Al-Shafi’i Mosque, witness to early Islamic period

Al-Shafi’i Mosque, witness to early Islamic period
Updated 09 July 2015

Al-Shafi’i Mosque, witness to early Islamic period

Al-Shafi’i Mosque, witness to early Islamic period

JEDDAH: Al-Shafi'i Mosque stands from ancient times to tell old stories about Islam. Parts of the mosque are dated to the time of Caliph Omar bin
Al-Khattab's rule, i.e. 1,381 years ago. Now, one of the oldest locations in Jeddah has a unique historic value that led it to be listed on the World Heritage List.
The mosque is located on Mazloum Lane in Jeddah and is considered one of the main historical sites in the city. The mosque was named after
Imam Muhammad ibn Idris Al-Shafi'i and used to be known as the old mosque.
The imam was born in Gaza in the Hijri year 150 (767 CE). Al-Shafi'i Mosque tells many stories about Islam during that ancient period. The materials used to build the mosque consisted of sea mud, brick, stone and wood, which gives an idea about the weather and environmental
conditions in Jeddah at the time.
The late King Abdullah ordered the mosque to be renovated at his expense four years ago.
Jeddah Mayor Sami Nawwar said the the renovation work that started four years ago revealed a number of archeological artifacts which led to the estimation of the mihrab’s age to be close to 1,400 years. The pillars were renovated using lead while protecting the 900-year-old minaret as well as
the old 1,700-square-meter pipes.
The mosque's renovation comes as part of the National Program for Caring for Ancient Mosques launched by the Heritage Foundation under
the supervision of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowment, Call and Guidance and in coordination with the Saudi Commission for Tourism
and National Heritage.
The mosque's design shows that it was built during the first three hundred years of Islam, Nawwar said. "The mihrab is located in the front; the minaret is located behind the imam on the right; the well is on the front's extreme left," he noted.
He added that the mosque was renovated according to the archeological heritage of historic Jeddah as well as UNESCO standards. He said
that the mosque was opened for prayer after the end of renovation works.
He said that the renovation exposed and exhibited parts of the mosque that weren't visible before, such as the openings, windows and the external walls. The deformations and old paintings were replaced. The work included tiling and removing shops that were very close to the mosque, as well as building new toilets and sanitation infrastructure. Caution has been exercised to avoid damaging the historical value of its artifacts.
Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism
and National Heritage, announced the establishment of a fund to renovate old and historic places in Jeddah. He said he would sponsor the Othman bin Affan Mosque as a sadaqa for his late mother.


The beauty of prayer in Islam

The beauty of prayer in Islam
Updated 23 September 2016

The beauty of prayer in Islam

The beauty of prayer in Islam
GOING deeper into our spiritual state during prayers (salah) requires that we have a presence of heart and are mindful of the words being said during the prayers.
Our prayer will feel shorter, yet when we look at how much time we actually spent, we will think, “Did I just spend 10 minutes?” or even 15 and 20 minutes.
A person who began applying this said he wished the prayer would never end.
A feeling that Ibn Al-Qayyim describes as “what the competitors compete for… it is nourishment for the soul and the delight of the eyes,” and he also said, “If this feeling leaves the heart, it is as though it is a body with no soul.”

The love of Allah
Some people’s relationship with Allah is limited to following orders and leaving prohibitions, so that one does not enter hell. Of course, we must follow orders and leave prohibitions, but it needs to be done out of more than fear and hope; it should also be done out of love for Allah. Allah says in the Qur’an: “… Allah will bring forth [in place of them] a people He will love and who will love Him.” (Qur’an, 5:54)
We often find that when a lover meets the beloved, hearts are stirred and there is warmth in that meeting. Yet when we meet Allah, there is not even an ounce of this same feeling. Allah says in the Qur’an: “And (yet) among the people are those who take other than Allah as equals (to Him). They love them as they (should) love Allah. But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah.” (Qur’an, 2:165)
And those who believe are stronger in love for Allah. There should be a feeling of longing, and when we raise our hands to start the prayer, warmth and love should fill our hearts because we are now meeting with Allah. A dua of the Prophet (peace be upon him): “O Allah, I ask You for the longing to meet You” (An-Nisa’i, Al-Hakim)
Ibn Al-Qayyim says in his book Tareeq Al-Hijratain that Allah loves His Messengers and His believing servants, and they love Him and nothing is more beloved to them than Him. The love of one’s parents has a certain type of sweetness, as does the love of one’s children, but the love of Allah far supersedes any of that. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Any person who combines these three qualities will experience the sweetness of faith: 1) that God and His messenger are dearer to him than anything else; 2) that his love of others is purely for God’s sake; and 3) that he hates to relapse into disbelief as much as he hates to be thrown in the fire.” (Bukhari)
Thus, the first thing he mentioned was: “… that God and His messenger are more beloved to him than anything else…”
Ibn Al-Qayyim says: “Since ‘there is nothing like unto Him’ (Qur’an, 42:11), there is nothing like experiencing love for Him.”
If you feel this love for Him, it will be a feeling so intense, so sweet, that you would wish the prayer would never ever end.
Do you truly want to feel this love? Then ask yourself: ‘why do you or should you love Allah?’
Know that you love people for one (or all, in varying degrees) of three reasons: For their beauty, because of their exalted character or/and because they have done good to you. And know that Allah combines all of these three to the utmost degree.

All-embracing beauty
We’ve all been touched by beauty. It is almost fitrah (natural disposition) to love what is beautiful. Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, said about the Prophet, peace be upon him, that it was “as if the sun is shining from his face.” Jabir (may God be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah was more handsome, beautiful, and radiant than the full moon” (Tirmidhi)
Allah made all His Prophets have a certain beauty so that people would have a natural inclination toward them.
And beauty is more than what is in the face, because beauty is in all of creation and somehow has the ability to take our breath away and give us peace simultaneously. The glimmer of the crescent moon on a calm night, the intensity of a waterfall as the water drops for thousands of feet, the sunset by the sea … certain scenes of natural unspoiled beauty stirs something in us. As Allah is the One Who made it beautiful, so what of Allah’s beauty?
Ibn Al-Qayyim said: “And it is enough to realize Allah’s Beauty when we know that every internal and external beauty in this life and the next are created by Him, so what of the beauty of their Creator?”
This fitrah for loving what is beautiful is because Allah is beautiful. One of His Names is Al-Jameel (the Most Beautiful). Ibn Al-Qayyim states that the beauty of Allah is something that a person cannot imagine and only He knows it. There is nothing of it in creation save for glimpses.
Ibn Al-Qayyim says if all of creation were the most beautiful they could be (so let’s imagine, ever single human being looked as beautiful as Yusuf, peace be upon him, and the whole world was like Paradise), and all of them combined from the beginning of time until the Day of Judgment, they would not even be like a ray in comparison to the sun when compared to Allah. Allah’s beauty is so intense that we will not even be able to take it in this life. In the Qur’an, Allah describes Musa’s (peace be upon him) request: “And when Moses arrived at Our appointed time and his Lord spoke to him, he said, ‘My Lord, show me (Yourself) that I may look at You.’ (Allah) said: ‘You will not see Me but look at the mountain; if it should remain in place, then you will see Me.’ But when his Lord appeared to the mountain He rendered it level, and Moses fell unconscious.” (Qur’an, 7:143)
Even the mountain could not bear the beauty of Allah and crumbled, and when Musa, peace be upon him, saw this (he did not even see Allah), he fell unconscious. This is why on the Day of Judgment it is Allah’s light that will shine on everything. We talk about breathtaking beauty, but we have yet to experience Allah’s beauty. While things in this world can be beautiful or majestic or if they combine both they are finite, true majesty and beauty are for Allah: “And there will remain the Face of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honor.” (Qur’an, 55:27)
Keeping all of this in mind, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Allah directs His Face toward the face of His servant who is praying, as long as he does not turn away” (Tirmidhi).
Remember this in your prayer, and ask Allah to allow you the joy of seeing Him in Paradise.