March 24th, 2008

Pre-Yemen

Or should I say premen [lol..ok its not funny but I really like using these brackets] So pre Yemen, alhamdulilah I had just come back from a few months spent in al Misr, Egypt. So I had had a taste of a “Muslim” country and how it felt to live in one. And without going too much into Egypt [might write something seperate for that, well I already have but I decided to take it down]..at the time I really enjoyed Egypt and the benefits of living in a muslim populated land after having lived in the kuffaar west for pretty much all my life, the benefits of which I’ll go into in a later post insha’Allah ta3la.

My only other experience of a Muslim land is probably what many people have experienced, which is al Arabia. Most people go there for either Hajj or Umrah and no doubt it is simply like the best thing ever and everyone loves it and stuff, however, its not living. You get to experince it partially and get to hear the beauty of the adhaan being called 5 times a day and the halal environment etc. but its like temp housing for the akhirah before you get sucked back into the dunya.

Firstly, I went to Umrah alhamdulilah like ages ago, a few years back when I was still in mid teens and I didnt even know much and I still dont but I didnt know much at all then, I think I was like a freshy 15 year old so I dont actually remember much and things may have changed. But to be honest, to go on Hajj or Umrah isn’t a true experience of living in a muslim country. Yep al hijaaz [arabia and sorrounding] is probably the best place to get the experience but when we go to it for Umrah or Hajj, we usually go as Umrah tourists. We live the tourist lifestyle of living in a hotel, eating out, visiting places, knowing only the route from the masjidayn to our homes and living like kings and queens and living in our little bubble known as Makkah and Madeenah. These 2 cities are blessed by Allah [subhanahu wa ta3la] so when you’re there you are like in another world, you get a small taste of the akhirah and Im going on and on about makkah and madeenah so to dive back on topic, going to hajj and umrah in my opinion cannot be classed as truly experiencing living in a Muslim country as its just on another level altogether.

So anyways, pre Yemen, I didnt really know what to expect. Probably like many of us, I didnt know much about the country and its culture except maybe that Muadh ibn Jabal [radiAllahu anhu] was sent by Rasululah [salAllahu alyhi wa salam] to the people of Yemen and the USS cole thing and a few tidbits from the media, mostly negative. Oh yea and I knew the hadeeth mentioned about Imaan being in Yemen and also that Yemen was known for its students of knowledge and the ilm over there and for the diversity from the madness of soofiyah in one side to the salafiyoon in the famous camp of shaykh Muqbil [rahmatullah alayh]. Ooh and our shaykh, Imam Anwar Awlaki was from there and it was slightly traditional and poor. And that I wanted to go there for a long time. And they eat this green leaf thing and its poor. Did I mention, the knowledge.

So armed with some fresh little arabic learnt, I thought it would be a good place for me to practice the very little I knew of my newly learnt language [I heard that they speak close to fusha arabic, unlike Egypt] and with a mushaf, a camera and some other random stuff, my journey to the blessed Yemen began..

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