So it’s Spring Break in Saudi so what would a guy like me who’s studying in the Islamic University of Madeenah do? Grab some friends and go to the beach, I’ll tell you what!
That’s exactly what I did. Me and five of my friends loaded up the car with all of our swimwear, a change of clothes, flippers, goggles, snorkels and a football and left Madeenah at about noon on a sunny Thursday. The swimming hole we were heading to was about a four hour drive away and because how strong the sun is here it’s not wise to swim in the middle of the afternoon. The plan was to arrive at about 4pm and swim for a few hours and leave just before sunset.
It was a great car ride. We were a total of 5 in one car so it was full car for sure, but we had fun. We were 3 Americans and 2 Canadians. We talked about many things and laughed a lot. You probably already know but what subject always comes up when you get a bunch of single guys together? Yup, you guessed it. Girls, or to be more exact marriage. It never fails, this subject comes up over and over again and every time it is just as interesting. Now most people will play games in the car ride to help make time go by and because 3 of us were memorizers of the Holy Quran (they memorized the entire thing letter for letter!) we played some Quran trivia. We asked questions like what verse in the Quran has every letter of the alphabet in it? What verse in the Quran is only one word long? What chapters in the Quran all end in pronouns? There were many of them and it was really interesting asking, participating and listening.
One of the questions that really makes one think was name two words in the Quran that are both mentioned the same amount of times. There are more than one answer to this question like the heavenly skies/ Earth but the one I want to focus on is Adam/Jesus, may peace and blessings be upon them. They are both mentioned in the Quran by name 25 times. Now here is the interesting part, Allah said in the Quran,
“For God the likeness of Jesus is as that of Adam whom he created out of dust, then said to him “Be”, and he was.” (3:59)
Now looking at this verse one can see that Allah is refuting those who were skeptical of Jesus’ miraculous virgin birth. They said how can how can this be when he doesn’t have a father. Allah basically says in return to them look at Adam he didn’t have a father nor a mother and yet Allah still created him, so how is so hard to believe that the All Mighty, All Powerful who is able to do all things cannot create someone without a father! All praise and glory belong to Allah. Indeed this is easy for Allah. – Anyhow, I just thought it was pretty interesting and thought provoking that not only are Jesus and Adam alike because of their miraculous way of coming into being but that they are also mentioned by name the same number of times in the Quran.
We arrived at the rocky beach, which isn’t much of a beach but it’s a great swimming hole because of the big drop off, at about 4 as planned and had a blast splashing around and trying to spear a fish with a hand spear. Wow, if you ever tried chasing a fish around trying to stab them you know how hard that is. Needless to say we didn’t get anything but it still was fun.
After swimming we drove into the coastal city of Jeddah and went to a burger joint that lets you custom make your burgers. It was really good! They had so many ingredients to choose from there is a possibility of 120 different burger combinations. Me and a friend both made a burger had them cut and half and shared so we can try more than one. Great idea right!? Me met a friend from MN at the restaurant who happens to live in Jeddah. It was a good time. Everybody really enjoyed themselves.
I’d like to take this chance and point out that religiosity and having a good time can mix together. You hear it all the time. People say religious people don’t have any fun. Well, I’d like to say you are wrong! Who said you can’t have fun and be religious. Yes, everything does have its place. There is a time when it’s time to be serious and get the books open and study or contemplate on the word of God etc; but there is a time when you can go have some entertainment also. People complain that Islam has too many obligations and prohibitions and that it limits their choices. Psssh. OK we can’t drink alcohol, smoke or do drugs, but ask yourself how many other things are there out there made for your enjoyment. Alcohol is just one drink out of how many drinks?! Yes, we do pray five times a day and it take up approximately 30 minutes spread throughout the day in 5 minute segments. Get real! Is 30 minutes of your day really limiting and restricting your life. This is what the one created you commanded you to do. Are you truly thankful for all the blessings in your life that Allah has given you? True thankfulness is shown by using these blessings in a way that pleases Allah….I could go more into this but I like to keep things on the shorter end. In simple, Islam is easy and there is nothing that is prohibited except that it is bad for you and there is nothing that is obligatory except that it is good for you.
Here are the pictures of the trip.