Sunday, January 10, 2010

Mosque of Sheikh el-Said Ahmed el-Bedawi

This is a masjid in Tanta. From the excerpt on a tourist site.

"The town's most notable building is the 19th C. Mosque of Sheikh el-Said Ahmed el-Bedawi built by Abbas I and Ismail Pasha on the site of an earlier mosque. It stands over the tomb of a much revered and very popular Egyptian holy man, and attracts large numbers of pilgrims, particularly on his birthday in August. Ahmed el-Bedawi, born in Fez in the 12th C., settled in Tanta on his way back from a pilgrimage to Mecca. Frequent miraculous cures are said to have been wrought at his tomb. The celebration of his birthday is a lively and colorful popular festival and fair."

This guys tomb is actually in the masjid. I learned that you're not supposed to pray to the dead, like asking them for help and stuff but you can pray to Allah to help them.

My husband told me about it and that he never prays there because of the tomb. A few nights before I left, hubby took me out to the street shopping and walked around. We ended up at the masjid court yard. As we walked through it to the street my husband told me this was the place with the guy inside. He asked if I wanted to see the tomb from the window. We went up and looked and there was this one guy reading a paper and praying to the guy and then a the end he kissed the tomb.

That then started a discussion of how stupid some people are... If you are praying to someone for help wouldn't that mean they're Godlike? Which means...polytheism. I said we don't even pray to Prophet Mohammad (pbuh), but to Allah to send peace and blessings upon him. My husband told me I could go up to he guy and try and explain to him that what he's doing is haram, but he wouldn't believe me cuz that's how he was raised and I'm a revert. I then compared it to Jesus. If you think that praying to a dead guy will help you, it's basically the same thing.

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