16 July 2011

Islamic Jordan

لا إله إلا الله وأن محمدا رسول الله (There is no god but Allah and Mohammad is the Messenger of Allah)




The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has played a pivotal role in the evolution of the three monotheistic religions; Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The prophets, saints and companions of Prophet Mohammad all performed their works, ministries and miracles here in Jordan. The strategic location and mild climate in Jordan have ensured constant settlement through every historical period since 9500 BCE. In my last post, I explored a few of the Christian holy sites. Today, let’s visit some of the Islamic holy sites.

Jordan is rich in the religious history of the three great monotheistic religions. Being located between Mecca, Islam’s holiest place on earth, and Jerusalem which is sacred to all three has given this region a central role in the history of Ahl Ul-Kitab (People of the Book [Jews and Christians] in Holy Qur’an).

Most scholars agree that modern Jordan is part of the blessed “neighborhood” mentioned in Qur’an 17:1 “Glorified be he who carried His servant by night from the Inviolable Place of Worship (Mecca) to the far Distant Place of Worship (Jerusalem) the neighborhood whereof We have blessed, that We might show him of Our tokens. Lo! He, only He, is the Hearer, the Seer”. When Prophet Mohammad made his journey to Syria, he is said to have taken shelter underneath a tree that is, to this day, located near Safawi in Al-Mafraq.

Prophet Mohammad's Tree

The expansion of Islam from the Arabian Peninsula was northwards into Jordan. It was here that the first contact between Islam and the Byzantine world occurred. As a result several 7th century battles took place; the Battles of Mutah, Yarmouk and Fahl (Pella). Many of the Prophet’s companions and military leaders were martyred and buried here. Their tombs and shrines are important sites for pious Muslims.

Yarmouk River
The venerable companion Abdul-Rahman ibn Awf Al-Zuhri’s tomb can be found in Jubeha. Abdul-Rahman was one of the “Blessed Ten” to whom the Prophet promised Paradise. He was in all the major battles and campaigns of Islam; Badr, Uhud (in Medina), Al-Khandaq (the trench), the Conquest of Mecca and Hunayn.

Following a compromise between Meccan leaders and Prophet Mohammad that gave political and religious recognition to Islam, Abdul-Rahman signed the Treaty of Hudaybiyah. He also signed the treaty following the conquest of Jerusalem.

Abdul-Rahman was very successful and shared his wealth through charity. On one occasion he gave 700 camels loaded with food to charity and on another day managed to free 31 slaves. His will stipulated that 1000 horses and 50,000 dinars would go to charity. His is an example well worth emulating.

Venerable companion, Bilal ibn Rabah was a slave who embraced Islam while still in Mecca. His master, Umayya ibn Khalaf was in a rage because of it and did everything he could to force Bilal into rejecting his new-found faith. In the peak summer heat he placed a huge rock on Bilal’s chest in an effort to turn him away from Islam.

He fought in the battles of Badr and Uhud and was able to free himself from Umayyah ibn Khalaf. Bilal was gifted with a beautiful voice and ultimately became the Prophet’s personal muezzin. His tomb is located in the village of Bilal in Wadi Essair.

Another site sacred to Islam is also a Christian holy site; Kahf Al-Raqim or The Cave of the Seven Sleepers. This cave is described in Holy Qura’n as the place where seven pious youths took refuge from Trajan’s persecution. Allah put them to sleep in the cave for 300 years (309 lunar years). When they awakened and discovered that Christianity had spread across the Arab World, Allah put them to rest forever. The Qura’n described their positions as they slept as well as the position of their dog. It also describes how Allah placed an angel in charge of their safety, turning them in their sleep and protecting them from passers-by. The bones of the boys are still on display inside the cave where a very knowledgable man will describe the scene and relate the story for tourists. Astonishingly, every detail of this holy spot matches the Qur’anic description perfectly.






As in the previous post about Christian sites, these examples are a mere fraction of the exciting and beautiful places to visit when you are in Jordan. Come visit us, you'll be glad you did!

Enjoy the photos!

Abu Darwish Mosque

Abu Darwish Mosque

Minaret at Abu Darwish Mosque

Ajlun Castle

Tomb of al-Azdi

King Abdullah Mosque at night

King Abdullah Mosque (the Blue Domed Mosque)

Shrine of Prophet Hud (descendant of Prophet Noah)

Shrine of Prophet Noah

Shrine of Prophet Yusha (Joshua)

Ruined mosque commemorating the Battle of Fahl

Shrine of Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah

Shrine of Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah

Tomb of Jafar Ibn Abi Talib near Mu'tah

Herod's Palace at Mukawib where John the Baptist was beheaded

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I write like HP Lovecraft. getting ready for ramadan, this year i will have an office.........my blog: shabbyzen.blogspot.com
suanne nutter

Ol Big Jim's Place said...

Thanks for stopping by Suanne! I've just left your blog and I love it!
obj

Anonymous said...

i enjoy these blogs so muchyou are so special we are so proud of you.

Ol Big Jim's Place said...

Thanks for your kind words, Anonymous. Come by anytime, you are always welcome here!
obj

bookmarking said...

Islamic Wallpapers Says:
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bookmarking said...

Ramadan Says:

Your article is amazing I got an effective knowledge from you article. I want to read more about your other articles on Islam

Ol Big Jim's Place said...

Thanks for your comment, Ramadan. I've just posted an article about Ramadan you might be interested in reading. I will post more articles on Islam soon. Keep stopping by; you are always welcome here! Ahlan wa sahlan!

bookmarking said...

Ramadan Says:

Your article is amazing I got an effective knowledge from you article. I want to read more about your other articles on Islam