With two thirds of Ramadan 2018/1439 almost complete, Muslims around the world have begun preparing for the final ten days of the month of fasting, in which many physically seclude themselves in servitude of their Lord. But, for some 150 South African devotees the final days of the holy month is even sweeter, since they have taken their seats in the precinct of Masjid al-Aqsa, Jerusalem, which is considered the third holiest place for Muslims.
As someone who annually embarks on the Journey with a group South Africans, Ayoob Dadabhay has shared in meals with the imams of al-Aqsa, enjoying countless auspicious evenings in the mosque. An experienced envied for its close connection with the lives of the prophets.
Describing i’tikaaf 2018 as a moment of magic, Dadabhay explained that with over 30 people travelling to the holy land from Cape Town, this year marks the most number of Capetonians to embark on the journey to al-Aqsa for the purpose of I’tikaaf.
“The atmosphere is amazing, the excitement is there, everyone is looking forward to it…we are just waiting for maghrieb time [sunset prayers] to come, so we can all make the intention for I’tikaaf and then we will enter Masjid al-Aqsa.”
Dadabhay said that South African and British mussallies observe the ten days in the Marwani section of the precinct.
“You can’t understand and experience the feeling [of the Marwani section] unless you come and experience Masjid al-Aqsa.
“Although we are in summer, in the Marwani Masjid there is no need for air cons and no need for blankets…Maybe it’s Allah’s way of showing us His Rahma [mercy] for visiting His Mubarak [blessed] place,” he stated.
Dadabhay said that mussallies are blessed to be performing prayers in the Masjid where anbiyah [prophets] performed salah.
“Imagine wherever you walk and wherever you perform sajda (prostration) one of the prophets of Allah performed sajda. You don’t get that anywhere else in the world – it is absolutely unique,” Dadabhay continued.
With its rich history, the City of Jerusalem is home to beautiful architecture that continues to be marvelled by travellers.
Inside the Dome of the Rock [footage: Ayoob Dadabhay]: