embroidered dresses, each showcasing the traditions of an ancestral town. The men are on either side and ranged in front, beyond the Minbar of the Rain Prayer, filling the Aqsa prayer hall, the Mosque of Marwan, forward from the Kawthar Fountain and the Golden Gate.
We find places beneath a steeply leaning cypress tree and bow down on ancient smooth stones. They feel soft as a woman’s skin: no need for a carpet here! Perhaps David walked upon some of them? Perhaps it was here that the Blessed Virgin Mary prayed? Or that ultimate congregation of prophets on the night of the Ascension? They are immense, irregular, antique; and they glisten in the sodium lamps as though they were wet.
Shaykh Yusuf Abu Sneinah leads the Isha prayer - half an hour of it. It is Surat al-Hashr, and the congregation know why. Then comes the Tarawih, shared between three imams, all strong, firing their voices up into the night sky. Between each two rak’as they lead us in a short dhikr blessing God or the Prophet, and many, many join in. The amin is loud and affirmative.
At the front, men are throwing small bottles of Jericho Water: catch their eye, and make sure you catch the little missile! This Tarawih will last an hour and a half; the qunut a further twenty minutes. We are given al-Taghabun, al-Talaq, al-Tahrim. The voices caress the Book’s syncopations, almost in ecstasy, the imam is like the helmsman of our ship as we sail confidently through sura after sura.
The Voice rises to heaven and reverberates all around, echoing from the Mount of Olives, over to Bethesda and the Well of Siloam, Mamilla, the Damascus Gate. Nothing can resist it! It is more superb even than the exquisite sanctuary itself; where it winds itself around the masonry and mosaics, totally at home. Small children and old men in keffiyehs pray together, hushed and humbled, rapt in concentration. They know that the ‘pipe of David’ is back here forever, in this Third and greatest Temple! As Christ prophesied it has become a house of prayer for all nations. A thousand pilgrims from the Witwatersrand are making i’tikaf here. There are Turks, and here and there one hears the accents of High Wycombe and Bolton.
Some Palestinians are sleeping beneath olive trees on cardboard squares, others are picnicking; they will stay for the collective tahajjud which begins in the small hours when the great Voice rises again; then each hospitable group will make sure no pilgrim remains unfed, until the muezzin reaches for the sky once more and the cannon near Bab al-Amud cracks and flashes. The air is cool and there is a faint refreshing breeze. A hint of sage and rosemary drifts over us from outside the walls. In the last two rak’as of the Tarawih we are given Surat al-Mulk and Nun, thus ending with an unanswerable challenge to the dark and jealous souls who plot beyond their Separation Wall. Then, after the qunut, we stand up, rub the grit from our feet, and head for the Asbat Gate, carried along helplessly by the crowd. A chant has begun among the young bloods: ‘with our souls and blood we will redeem you, Oh Aqsa!’, for the baleful eyes of the soldiery are upon us.
Thousands have been turned back at the checkpoints today trying to reach this place, and at Qalandiya the tear gas killed an old man. The whole country surges and longs to be here! But the mood is festive; and now we are amidst the festooned lanterns and the thousand hawkers of Ghazali Square. Sweetcorn and kebabs are sizzling on charcoal, vast cauldrons produce great balls of falafel stuffed with chutney or cheese, there is candy floss in plastic cylinders, and here and there one may find Turkish-style ice-cream. A small girl is handing out boiled sweets.
There are collections for charities, raucously promoted by men with loudhailers. This is a cheerful chaos, a celebration, an all-night street party for an oppressed but strong-hearted people who have feasted on God’s word.
With Al Buruj Press



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