Tomorrow is my birthday and I am on my way to Southern Spain also called Al Andalus. Birthdays and death days are so intermingled with each other that sometimes the edges are blurred and covered with green grass and daisies.
As the bus speeds like a flying machine on the road to Cordova, I look out of the window at the vista of mountains and hills. A splash of green paint in every hue possible, covering the hills and dales with a soft green velvet carpet of grass. I wonder at what lies beneath.
I think of the thousands of Muslims who sought refuge in these mountains and who are now literally pushing daisies out of the earth……….Our guide asks us to pause for a moment and make dua for all those buried in the vast vista while fleeing the forced conversion to Christianity or face death.
I think of the young and the innocent, the women and the old, perplexed and afraid for their life, leaving Cordova, leaving all their possessions and memories, collecting their children and heading towards the mountains………to the caves hoping to find refuge like the young men described in the surah of the cave (surah Kahf 18). Alas for them the malice of the Christian rulers fueled the common Christian on the street with greed by the offer of 50,000 ducal to each Christian who successfully identified a Muslim and turned him or in to the authorities/inquisition.
I look at the velvety green covering of the mountains and plains, I am humbled by the thought………..” They gave to the earth and their essence enriches the olive trees and the daisies bringing serenity, beauty and solace to those who pass through these terrains” We like thousands others pass through on the road to Cordova unaware of those who lie buried in the soil, enriching it with their life blood.
For those of you who are unaware of the history of Al Andalusia the Christian king and Queen’s decree was for the Muslims and Jews to either convert to Christianity or die or leave the shores of Spain (which they made sure they could not) even though they had been born and raised in this country during the preceding seven centuries.
It is a dark chapter in the history of Spain and yet it is commemorated with gusto with reenactments of the Christians killing “the infidels”.
It is only when one reads the teachings of Jesus and the Quran and the Torah that one finds the common thread “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” A profound statement as history repeats itself in many forms all over the world. Yet it is in the end when we stand in front of our Lord will the blood show on our hands till then we are all standing in the shoes of Lady Macbeth who kept washing her hands but could never get rid of the blood stains even though no one else could see them, she did…………
As the Christian world remains silent at the atrocities of the few from their faith, all through out the world: ethnic cleansing in the name of democracy, all they have to do is look at their hands and know that the stains are permanent until the day of judgment when they shall be called into account, no matter whether they claimed to follow Jesus, Moses or a personal god of their whim under the guise of Jesus.
The bus glides towards Cordova from Madrid and all I see are the falling children, youth in the peak of their beauty (like my son in the prime of his youth) and women whose blood has turned the earth to a rich velvety red, the daisies to white and has enriched the mountains with green velvet to welcome you to Andalucía even if they cannot be present in the human form to say “Ola”………………..