Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Moderate Muslim Sect Goes to Israel

Shi'ite Muslim pilgrims from India clean a marble enclosure marking a shrine, located on the grounds of Barzilai Medical Center in the coastal town of Ashkelon February 8, 2015. The Israeli hospital, known mainly for treating the casualties of conflict in the nearby Gaza Strip, is home to a tomb where, in the view of some Shi'ite Muslims, the head of Hussein ibn Ali, grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, lay interred for centuries following his death in battle. Picture taken February 8, 2015. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Tomb of Mohammed's Grandson Honored in Israeli - Rami Amichay 

A Shi'ite Muslim shrine is located on the grounds of Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon [Israel]. The ancient tomb is believed to contain the head of Hussein ibn Ali, grandson of the Prophet Mohammed.

Members of the Dawoodi Bohra Shi'ite sect, which has a million adherents worldwide, come annually on pilgrimage to the ornate marble enclosure marking the tomb.

Hospital deputy director Dr. Ron Lobel noted: "This is one of the absurdities of the Middle East. Here we have a sacred place for...the Shia Muslims, and on the other hand, 12 km. south of here we have other Muslims that shoot rockets at us."


LHwrites said...

What's to say? It is one of the many absurdities of the MidEast; where everyone should celebrate their similarities and their differences.

Bruce said...

Another issue we can agree on!

Vidwan827 said...

This post is meant to be factual and nonpolitical, in deference to the blog meister....

1. This shrine in Askelon, where the 'head' of Hussayn or Hussain was supposedly buried has been fairly well-known for the past 400 years. Hussayn was one of two sons of Ali, .... Ali was, Prophet Mohammed's son-in-law, (he was married to Mohd.'s daughter, Fatima ), and also, he was Mohd's cousin. The "head" was later, putatively exhumed, and removed to Cairo, by the Egyptian king, Saladin, because of an upcoming crusader invasion. 'Ali' is ofcourse, the main raison d'etre ( reason for existence - ) for the entire Shiite ('the party of Ali') faction of Islam.

2. There was some sort of a mosque on that site, in Askelon, prior to 1948, which was destroyed during the Israeli war for independence - on the orders of Gen. Moshe Dayan. You can find the details on other sites, but this was apparently done to get additional territory for the nascent state of Israel. This has been discussed in some israeli websites, as well.

3. As for the Daudi or, more commonly, Dawoodi Bohras, - they are one of the most reformed, most moderate, well educated, very wealthy group in India.

From their point of view, you have to admit that it takes a lot of courage, devoted piety, a lot of hopeful optimism and travel money and funds, to make a visit to a country that must appear inevitably, as very scary and intimidating - to them.

Bruce said...

Dear Vidwan827,
Thank you for your interesting comments.
Yes, I know of the Dawoodi Bohras and their moderate and modern ways. I read a book about them some years ago. Impressive folks indeed.
Bruce :}