Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah. Feb has been fabulous, so far. Today, was extra fab. Just look at the photo. Am I lucky or am I lucky?
Some of you might remember seeing two of them on TV Al Hijrah, speaking on fundraising for what would be the first mosque in Seville, Spain after some 600 years since Seville ever had mosques or mezquita. Our Spanish guests [from left to right] Mohsin Sierra, Ibrahim Hernandez, Malik A. Ruiz and Bashir Castineira were generous to spare some of their precious time to visit this faqir in KL today. Alhamdulillah. I shall forever be grateful for this memorable experience.
To be honest, I was still feeling exhausted from my Vietnam trip. But to honor our special guests, my mother and I had woken up at 3 a.m. on Monday morning to clean up our crib and prepare the necessary.
It's all more than worth it! Our guests are indeed learned, well-mannered, articulate and friendly too. I should write a thorough/longer posting because each one of them has an exciting background. During the meeting, each one gave a very good interview. Do look out for recordings, courtesy of Al-Falah TV, inshaAllah.
This posting is more like an introduction to who they are and the main objective of their visit to Malaysia.
Brother Malik is the President of an education foundation called Fundacion Educativa al Andalus. He spoke passionately about the history of the one and only mosque in Granada which was opened in 2003. It took them 20 over years to build the mosque. The Granada mosque became the first mosque to have been built after 500 years since the fall of the great Al Andalus civilization. The mosque also have a dedicated place for classes and community activities. Almost every Friday, there would be requests from people wishing to convert to Islam. He considered the struggle to make Islam's presence stronger and more visible in Spain as jihad-without-weapon, it is a jihad of the tongue.
Brother Ibrahim is the Vice President of the Seville mosque foundation known as Fundacion Mezquita De Sevilla. Malaysia is the first country for the fundraising effort. The Seville mosque will also serve as a cultural center for about 25,000 Muslims in Seville. It is important for Seville to have a mosque because it is the capital of Southern Spain. It's interesting to note that for nine years, Ibrahim had been an active international model based in South Africa. He said, becoming dai'e is not an option, it is in fact an obligation of each individual Muslim.
Brother Bashir is the imam of the Granada mosque. Upon completing tahfiz of Quran in Morocco just a couple of weeks ago, he was appointed as director of the Granada Mosque Foundation. He spoke about the challenges of his new role. He is tasked to establish a waqf mechanism in order to make the Granada mosque self-sustainable and to develop an international Islamic school for 800 students in the outskirts of Granada.
Brother Muhsin is owner of a travel agency called Visit Al Andalus. He actively promotes tourism in Spain and the Mediterranean region, including Morocco. He is of the opinion that Spain should be the third choice for Muslims to travel, after Mekah/Madinah and Turkey. He encourages Malaysians to visit Spain, in particular South Spain, during winter.
More about them and their interviews in separate postings InshaAllah.
On a lighter note, I was delighted that they had noticed the posters of Qasidah Burda in my foyer. And three of them, Ibrahim, Bashir and Muhsin offered to perform the qasidah before we began the interviews. The melody rendered was unique ala Spanish.
|Ibrahim, Bashir and Muhsin singing the Qasidah Burdah|
Alhamdulillah for the ukhwah. We were indeed grateful for the opportunity to listen to them and be inspired by their tireless effort in helping the religion.
Pray Allah would ease their fundraising activities and make their trip to Malaysia fruitful. Pray so that they or rather we could see the Seville mosque manifesting very soon, as planned. Pray that Muslims in Spain would become successful and leave a lasting legacy as they did during the great Al Andalus era. Ameen.