The audio/video clips published here are from the chapter:
Safar ka Iradah aur Aghaz detailing how the idea to undertake the journey to Ottoman lands crystallized in Shibli’s mind and his experiences on sea and at the ports where the ship anchored during the journey to Constantinople (Istanbul) from Bombay in 1892.
This episode is the first of many parts dealing with the chapter detailing how the idea to undertake the journey to Ottoman lands crystallized in Shibli’s mind and his initial experiences on sea, in the company of Professor Arnold.
In part two, Allama Shibli shares some more interesting events that transpired onboard the steamer. He tells us how he worked-around the Hanafi ruling concerning the slaughter of birds and fowl on the ship. He also shares his disgust at the behaviour of certain people in the Aden Port in seeking alms. He also mentions about the changes that have occurred to the Arabic language in Aden due to the interaction with people from India and other places who lived in Aden as businessmen or workers. From Aden, he proceeds to Suez and from there to Port Said at which place he bids farewell to Professor Arnold who was headed elsewhere.
In this episode, Shibli tells us about the harassment by the coolies when the ship docked in Port Said, and suggests how to avoid being troubled by their constant nagging. He went around Port Said and notes the contrast between the areas inhabited by European traders and the local populace. From Port Said, his journey now takes him to Beirut. Allama Shibli recounts his brief sojourn in the port city, speaking highly of the citizens’ sense of dress and demeanour. He, however, regrets the relative backwardness of the Muslim population in business and trade. On board the ship from Beirut to Istanbul, he encounters, for the first time in his journey, Muslim passengers. But, these Muslims initially cold-shouldered him. Find out why and what happened later.
The ship stopped at Cyprus, Rhodes and Izmir. During his short sojourns in Cyprus and Izmir, Shibli paints a vivid picture of the areas he was able to visit during the brief stops of the ship. His encounter with the imam of the Cyprus mosque, and the Friday prayers he attended in the historical Masjid Hicar in Izmir are worth listening to. What will surprise viewers is the history behind the Muslim rule of these three islands. The chaste Urdu will delight lovers of the language, and the short historical notes on these islands are gems to be treasured.
After spending quality time in Izmir where he got to meet the scholars in the Hisar Mosque, Shibli mentions, approvingly, of the practice of the scholars meeting together after Jumuah prayers and finds this a good means for the general public to interact with their scholars. Shibli joins these scholars in one session to discuss an important legal issue. On the way from Izmir to Istanbul he mentions the numerous forts that line the shores starting from Çanakkale. Shibli opines that these forts serves as a strong bulwark against those who may want to attempt to occupy the capital. On reaching Istanbul he faces the same harassment from the coolies who want to carry his luggage. In the concluding part of this segment, we learn of how he made friends with certain Syrian scholars and how their acquaintance helped him at every stage of his stay in Istanbul. Finding an affordable accommodation was the major challenge. Find out how Shibli eventually found a proper place to stay. Interestingly, one of the scholars from the Sham had read one of Shibli’s Arabic books while in Damascus, and was visibly delighted to meet the author in person. The next segment deals with Shibli’s assessment of the Turkish people, a brief history of Turkey and his fascination for the coffee shops in Istanbul. These episodes are already published. If these episodes prove interesting, can I request you to Subscribe to the channel.
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