May 02, 2006

Back from the Mawlid

Just got back from London today, attended the Mawlid at the Wembley Conference Centre. Was an interesting experience to say the least. Pakistani visitors definitely dominated the scene and all of a sudden Urdu was the default language among the crowd.

Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens was there which was a major surprise. My parents met him when I was a little baby. He had come to Sweden to talk about how he became Muslim. A lot of people don't know this but Yusuf Islam is half Swedish.

Anyway, he has taken up his guitar again and he played an amazing version of the old and famous Muslim spiritual song Tala al badro 3alayna (The white moon rose over us), a song that was sung by the people of Medina upon the arrival of the Prophet Mohammad* to the city. It was good to see him with his guitar again.

What was even more interesting were the people I met during the breaks at the Mawlid, and the stalls with all kinds of interesting books, clothes and crafts. In particular there were two calligraphy stalls of which I must write a separate post on.


nousvousils said...

Happy to know that you got a great time for the Mawlid in London.
I can't imagine such kind of meeting in France during this period (presidential campaign election) when all muslim are (again) strongly targeting in mass media as terrorist or at least as a potential danger...
Solidarity with all of them!

Seabrook Crisps said...

have u heard yusuf islam's song with outlandish? wot do u make of it?

nzm said...

Yes please!

Your last post on calligraphy was really interesting!

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Nousvous, thank you! :)

Yes I see what you mean. Muslims are definately demonized in France. There is I think in general a greater suspicion against muslims and muslim gatherings or practices across the world these days. Showing signs of outward religiousity is often mistaken for extremism.

Britpak: Actually I haven't heard that song. Didn't know they had collaborated. I do know that Outlandish's latest album is going to be more of a spiritual one. Should be interesting to hear our danish neighbours.

Nzm: Your wish is my command, yeah? :)

Samawel said...

Ah, it should've been a good thing to see...

Anyhoo, I'm off to see a musical.

Amorelicious said...

Wow - must have been a truly inspiring experience; especially shattering the myth that Islam is borne from the Middle East/Arabs, etc. and now with Cat Stevens and wonderful people like yourself truly elevating Islam into a universal faith.

I really enjoy your posts; you have such a beautiful storytelling ability!!! Keep your thoughts coming and will especially be waiting for that post on the calligraphy stalls :)

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Samawel! Musical? 7ilu! Tell me more... what did you go see?

Amore: It was definately an amazing experience. More so because of the people you meet. Human lives fascinate me, and human encounters are the best stories, the best books and the best films.

My friends and I met a man, in his thirties, father of three children all terminally ill and diagnosed with an irreversible muscular illness that will take all their lives in their early teens.

He was a total stranger, but in my friends and hopefully me, he found some sort of forum to express what he has been carrying around inside unable to find support in the people around him.

Apparently he has lost faith in everything including his religion and was wavering between belief and disbelief.

In meetings like these one is at a loss for words. I cannot tell him "God is testing you"... who am I to say that?

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