On knowledge sharing and dissemination

... when circulating a working paper for comments, never put on "citations only permitted with the permission of author"

or "no parts of this paper can be used without permission of author". Rather, say "when using parts of this paper please give proper citation and help yourself". Be delighted if someone wants to quote you ... (p.7)

Source: Glaser, B. G. (2006) The roots of grounded theory. The Grounded Theory Review, 5(2/3), 1-10.

Friday, 27 December 2013

That First Sight and More ... Part 2/2

Assalamualaikum warahmatuLLah wabarakatuh

AlhamduLillah syukur ... for the infinite blessings of Allah SWT ...


 Late November through early December was still pleasantly cold. When the sun was up we can do without thick winter garment. Ladies can easily wear in layers for warmth. We left before snowfall ... which occurred in the second week of December.

 Herod's Gate (Bab al Shahirah aka Bab al Zahirah) ... our entry to the Old City and Haram Al Sharif. Our hotel was a few minutes walk from here. You would see a few armed Israel Security Police in front of this Gate. Just guarding. No close up photographs here. Surreptitious distant photographs should be done with care. 
We arrived at our hotel during Asar time. 
And was ready and eager to go to Masjid Al Aqsa for Maghrib and Isya'. MasyaAllah it was not to be. Led by our Palestinian Brother Guide, we were a few meters happily out of the hotel but as we turned into a corner of a street, we met some locals who were returning, because they were stopped at this Gate. 
That day an incident occurred at Hebron (another adjacent city), where some fights (and death occurred). We could hear some shots in the distance as well. I am not sure whether these were shots of celebration (the Jews were celebrating Hanukah) or shots of commotion. Nevertheless our Brother Guide advised us to turned back into the Hotel. 
AlhamduliLLah, early the next morning we managed to do our Fajar Solat in the Masjid ... alhamduLillah ... much much syukur.
(Image source ... google)
 Another view of Herod's Gate.  Notice The Old City beyond the Gate. This is part of the Muslim Quarter.
(image source ... google)

There are nine gates to enter the City but not all are opened. Muslims mainly enter from Damascus Gate, Herod's Gate and Lion's Gate ... right into the Muslim Quarter of the Old City before we reached the entrance to the Courtyard of Haram Al Sharif. Be prepared to hear the various names of the Gates in English, Arabic and Hebrew.

The Walled City of Al Quds
Showing the Quarters. Note that the Quarters are within the Wall. Herod's Gate is at the top of the image ... image source ... google.

This area is usually referred to as The Old City East Jerusalem, where Muslims are allowed to enter. For the Palestinians may or may not ... only those who are residents of the Old City who live in the Muslim Quarter, and those with special permits are allowed entry ... and even then, women and older men have better chance of getting in.

a better representation of the wall ...
The Haram Al Sharif is represented by that rectangular walled area on the right. You might say a wall within a wall. Doors into the Haram are locked and secured by armed Israel Security Police after Isya', and will be opened at about 4.00 am for Fajar Solat.

We entered the main door to the courtyard of the Haram al Sharif from the north, moved past the Dome of the Rock in order to reach Masjid Al Aqsa. There are a few other doors to enter the courtyard of the Haram, all manned by armed Israel Security Forces. We only entered the courtyard from the main North Door.
(Gates refer to the entrances sited at the outer wall, while doors refer to the entrances to the courtyard of the Haram Al Sharif (The Dome of The Rock and masjid Al Aqsa).


We encountered a still closed door on the second morning of our ziarah ... because we were at the door to the Haram at about 3.30am. We just quietly waited. By 4.00 am the door suddenly opened and the armed security police who opened it appeared from the inside.

AlhamduLillah syukur that we did not encounter any incident similar to the one as illustrated below.

The armed Israel Security Police in front of a steel door leading into the Haram's courtyard.
You may not wish to encounter this ...

when some of the armed police  similar to the above were walking briskly behind us ... i was almost sure that our heartbeats were louder than the sounds of their boots briskly hitting the cobblestones of that narrow alleys ...
ahhhhh i felt so ashamed ... for my cowardice!
Are we not supposed to fear no one but Allah SWT?

For the locals, this is part of their real life ... notice on the left of the above image, some of them waiting patiently for the chance to enter the Haram.


Earlier while waiting for the immigration clearance at King Hussein/Allenby Bridge, I asked our Brother Guide in Amman how would visitors know whether it is safe to enter Baitul Maqdis. And he said, Jordan will not allow visitors to cross the border if there is any hint of trouble. So for guided ziarah insyaAllah, we should have nothing to worry.
but again remember ...
how many times we have been reminded that Allah SWT is with those who help Him ...


The gates ...

A view towards the main road from the top of Damascus Gate. I am not sure if we will be able to go up the Gate and the walkway above the wall to view the City. This is a googled image. Anyhow no harm asking the Brother Guide the next time anyone of us is there ... InsyaAllah.

Here are the 9 Gates into the Old Walled City – Baitul Maqdis (Jerusalem) ...
In Arabic and English

1. Bab al Amud (Amud means Column) (Damascus Gate)
2.Bab al Zahirah/Bab al Sahirah(Cemetry) (Flower’s Gate/ Herod’s Gate)
3. Bab al Asbat (Lion’s Gate/St Stephen’s Gate)
4. Bab al Rahmah (Eastern Gate/Golden Gate) (Not open)
5. Bab al Mugrabi (Dung Gate) - Dung means ... well dung :) ... in the past that was the gate used for throwing rubbish out. Not any more though.
6. Bab al Dabbagha (Tanners gate)
7. Bab an Nabi Daud (Zion Gate)
8. Bab al Khalil (Jaffa gate/Hebron Gate)
9. Bab al Jadid (New Gate)

Some information will tell us that there are 6, 7, 8, 9 up to 11 Gates. It depends whether they are referring to all the Gates or only those Gates that are open for access to the Old City.


  May Allah SWT ease our next visit to the Haram al Sharif ...
Ameen ... Allahumma Ameen..

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