Tuesday, January 1, 2019

I'm Back!

AsSalam Aleikom to you ALL!
AlHumdulillaah, I am back again, full of power, passion, and thirst to give; and I sadly apologize for my semi-disappearance!
It wasn’t a matter of time availability but a matter of mind, heart, and soul, which all prevented me from effective blogging.
I apologize to those who have sent me messages, by any means, which I haven't responded to and please remember I am not a scholar or a Mufti but I am trying my best to help!
My great thanks to all those people who have supported me, encouraged me, and, maybe also, pushed me to return again and not to surrender to the life of this world (Dunya), which is really distracting.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Oman and Ibadhism: My New Old Book!

Today, I collected my new “old” book entitled as “Oman and Ibadhism” and authored by Ahmed Hamoud Al Maamiry.

It is old because it was published on January 1st 1989, 2nd revised edition; but I feel that it is also rare because I haven’t seen it or heard about it before!

I came to know about it while searching the web for Ibadhi materials some time ago.

Finally, I decided to buy it on Amazon. I got a used “tiny” book, which cost me a lot, but anyway it deserves.

Hopefully it will enrich the Blog and increase our knowledge about Ibadhism.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Eid Mubarak to whole Ummah!

Eid Mubarak to whole Ummah!

Eid is a day of rejoicing and bliss; it’s a day of blessing and peace; it’s a day to reflect and ponder; it’s a day to celebrate together!

Hope your home is filled with good cheer on Eid ul Fitr and always!

May Allah accept all our good deeds, prayers and efforts during holy month of Ramadhan and forgive our transgressions and sins.

May He allow us to witness as many Ramadhans as possible and grant us a high place in Jannah and allow us all to have the companionship with our beloved.

May Allah shower us with His peace, blessings & mercy, and ease the suffering of all Muslims around the world.

Eid Fitr Mubarak!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Understanding Islam: A brief account of its tenets and values

The purpose of this book, which was authored and published by Islamic Information Center of Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, is to explain this great religion and remove the misconception about it, thus giving an opportunity to all humanity to see Islam in its proper and true perspective and enable individual’s sight of the right path in faith.

Please click on the image to download the PDF file.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Happy Ramadhan Kareem!

Alhamdulillah, we got the Ramadhan once more in our life!

I hope every one of us will achieve the purification of the soul upon commemorating the month of Ramadhan.

It is the month of repentance, a chance for us to repent from our wrong-doings and sins.

May the holy Ramadhan brings happiness and joys in our life.

Happy Ramadhan Kareem!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Preparing for the Month of the Quran "Ramaḍān"

Arabic- English Lecture:
Title: Preparing for the Month of the Quran "Ramaḍān".
Place: an-Nūr Mosque - Barking / London.
Speaker: Afla b. Amed al-Khalīlī.
Translator: al-Mu‘tașim Sa‘īd al-Ma‘walī.
Date: Monday; 01/05/2017 CE - 4 Sha‘bān 1438 AH.

Bismillah Ar-Rahmani Ar-Raheem
In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. All praise is due to Allah. Peace and blessings of Allah be upon our beloved - the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him (PBUH)) - and those who follow him till the Day of Resurrection.
First and foremost, I would like to salute you all with the salutation of peace, with the salutation of the people of Paradise “Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh”.
Sheikh Aflah starts his talk thanking Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala (SWT) that He facilitate this gathering to take place tonight, and that he ask Allah SWT to grant us beneficial knowledge, and to cause us to act upon such knowledge, and to accept from us our deeds, and not to let us be from among those who were deprived from His Mercy and those whose deeds are rejected.

Allah SWT made it clear to every single Muslim that the only way by which the righteous deed will be accepted by Almighty Allah SWT is the way that He is ordering us and that He only order us to worship Him in the way that is pleasing to Him SWT; i.e. the way that is based on the correct knowledge.

Allah SWT mentioned two preconditions for those who are looking forward to meeting Almighty Allah SWT in the Hereafter. The verse reads:
 {فَمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو لِقَاءَ رَبِّهِ فَلْيَعْمَلْ عَمَلًا صَالِحًا وَلَا يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ أَحَدًا}
“Whoever wishes to meet Almighty Allah SWT let him do righteous deeds and let him not associate with the worship of Almighty Allah any partner beside Him”

These two preconditions have to present in every single deed legislated by Almighty Allah SWT. The first of which is the righteous deed (العمل الصالح). The righteous deed must be compatible to the way that Almighty Allah SWT asks us. For example, we are asked to pray al-Asr as 4 rakaat or 4 units. If we were to add one rakaat, Almighty Allah would not accept this addition. In fact, He wouldn’t even accept the entire prayer.

And the only way to know the divine instructions is to learn these from the Holy Quran and from the Sunnah of the Prophet Mohammed PBUH. There is no other way to know the legislated or the Sharia rules and regulations except by learning these things.

So it is not peculiar and it is not strange that the very first commandment enshrined in the Holy Quran is the word “اقرأ” meaning “read” and the second commandment is also “to read”.
Allah SWT asks us “to read” in the very first commandment mentioned in the Holy Quran and also the second commandment in the Holy Quran is “to read” as well.
{اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ} Read in the name of your Lord who created.
{خَلَقَ الْإِنسَانَ مِنْ عَلَقٍ} He made the human from a clot of blood.
Then He says: {اقْرَأْ وَرَبُّكَ الْأَكْرَمُ}. He repeats the command “to read”. He says: “Read and your Lord is the Most Generous.”

And this reflects how the reading is very important in Islam and this reflect how much significant the knowledge in Islam is.

The verse goes saying:
{اقْرَأْ وَرَبُّكَ الْأَكْرَمُ} Read and your Lord is the Most Generous.
{الَّذِي عَلَّمَ بِالْقَلَمِ} The one who taught by the pen.
{عَلَّمَ الْإِنسَانَ مَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ} He taught the human what he never knew in the past.
And we see here the association between the knowledge and the generosity of Almighty Allah SWT. The verse describes Almighty Allah SWT of being generous and this reflects that the most generosity should be in learning the knowledge. By extension, one should adhere to the sound knowledge in order for all his rituals and ceremonial rites to be correct in the sight of Almighty Allah SWT.

What is striking in the verse that the action of teaching is ascribed to Almighty Allah SWT in more than one place within the context of the beginning of Surat Iqra (اقرأ)
{اقْرَأْ وَرَبُّكَ الْأَكْرَمُ} Read and your Lord is the Most Generous.
{الَّذِي عَلَّمَ بِالْقَلَمِ} It is Allah who taught with the pen
{عَلَّمَ الْإِنسَانَ مَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ} who taught the human being what he never knew in the past.
So, here we find the repetition of ascribing the action of teaching to Almighty Allah SWT.
This reflects the honour of knowledge and how the knowledge is honoured.

The second precondition or prerequisite mentioned in the earlier verse:
{فَمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو لِقَاءَ رَبِّهِ فَلْيَعْمَلْ عَمَلًا صَالِحًا وَلَا يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ أَحَدًا}. We elaborated on the first precondition, i.e. the righteous deed (العمل الصالح). Now the verse goes on mentioning the second precondition for every single deed to be accepted in the sight of Almighty Allah SWT and that is not to associate any partner, and not to desire any one beside Almighty Allah SWT. That means the action or the righteous deed should be solely done for the sake of Almighty Allah SWT to please Him not apart from any created human.

Allah SWT who mentioned just this condition “فَلْيَعْمَلْ عَمَلًا صَالِحًا وَلَا يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ أَحَدًا”. It is He who also mentioned that the pure or sincere religion is His, Almighty Allah SWT. The sincere religion, i.e. the religion that is done for His purpose, and for His pleasure is belonging to Almighty Allah SWT, Exalted is He.

Allah SWT makes it clear to us what He means by the pure religion (الدين الخالص) when He gave us the example of the milk which comes from the blood of the animal or even of the human being. And this milk if it is distorted by a very small drop of blood none of us will dare to drink it; and that is the case that should be on in the religion. I mean, the religion should be just like the milk, i.e. pure without any distort and without any dirt. And just like you don’t accept the milk that is distorted with any blood; Allah SWT, likewise, doesn’t accept the religion if there is any kind of association with any created human being.

In this lesson we want to highlight or shed light on an important form of worship, i.e. Siyam (الصيام) or fasting; be it obligatory or voluntary. And in order for us to do it in the way that is pleasing to Almighty Allah SWT taking into account that this form of worship, i.e. Siyam was prescribed not only upon this Ummah but also upon the previous nations who came before us.

The verse: { يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ}.
Almighty Allah SWT sets out the commandments to do this kind of worship with the call of “the believers”, i.e. He calls us with this term “believers” (المؤمنين) “O you who have believed” (يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا) in order to draw our attention because every single one of us is falling under that category, i.e. the Category of Believers or the Category of Muslims. So -for that verse - it is more likely to draw our attention. Then the verse goes using a very strong form of order, that is, the word “كتب”; and “كتب literally means “written upon you”. So as if it is something done in the past you have no choice or option. And thus it is more likely that you are going to comply with this commandments. And furthermore, Almighty Allah SWT concludes the verse explaining the fruit of being obedient to His commandments when He mentions the outmost purpose of fasting the month of Ramadhan when He says: {لعلكم تتقون} So that you might gain piety or righteousness.

The word “صيام” (Siyam) is a great concept. It has been used in the pre-Islamic era with Arabs in the pre-Islamic time and it means “to refrain” or “to abstain” generally from anything. And there are examples in the Arabic poetry in which the word used in its linguistic sense. In fact, in the Holy Quran that word “صيام” also was used in its linguistic sense. As for its religious sense or its technical sense it means “to refrain from eating, drinking, sexual contact, and all prohibited things from the rise of the true dawn till sunset with the intention”
By this definition we know that Siyam isn’t confined to just refraining from eating and drinking. Rather, all nullifiers and prohibitions are considered invalidators to Siyam if one doesn’t abstain from all of them.
So Siyam isn’t confined or restricted to abstaining from eating and drinking. Rather, every single sin must be avoided in all times, especially during the day of fasting. And all that (i.e. refraining from sins, eating and drinking) should be associated with the sincere and valid intention to worship solely Almighty Allah SWT from the rise of the true dawn to sunset.

Siyam is based upon two essential pillars, first of which is Imsak (الإمساك) i.e. to refrain, and the second is Niyyah (النية) or the intention.

The Sheikh starts off his explanation of the second essential pillars of fasting, i.e. intention with him saying that there are two things that should be taken into account when it comes to the Niyyah of fasting. First of which is the fact that the Niyyah (intention) must precede the day of fasting. So it must be from the night before the true dawn breaks or before the true dawn rises. So the Niyyah must precede the actual action (i.e. fasting) and that is based on the narration ascribed or attributed to the Prophet Mohammed PBUH
لا صيام لمن لم يبيت الصيام من الليل
“There is no valid Siyam for the one who didn’t have the intention from the night.”
And the second thing that the Sheikh draws our attention to is that the Niyyah must be identical to the action. So if you are going to fast the month of Ramadhan you should specify in your intention that you are going to fast the obligatory pillar of Ramadhan apart from the Nafl or the voluntary fast.
On another level, when you determine this is obligatory fasting you need also to determine the kind of obligatory fasting because the obligatory fasting itself is of different types. The Sheikh gave four examples, first of which is fasting the month of Ramadhan by the verse of Quran and consecutive narrations of the Prophet Mohammed PBUH.
Secondly, fasting the Nathr or the vow. It is translated roughly as: the vow that one made to worship Allah SWT or to do a kind of worship and if he breaks his vow, then he will have to do an expiation (Kaffarah) which is the same expiation of Yameen(اليمين)  or of the oath
(كفارة النذر كفارة اليمين)
“The expiation for vows is the expiation for an oath."
And this takes us to the third category of the obligatory fasting, which is fasting the Kaffarah or the expiation. If one made an oath or sworn by Allah that he is going to do so and so and he didn’t fulfill what he has vowed or sworn, then in this case he has to make a Kaffarah Mursalah (كفارة مرسلة) or a Kaffarah that is not a heavy one, and not Kaffarah Mughaladhah (كفارة مغلظة) (i.e. intensive Kaffarah).
And the fourth category of the obligatory fasting, that is, the fast of the one who doesn’t find the sacrificial animal in Haj if he is performing Haj style or pattern of Tamatu (تمتع). Tamatu is doing Umrah (عمرة) during the month of Haj (الحج) then you go out of the state of Umrah by doing Ihlal  (إحلال)then you enter the state of Haj or the state of Ihram bel-haj (إحرام بالحج). In this case you are combining in your journey between two rituals Umrah and Haj. So upon you is a sacrificial animal, which is called Hadi (الهدي). If you don’t find Hadi and you are mutamatti (متمتع), i.e. doing this form of pilgrimage, in this case you have to fast 10 days; three days during the days of the pilgrimage and seven days when you are back home.
So these are the four categories.  So one must distinguish first between the forms of Siyam be it obligatory or voluntary, and secondly when he determines this form he needs to determine the subcategory, i.e. which form of obligatory fasting or which form of voluntary fasting.

And the Niyyah must be certain, or in other word, one should be sure about his fasting, i.e. he mustn’t be hesitant in regard to whether he fast or he doesn’t fast. He cannot be hesitant and enters the day of fasting with a hesitant or uncertain Niyyah. So this must be clear from the very beginning whether he is going to fast or he doesn’t fast. Otherwise, if the Niyyah isn’t certain, then the fasting wouldn’t be acceptable. And the other thing is that one should be sincere in his Niyyah, i.e. he doesn’t fast in order to show off people that he is fasting or that he is righteous and doing a lot of voluntary acts. Rather, he must be doing that for the sake of pleasing Allah SWT and for the sake of gaining his pleasure.

The core of fasting is to abstain and refrain from eating and drinking. And this can be divided into two categories. The first category is the one upon which the scholars have agreed, in other word, there is no disagreement or dispute between the scholars of Islam upon this category. For example, eating, drinking and having sex with one’s spouse. All of these three things are nullifiers and invalidators to fasting without any difference between the scholars of Islam. So this is the first category which is a consensus of scholars of Islam.

The second category of the nullifiers of fasting are that which is contentious and disputed by the scholars of Islam, i.e. they didn’t reach to a conclusion as to whether they are going to invalidate the Siyam or not.
And there is a number of examples. For example, intentional vomiting; if one is intentionally have committed vomiting or he caused himself to vomit this is a disputable issue whether his fasting is null and void or not. The other example is committing sins during the day of fasting; the scholars of Islam also differed as to whether committing sins during the day of fasting nullifies the actual Siyam or not. The third example of the disputable issues that the Sheikh mentioned is Hijamah or cupping. Cupping is to take the false blood from your body. The scholars of Islam based on different narrations disputed whether cupping is nullifying to fasting or not.

The first category upon which the scholars have agreed unanimously is eating or drinking, and this is nullifying to Siyam by consensus of scholars, provided that there are certain conditions which must be met. The first of which is that he eats on purpose, i.e. he eats intentionally without forgetfulness. The second thing is that he eats what could really nourish and feed the body; and this is during the day of fasting with the intention that he is breaking the fasting by doing so.

Based on the aforementioned principle that if one eats or drinks out of forgetfulness, then according to the majority opinion his fasting is still valid and this is in accordance with the Prophet’s PBUH statement
إنما أطعمه الله وسقاه))
“It is Allah SWT who caused him to drink and to eat during the day of fasting.”

The Sheikh will conclude his session by general attentions or remarks; first of which is the fact that Siyam is a great school which trains one  and instills in his heart the piety that turns his behavior, and instills in his heart the righteousness; and this is a fulfillment of the Prophet (PBUH)   who says:
الصيام جنة))
“Fasting is a shield.”, or “Fasting is a shelter.”
فإذا كان يوم صوم أحدكم ... فإن سابه أحد أو قاتله فليقل: إني صائم))
“If one of you is fasting and someone approaches him insulting him or trying to fighting him let him say: “I am fasting”.”
And the Prophet (PBUH) was reported to have said:
الغيبة تفطر الصائم وتنقض الوضوء) )
“Backbiting breaks the fasting and nullifies the ablution.”
The other prophetic tradition:
من لم يدع قول الزور والعمل به فليس لله حاجة في أن يدع طعامه وشرابه))
“However leaves the false statement and acting upon such statement then Allah SWT is in no need of him leaving his food and drink.”
So it is really a great opportunity for each one of us to train himself to be a pious person. It is a great opportunity for every single of us to make it a starting point to clean the sheet and make our record of deeds on the sight of Allah SWT crystal clear. And the first step to prepare yourself to the month of Ramadhan is to repent to Almighty Allah SWT.

Lecture transcribed and edited freely by Bint Ibadh

Friday, May 4, 2018

The Tale of The Blessed Falaj

Falaj Al-Mabrouk

Aamer left his town very sad and in low-spirit. He had lost everything; his money, his wife who abandoned him after he had gone bankrupt, even his friends who had stood by him in prosperity and beamed at him in good times, changed countenance and disappeared.
“It is true,” thought he to himself, “good fortune makes friends and adversity tries them.”
Everyone shook him off now that he was reduced to poverty. He remembered that he had a poor brother, who sometimes dropped in to see him and then all of a sudden disappeared without a trace. He wished he could have seen him. But how impossible! His brother had probably died.

He walked away very dolourous and in great despair, dragging one foot after another, but from time to time, he looked back at his town, where some of its people had one day been his servants and slaves, and some others wished that they had been servants at his palace before his life had taken a turn for the worse. He roamed the desert, expecting someone to wave a magic wand and make life wink at him again. But alas! Everything had gone with the wind.

Where are the amahs and maids and the red nights? Where are the nights of gambling and alcohol-drinking, the fun and joy? Where are the silver plates and gold spoons? Where are the candles and the lamps that are lit from olive oil? Where are the singing and dancing girls? Where are all the types of fruits and beverages? Where are the silk-and-cotton padded bed, the sumptuous dining table, the thick oriental rugs, and all the other luxuries? Everything’s gone. Ah! Would to God that I had had strong ties with my brother and had not lost him.

He roamed heavily on and on and whenever the bell of hunger rang and his appetite spoke out for food, he chewed some tree leaves which sometimes tasted bitter and other times sour, and whenever he got tired, he slept under a tree, or in the open air. He was reduced to a ghost from hunger and fatigue. He caught sight of a village, while he was roaming. He thought of going to it in the hope that he could live there and nobody would know anything about him, or his past, and he would find work and start a new life.

When he arrived at the village, he found in it a luxuriant palm-tree garden, but he was amazed to see that its trees were so small that they looked as if they had recently been planted. He also saw a grapevine hanging down a hedge, and ripe bunches of grapes dangling from it. He was so famished that his mouth watered as he looked at it, and when he unconsciously stretched his hand to pluck a grape, he noticed a farmer standing by, looking at him. He felt bashful, and instantly withdrew his hand.
The farmer said, “Take it.”
“Thank you very much,” Aamer replied timidly.
“O decent man, please take it. The owner is a generous man,” said the farmer.
When Aamer heard him say so, he picked the bunch of grape, and ate it. Then he asked the farmer, “What’s the name of this village?”
“It’s called Al-Mabrouk; Falaj Al-Mabrouk, and its proprietor is a well-brought-up and a fair man,” answered the farmer.
“Is it owned by a single person?” enquired Aamer.
“Yes, it is. It is possessed by sheikh Obeid,” replied the farmer.
“And what about you?” asked Aamer.
“Together with me there are several other farmers, and this is a new village. This is also part of the falaj, and the other part lies in the wadi. Look, there is a shortage of farmers, and you look weary and poor; so if you want to work here, you can join us,” said the farmer.
“What can I do? I know nothing. I’ve never done any sort of work,” said Aamer.
“You’ll learn quickly, and we’ll teach you how to farm, and, at the same time, farming’s not hard.
The owner of this falaj is sheikh Obeid, who is a good man, and we join him in his sitting room three times a day: in the forenoon, at noon, and at night. And every night he dines with his farmers. After that he has a coffee-drinking gathering, and recounts a tale, and you’re very lucky because he’s going to relate his own life story and how he constructed this falaj tonight,” said the farmer.

Aamer agreed to stay and work at Al-Mabrouk village, and registered his name in the farmers’ list, a house, therefore, was earmarked for him. In the evening, the farmer whom he had met came to go along with him to the palace of sheikh Obeid, master and landlord of the village.

They got to the sitting room in the palace where sheikh Obeid was sitting down. They greeted him and shook hands after Aamer had been introduced, and then took seats next to each other. Aamer started to look fixedly at sheikh Obeid in the hope of recalling his fine-looking face that shone with opulence and comfort. He, one day, had probably gone to the city for shopping or trading, but he did not recollect anything. He was certain that he had never seen him, and thanked God for this, and that sheikh Obeid did not know him or his past. After having supper, sheikh Obeid leaned on a straw-padded cushion, and so did the farmers, and commenced narrating his own life story.

“I was born in Sohar, and my father was a renowned moneyed and landed merchant. He also had a lot of shops, farms, and ships trading among India, Basra, Yemen, Zanzibar, and Somaliland. My father married twice, and had only two sons: my elder brother, Aamer, and I, each from a wife. My mother died, when I was a child, so I was raised with my brother, Aamer, who was a man at that time. But as much as my father and brother had loved me, my stepmother hated me. She was very callous, and maltreated me for no reason. My father also died while I was still a little child, so I continued to be reared with my brother and his mother. My brother, who was very kind and compassionate, turned into an unfeeling person. He always beat me ruthlessly for reason or no reason. He treated me as if I had been his bitter foe, and his mother’s brutal treatment of me became much less cruel than his. When I attained puberty, I recognised the truth that money had changed my brother, and that he knew that, one day, I would ask him for my share of inheritance. Therefore, I hoped to turn to education to make up for the money. But my stepmother’s death made my brother harsher than he was before.

He prevented me from pursuing my education, therefore, I was brought up as a poor illiterate have-not. And whenever l was unable to earn my daily living, I requested him to give me some money, but he always expressed disgust of me, and felt ashamed of me before his bad company. What could I do when I had no other recourse but him? Despite this, I always wished him well, and invoked God for blessing him with more and more, but whenever he heard me supplicating God for him, he lost his mind and covered his ears with his hands. His wealth had augmented and boomed, and he sank deeper and deeper into dissipation, night-oil burning, alcohol-drinking, gambling and boisterous evening parties.

I began visiting him only on Eids and occasions for 1 had gained a trade in woodcutting and it spared me from asking him for money or anything else, but in spite of this he detested my visits. One day, I had sore eyes that lasted for months, and I stayed at bed all that time, and he never asked about me. I lost my sight because of it, and because I couldn’t go to the physician and didn’t have the money to buy medicine, and all my attempts to borrow money from my brother or to get him to help me were in vain. I felt that he had wished me to die or to lose my sight, and that fate fulfilled his wish.

I recuperated, but lost my sight. I had no other option than to count on my brother to help me to subsist. I was a powerless disable who can do nothing: I was not educated to teach children, and I couldn’t see to work. I started visiting him from time to time. He gave me food just enough to keep me going, or sent me one of his servants with some food in order for me not to visit his majestic palace and to have his friends see me. But I kept on visiting him.

One day, when I called in his palace, I was stunned to be warmly welcomed by him. I thought that his conscience had awoken and he had come to his senses, and I wished that he would have recognised me, and taken care of me as his brother. Then he sat next me, and said, “My brother, I’m so eager to sit with you, to chat with you. I’m athirst to hear your talk. I really missed you.”
“But you’re very busy because you have guests and feasts everyday, and I'm blind,” said I.
“You’re not blind as long as I’m alive. From now on I’ll never leave you alone. I intended to visit you, if you don’t visit me,” said my brother.
“Do you mean what you say?” I enquired.
“Yes, of course, I do. OK, tomorrow’s Friday, and I’m not going to open my shop because I want to take rest and walk with you in the desert as when we were kids. Ha! What do you say?” said my brother.
“In fact, I’ve nothing to say. I depend on God and accept your proposal, even though I’m blind. We’ll go together to the desert and talk with each other. I like you, my brother,” I said, thinking that my brother had really changed.
Early in the morning, I got up and sat thinking of my brother. I thought he would not show up, and that when he promised me to come, he was under the influence of alcohol. But my thinking did not last long, when, all of a sudden, I heard him call me. We went outside the city and walked on and on till I got exhausted. It seemed that my brother did not feel tired for he kept on walking and talking. And whenever I requested him to rest for a short while, he procrastinated until I could no longer move on. Then when it was late afternoon, he consented to have rest under a big tree. As soon as we sat down there, weariness overcame me and I at once fell soundly asleep. My brother abandoned me there and returned to the city. I woke up when I heard the howling of wolves, barking of dogs and hooting of owls.
I set out calling my brother, but nobody answered my call. I was sure that he deliberately cozened me and brought me to this forsaken place to get rid of me. To walk in a desert at night was very difficult and hopeless for the one who was endowed with eyesight, so how was it for the sightless? I realised that predatory animals would undoubtedly eat me, if I remained in this isolated place, so I thought of climbing up the big tree under which I slept, in the hope that, when the day broke, I would come across a house, a village, or Bedouins.

I climbed up this big leafy tree and spent the night there. I couldn’t sleep, but I laid awake and alert to the dangers of my situation, thinking about what to do. I was overconcerned for I didn’t know where I was, and what evils were in this tree. It was late at night, when I was still thinking of my predicament and waiting for sunrise, when all of a sudden, I heard the fluttering of big birds, and an indistinct noise. Then I also heard two great peals under the tree. Later I learned that they were sheikhs of the genies. Afterwards they started talking and I listened carefully to them:
The first one said, “O Sheikh of the West, peace be upon you.”
The second one replied, “O Sheikh of the East, peace be upon you, too. How are you today?”
“No one waited for his friend this time. We punctually came on time,” said the first one.
“You’re right. Thanks to God,” said the second one.
“I smell a human being. Do you think we’re close to residence of human beings,” enquired the first one.
“I don’t think so. This is a smell of two persons who were sitting under this shady tree yesterday,” said the second one.
“Probably. Look, if man had known the secrets of earth, he would have become very rich. Look. At that stone, there’s a treasure under it. Anyone who could discover it and take it, he would be very wealthy,” said the first one.
“This is very easy. There is a spring under that stone, but its water doesn’t quench the thirsty. However, if the blind washed their faces with its water, it would restore their sight. But it would dry up soon. As soon as someone discovered it, it would dry out,” said the second one.

They also talked about many other things, and about plenty of treasures inside the earth. I didn’t remember them. Then they said goodbye to one another and flew away.
I remained out of sight both fearful and blissful all nightlong, hoping that I would be favoured by God who would guide me to the healing water of the spring. In the morning when I heard the twittering of birds, and felt the sun warmth, I climbed down the tree. Then I made a straight line from the tree trunk in order not to get lost and started crawling and looking for the stone. Whenever I found a stone or a rock, I moved it aside and searched for water, or even a trace that might lead me to it. But when I got very tired and I was in a sweat, I crawled back to the tree and had a rest and then went back to search again, until it was late afternoon, and before sunset, I came across wet earth under a small stone, I moved the stone and started digging. Suddenly, the water came out with a spurt, and very quickly I washed my face with it. Then I saw wonders. I had recovered my sight after long years of darkness and despair and started to see everything. O people, eyesight is invaluable and cannot be measured by anything in the world. I never valued it as much as I did when regained it. Life is indeed very beautiful, but only for those who could see it. My ecstasy was about to make me forget the treasure, but hunger reminded me of it. I set out looking for the stone under which the treasure was, and which was supposed to be further than this one, according to what the sheikhs of genies said. Then the night came on very fast. I went back to the tree, and climbed it up, and made a comfortable place to sleep in. I had wished the two sheikhs of genies would have come back in order to listen to them, and to learn more about the secrets of the universe. I was also afraid that if they came and discovered me, what would. they do? But they did not come back.

In the morning of the second day, I got up with great delight, but I was very hungry, and the healing water of the spring smothered neither my thirst nor my hunger. My curiosity to find out the treasure was limitless. I set off looking for it until I found it. I marked it off together with trees and the mountains surrounding it. After that I set out searching for a road, until I reached the caravan road. I followed it until I passed by a grand wadi by which side there was a very beautiful, open and arable plain that needed only water. Then I came across a caravan bound for Al-Hajr,(1) I accompanied them until I arrived at a village. I left them and stayed at the village. Everyday I set off to where the treasure was to make sure of its place until I memorised the map. After that I went to Al-Dhahra, and in Ibri I found an expert in digging falajs. I took him to the grand wadi by which the fertile plain was in order to see if it had been possible to dig a falaj there. He explored the wadi for a full day, and by the end of the day he asked me to pay him a big sum of money, and to recruit a lot of workers. For me, this was very easy because I had a treasure. I went to the treasure and took as much gold as I could from it for this big enterprise. Then the work commenced, and people began to come to this place and live here. I called this place Al-falaj Al-Mabrouk and spent all the treasure on reforming it and this area. And whenever a man happened to pass by this place, I offered him a job, and thus Al-Mabrouk village initiated, and became as you saw it. This is my own life story.”

Suddenly, Aamer stood up and prostrated at Sheikh Obeid’s feet and started kissing them and asking for forgiveness. It turned out that Aamer was Sheikh Obeid’s brother, whom sheikh Obeid had mentioned in his story. Aamer was the person who had been very rich, and then, all of a sudden, was reduced to abject poverty. The two brothers finally shook hands, kissed each other, and forgave one another.
(1) A mountainous area located between Sohar and Ibri. Translator

Tales from Oman, translated by D. Abdulsalam Ali Hamad, pg: 16-29.