Sunday, June 01, 2003


Narrated Yunus Ibn. Abdul A’la, Al-Syafiee asked : “ O, Yunus, have you seen Baghdad?” Yunus said “No”. Al-Syafiee said, “Then, you have not seen the world!”

Who of us is not fascinated by the charm of Baghdad? This city embodies a memory that never fades by the passage of time. It is the city of all generations. We have grown up with the image of a Baghdadi stately palm and have been fed with the fairy tales of Sinbad, displaying the values of the rare Arab gallantry. We have lived with the indelible imprints of Abu Haneefah, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Abu Tammam, Al-Bahturi, Al-Mubarrid, Ibn Tenni, Al-Khateeb, Mustafa Jawad, Nazik, Blund, Hilal Naji, Ali Jawad Al-Tahir, Abdul Aziz Al-Durri and Ibrahim Al-Samra’e.

Who of us did not love Baghdad? Who of us did not weep for Baghdad? Who of us can erase from memory a Baghdadi picturesque dream of childhood embroidered by Sinbad, and the tales Ali Baba and the Forty Burglars, Aladdin and the magic lamp and Al-Rasheed’s nights?

When Baghdad was bombed, I took refuge in history in search of a safe haven in books, trying to venture into the past and see Abu Jaafar Al-Mansour planning his future city. Al-Mansour performed the afternoon prayer and surveyed the area. He selected a site, saying, “This place is good for construction.” Then he laid the first brick for his city in the name of Allah, reciting verses from Holy Quran, “Verily the earth is Allah’s. He gives as a heritage to whom He wills of His slaves, and the end is for the pious.” He then marked the site for mosque, the market locations for other public utilities for the ‘City of Peace’.

I can see him now, leaning at a far corner and looking into the future to watch the armies of the invaders devastating the ‘City of Peace’ and turning it into a den of wolves.

I see Baghdad, all set on fire, and I feel frustrated for not being able to do anything except pray for Baghdad and the people of Baghdad.

At this point, Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdadi came and took me by my hand and we made a tour through the history of Baghdad. We toured the streets, squares, and lanes of the city. We saw the men and women and kids happily moving on the streets, and we even talked to them and discovered that we knew each others for centuries. I realized why our forefathers deeply loved Baghdad and that their eyes would see no other city in the globe except Baghdad.

I can hear the gentle voice of Yaqout Al-Hamawi describing Baghdad as ‘Miss World’ the Mother of the Globe, the Paradise on Earth, the City of Peace, the Tomb of Islam, the Confluence of Tigris and Euphrates, the Eye of Iraq, the Headquarter of the Caliphate.”

When the moans of Baghdad get louder, the gentle voice of the historian Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdadi comforts me, “Baghdad is a secret known to Allah Alone and it is endowed with victory. Whenever the enemies of Islam think that they have subdued its inhabitants, Allah will destroy them and render their power ineffective. That is the bounty of Allah, the Most Gracious.”

Hussain M- .Bafagih
Haj and umra magazine
Eternal Call, Global echo……


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