Massawa.. Gateway to the entry of Islam to Africa
by «Osman and Zubair»
18-11-2017 | Written by Samar Ibrahim
Temple of Adolis Pharaonic
From the capital of Asmara, we went to the coastal city of Massawa, and the experience of traveling to Massawa was very interesting and exciting, and it took about 8 hours to get back and forth, taking the Asmara-Massawa mountain road and landing from Asmara, You will have to forget this exhaustion, leaving your mind, your eyes, your senses, enjoying the beautiful nature, trees and grass scattered here and there as a result of the rainy season on the capital.
When you take the path of the mountain, you will feel that you are seeing a wonderful painting, and your eyes catch a scene of fog overlapping with the mountains, and you find pets like "Beauty, Cow and Goat" moving freely and on the mountain road.
Amazing in this way that on each curve between the mountains of the mountain many houses of multiple geometric shapes, and inhabited a large number of Eritrean citizens in this place, most of them working in agriculture, because of the geographical nature they live, and the nature of the weather in the region, which rain falls annually, They sell the remaining part of their agricultural crops, while others in the mountainous region are grazing, selling their sheep in the capital markets, as well as the scattered churches, monasteries, and ancient mosques, with a dazzling architectural style on top of the mountain. Virgin Mary joins icons, which is carrying her baby Jesus, with the crescent of mosques in the exquisite scene.
After the descent from the mountain, you will feel the change of weather, and you will find yourself in front of coastal weather similar to the weather in the Red Sea city of Hurghada.
When you reach the depth of the city, you will find the Red Sea surrounds the city as if it embraces on one side, and the mountains of the Red Sea on the other side, and the most famous of these mountains is the mountain range «foot», and our first stop was the port «Massawa marine».
The Port of Massawa is one of the oldest and largest seaports in Eritrea, but the activity in the port is limited. The Eritrean government is working to expand and develop the port, especially with regard to maritime transport activities between it and a number of countries.
The port is characterized by a great deal of fishing, where the fishing season starts in November and ends in May, and here the fishermen begin to intensify their activities in search of livelihood.
In the year 614 AD, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) came to the "land of Abyssinia" as it was then called. Their arrival, the same place, received 18 companions, most famous of them were the great Sahabi Othman bin Affan, his wife Raqih, and the companions Zubayr ibn al-Awam.
As mentioned by Al-Masry Al-Youm, the head of the Awqaf Council in the city of Massawa, Sheikh Ibrahim Hussein, he said that the Companions arrived in Eritrea in the first migration in Islam, from Makkah. They arrived at this place and went to the king. King of Abyssinia, after the Prophet ordered them to go to him, and from here the Islamic call began to spread, so that Eritrea would be the gateway to Islam in Africa.
The mosque is small, without a roof, surrounded by a small wall, topped by a large sign that reads: "The Mosque of the Companions." The mosque is not a mosque as it is known in Egypt. The first Islamic shrine in the world, was founded in 615 AD ».
He added that the mosque accepted him to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the city of Jerusalem, where the first migration was before changing the prayer kiss to the Sacred House in Makkah, and that the mosque does not perform the duties of daily prayer, but opens to worshipers to perform Eid al-Fitr, Only, and that followed the blessing of prayer by the Companions of the Prophet.
We moved in the depth of the city of Massawa, and toured the streets and alleys of the ancient city, the city despite its simplicity, but its buildings and mosques bear the Italian architectural style, the Ottoman architectural style and the splendor of the Turkish architectural style.
As the streets of the city are very close to the port, you will feel like you are on the land of the "virtuous city". The faces of the human beings welcome you with an innocent smile. The children play here and there, surround the place with their delightful laughs, the streets are clean despite the physical challenges facing the city, the voices of Coptic hymns and the Koran brings you mixed With each other, women walk around the city freely, some working in a number of shops around their homes, and some of them graze and walk next to them.
The most famous mosques in the city, characterized by the fact that it was built in previous times, during the Ottoman, Turkish and Italian occupation of the city, is one of the most famous mosques, unlike the mosque of the Sahaba, the mosque of Sheikh Rashidi and the Hafni, which is said to have been built in 800 AD in the Abbasid period. Once throughout the ages.
Despite the splendor of the design of mosques in the city, but it suffers from the effects of great destruction, as a result of a severe earthquake hit the city in the nineties, and need these mosques to local development, currently in the Eritrean government from time to time, and need to take care of global attention to those effects , Especially from UNESCO, which sponsors and promotes cultural and archaeological heritage in all countries of the world.
Our third stop was in the Musawa Museum or the Museum of the Northern Red Sea, as it is officially called. It includes more than one section that expresses the origin and history of ancient and contemporary Eritrea as well, to talk about the Turkish, Ottoman, Italian and Ethiopian covenants of the country. The armed struggle of the Eritrean people, statues illustrating the different clothes of women in the nine nationalities famous in Eritrea, and images of the cohesion of the spectrum of the people during the period of armed resistance, and how the ladies participated next to men on the trip side by side, and another section includes old weapons of the People's Army during the operations Confidential, and historical icons of old activists who began the struggle against the occupation, such as the fighter «Ibrahim Sultan», fighter «Qadir Kabiri», as well as other images and statues of wild animals in the country.
To the south was our way to the temple of Adulis the Pharaonic, specifically 65 kilometers south of the city of Massawa. The other surprise was that Eritrea was associated with Egypt through its pharaonic history, and received on its territory Hatshepsut, and was able to build bridges of good relations with its ruler. It was called Puntland at the time.
Historically, Adoles is the name of the most famous and oldest ports of the Red Sea, which was established in the third century BC. It played a major role in the trade exchange with the ancient Egyptians, who appreciated the value of the Puntland, headed by the Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut, They are considered to be an important trading center for them, in the southern Red Sea region or the Horn of Africa, where they used to import "incense, ivory, gum, ebony, fur and leather".
During its rule in Egypt, Hatshepsut sent a trade mission on board large ships carrying ships and goods such as papyrus and linen to Puntland, now Eritrea, Somalia and Yemen, to the king of the country. The mission was very promising, as the Egyptian ships returned loaded with the country's products.
At present, unfortunately, the walls of the temple are incomplete, and there are only granite stones scattered here and there, remnants of the walls of the temple that have long since disappeared as a result of the years, and the erosion factors in that area, and after the discovery of this temple is currently the Eritrean government trying to save This ancient historical place, through some archaeological restoration, but the economic sanctions imposed on Eritrea, have been disrupted from sending foreign missions specialists in this area.
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