Wednesday, April 13, 2011

on the Mezquita

Barus, Singkel, Ranir, Pasai, Cordoba.

that was an inside joke amongst my companions (chewah, companions! sounds so different when you tweak words around. like tarbiyyah is just the same as education, but people get allergic to these things you see). If you want to understand it, maybe you can search for the phrase inside this video:

In the 10th century Cordoba was probably what London or Paris is now: the height of civilisation. Yes, back when Britain had ogres, trolls, dragons and uruk-hai, Cordoba had geographers, surgeons, street lamps, public baths, philosophers, sewage systems, paved roads,...(ok, you get the idea).

Okay, let's begin our tour. First stop: The Grand Mosque of Cordoba, which, in the Spanish Reconquista was captured and turned into a church. But people still call it the Mezquita, the mosque. It is so astoundingly beautiful that the Spanish king said to the bishop: "if i had known it was like that, i would not have allowed you to destroy it." Names and dates i vaguely remember. The lessons i keep in my heart *wink2* 

For a mosque that is more that is more than a millennium old, it is very well-preserved. 

from outside the mosque

The first sight as you walk into the mosque is a magnificent garden, resplendent with orange trees. (if only i could pick them and have a refreshing glass of fresh oren on a sunny Andalusian day.. T_T) The garden reminded me of descriptions of Paradise in the Quran, probably what the architect ordered. 

"And the shade thereof is close upon them, and the bunches of fruit thereof will hang low within their reach." (76:14)

"Their reward with their Lord is 'Adn (Eden) Paradise (Gardens of Eternity), underneath which rivers flow, they will abide therein forever, Allâh Well-Pleased with them, and they with Him. That is for him who fears his Lord."(98:8)

"In them (both) will be two springs flowing" (55:50)

"In Gardens (Paradise) they will ask one another," (74:40)
Amin. :-)

And inside it was even more beautiful, with columns and columns stretching into what seems like infinity. The infinity of the universe. The infinity of life in the hereafter. And the infinity of God's power. (do this simple maths: how many years do we have on earth? lets say 70. how many years do we have in heaven/hell? infinite. proportion of life on earth to life in the hereafter = 70/infinity = 0)

a little bit of history. Originally al-Andalus was a part of the Umayyad Caliphate, but when the Abbasids overthrew the Umayyads, Abdul Rahman I (ad Dakhil: 'the Immigrant') fled to Cordoba and established the Umayyad Emirate of Cordoba, and started building this mosque.

the characteristic red-and-white arches represent rows upon rows of palm trees, probably a reminder to the exiled Umayyad ruler of his homeland

this is a reconstructed model inside the museo vivo de al andalus, but it looks more beautiful  and untainted
There was even one section, where it reserved for teaching Qur'an to children. Now? In malaysia if you go to the mosque that's considered pious.

the mihrab (wall facing the Ka'bah were the imam stands)

the ceiling behind the mihrab, illuminated by natural light

a sad painting in the Mosque: the transferring of the keys of Cordoba to the Spanish. notice how the muslims were portrayed as bowing, humiliated, defeated, while the king stands upright and proud. there is a lesson in everything for everybody.
I like the architecture of the mosque. Everything seems to have a purpose (is there a purpose for putting many many domes on Masjid Kristal?????).

But more than the architecture, i like what someone said:

"If it's still a mosque today, would there be people to fill it up?"

Yes, our society today has lost its conscience. we are comatose, not yet dead but not living either. That's why we need people like YOU, who would awake the living dead.
what society looks like..

...and what it really is.
Oh, and if you plan on visiting Cordoba anytime soon, do visit the Museo Vivo de al-Andalus, on the other side of the bridge.

the bridge and the mosque right after it

the museum

Its worth your 3 euros, and it tells a lot about muslim Cordoban society, how knowledge flourished, how for muslim scientists science was very much a way to get closer to God. Ok, enough said, just go. 

"a universe where the centre is everywhere, and the circumference nowhere".


Inche gabbana said...

wish i were there with u guys. seriyes jeles... not so much of the places u guys went, but more of the warmth of the ukhuwwah, which was quite obvious among u guys. subhanallah.. ;)

oh dulu gi tak sempat pon nak visit the museum. didn't even noe the existence of it..! haha..

maybe a sign that I should go again? with different people this time around perhaps? *hint*


The Author said...

inche, go smplace else la..baru terbukak mata..hehe ;)

*tp ada ke tmpat adam x g lg? hoho*