Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tell the Truth and Be Punished?

Let's put a halt on my travel writing. Somehow I have lost the mojo to write. But something happen today with the kids, that I feel I must pen it down.

Jack doesn't follow me to send Sya to ngaji anymore. He wants to stay at home. Supposedly practicing his surah that I'll ask him later when I come back home.

But his memorisation is really bad today and I was not happy at all. Earlier, I caught Haziq playing computer games which I was already angry because the rule is no games on weekdays and just this week alone he has breached this rule twice. So I pulled the monitor out and now his monitor is sitting shamelessly in my room for I don't know when. Maybe tomorrow because I know he has homework.

Anyway back to Jack, somehow he confessed that today he was playing games when I was outside (and not practising his surah). I was already angry with Haziq and this was perhaps the second last straw on the camel's back.

I was angry, that I told him, I could't hear you recite any longer tonight and left.

I calmed down sometime later then a thought came to me, he was telling the truth. He didn't have to say it and I wouldn't know. I can guess but I still wouldn't know. So I could at least appreciate the honesty bit.

Which I did. I said thank you for telling the truth and being honest with me even though you know that you'll get into trouble. We hugged. he cried.

Aaahhh soon he will be as tall as me and will he be as sensitive with soft heart. I don't know.

I just pray that he will  become righteous. All of them.

Friday, January 11, 2013


The last frontier of the Romans.

We moved out from Tabuk early (8 is early for me). It was 2 Celcius in Tabuk. Nice!

Tabuk has lots of farms. Mazra'ah everywhere.  Mazra'ah in arabic. We saw lots of these signs. And than they have many factories to process their farm produce. Masna'ah in arabic. We saw lots of these signs too.

And we passed this long stretch of olive farm. For definitely more than 20km long it ran. Tabuk must be a very fertile place. No wonder the Roman empire went down to Tabuk. and not further south into Saudi.Further south kering kontang. Just my thoughts though.

Anyway as I drove from Buraydah to tabuk and much more driving from Tabuk to Madinah, I can feel the pain of traveling in summer in this terrain. Desert after desert. In cruel summer heat. So imagine the Muslims who participated in the battle of Tabuk. 15 days marching. Very little supplies. Despite heavy donation by the sahabah, the 30,000 army was big. They had to share camels between 16 of them.

Anyway you can read about Tabuk in the seerah.

Tabuk now is snowing. Read HERE. In fact the whole of Jordan is snowing. Last week, Amman had rain and flood.

As much as I would love to play in the snow, I thank Allah that I escaped the snow. Thinking of driving in the snow on the mountainous road, shivers me. The week before we went, the forecast for my traveling week was not for us. It was forecasted to rain on the day I arrive and everyday.

Alhamdulillah it didn't.

But now reading that snow has swept over Jordan and the area surrounding it, my heart wept for the people who are suffering there who has no proper home, heat, food and many more. Ya Rabb ease their affair.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

The King's Way

Kings way signboard The King's Way Jordan. We are entering the famous King's Way of Jordan. The road by itself is like any other "A" road (trunk road) except that in Jordan, the road winds along the mountain. It runs for 297km from Petra to Madaba (refer to map).

It gained the name King's Way bot because it is the road for any specific king. Rather, because this is the very road that has been used for thousand of years for those who travel from North of Shams area, Damascus and so forth into Saudi and further south. So this is a historical route used for milleneums.

There is evidence that travelers also passed Wadi Rum inciting that they were going to Makkah which was the centre point linking from North (shams area) to South of Al Jazeera.

This inscription scribbled on the wall of Wadi rum (Down south of Jordan) describes that groups of camels traveling to Makkah. Can you see the scribble that look like flinstone car that is "mim kaf ta" which spells Mekkah. In the old days, there are no dots on the letters. This is the road that traders use to transport frankincense from down south Yemen or Oman up to Syria. It was widened by the Romans to facilitate troops and further trading and now maintained by the government of Jordan. The Christians used the road for their pilgrimage to Mt Nebo, near Madaba. Even before the Islam time, people have been using the same route for pilgrimage in Makkah and also trade. The road winds wround mountain and you can only imagine the hardship of traveling in the old days. Rihlah As Shita wa as Saif. travel in the winter (going south) and travel in summer (going north) It may be a treacherous road. Later on if they go south (starting from the south of Jordan), they will have to pass desert after desert. Element of danger and bandits are part of what is to be expected. As for the Quraysh, Allah has set them safe in His protection. So let them worship the Lord of this House (Kaabah) He who has fed them against hunger, and has made them safe from fear. Quraysh 106 Photobucket

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Unknown Element

Alhamdulillah we are back. Clocked in at about 8000km in total. It was an educational journey, eye opener and hope to be richer in experience and understanding.

The thing about traveling to new places, there are always elements of the unknown and potential danger and of course delight. All these Insya Allah are experience enriching depending on your perspective of things and how you deal with it at the time and after it.

When we got to Tabuk, it was already dark. It's winter here. In saudi, maghrib is about 6. It was already cloudy with dark clouds looming earlier. Then suddenly when we drove a strong wind blew and we skidded slightly. A rush of sand followed pattering our cars and then drum rolls rolled on the road. There were no street lights. The rush of fear came to me because I was not sure to veer the drumroll and risk the possible of speeding car behind or stop also risking being hit at the back.

We made through the brief sandstorm.

Astaghfirullah and Alhamdulillah.


PhotobucketJordan is a mountainous country. The mountains are not as high as Iran but most major towns are in the valleys. Thus the road is winding, some are better maintained than others. What's worse I think is that they do not put enough rail guards nor reflector to indicate bends on the winding road. Looking out of the car, is steep and deep canyon, leaving only to imagination of what to become if you make any wrong turning.

Our GPS keep giving us direction that we must drive through small, steep and uninhabited roads. A particular scary journey was when we were going to Umm Qays. It was dark. The roads kept getting smaller and steeper. We were at bends at the edge of mountain. There was no railguard. Not cats eye reflector. The cold night chilled even more. Both my lover and I were wide eyed concentrating on the road with fear enveloping both of us. I took a look outside the window: Pitch black of deep canyon with distinct rocks. We had no where to go except forward and up and up.

We maged to snake our way out with Allah's help.

Insya Allah for our next travel, we will use the IPad map which i heard was better and show us a clearer picture of where we are. Oh we had one on Samsung but it ran out of battery. Plus I heard that IPad one is better. Ngeh ngeh. Next time Insya Allah.

Astaghfirullah and Alhamdulillah.


Jordan lies next to Israel, the occupied Philistine. Jordan being buddy buddy to Israel, demands that they get things under controlled and checked often. Thus if you happen to be in Jordan nearing the Israel border, you will encounter many checkpoints. Soldiers with real guns (but some without the magazines) will stop you and at minimum best ask for your passport. The most I had was they asked to roll down the windows (my windows are heavily tinted).

It was a queasy feeling being stopped by soldiers. Whenever we see checkpoint sign, our hearts sank. My thoughts are on the Philistines people who had to go through check point on daily basis, and they do not have it easy.

Astaghfirullah and Alhamdulillah


On our last leg in Jordan, we moved out from Aqaba and drive to Tabuk and shot to Madinah. It was 900+km far. We tried to leave early but the border post held us back. First when leaving Jordan then arriving Saudi. Qadr Allah.

So we were driving, cutting through magnificent desert. Really the desert here starting from Jordan is imposingly majestic. The sand colours are red and the stones stand randomly staring at you. It was majestic when the sun shines. We enjoyed the desert and watched the sun sets in the horizon of the barren sand.

tabuk-madinah desert 2

It was after, that we realised that the road was really empty. There were no street lights. The huge stones began to grow in the darkness tightening their stare at you. The night was pitch dark. Even the high beam lights got swallowed up in the dark. We couldn't see what was ahead of us. We couldn't see what's next to us. I felt at that time, we had nothing and nothing else that can protect me except Allah.


La hawla wala quwwata illa billah.

Then Allah guided me to remember what I taught the kids whenever you feel scared. Read the quls. Ayatul kursi. Seek Allah's protection from the evil of the darkness.


I take refuge in Allaah’s perfect words from the evil He has created

And whatever else I could remember.

I was sacred I admit.

It taught me tawakkul.

Then the moon began to slowly rise in its full glory.

If you have been in the open on cold winter days, you would thank Allah for the sun for the warmth it gave was a blessing. In the darkness of the night, the presence of the illuminating moon was a blessing. It radiated the surrounding and lifted the fear.

Subhanallah and Alhamdulillah and Astaghfirullah