Untold Ethiopia Documentary
Channel: Abdullah Hakim Quick
File Size: 62.92MB
Bismillah R Rahman r Rahim al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil alameen wa salatu wa salam O Allah Ashraf al anbiya even more saline Sayyidina Muhammad wa aalihi wa sahbihi etchmiadzin were bad In the Name of Allah, the magnificent, the Merciful.
I praise Allah subhanaw taala I send peace and blessings to all of the prophets to Moses to Jesus, and especially to our beloved Prophet Mohammed is first companions forever.
I begin with the greeting words of the righteous are salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah
Ethiopia, out of the Hubba Shah, the land of Abyssinia, the land of great kings, the land of mystery spirituality,
the land of ancient history
as a young African American
with West Indian parentage, I always wanted about Ethiopia. This land for my family and for those African Americans living in the West, always had a type of magic to it a type of mystery. It was a land where African people were proud where early civilization developed. Some say that even the First Men walk this land.
But in my quest, I realized that Ethiopia was more than just the land of history. It was a land of high spirituality.
It is said that Lost Ark of the Covenant lies in this land.
It is also said that great Christian rulers and kings walk this land and maintain the teachings of Jesus peace be upon him.
As a Muslim, I came to understand that the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him when living in Mecca and when he found that he was persecuted, and his followers needed help. He told them if you go out to the land of hamartia to Abyssinia, there, you will find the king will press is nobody. It is a land of truth here out of Dune said
How did he know that it was a land of truth?
Why did he send his followers into Africa before he sent them to Palestine before he sent them to Persia, even to him and why?
Join me on our search for the history of this beautiful land and also for the true story of Najafi the great nakedness of exome. And also light upon what happened to the Sahaba to their families in this historic mystical land.
Join me in this journey of a lifetime as I leave you in peace Assalamualaikum
my journey starts in a relatively young city of Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, founded in 1887, by the Emperor menelik and has grown to a population of just over 3 million. To my astonishment, I found out that a large percentage of the people of Addis Ababa are Muslim. In fact, 40% of Ethiopia is Muslim. It may seem hard to imagine that in a country that has recently turned away from communism. Islam has never ceased to grow. In fact, Islam is growing at an unprecedented rate.
minarets of mosque dominate the old town and the call to prayer reverberates around the city.
Addis Ababa is a city on the move. The hustle and bustle of daily life continues unabated. down every street and around every corner. Muslims go about their choice. Whether it's to the mosque or shopping, it became quite apparent that Islam is here to stay.
Because I came on a quest to find the role of Islam and Ethiopia today. I knew that one of the best places to convey Muslims was at the mosque. And so I set off to the biggest mosque in Addis Ababa, known as much to Danny mom Hassan Ibn Abi taalib. Here I met an elder of the city chef camel, a Sharif, a son of one of Addis Ababa, his most beloved and well known show you
share camels name also indicates a Sharif, he is a noble one, a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him.
I myself belong to the elevate. My name's Sarah.
We are little bit our grand grandfather's
came to Ethiopia,
from Venezuela passing the Red Cross
the Red Sea, to the Somali border. And when it's ready to dip into
the cause of their
immigrating to her or coming to her to Africa is
to call for Islam.
To get Islam in teach the people of that area, Islamic principle.
It is known and worth mentioning that
in all the way from their grandfather Muhammad and
until the last day, they are basically devoted for Islam.
wherever they go,
they preach for Islam or for Islam. They give guidance and proper teaching to all Muslims. And of course non Muslims are also
I found out the chair Campbell's family comes from the legendary city of hada. Situated in the east of Ethiopia. He also told me that Hodder was one of the main centers of Islamic learning for over 800 years, I had to find out more of this ancient city, and the rains would check Campbell to journey there.
Before my journey, I had the privilege to meet with some of the elders of hottap. They have a special trust in the holiday National League in order to preserve the history and culture of the city. Amazingly, the language we all felt comfortable speaking was Arabic. I was amazed just listening to these men talk about how to more and more. I wanted to get to the city and see it for myself. What got my interest going even more with the books that were brought along for me to go through. Here in front of my eyes were pieces of history.
coming alive. The heart of the trust actively involved in making sure that no one forgets about how.
On the way to hada we came across a very old mosque on the trade routes were camels once traveled. The caretaker explained that many caravans pass through on their way to selling their wares and the interior. The simple architecture of the mosque reminded me of similar structures I had seen on my travels through North Africa and Arabia.
as I miss the Yemen.
As I entered, I felt a profound sense of hundreds of years of worship drifting down on me. I realized that this mosque stands and testimony to the believers of Islam.
We continue onwards to the city of hada and arrive there just after dark.
I had to wait one more night to see why the city was so very amongst Muslims. Early the next morning, I traveled to the outskirts of the city to get a better view.
Sir search for a slum in Ethiopia has led me to the great walled city of hada. This ancient town set in South Eastern Ethiopia was once the most important center in the north eastern side of the continent of Africa. It is set in the classical Islamic lines. And when we look at the city in the background, we see the Jamia or the main mosque in the center, and the town surrounds the hill. And on the bottom is a great wall, which extends for almost a square kilometer around the town of hada. It is a town of mystery. It is a town of great scholarship. it once was the link between the African continent at Arabia and India. The people of hada were known for meeting their own coins hundreds of
years ago. They were also known for great scholars for our spiritual people, for crafts for book, and it is said that the books of ehara will even be read in Ottoman Turkey, and in other parts of the Muslim world. And so we have reached one of the most important parts of our journey, the great city of hada let us see what we can find.
For hundreds of years, this city was close to far this has an exclusive Islamic Center. non Muslims were not permitted. Haha. I was dumbfounded when I learned that there are at two mosques in the small city. Imagine at two mosques that take care of the needs of those situated in the immediate vicinity.
This is an example of the many masjids in the walled city of hada. It is said that there are over 82 masjids in a 48 hectare space, it is the most densely populated area in terms of masjids per square meter. And this is one of the mysteries of hada. This is martial arts to be the Arab mosque, which was built around 1875 by the Egyptians and it is one of the local centers for the people who are living in this particular section in hada. And you'll find this all over the city that about 40 families and an Imam basically situated around the mosque and this gives us the flavor all around the city.
These are of course, smaller in size they comprise about 40 persons, as you know for two persons to enable you also to have the Friday prayer but the main purpose to make it 40% not only to make Friday Prayer prayer but the Imam as we call him lasme the Imam of that mosque as responsible for 40 household
the these books are situated in such a way to be the Center for this 40 families.
How was once
Surrounded by a great stone wall to keep out wild animals and the enemy. This gave rise to hada being known as the walled city, inside its walls, scholars from all over the Muslim world with teaching and producing detailed works on Islam. Many of them were also actively involved in softness to Allah by building on their strong spiritual beliefs.
This gate that we find ourselves at now is called bedri body or barbell hacking. And it is one of the best preserve gates in the wall city of hada. It has a very interesting history. It is said by the local historians that over 400 of the folk Aha, the jurists of Islam, lived within the area near the skate, they eventually lives for the preservation of the city. And I have left a beautiful heritage and a deep tradition. And so again, the gates open up the mysteries of the city, there are five within hora. And let us see if we can find even more. The gates purpose is they made it of course, five purposely to represent five times where they had one also get which is closed and now
open to they used to call the clinic a closed door. They only open it when
there is war, from the western
was a response. These guests they are very important because they want to control all enemies coming from any direction because in the past, they don't know where the enemy comes from, that they can check them to control them. We are blessed today to be in front of one of the important gates of the city of hada. It is Baba nos and this is the gate of victory. It is one of the gates where the protection of the city was maintained. And that is one of the blessings of the city of hada where only 220 years ago, non Muslims actually entered the city. It is a city of peace, City of the scholars and a city of high spirituality. So we are blessed today to be here with the Ashraf of the
city of the nobles who are descendants of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him at Hodge camela. Sharif and the others have come today, along with the citizens and we are blessed to be here. It is the gate of victory. And we always pray that the city will again rise hada is now becoming a very important city. And it is rising back again into importance in Africa and also in the Muslim world.
To say hot are is interesting would be an understatement. As I strolled around the old town, I was fascinated by the life it's to breed. It almost felt like I was taking a step back in time.
Traders were displaying their wares all over. And I could just imagine how it was like hundreds of years ago.
This is a typical marketplace and harra for centuries people have gathered together bringing their wares from the countryside into the town. Hara is not the most important centers for civilization within Ethiopia. And the people brought their goods inside and traded and came together from all different parts of eastern Ethiopia and northern Ethiopia. And so we see it here typical marketplace. Again, this could be in Pakistan, it could be in Egypt, could be in Morocco, it gives you that flavor of life and activity and the bringing together of the old and the new.
baskets are now being made by our sisters. It takes one month of weaving to produce one of these baskets. And you see the amount of patience that it takes and the skill. And this is a tradition, which has been passed on for hundreds of years and hada. It really if you look at the world, this is a 1000s of year old tradition, because you'll find similar type of weaving done in ancient India, and other parts of Africa and China in Europe in many parts of the world. But here in East Africa there is a special form of this weaving and the design
is unique to her and to Eastern.
This is the weaving of the cultural heart. And you see, again, the designs, and the colors of Africa and the Arab world. And these baskets have many purposes, they are being served serving food. also protecting food, this baskets is used as a decoration in our houses, right. And other baskets can be used for functional purpose as well as a declination
in the house, but is this one used on a special occasion.
It's not used on a special occasion. But whenever a young hairy woman marries a man, and when she
go to her new house, right, she has to have six different types of
skaters. Yeah, and this is one of like many parts of the Islamic world. The shops of hada are a reflection of Islamic culture. What is special about the culture here is it combines Arab culture, with African culture, with the Islamic culture. So you see in the famous coffee that is normally worn at the time of the wedding for the men. So this cool fear is special. It is worn at the time of the weddings. And it has the special design, as you see on the top of the cap. It's similar to many of the masjids, and designs within the Islamic world. And what makes it special are the colors, the colors, our African Ethiopian colors, the green, the red, and the gold and the black. And also you
see the design. So with the beautiful designs, the blending together of the colors, you then come out with a product, which is unique. And that is part of being a unique place, a crossroads between Arab culture and African culture, and also a base of Islam. This cap is a reflection of the culture of this mysterious, beautiful city.
These are the narrow streets of hada. Anywhere in the Muslim world, you can find a village or city with a similar flavor. And that is set up in such a way to protect the people who are living inside of the houses. The streets are very narrow and protective. And when you go inside of the door, then you'll find that it opens up to a courtyard. And the family then is protected from the outside world. And so how that has followed in the Arabic African Islamic tradition in setting up its its cities in the same way. And it's a very beautiful town, the children are here. The families are here, there's the smell of spices. And that is something you find in Zanzibar. And in fez and
Marrakech and Lahore and all over the Muslim world.
This narrow alley is one of the tightest in the city of Allah. And it has a special history to it is called the reconciliation Street. And that is because it is so narrow, that if people are fighting against each other with disagree, they have to and they have to reconcile their differences. And so it is a special place that has brought people together. And the whole spirit is you know, we're tight. We're a family. So we need to really come clear with all of the arguments and differences that we have. We need streets like this all over the world.
It was also renowned for its books, mostly dealing with Islam and written at the height of the city's popularity as a Muslim stronghold. One man who's taken it upon himself to care and preserve many of the old texts that he folly.
I collect Iranian history heritage like this in for us, it was forbidden in the time of Hydras loss at the time of military dark littoral region. But as a follow is a form of
so that I began to to conduct you is Harare, Tsongas
100 coins, books within documentaries. And
here is heritage about the salami Pepe
Sharif Abdul Ali represents a whole generation of people who have dedicated themselves to the preservation of the history of the African continent. And what he has shown us is that by his own personal initiative, he has been able to collect over 500 copies of Arabic documents from the past. He wanted the confidence of the people he was able to bring out the culture of hada that had been hidden for years under the ground. And right now he estimates that there's about 20,000 handwritten copies of books throughout how to and its facility. And it is important that he is helped that he is assisted, and that we actually culture a whole generation of Sharif Abdullah Ali's, who have the
technical skills, the love and the consistency, to be able to bring forward this tradition and to preserve it. For the modern world. You get the background which is 120.
The streets and alleyways of hot out threw up all kinds of surprises. As I rounded a corner. I stumbled on the grave side of one of the most prominent female saints cefa habita.
gazes Husky especially has to
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Friday morning normal Juma an important day in the life of any Muslim, so to Canada, although there are at two mosques in the city. This mosque known as the Juma mosque is where the faithful gather for Friday press. Throughout my stay in hada. I was often reminded not to be late for Friday prayers, because it was unique.
Now I've been to Juma in many cities all over the world. For what awaited me in this far off corner of Ethiopia was simply astounding.
Every Friday after the early morning prayer fascia, people gather in the mosque to recite the Quran. This practice dates back hundreds of years and the recital leaves one spiritually fulfilled and prepared for the prayers.
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I left the Juma mosque filled with admiration and pride as to how these Muslims managed to keep Islam alive and thriving. Juma and hada was definitely one of the highlights of my state. And I felt an even greater respect for this ancient city of Islam
and as is customary all over the Islamic world, a delicious harder the lunch was prepared after the Friday press.
Ohara just comes as a governance more than one millennium.
So almost on top of that 100 and something is
it was established as a government, you know, at the term of Alinea.
Of course, they have previously they were not here.
They have some Aztec stock. They are part of Hala people.
So as a government to UN status by Amit Shah, Baba
and till the middle of July
7, two rulers were leaders called that we call them in a
way. I mean, it's been around
till the end of 19th century.
My stay in huddle had to come to an end and I wasn't
Looking forward to continue on my way through Ethiopia.
next stop was in a gash, the city of the aksumite Christian King asaba. He was the person who received and gave protection to the companions of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him first hit.
The drive was long and tiring. The city itself is high up in the mountains.
My journey has been both insightful and fascinating. I've traveled from Addis to harder and up into the north to the Tigray province, and finally to the village of new gash where sits dedicated to Natasha. It is also a place of the burial ground of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him and the king himself. So finally we have reached the final point, the beginning of Islam in Africa.
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hubba Shahada, Lula let iwasawa Nabi sallallahu Sallam below his ham as a hobby. Lil maliko shahidullah hubel Hiroshi de la Canal, Bill Adela, Takahashi rowville Harsha and nephew How many can I have in him when I had the word higit I in the Arabic language can refer to a flight or migration. But what is important for us is that if we look at it islamically it refers to movement and it is a migration a strategic migration aid from one area to another. The significance of the hegira in the case of the Prophet Muhammad SAW seldom number one is that the hegira represents the movement of the Muslims from out of a state of insecurity to a state of security. We know that in the meccan period,
the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him came to Quraysh and came to the people of Arabia with the message of toe heat. He found great opposition. And by the fourth year, his followers were being killed and tortured to the extent where they were not able to actually defend themselves. And so the Prophet peace be upon him then saw the hegira as a means of releasing them from insecurity to a place of security and protection and freedom.
The Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him when he sent his followers to Abyssinia. He said with them a message and this message or this letter to under joshy, the negus, the Emperor the ruler of each of Ethiopia, was in a form that we don't find in any other letter that he ever wrote. Because brotherly letter, it was a diplomatic letter. So this letter was not only seeking sanctuary for his followers, it was actually a very strategic political letter that was connecting the Muslims in the Arabian Peninsula to the believers in one God in Ethiopia, which was a world power at the time.
The parish being the rulers of Mecca, and being very familiar with Abyssinia, when they found out that the migrants had gone to Ethiopia, they were terrified. And they recognize that that movement could be a serious change in relationships between the Arabian Peninsula, and between the people in Ethiopia. It could be a world power that could be backing the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. So they sent up the lie of an Arabian mobile house, who later became a very famous Muslim. They sent the two of them who are known for their wisdom and their cunning and their diplomacy. They sent them to the joshy. And basically, they accused the Muslims of breaking their religion of disrespecting
Christianity than the joshy then
called for the Muslims to come out and he questioned them. Is it true what these people say? And we also know that the that the two diplomats from Pradesh, they gave gifts to the courtiers and so they set everything up. But when the king asked the question to the Muslims, Jaffa, Vitaly rhodiola, one responded in a very beautiful way, explaining and showing how the Muslims were in a state of ignorance. They didn't respect themselves, they ate rotten meat, they drank intoxicants, they slaughtered the week, they committed adultery, and then he read from circuits of meriam. At that point, then the joshy cried, and all the people in his court cried, and the jet and the Jessie's by
God, this revelation comes from the same candle. The light comes from the same candle that the Bible comes from. He said, I will never let them go. You are free to live in our lands.
We find from the traditions that when the joshy May Allah be pleased with him, got the message from the prophets or seldom that he actually reflected upon this and he secretly accepted Islam, and he was in correspondence with the Prophet peace be upon him. Finally, the prophets of solemn when hearing that the joshy had died, he made salata janaza, little vibe, he made a janaza prayer for the one who was absent, knowing that there was nobody, there wasn't anybody in Ethiopia, who would make it for him at the time, he had accepted Islam secretly, the Muslims lined up and they made janaza the law it was the first time in Islamic history that this was done, and it is only done for a
month. And so based on this correspondence based on what happened with the joshy, what we know he was a strong, FIRM BELIEVER before his death, and the Prophet peace be upon him confirm this for all of the Muslims. And this is agreed upon by the HMR of the historians, and the folk Aha, that he had accepted Islam. And so Islam had now entered this country at the hands of a leading personality. I had come to Ethiopia in search of the story of Islam. After leave, I knew that my wish had been fulfilled. Islam is becoming the heartbeat once again, of this ancient land of Abyssinia.
I was surprised to find that Muslims in Ethiopia have had a very powerful contribution to the history, not only of the Horn of Africa and Ethiopia, but really to the Muslim world and the rest of the world. And this is part of the well kept secret of what has happened in this part of the African continent. And we found that in the highlands of Ethiopia, that Muslims make up somewhere between 40 to 60% of the population, and the city of hada. Not only was a great link for the Muslim world, but it was an important city for Ethiopia itself. It linked ancient Aksum, which was the great ancient empire of Ethiopia with the modern world. So for instance, the coins of hada, which were first
struck in the walled city of hada, these coins actually link the the aksumite coins with the modern day coins used in Ethiopia. So Muslims have made a great contribution to this land. And in the building of Addis Ababa, we have come to understand that it was harder the Masons and artisans that actually helped to develop the city, but this above, so present day, Ethiopia has a great legacy as a great debt in relationship to the Muslims. And so therefore, it's important now, with Ethiopia, coming out into the world, and the different people, peoples within Ethiopia coming out, that we are able to bring forward the Muslim contribution, and to show that Islam did not come into Ethiopia as
a conqueror. But Muslims came as refugees. The Prophet Mohammed had him called Ethiopia, a land of truth. He sent His followers there, before he sent them to Medina in the north, before they went to Jerusalem, before they went to Persia, before they went to Malaysia, they entered the African continent. And so this is very significant in our understanding of Africa, and our understanding of the relationship between Muslims and Christians, that, to a great extent, there was cooperation between the two groups. And so Islam in Ethiopia represents a very beautiful chaps. If we're able to go to the veils, and really see the contributions made by the people in Ethiopia. I also believe
that in the future, Muslims will make a great contribution to Ethiopia, because that knowledge of Arabic is still alive, that knowledge within the books of hada is still with them. And there are great peacemaking lessons within the teachings of the scholars of hada. There are also great lessons of how to deal with science in a moral way to blend the ancient with the modern, how to bring out the best in humanity in technology, and that is something that is missing in the world today. And I believe that Muslims in Ethiopia, and in hada, and the gash and axon in particular can make a great contribution, not only to Africa, but to the world.
No more to I look at Africa as the Dark Continent. What I found here has opened eyes to a whole new world of possibility that Africa office, President tabble Mbeki of South Africa speaks of the 21st century as the time of the African Renaissance. I say, let's look into the history of this majestic continent to kick start the process. For me, the journey is only beginning and I hope to explore many more untold stories of Islam and Africa.