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Natural Fear

Everyone will experience the loss of a loved one. When the Prophet lost his son Ibrahim, he wept but also praised God, the source of life and death. People who believe in God and in the Afterlife handle death well. The same is true with calamities and tribulations. Maurice Bucaille, the well-known French physician, said that what attracted his interest in Islam was how North Africans in France faced death. As a physician exposed to disease and death, he observed many of his own countrymen not knowing how to die or handle death.

Conditional Trust

Al-Baqara (The Cow) Sura 2: Verses 30-31 (partial)

"And when your Lord said to the angels: 'I will create a vicegerent on earth', they said: 'Will You place therein one who will spread corruption and shed blood, whilst we hymn Your praise and glorify Your holy (name)?' God answered: 'I know that which you know not.' And He taught Adam the names of all things."

Cause of Allah

Al-Baqarah (The Cow) - Chapter 2: Verse 261

"The likeness of the wealth of those who spend it in the way of Allah is as the likeness of a grain of corn that grows seven ears, each ear having a hundred grains. Allah gives manifold increase to whom He wills; and Allah is all-Embracing, all-Knowing."

Bismillah

Al-Fatiha (The Opening) - Chapter 1: Verse 1

"In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful."

This verse is not a simple statement of fact nor does it merely convey information. It is, like surah al-Fatiha, a prayer and a supplication that depicts the state of mind of a sensible, morally alert person as he or she sets out on any worthwhile undertaking. It is the natural yearning of human nature which the revelation has couched in words of incomparable beauty. One cannot think of any other combination of words to match the beauty of Bismillahi-r Rahmani-r Rahim and which so adequately articulates our innate human need and emotions.

Hejaz Railway: a legacy of our grand-parents

Before Saudi Arabia took shape on world map, the major parts of the lands encompassing the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah was known as Hejaz. The yearly Islamic pilgrimage to the Holy city of Makkah is one of the five pillars of Islam and one of the most important and most ancient religious pilgrimages in the world.  For centuries, the Muslim pilgrims crossed the Arabian Desert in long caravans that followed traditional paths and routes to reach the Holy City of Makkah. More often, it was a long, perilous and tiresome journey. Sultan Abdul Hameed II, who was motivated by the spirit of science, technology and progress, built a Rail road that provided vital necessities and comfort including physical protection to Hajis from Istanbul through Damascus up to Madinah. The underlying intention was to protect Hejaz, the Holy places and other Arab provinces from British invasion. This came to be known as Hejaz Railway. The final destination of the rail route was to be Makkah. Unfortunately, the Madinah-Makkah leg could not be completed due to outbreak of World War I. It has to be underscored that the project had witnessed the true meaning of solidity in the formation and foundation of this railway.

In March 1900, Sultan Abdul Hameed II issued a Decree for the construction of the Hejaz Railroad, provided that the project be totally funded by donations from the Muslim World. Although it was a tough and costly project, this decision was received with joy in the Islamic world. The total cost of the railway was estimated as 4 million Ottoman liras (around 570 kg of gold). This amount corresponded to almost 20 percent of the entire Ottoman budget at that time. The Ottoman Sultan, the Ottoman dynasty, prominent businessmen and even the public donated substantial amounts. However, it was clear that donations would not be enough for the construction of the railway.

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