Since the time, I read the fascinating traveling details of Moulana Maudoodi (RA) in the book: “Ardul Qur’an” [Lands (referred) in the Qur’an] written by his tour companion Br Asim Al-Haddad, I developed a hidden desire that if I cannot see all the places where he went, at least I could visit Egypt and see the places that he visited there. It took him four months to tour all the places that are described in the Qur'an, presenting the fate of all lost nations who disobeyed Allah and the Prophets of the time and were destroyed in consequence. It would be within the context to add that my Tour programs of historical places have always been rotating around this verse in the Qur’an: “Do but travel in the land and see the nature of the consequences for those who did deny (the Messenger)” – [Al-Imran 3: 137]


To fulfill my cherished desire, I requested my beloved Br Baig who visits Egypt frequently to quench his thirst for acquiring the knowledge of Fiqh in depth. It materialized in programming to accompany him as due to my knee problem alone I could not travel by myself. It was his brotherly love for me that paved the way. He arranged the details of my visit very meticulously, considering my convenience at every step.  May Allah reward him immensely in both the worlds.  Accordingly, we embarked upon this memorable historical journey by Egyptian Air on December 26, 2006.



Alhamdulillah, we reached Cairo, the capital of Egypt, safely in the morning of December 27, 2006 and were welcomed with chilly breezes like that of NY that I left behind.  Cairo is like Karachi but with different climate and people. Here Masajd are over-packed with Musalleen.  Water and milk both are very tasty and healthy, keeping me always feeling hungry before time. Tasty Golden delicious apples are available in abundance and (Amrood) guavas, the weakness of my youngest son Tariq, too are in a big supply. On December 28, I rested.


Next day, December 29, 06, we had our Edul-Adha. Back in NY we would have it on December 30. Whole day on Ed day different TV channels were displaying different features of Hajj at Mana, Arafat, and Muzdalfa and pelting stones over Jamroot along with displaying scenes of animal sacrifices. I was just watching the Arabic bulletin of Al-Jazeerah. Its news coverage was good. Our beloved Brother, Dr Samy Ali promised to visit me on Sunday, Insha Allah, and as per my scheduled program, I was to proceed to Aswan and other places in rout to the South on Monday January1, 2007. However, I must first narrate how and under what condition I performed my Ed prayers.


My Ed day in Egypt: As usual, I and Br Baig with his beloved promising son Omar went for Fajr prayers in a beautiful local mosque, “Masjid-e-Arqam” built by Ikhwan, accommodating a big hospital within its premises, a full time school a game-complex and open play ground for youth. We went with the intention that after Fajr we will stay there till we complete our Ed prayers that was to be started at 7:15 AM local time. It was extremely cold here as well very windy. To our utter astonishment at around 6:45 AM all men were asked to vacate the Masjid and pray outside in the open field on naked ground with some sheets on it. We have no choice but to leave and the Masjid was immediately occupied by Ikhwan's Sister wings as they all were waiting outside. They were in thousands, a lesson for our daughters and daughter-in-laws to note as how devoted, disciplined and organized Ikhwani sisters are. We offered our Ed prayers in the open field while shivering with cold. We could not listen even the Ed Khutbah properly and had to leave the ground earlier as the cold was practically unbearable. It was a memorable Ed day with the news waiting at home that Saddam Hussain has been hanged to death in the morning hours of Ed Day in Baghdad.   




The Days that I am passing here are really memorable in the heart of Majestic Nile, the best gift of Allah to humans on earth but its people have always been ungrateful to Him from the time of ancient Pharos to the time of modern despotic rulers. They either worshipped the inanimate objects of nature in human frame as their gods, adored them through ages, made their big statues in granite and lime stones all around or declared themselves as god on earth or god-incarnate. The present day world, especially the secular West is crazy to have a look of them. As such, tourist trade is the booming industry of this country and virtually "all roads are leading" to their temples - the Valley of Kings, Abu Simbel, Luxos. Aswan, the pyramids and so on.   I traveled from Cairo to Luxos by road in a caravan of vans and buses all along the Nile.  The panoramic view of Nile's and its fertility in the shape of lush green forms, gardens and orchards were coming across every now and then in an unending line. The uncultivated virgin land in the heart of desert beyond and across that visible green belt is waiting to be harnessed by Nile water, telling a sad tale of human indolence or political shortsightedness or economic negligence. 


Alhamdulillah, I returned to Cairo on January 5, 2007 after completing my five days tour of Luxor, the Valley of Kings, Aswan Dam, statute of Abu Simbel, and the city of Kom Ambo, Karnak, both by air and by road. It was a well conducted and coordinated tour program as arranged by Br. Baig through a traveling agency, receiving every where VIP treatment and special care for me. The guides [Murshid] everywhere were well qualified and quite educated brothers in the ancient history of Egypt and the Civilization of Nile that is over 5000 years old.


If you peep through ancient history of mankind, you will find that there were four centers of civilizations that are the known sources of ancient human history: * the Indus Valley at Mohan Jodaro & Harappa in Sind. That I visited in detail in February 1957 when I visited West Pakistan to attend the historical meeting of Arkan [members] of JIP at Machigoth; * the Second was the Mesopotamian Civilization of Iraq in between rivers Euphrates and Tigris which I studied in detail from the old history of Iraq prior to the birth of Prophet Abraham in Ray which now stands as ruined by American bombardment; * the third was of Romans in Babylon in Syria and * the Fourth was of Nile Valley which I m visiting now. The Civilization of Indus Valley, the Mesopotamian and that of Nile Valley are of contemporary age that is about 5,200 BC. This is the first known account of human history that is now available to us in the form of excavations that could be discovered from these places in the form of idols, human bodies that were kept in the form of mummies, earthen Pots, utensils, engraved furniture, statues, coins, calligraphic writings in the old Arabic script that was written in figures and formed the source of Aramaic language which later on became the main source of modern Arabic alphabets that were inscribed on temple walls and rocks in figures and symbols in caves and Pyramids of Egypt.


It is very hazardous to go inside of these temples that have been discovered through excavation deep in the mountain caves in barren rocks and are now maintained through delicate process to manifest the human links with its pagan past. It shows that human arrogance was always there to negate the supremacy of God while posing himself as human-god right from the very outset of human society. In consequence, all the pagan-oriented civilizations were destroyed, annihilated and ruined as the tradition of Allah goes for those people who deny His authority and the Guidance that came from Him through His appointed Messengers. Now only their signs and some remnants are visible in these excavations that remind the man about the consequences of his/her denial to their Creator and Sustainer. That is why Allah ordains at many places in the Qur’an: Go and see the world and observe as what happened to the people who denied His authority and His directives. These human tragedies show how humans have misused their freewill and gone astray. These tours give the lesson that man always misused his freedom of choice and suffered a lot in consequence as he is suffering today due to his arrogance and denying the authority of God. Human history reminds man to learn that his salvation lies only in obedience to God. That is the lesson that was crystal clear before us when I visited these remnants of ancient human history that are well articulated in the ruins of these tourist’s spots.


But the most fascinating aspect of this tour is the panoramic majestic view of Nile and its extravagant benedictions to the people of the land. Unfortunately, however, it is the least explored, unutilized or the least harnessed source for the benefit of poor Fellaheen [formers] that are down to earth poverty stricken. These sources are wasted and are falling in the Mediterranean Sea. A river that produces gold in terms of fertility and power-generation is only used to produce 186,000 Megawatts of electricity and the rest opportunities are wasted. The water resources of mighty Nile, if properly harnessed to the brim of its capacity, can alone feed the people of African Continent. World Bank, if it is really interested to solve the human food problem must invest its capital in billions and billions and transfer Egypt into the granary for Africa and the Middle Eastern countries. 


Though I visited all these temples but saw only two from inside in mountain cave. I was most interested to know about their time and the environment in which they were living in comparison to the circumstances in which people are living today. I have noted the difference and seen that though time has changed but the nature of man, the method of oppression, the denial of human rights, dearth of security and the paucity of living means of ordinary people are the same as they were there when human civilization was in its infancy. Human nature has not changed at all and he is behaving today the same way he was behaving as a primitive man.


The rulers of today in the Muslim world are rather more cruel than that of the past. The greatest tragedy is that the most developed and the enlightened nations of Europe and America are sustaining these symbols of modern oppression for their global domination and building an era of neo-colonialism in the current millennium. This state of affairs very often moves my heart and soul together. Muslim Ummah is suffering tremendously but none is there to heal its wounds. Every one is calling himself as Muslim but its sufferings are surmounting by leaps and bounds. I wish my sons and daughters should have nurtured and felt the same pain and done something positive in abating the sufferings of humanity during my life time and continue to do so after my death which is approaching fast..


In this process, I really enjoyed the flow of Nile, a spell-bound beauty to see at its different curves and turns, meeting with common people and knowing their endless problems that are common every where in the Muslim lands. People are generally poor but extremely courteous and were ever ready to help me beyond their limit. Here I realized that old age is a blessing as well a problem too. I really enjoyed these ups and downs of life and meeting with people at large, sometime talking in English and very often in Arabic. Even the "Surta", the policeman, offered me their chair to sit and they preferred to stand by my side though I did not like it at all. I was overwhelmed by their behavior and feelings of respectability that they hold for their elders. Even they offered little gift for children to take home from their side. May Allah bless each of them immensely.


As promised, I composed a poem for my little "princes" Zahra while visiting Aswan Dam where its man-made lake, named after President Nasir, stretched over 500 miles in length is a marvel of nature now to see. It should have been transformed into a fish reservoir of sweet water for millions to earn their livelihood and a paramount source of earning billions of foreign exchange.




Today I went to see the Egyptian Museum that's too is full of mummies of Tutankhamen and others in gold casket and granite. Europeans were crazy but I have no interest to see the dead remnants of the disbelievers except for the sake of “Ibrah” [Lesson]. There was no elevator service though they were there. This huge building is of four stories with wide halls at each floor and a lot of stairs to go to each floor. The negligence of the officialdom is common every where, a common sickness of Ummah.


In the evening hours, I went to see Professor Dr. Ali Shaaban, Dean of the Faculty of African Languages & Translation, Prof. Dr. M Ibrahim Abu-Ejl, the Chairman of the Department of African Languages and Professor Dr. Abdel Khaliq an authority on Swahili language. The meeting took place at the residence of Dr. Shaaban. It was a memorable evening for me while discussing the position of Ummah in the light of global hegemonies and the issues that it is confronted with in its wake. Dr Ali is the Master of many languages like my beloved Brother Dr. Jameel A Siddiqi Merhoom and he looks like him too in manners, simplicity and depth of knowledge. Dr Ibrahim is the Master of Swahili. Language that is the lingua frank of many African countries. I discussed with him the possibility of Dawah though that language. The prospect appears to be bright.


DR Ali is teaching, Alhamdulillah, my three books in Azhar's Dawah Department and was well aware of me. My three Dawah books that are taught in Al-Azhar are:

* The Commitment; * Methodology of Dawah; * The Greatest Need of Man

When I told him about my Website:  he enthusiastically said he will visit it tonight. The details of these talks are varied and centered chiefly on their respective academic achievements. I benefited a lot from these valuable discussions. I will keep my contact fresh with them, Insha Allah, through E-mail.


1/7 & 1/8-07


Today was the day to see the historical features of Cairo and its vicinity. First we went to see the three famous Pyramids of Egypt. They are situated at the outscarts of Cairo. They are really a wonderful feat of engineering and one wonders how they were built 4000 years ago. After seeing these huge monumental Pyramids, one is convinced that why they are counted as one of the Seven Wonders of the world. Just nearby it, there is the historic statute of Abul Haul. I only saw it from outside as I have no taste to go inside the cave.


From there we went to see the Mosque built by the famous companion of Rasulullah (S), Amru bin Aa’s (RA) who conquered Egypt in 21 H. I delivered the due Salaam of Mohtram Amin Bhai at the very entrance in the Masjid along with that of mine. Masjid is here called "Jamai". It is a huge mosque which has originally 126 pillars. The environment of the mosque carries an aura of sanctity as it was built by a companion of Prophet Muhammad (S). I offered two Rakah of Tahiyatul Masjid. From there we went to see first Masjid Al-Hussain and then went to see Mohammad Ali Mosque who was the Governor of Egypt in early eighteen century for Khilfat-e-Osmania. It is by the side of the Fort built by Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi (RA).  Form the top of this hill, the panoramic view of entire city of Cairo is a tourist attraction. From that vintage point entire City of Cairo presents a memorable beauty to see.


Both Masjid and the Fort are built on mountain top and are always occupied with foreign tourists. I had to walk at least hundred stairs up and down with support of wall, my stick and Br Baig. May Allah bless him immensely. This Muhammad Ali was the main instrument in establishing British influence in Egypt and Hijaz which at that time was controlled BY the Governer of Egypt. At that time Hijaz was under the rule of Sharif of Makkah whose two sons later on, after First Great war, became the king of Iraq and Syria when they became the Protectorate of Britain and France respectively.


From their we went to see a very big mosque, "Masjid Refaai" where the dead bodies of King Farook of Egypt and King of Iran are buried in separate tombs. They are the symbols of "Ibrah" [Lesson]. Both were ousted from power and they could not get two yards of land for burial in their respective kingdom ["Du ghaz Zamin bhi na mili kuchai yar mein"] and their fast friend, the USA, treated them as good for nothing. “Fataberu Ya Ulul Absar” 


It was around 2:30 PM and we were feeling hungry. Our Taxi driver, who by profession was accountant and driving taxi as a part time job, took us to a common place hotel where "Kouchri" which is prepared by roasted Masoor, with small pieces of noddle/spagati, gram and tomato “Chatni”. It was really delicious to eat.  All our kids like Asim, Zaid, Adeel, Thamina and Rabiaa would have loved it. The hotel was bursting with customers of all ages. I will ask my daughter-in-law Naila who is expert in preparing new dishes to prepare it. She would have loved it too.


We then went to see Al-Azhar mosque. It is quite huge and we saw that the students were sitting against each pillar and studying their lessons. It was a beautiful scene and the environment where mental faculties are developed. We offered ASR prayer in congregation. The Campus was closed and I will go to see it again, Insha Allah, on return from Sharm al- Sheikh and St Katherine Cathedral where I am proceeding Insha Allah tomorrow in the morning hours by Egypt Air.




Last night I returned, Alhamdulillah, from Sharm Al-Sheikh {SAS} at around 2 PM late in night. It was a memorable trip to be treasured always in life.


I went there on 1/9 by Egyptian Air. It is hardly one hour flight from Cairo. My Murshid (guide), a Coptic Christian brother, was there with his van. We stayed in a five star hotel "July vile". It is itself something to see. SHARM was under the control of Israel and only was returned to EGYPT a few years back. It is a sea resort and completely full of modern vices. It is now the center of perverted “Mutrafeen” of ME countries to enjoy the spoils of modern vices, a tourist heaven. President Mubarak of Egypt offered his Ed prayers in Sharm and Sheik Tantavi of Al-Azhar lead the prayers. Its natural beauty cannot be described in words but to see. I stayed there overnight and early in the morning started for St. Katherine about 160 miles in the north of Sharm. Our breakfast packets were ready on the reception table to take with us.


This road journey through desert and barren root to St. Katherine  was a pleasure to see where the mountains are melting into white sand through centuries old process of decay - form sea sand into mountain and then from mountain again into white sand. On the way there were villages of Arab poverty stricken Bedouins/nomads. Security system is strictly tight, as said, for the safety and security of the sea of tourists. A security man accompanied us in our van throughout this journey.


St. Katharine is a monastery built by Greek Orthodox and Russian Christians in about 300 AD around the Tree on which Moses saw the light and presuming it as fire went there to get some of it for his family waiting on the way-side. There Allah (SWT) addressed Moses directly and assigned him the job to proceed to Pharaoh of Egypt: "Izhab Ila Firaona innaho Tagha" [Go thou unto Pharaoh! Lo he has transgressed. Ref: Taha - 20:24. For details of this story, Chapter Al-Quasas # 28 is referred]. There I saw that sacred Tree and it is lush green for ever. It has been surrounded by a solid stone wall to avoid people’s “attack”. We can see it but not touch it. I prayed under its shadow by raising my hands to Allah (SWT} and said:  “O Allah! You called a person passing through the wonders of Sinai; You called him in Your unique way and appointed him as your “Rasul” [Messenger] to go and correct the way of life of Pharaoh Ramsses’s II but today there are hundreds and thousands of Pharaohs on Your earth and there is no Moses nor Your Magic wand that could destroy their arrogance. O Allah! Give us that light and guidance to face the Pharaohs of our time”. People were astonished to see my way of prayers who were standing around the tree. I delivered my humble message to Allah (SWT), perhaps, at the right place and let us see how Allah responds to it as He always does. No prayer to Him goes unheard. This is my conviction.


Form there I had every intention to go to Jable Musa [Mountain of Moses - (JM) which was behind the Mountain where the Greek monastery stands. It was sometime afterward that when Prophet Moses went there to meet Allah (SWT) after 40 days of fasting. It was at this JM where He delivered him with the Tablet - called Torah, the Ten Commandments. It is three and half mile up by hilly road or 3752 steps and my legs refused to undertake this challenging road up to the mountain top. By road it takes about six hours on foot and by camel it takes four hours. I walked on that path for about a quarter of a mile and then returned with a great sense of deprivation. All the way I was thinking about the ways through which Allah rewards His choicest people and in how many ways He is pleased with His servants.


However, I took some pieces of rocks of JM, the history of that Monastery in a booklet which is full of only "stories" and a small piece of the branch of that sacred Tree that my Murshid tore before me to share with others.


We returned to Sharm around three PM and had to stay temporarily for 8 hours in another hotel costing $50/ for resting, shower and buffet dinner. This hotel is in the heart of Sharm and after dinner we walked around a big tourist “Bazaar” around it where prices are extremely high that suit only the foreign tourists [not like me]. My flight to Cairo was at 12:05 AM.


This is just in short what I could write but what I have seen and learnt in my 21 days stay in Egypt is the great treasure of my life. Different panoramic scenes that I have seen, the hospitality that I experienced at every step of my journey, the respectability with which I was treated everywhere, the eternal source of knowledge that I have gathered from the river, vales and dales of Egypt, the lessons that I treasure from the dead and the modern civilization of the land of Nile, the pitiable and critical state of Muslim through which Muslims are passing everywhere as well in Egypt and the last but not the least the care and love that my dear Brother Baig showered upon me all through my long stay with him, in the words of Wordsworth, “will cast their eternal shadow on my life in my thoughtful and pensive mood” and fill my heart with real pleasure. In spite of this tiresome journey I am very fresh and typing this report while enjoying every bit of it to the core of my heart. This is Allah's special blessing for me. The more I feel grateful to Him for that the less it would be.



Shamim Siddiqi

January 31, 2007