BAITULMAQDIS UMRAH 2016 CHAPTER 4: The Lost City of Petra
8 December 2016
We made our way out Wadi Musa and continue our journey to Petra. Look at the village / city of Wadi Musa from a higher ground. Petra lies on the slope of Mount Hor and close to the town of Wadi Musa (the valley of Moses).
I am glad the bus stopped for a while for us to admire this view….. and take a ton of photos of course.
We are here! The bus parked at the carpark and we had to walk into the entrance. Oh well, what we thought was the entrance.
Taking a toilet break as we were told that it was a long walk to our destination and since we were outdoors, there will be no toilets along the way. Gasp. Everyone rushed to the toilet upon hearing that lol.
I don’t know why my dad is wearing the scarf, it is not cold nor windy. Perhaps he wants to cosplay Indiana Jones.
Our walk starts here!
It was pretty sunny so it was not cold at all. I kinda regretted wearing and bringing my heavy winter jacket because it was not necessary at all. I should have left it in the bus so that I could travel lighter.
As you can see, we were at the back of the entire group. Were we the oldest in the group? Nope. My parents decided that it would be faster (mum is not too fit) to ride a horse and so they did.
And so they royally rode the horse and waved at me while I take photographs of them as they distanced further and further away from me. They suggested that I ride the horse too but I was too worried I might injure the poor horse. Furthermore, I did not want to risk a bumpy ride since I just went through a back surgery.
Remember I mentioned that we were at the back of the group. Yup, now I was the officially the last person trailing behind.
See how everyone’s back is on me.
I did not want to stress myself so I continued to walk as per normal. It is not my style to rush because I wanted to take my time to stroll and see as many things as possible in greater depth.
Apparently the horse ride was only for like 100 metres. What a waste of time guys. We have not even entered the main path. If you ever come here, skip the first horse ride. They guys will shower you with sweet talks and all kinds of offers but, trust me, it is not worth the ride.
Sitting down for a short break before continuing our walk. There is a little shop that sells souvenirs and drinks but that was not the distraction. It was a litter of kittens! Now you can slowly understand why we were lagging behind the group.
This is the start of the main path!
It was already a rocky slope at the entrance, I was glad we were in good walking / running shoes. After about 5 minutes of walking, we bumped into the bestie and her parents. So glad, because now, instead of being the last 3 people in the group, we are the last 6 people in the group lol. I feel more comforted. :p
The surrounding rocks, I was in awe, and eager to explore more.
But, mum decided she needed another break.
I am so glad we caught up with the bestie and her parents because we always take a thousand photos along the way, which explains why we take so long to arrive at our destination. It is the same in every country and city. Whatever the stipulated hike / travel time, we need double of that stipulated time.
Looking and admiring the amazing carvings of the people of Tsamud.
Can you see the carved elephant?
Walking together was definitely much better. It felt less lonely and I am less paranoid that we were being left far behind.
Can you see the carvings below? It was freaky because it looked real. Like it wasn’t carved, like as if it were real people being froze into stones. Maybe, no one knows for sure.
When we were not exposed to the sun, it was a pretty cooling walk.
It also felt like I was my parent’s official celebrity photographer.
We are finally here at the treasury! Like finallyyyyy. guys….I thought we would not make it. The walk did seemed pretty endless, especially walking with le parents. But yay we made it.
In awe looking at this. You know the feeling of looking at something through photos for a hundred times, it just ain’t the same seeing it right in front of your eyes live.
It is just amazing folks, to see the ancient remains of a city over 40 centuries old, which was mentioned in the Qur’an. This entire place showed the archaeological discovery of Thamud’s carved-out buildings from hard rocks and cliffs indicating their amazing skills and expertise in construction.
This building, known as The Treasury is one of a series of buildings in Petra that was built by the Nabateans who followed a pagan religion and were closely linked to the people of Thamud.
Petra is one of the new 7 Wonders of the World. It is a symbol of Jordan, as well as Jordan’s most-visited tourist attraction. The site remained unknown to the Western world until 1812. Credit: Wikipedia.
A short history about Prophet Salih and the people of Tsamud
After the destruction of the Ad, the tribe of Thamud succeeded them in power and glory. They also fell to idol-worshipping. As their material wealth increased so, too, did their evil ways while their virtue decreased. Like the people of Ad, they erected huge buildings on the plains and hewed beautiful homes out of the hills.
You can read the summary here.
It was narrated that a very loud and heavy thunderbolt from the sky, with a devastating and catastrophic earthquake casted upon them and annihilated their heavy buildings and severed or cut off their hearts and left them dead instantly. None of them survived. They were punished for turning their backs of Allah swt and on Prophet Salih.
I remember learning about this when I was a child and wondered if I would ever have the opportunity to visit the site. I was imagining that the bodies of sinners would be scattered everywhere in the city, but the city was lost and only rediscovered by the western world in 1812. It is a miracle of the Qur’an that one can witness this truth by his own eyes even today. If you are curious and want to learn more about the lost city of Petra, you may search relevant videos on the youtube. The place is big and unfortunately we could not venture anywhere beyond The Treasury.
Like mentioned before, we were lagging behind everyone and so le parents wanted to ride the carriage so that they do not need to walk the 2km track back. However, they only allowed 2 people to sit on the carriage so that means that I have to walk back all by myself.
However, the kind man said that I could hitch a ride but I needed to walk away from the The Treasury area because apparently it was illegal to have more than 2 people in a carriage. I am unsure about this validity.
And so I walked a little and they picked me up along the path. The ride was so bumpy, I was worried for my back so I was overflowing with anxiety the entire time. Part of me felt sorry for the poor horse.
Fortunately the entire ride only took 15 to 20 mins. Was it a cheap ride? Nope. But if you are travelling with less fit people, it would definitely be faster for them to ride the carriage than take forever to walk to their destination.
My dad is a people person guys, so we ended on pretty good terms. We just had to try our hands at bargaining and in the end he relented and allowed us to pay lesser than what he asked for. He kept saying that he is doing this because we are muslims and he knows we are good people.
I am not sure if he says this to everyone but we wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt.
So the earthquake took them unawares, and they lay prostrate in their homes in the morning! (Surah Al-A’raf, 78)
To the Thamud People (We sent) Salih, one of their own brethren.He said: “O my people! Worship Allah.ye have no other god but Him.It is He Who hath produced you from the earth and settled you therein: then ask forgiveness of Him, and turn to Him (in repentance): for my Lord is (always) near, ready to answer.” (Surah Hud, 61)
Imagine if Allah swt punish us immediately after we sinned. We should be thankful that we are still given the time to repent, change and ask for His forgiveness. This story to me, was one of the most impactful story I learnt in Sirah class. I still remember it till today.
I was glad to be able to visit the site and also so proud of my aged parents for persevering the long and tiring walk. It was not easy, I know, yet it was worth it. We (me included) will definitely be rubbing the heat rub onto our tired legs tonight.
Looking forward to the next excitement tomorrow!