Mushwara = decision making process commanded by Allah (SWT) and the Sunnah of Sayyidina Rasul-ullah (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) and the final decision is taken by the Ameer
Chinese Parliament session = Million people speak and everybody moans and groans and in the end they do their own thing!
When he got back to the hotel we contemplated the goings of the day and walking through markets and town centre, we realised that these people (Non-Muslims) are not used to Blacks and Asians so we decided that the white brother will do all the public dealing and the Jamaican brother will stay behind. This will told the brother is the natural order of things and his people are being discriminated for 400 years so shouldn’t be a problem taking it. :-) :-) :-)
He moaned about the plight of the Black man but agreed that under the circumstances we had to cross a lot of borders and being discriminated is better than being in Jail. :-) :-) :-)
Then the issue of fasting for the next day came up and everybody revealed that they had never missed fasting in Ramadhan in their entire life but missing fasts while travelling is also the way of the Sahaba (RA) so what should be done? They wanted the Ameer to decide but I said that this is a matter in which Allah (SWT) has left the matter to individuals so a special session of Chinese parliament convened over fasting during travelling. Pros and cons of both fasting and not fasting were discussed at the same time and as usual in the morning everybody did their own thing...some of us fasted while others didn’t.
We woke around 10 and decided to travel around skopje and look at the town during the day. Again the mark of Ottomans is clearly visible throughout the city and every high place has a Masjid standing tall and the new investment is desperately trying to catch up with building churches and buildings. A devastating Earthquake hit Skopje in 1963 and majority of the city was destoryed, nevertheless the old Mosques still stand to this do undamaged!
The stone bridge was founded by the Romans and but built and enhanced by the Ottoman Khalifah Mehmud II (RA). He is the same Khalifah who conquered Istanbul (Constantinople) and received glad tidings from Sayyidina Rasul-ullah (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam).
Alexander the Great ws Macedonian so in his honour there is a monument in the city called "Warrior on a horse" . Skopje has not a lot to do with him but this is just to attract Tourists to the city and to show off to the Greece!
Mother Teresa was also Macedonian and the church where she was baptised 1 day after Birth has been turned into a memorial for her.
Skopje fortress sits on the outskirts of the city and depicted on the city flag. Built by the Romans and the wall is meant to fortify the entire city of Skopje, well the walls and fortress couldn't stop Islam and fell to the Muslims like many other cities around the world!
While travelling we did Dhohar Salah in Skopje and again we saw a lot of people during Salah. After Salah we went back to the old Mosque (from the night before) and met some of the brothers. You guys may not find it interested but the Ottoman era Mosques have 4 distinct features which I love:
- The areas around the Mosque are grassy and luch green
- Toilet areas are usually far away from the Mosque
- Wudhu areas are away from the Mosque and fresh water is supplied from the mountains. Wudhu is really refreshing experience and fresh
- Mosques have really high roofs (dome) so it has plenty of natural light and air
Unlike UK these Mosques stay open and have stayed open for hunderds of years and they are built so strongly that not a lot gets them damaged!
We went to sleep in the Mosque and then woke up for Asar Salah.
After Salah we went out shopping and a brother wanted to some Hijabs for his wife but Hijabs are cheaper in UK. We gave him advice to buy it from UK and just give it to her and she won’t know any better but he admitted to having problems with his stomach and won’t be able to hold the secret in for too long and will eventually spill the beans! Chinese parliament convened and eventually a half way compromise was found where he bought whatever he could afford.
We also discovered that we had spent too much money for the day and needed to drastically cut down our expenses. Our next stop was Kosovo so we went to the bus stop to catch a bus. A Macedonian Muslim by the name of Yaqoob had an old private car and gave us a good deal to drive us to Kosovo. It would be 6 of us in his old VW polo!
After Mushwara we decided that we will take Yaqoob on his offer and since its illegal to have 6 people in the car, the white brother would get off ½ kilometre before the border checkpoint and pretend to be walking the Balkans and we would pick him up ½ kilometre after the border crossing. This was our car.
While driving Yaqoob wanted to play music and we didn’t let him and instead we kept him busy by singing Nasheeds, doing stupid Accents (Arab, Turkish,Russian, Yugoslavian) discussing about women etc until we got to Kosovo.