I am going back…………..I can’t believe I am going back. I don’t even want to analyze why there is a spring in my heart. I am going back to innocence, unsullied by the crowds, in the bazaar, untouched by time.
I am going back, to lay my head down on the cool marble, walk till the tiles narrow telling me that I have completed my circle. My heart facing His house, I walk, slow, I walk fast, the timelessness in the circle only interrupted by the adhaan, calling the tawafees to prayer…………..
This is a package deal, thus I am going back to the storyteller, who comes each evening after the maghrib prayer and weaves a web of unreality and you find yourself drawn into it, bit by bit sipping the sweet mint tea, knowing from some remote part of your brain that this will soon be lost, some first world country will bomb it and blow all history to smithereens…………and with another sip of the mint tea you lay down your fears and submit………….
Submit to Him around whose House I am circambulating, has he admitted me in? Not yet I know, there is a lot to be cleansed around my heart, and with every circle a little more crud falls off my heart.
I am walking the uneven cobbled streets………….I am back, the history of the street pulls at me, the innocence of it roots me there, I am free, I am safe, I am protected and I am loved, how strange………..a foreign city where I only know few souls, and yet I feel I have been here and I want to belong here.
I am going back and entering the coolness of the Roza, there is no peace here. Women are wrestling to pray on the carpet that signifies the Riaz al Jannah………how we women sometimes take things literally: RasoolAllah pbuh has said, and I paraphrase: the space between my home and my minbar is a piece of jannah………..what did he mean? I and a million other women take it literally, we find ourselves feverishly wrestling for our little spot in Riaz al Jannah………
I rationalize to my self that he pbuh meant that He or she who prays behind me or where I prayed will get a piece of the action in Jannah.
No matter what rationalization I put on these words of RasoolAllah pbuh, they flee my mind as my steps hurry towards the Roza, seeking the piece of earth between his house and His minbar to pray.
I dive into the sea of women, some 7 ft tall from Somalia some 4 feet tall from India and then women of all manner and sizes in between are like an ocean of bodies wrestling for a small rectangle.
I often think in retrospect that it truly represents us in the Akirah where we will be struggling to get our book of deeds in our right hand………..and no one will care about another……….I am pulled to the spot like a magnet, and despite all the rationalization and that I should be acting with Rasool Allah’s Ikhlaaq, it draws me with a gnawing desire to in some way find a shortcut to jannah and propels me into this crowd of bodies.
Swimming feverishly trying to make my two rakats of succor for my ticket to jannah. I find myself moving forward with a determination unparrelleled to anything I have ever done before, towards the rectangle between his house and his minbar with the sole purpose of making two rakat on it………and nothing can stop me at that time.
I am walking the streets, of the souk and one turn and I enter the domed building where Saladin lies buried and I pause, how often and with what anguish Muslims have called upon Allah Subhanawataala to send us a Saladin, a Saladin that will wrest Jerusalem from the killing fields and with his generous spirit of Ehsaan seed the olive trees that have been wrenched out of the ground by caterpillar tractors and rejuvenate the spirit of justice, mercy and ehsaan.
………And yet as I see his grave covered with a green cloth with the verse of the throne written on it, I wonder, even he with all his glory and magnificence lies in the same amount of space that I would take to lie in. He an amazing person and a brave warrior, and I just Jane Doe.
I am going back………….. What will I do there I do not know yet…………but it really does not matter for I feel the music start in my soul and my spirit is on its journey upwards and towards His House………..
I am on the caravan from Shaam to Mecca, like all the pilgrims in history.