Sri Lankan Muslims
extracted from the archives of Mohammed Sameer bin Haji Ismail Effendi bin Sahib Dorai
(ex Chief Clerk Colombo Municipal Council, ex Trustee Colombo Maradana Mosque)
The following account of the peregrinations made by Sahib Dorai Ismail Lebbe Marikar Alim (born 23 August, 1854; died 11 January, 1896) - later SD Haji Ismail Effendi - in 1884, in the company of,
(i) Yousoof Lebbe Sinne Lebbe Marikar Hajiar (later, Haji, Effendi), grandfather of MHM. Yousoof Haji),
(ii) Muhammad Lebbe Marikar Haji Zainudeen (later Haji, Effendi, and MMC, grandfather of Mrs. MMI. Kariappar),
(iii) Ahmed Lebbe Marikar Samshi Lebbe Marikar (later, Haji, Effendi, father of SLM. Abdul Rahman),
(iv) Sinne Lebbe Marikar Mahmood (later, Haji, Effendi, and Alim, father of MHM. Yousoof Haji) and
(v) Rawthen Hajiar (Cook).
This account, from the beginning to end of the journey in Istanbul, Turkey is now translated into English by Sithy Rameela Sameer (w/o AWM. Ghouse), the eldest daughter of Muhammad Sameer son of Haji Ismail Effendi.
May Allah be pleased with him!
8 January 1971 Muhammad Sameer bin Haji Ismail
Effendi bin Sahib Dorai
298, Bambalapitiya Road
When I was young I was very anxious to travel in foreign lands but was helpless. Some Ulema taught me a little knowledge of the Arabic language. I read the Holy Quran and discovered that, based on several verses contained within it, people of the old days considered embarking on journeys and seeking knowledge and experiences an essential requisite for believers as follows:-
Quran Surah AnAm (6:11)
“Say, Go about in the earth and see what was the end of those who treated the Prophets as liars”
Quran Surah Yusuf (12:109)
“Have they no then traveled in he Earth and seen who was the end of hose before them?”
Quran Surah Naml (27:63)
“He guides you in every kind of darkness of the land of the sea, and sends the winds as glad tidings”
Quran Surah Ankabuth (29:20)
“Travel in the earth and see how He originated the creation”
Quran Surah Fatir (35:40)
“Show Me then what they have created of the Earth”
Quran Surah Moomin (40:21)
“Have they not traveled in the Earth and seen what was the end of those before them?”
Quran Surah Muhammad (47:10)
“Have they not traveled in the Earth and seen what was the end of those who were before them?”
Quran Surah Mulk (67:15)
“He it is Who made the Earth, even and smooth, for you, so traverse through its sides”
And, it is also revealed in many other verses, of the blessings and the esteem in life of undertaking journeys. Prophet Muhammad (Sal) and his followers traveled in other ands and, by this Islam was spread across the globe.
According to Imam Shafi,
“To seek a position you must travel, from the place of birth, and you will know five things. First, you will get rid of your worries, second, ..., third, you will gain knowledge, fourth, you will learn manners and fifth, you will obtain the friendship of noble men.”
My mind never turned away from the thought of travel as my ambition was not fulfilled.
Late on, when Ahmed Arabi Pasha came from Egypt to Ceylon, we used to meet at his house and he used to talk about Egypt. Sinne Lebbe Marikar, his brother’s son, Zainudeen, and Sinne Lebbe Mahmood were amongst us.
One day, Zainudeen told me that he wished to travel to Makkah to perform the pilgrimage of Hajj and also visit other places abroad. On another occasion, at Mahmood Pasha Samy’s house, when I was present with Sinne Lebbe I too indicated my desire to travel to Makkah. Mahmood Pasha was very pleased with me and indicated that only a few Muslims from Sri Lanka would embark on he pilgrimage on account f he majority of them being poor, especially in external affairs and manners. He said that it would be very useful if I would undertake this trip, ravel beyond the seas, and learn about Islam. By this more Muslims in Ceylon would benefit from the knowledge and experience gathered.
I was very encouraged by such statements. I agreed with Zainudeen and joined Sinne Lebbe and started preparing for the journey. Shamsi Lebbe Marikar Ahmed Lebbe Marikar’s son. Shams Lebbe Marilkar also agreed to join us. Packeer Thamby Sinne Lebbe Marikar brought his son, Mahmood, along ad asked us to take him along too. We also asked a cook, Rawthen Hajiar, to join us.
During our preparations, some Muslims who were jealous of this adventure, tried to convince us that the Afghans were against the British Government (Afghan war) ad they they were planning to attack British ships. Some of my friends changed their minds on these instigation’s of these half-educated Mullahs. Some even endeavored to mislead my friends through similar false statements. We ignored them and prepared for our journey, confirmed our date of departure by sea and requested a friend to obtain our tickets for the planned days. Some even attempted to influence this friend to tell us that no tickets were available. This disturbed many of us. Then Yousoof Lebbe Muhammad Lebbe Marikar (father of Zainudeen) volunteered to obtain he tickets for us himself and conveyed this good news to me which brought about some satisfaction amongst us. He was successful and we thanked him profusely for his assistance. Ahmed Arabi Pasha gave me some letters to be delivered to his family in Egypt ad I had to conceal them inside my pillowcase for fear of being found out by the British authorities who had exiled him.
Many of our people, Muslims, friends, Lemmas and Khatheebs, accompanied us to the harbor on the day of our departure. We then boarded the Steamer SS Malwa. an friends and family visited us on board until the ship set sail the next day, the 27 March, 1884., at 12:00 Noon.
Fearing sea-sickness we confined ourselves to our rooms. After about a hour we came out and watched the mainland going out of sight. The next day we saw nothing the sea and sky all around us until we finally sighted the Malabar coast of India.
On April 1, 1884, we arrived a Bombay Harbor, ad there, we saw thirty seven steamers, loading ad unloading goods. We disembarked and went to look at the town. We saw many large buildings high roads, and various different kinds of people, tramways, a kind of iron carriage pulled by horses, and buggy carts. There were also beautiful markets. In one of them, built with iron gates and having electric lamps, by which everything was illuminated, we saw a factory where silk cloth was made. Free access to the factory was not allowed. Yet, with the help of some high officials we were able to enter inside ad inspect the factory. There were laborers, both male and female, about five hundred in all.
In Bombay we also saw Gahuwa (Coffee) Cafe Hotels where Arab merchants kept their businesses opened till late at night. On May 7, 1884, we embarked the good ship SS Austria-Hungary, belonging to the Royal Company - Thabuk Steamer - and set sail once again.
For six days the sea was calm. We spent time enjoying the reminisces of home. We bathed every day. We also conversed with Austrian passengers on board. On the seventh and eighth days the sea became very rough. We spent most of or time within our rooms. he next day we noticed the lights on the shores of the coast of Aden. e hen entered the Red Sea and saw land on the other side. We also noticed the points of Muqa and Aukandry. From in between these two we also saw the tomb of Sheikh Syed Rahmatullah and supplicated Allah to Bless him. While passing through we witnessed land and mountains on both sides of the Red Sea. At one point we saw a huge rock called Dadloos. At night a lamp s placed on top of it in order to guide steamers. We noticed several ships wrecked, misguided y the rock. Passing this we saw another light, and then he African mountains; besides these we saw Pyramids, and, by their sides, Arab caretakers’ huts. At another point we saw two pieces of land joined together with two mountains upon them. They were named after two brothers we were told. There is also a famous light kept on top of them.
After about a quarter of a mile, we crossed Mount Sinai (Thursina). e felt warm. We then approached the sea where the Pharaoh was drowned by Allah during the time of Prophet Moses (alaihis Salam). The Arabs call this place Birka Pharaoh. Along the coastline we saw many lights and huts. On the morning of May 21, 1884 , we arrived at the Suez Harbor.
The steamer was quarantined until the next day on account of sickness. On Friday, after receiving permission from the doctor, we were asked to leave the ship. We disembarked and unloaded our things. We left them with the cook, Rawthen Hajiar, with instructions to take them to Ahmed Effendi’s house. Meanwhile, as it was a Friday, we engaged donkeys and hurried to the town for Jumma Prayers. However, we were very disappointed hat we were late ad the Jumma service was already over by the time we arrived at the Mosque. We the proceeded to he house of Ahmed Effendi, exchanged greetings, and had discussions with him. He dispatched a man to seek Rawthen Hajiar and bring him to the house along with our goods.
The next day, Saturday, 23 May, we went sight seeing and met Saeed Hajiar bin Sultan Bawa (a businessman from Galle). He handed me a letter, sent from Colombo, showing an account of us, that appeared in the Ceylon Times, depicting s as men against the Government of Ceylon. I indicated to him that this was the work of some jealous Muslims who did not approve of our journey overseas. We then took a train journey to Cairo. In the morning we visited a place called Khasrul-Ain. On Sunday we visited Ahmed Arabi Pasha’s house. We met Ahmed Effendi Mathroos Ali, Mahmood Effendi Awmy, Ibrahim Araby, Haji Ibrahim Halby, and delivered the letters we had for them from Arabi Pasha.
On arrival at Arabi Pasha’s house we inquired for and inquired for the Chief Occupier, Alim bin Araby. We were told that he had left the house. The servants hurried to inform everybody of or arrival. To horse traps were sent for us to come to the palace. We were then taken by hose carriage to Syed Hussain Mosque, offered our prayers, made supplication to Allah, and proceeded to Arabi Pasha’s palace.
On arrival we were received with great honour and were invited to stay. We were joined by Ahmed Effendi Mathru, his son, Ali Effendi Mathru, and his nephew, Muhammad Effendi Syed, and were taken on a sightseeing trip around. We visited the tombs of many great men. We also visited the School for the Deaf & Blind, where his nephew, Mohammed Effendi Syed, was a Teacher. During our stay in Egypt we were always accompanied by a least one or two of them wherever we went.
Arabi Pasha’s sons, Ali bin-Arabi, Hassen bin-Arabi, & Ibrahim bin-Arabi, joined us several times. His daughter, Sithy Amina Hanum also came with us. Our friends, Muhammad Effendi Syed, and Syed Ali Effendi Mathru also accompanied us. The were always at our service and offered s their services at all times.
The third day, Sunday, 24 May, at Noon, we hired two carts and went out sightseeing. We saw large buildings and palaces belonging to the Khedive of Ismailiya, Khedive brothers (Yunus Hassan Pasha’s) palace. In this area there is a river called The Nile and over this river, a long bridge leads to the Nile Palace. There are two images of large Lions on either side of this bridge. Each day, after Dhuhar prayers (Noon), at One O Clock, the gates open for all ships to pass and at about two O Clock the gates are closed. Carts and animals run about day and night on this bridge which leads to many places, viz. Bulwark Railway Station, Iskandriya in the West, and Ayooth in the South. We viscid many interesting places during the day and were visited by the Leaders of the town that evening.
We visited he tomb of Jaynambu, daughter of Ali (Raliallahuanhu), Sheikh-ul-Khusbir (Rahma), Sayed Rukiya (daughter of Ali Raliallahuanhu), Syed Sakeena (daughter of Hussain), Syed Athika (daughter of Abdul Muttalib), Syed Ali-Ul-Jawfer, Syed Murtala, Syed Nafeesa (daughter of Hussain), Imam Shafie (Ral) and his Companions on the next day, Monday 25 May. There is a large dome built upon the tomb of Imam Shafi the size of which we never saw anywhere else in Egypt. There were also many other tombs of learned scholars around Imam Shafi’s tomb. In front of his tomb a golden pillar stands engraved with his genealogical tree.
We also visited the tomb of Abdul Hakan’s sons, Abdul Rahman and Abdul Haleem the tombs of Shams princes, Muhammad Kamil (Ral), and Imam (Ral), who died on the day Imam Shafi arrived in Egypt.
We visited the Mosque of the King of Egypt, Muhammad Ali-Pasha, the next day, Tuesday, 26 May. It was a very beautiful place. On our way back we saw the tall Mosque of Sultan Hassen. Although it is an old building it had been maintained very well and looked very new. In it there are three hundred and sixty rooms. On our return we found many senior leaders of the country waiting to discuss with us. We had a short discuss with all of them.
The next day, Wednesday, 27 May, we visited several other Mosques and tombs of the Kings. On one the tombs we saw a dome as large as the one atop he tomb of Imam Shafi. Later we visited the Mosque of King Barkook. There, we saw a Mosque called Masjidul Kanka, where several learned Ulema lived. We discussed with them and were showered with their supplications to Allah for us and our travels. We also visited the tomb of the famous Ulema of Law and Theologian, Abiyul Bayyumi. Adjoining this tomb is the tomb of Kuwaisany Rahmathullah. They were both leaders of the Shafi school of thought. We visited the tomb of Sheikh Ul Kurdi (Ral), Ibn Abdul Raheem Damradah and his son, Abdul Raheem. We then traveled south to a place called Isbaki and visited a public park. It was beautifully decorated, there was a large lake in the center with boats for sailing. Close to this there were many Coffee Shops. We crossed a big iron bridge over this lake and tasted some Coffee from one of the Coffee Shops. We observed Salah and returned home to find more visitors waiting t discuss with us.
The next day, Thursday 28 May, we went along with Muhammad Effendi, Syed Ali Effendi Mathru, Ali bin Arabi, Hussain bin Arabi, and Sithy Amina Khanum (daughter of Arabi Pasha) to see the Pyramids of Giza. On our way we saw many paddy fields, date palms and large buildings. On arrival we visited a large palace built by Ismail Pasha. We had our breakfast in the palace and spent almost two hours inside it. We hired two persons and then wen along to see the Pyramids. We had to climb p high and saw a very deep well of which the bottom was completely invisible. We also saw a rocky room inside which was a blue cradle. We were told that he cradle belonged to he owner of the Pyramid. We also saw several curious objects and valuable antique furniture.
he next day, Friday, 29 May, we rose early performed our Fajr Salah and attended the Jumma Prayers at a Mosque called Jamathul Azhar. On our way we saw the King of Egypt, Muhammad Thafeek Pasha, together with his Ministers, also on their way to the Mosque for Friday Prayers. e saluted them and they returned salutations to us. When we entered the Mosque we found many of the congregation reciting Surah Al-Kahf from the Quran. We joined them in this recital. After the payers were over we had a short discussion with the Imam of he Mosque, Sheikh Hassan-Ul-Saqqaf. When we returned we found many people waiting for us. Among them was the Imam of the Mosque, Sheikh Hassan-Ul-Saqqaf. he told s that he saw righteousness in all our faces. he drank some coffee and offered us to drink the remainder. We obliged, kindly.
We spent time at the markets and purchased many things to take along with us. We then visited the Grand Mufti of Egypt, Sheikh Aslam Sheikh Abbas Magdi (Rah). he was a man of around fifty years and was involved in teaching final subjects, viz.; Nahvu sa Fiqh Thafseer, Hadeeth, Haqaiq, Haulhaseth, Jalrafiya, and Thalimul Ilm. His Imam Mathhab, Imam Sheikh Ismail Hamdy, was seated next to him. He had several followers who all saluted and entered into discussions with us. They asked several questions on Makool and Namakool to which we replied. We also told them that in the event of any specific cases of religious disputes we would refer the cases to them and they gladly agreed to assist us. The Sheikh gave me a card with his name, address and contact information printed on it. he also took our addresses. On return home we continued discussions with several friends who were waiting for us.
That night, the fifteenth of Sha’aban, (May 30), the Mosque of Mohammed Ali Pasha was illuminated and the Qazi of Egypt, together with his followers, came to the Mosque for prayers. e joined them and then returned home.
The next day, Saturday, 31 May, we visited a place called Anthykkanay that stands on the shores of the river Nile. It s a Museum. We saw several curios artifacts and images of the Kings of ancient times made out of red white and blue marble stones. We also saw the images of the gods these people worshipped during hose times. Some had faces of humans and the body of animals. We also saw the mummified bodies of ancient kings that were preserved for almost five to six hundred years. They were all fresh and intact with not a bit of skin dried up or hair worn out. They were all kept in wooden boxes and on them were caved images of birds and the names of the kings. The writings were in a pictorial language which we could not decipher, known as hieroglyphics. We also saw the dresses of the Kings, six hundred years old, and worn out, and the bodies of fourteen kings who were known as Pharaohs who ruled Egypt in ancient times.
The first of them was the enemy of Moses (Alahis Salam), Pharaoh’s great grand father; then his father and so on. However, we did not see the body of the Pharaoh who ruled during the time of Moses (Alaihis Salam). We did see the body of his daughter. I touched it and it felt dried and hard like stone. I also touched the hair on the hands of one of them and it felt like the hair on a living person. The images looked as if they were all staring back a us as some were with their eyes wide open. There were long boxes made of ivory with names engraved on them, lying besides the images, which we were told were the tombs of the kings. There were also the remains of several kinds of birds which looked as if they were ready for flight. We saw ancient jewelry that belonged to the Pharaohs and Kings.
The next day being a Sunday, 1 June, we did not go about anywhere. Many dignitaries of Egypt visited us at our abode and we spent most of the time in discussions with them on education. They were all well acquainted with the fight of Arabi Pasha and the Mahdi Sudan War. We suspected them to be Egyptian spies or detectives from the text of their discussions. We found out hat they were Government Officials who were highly educated. We explained that it was not correct for Arabi Pasha to be exiled in Ceylon and they agreed with us. They spent almost three hours with us. We then went to a place called Isbakiyya where we were requested to attend a Mayndujily performed by French people. Arabi Pasha’s daughter, Sithy Amina Khanoon, accompanied us. We saw many curious feats and clever acts during the performance. People who witness such feats would nee ever believe that humans could perform such clever acts. We then visited the palace of Ahmed Pasha Samy to see his children (Pasha was in Colombo at that time). They occupied the house of Adeela Khanoon, the grandmother of Ali Pasha. They showed s the building, offered us coffee and had long discussions with us. They then introduced us to the two daughters of the Pashas, Sameera and Satuira. We were told that Abbas Pasha had been appointed guardian over these two minors and their property. We informed them of the health of Muhammad Pasha Samy. We also visited several other places and saw the Abdin Palace which was about a quarter mile long and a hundred feet high with several roads running around and through them. There was also an office of Muhammad Pasha Samy located within.
The next day, Monday 2 June, we prepared to leave for Tunis. We had to postpone our departure on account of the illness of Mahmood, one of our group. Hence we visited the Bazaar where we saw large shops belonging to both Muslims and non-Muslims. There were plenty of fruits and goods for sale. Yet there was not much business being enacted. Traders informed us that the Egyptian markets wee even better than the markets in London ten years ago. We then visited a circus and saw many people dancing.
The next day, Tuesday 3 June, we went to he Egyptian Library at the palace of Darbul-Janamiya. On Wednesday, 4 June, we proceeded to Tanta with Ahmed Mathru and son, Ali Mathru, to visit the tomb of Ahmed Badvy (Ral). We missed the train a the station and hence decided to eat breakfast while waiting for the next one by which we went to several places, called, Kalyoob, Thook and Bauha. There wee Mosques and Palaces, Bazaars and many different kinds of people everywhere as they are located on the shores of the river Nile. We then traveled to a place called Birkathusabu and the proceeded to Tanta, a city which belonged to Sadul Baduiy. We spent the night at a hotel after having dinner and a short spell of sightseeing.
The next day, Thursday 5 June, we performed Fajr prayers and visited a tomb that was enclosed in a very large building. The walls glittered like gold and hey were also decorated beautifully. A stone stood at the right side of the stone and we were told that he Prophet Mohammed (sal) stood on it. We kissed the stone, performed two raka’ats Sunna prayers and continued our journey. O our way out we visited a Mosque and talked to its caretaker who showed us that there were many saints buried around it. We then proceeded to a place called Kafuruzayath. It was about half the size of Iskandiriyya. From there we went to Damanhud where we saw the tomb and Mosque of Abu Raysh (ral). The pace was decorated beautifully on account of the visit of the Qazi of Egypt. We then proceeded to Thirathul Mahmoodiya and saw the place where Arabi Pasha fought. Then to a place called Malahath and then to Iskandiriyya. There were beautiful houses, roads, bazaars and palaces with various colorful lights. There were also many Mosques, Thakkiyas, Zavias and Coffee Shops run by Arabs. We visited many tombs and also the tomb of Busary author of Qaseedathul Burdah, the tomb of Abdul Abbasul Marsy and his son Syed Akhuthul Al-Arsh and also the tomb of Prophet Daniel. These tombs were maintained very beautifully and there was a Mosque there too. Iskandiriyya is really a very beautiful place. I used to be the Capita of Egypt at one point of time in its history. There were stations in the North, South and East. There was not a patch of land hat was left bare and wasted. Large buildings and libraries were constructed outside the Fort. There was also a tall pillar, about one hundred feet in height, built by Sultan Iskandiriyya. There was also a large Mosque in the city which housed the library. There were three places known as Kiyman. One side was called the Fort where we saw the ruins of old buildings, pillars, and large stone pyramids. The pillar here was called Musilla but we wee not able to find out who built it. There were several other pillars too. In the old days, whenever a king conquers a country he used to build a pillar or iron or marble, fifty to hundred feet high, and wrote their names and other information on them as a token of remembrance of their reign. This was called a “Musilla” and we saw many of them in the Egypt. We were also told that three such pillars have been sent to London, Africa and France.
The next day, Friday 6 June, we proceeded to Istanbul on board a Russian ship. The sea was very calm and the ship passed the huge Greek mountains. We saw the lights of the lighthouse at around 8 O Clock PM. The next day, Saturday 7 June, we saw the lighthouse of Anatolia situated on top of a mountain. On passing this we came to a place called Azmire and disembarked here a around midnight. It is a city on the sea coast and a very busy one too. There were roads, buildings, shops, hotels, coffee shops, gas lamps and electricity. People looking at this city would believe that it was on fire. Having seen this place I could not decide whether Iskandiriyya or Azmire was more beautiful. We met a man called Usoof Effendi who was a teacher at a Government School in Tanta. He joined us for breakfast at a nearby hotel. We then hired two horsetraps and went sightseeing. We saw a road constructed by Puthiman Midhath Pasha, the General of Anatolia. It was a long road facing the sea. There were many hotels on the coastline and people on the shore could chat with people on board ships that were moored by the shore. There were twenty nine ships moored all along the side of this road by the shore. We went into the town and saw many shops containing silks, pearls, European goods, Chinese goods, and several other fancy items from various places. Cotton was exported from here and carpets were also manufactured in Anatolia. There was a factory that turned out linen cloth. Cotton threads, Felt Hats, Lakakaha laths and clothes, Medicines made from Opium, Zaitoon (Olive) Trees, Amber were all manufactured here. Several kinds of leather goods were also made here. We then proceeded to a beautiful Mosque called Sarjany. Within it Haji Mustafa (Rali) was teaching Hanafi Madhab rules. We discussed with him ad he indicated that no one from any other country had ever visited him before. He then invited us to stay there with him for a few days as he found us to be interested in learning more about Islam. We could not accede to his kind request as our ship was due to sail the next day. Hence we returned to our hotel and returned to the ship he next day, Sunday 8 June. It was a very cold night and we had to don warm clothes and flannel socks before retiring to bed.
The next day, Monday 9 June, the weather was extremely cold and we were requested to stay in our rooms. Our brass kettles all froze into ice and we were unable to even touch them. The cold weather and winds lasted for two days until we arrived at Dardenels. From there our ship touched at a fort called Shimkhala. This port is used as a defense post by the Turkish Government. Here we saw twelve big War ships.
The Turkish newspaper, “Al Ihtidal” of the 11 Ramadhan, 1302 (1884), reported as follows:-
“There are five visitors from Ceylon: Yusuf Lebbe Hajiar Sinne Lebbe Marikar Effendi, (Haji) Muhammad Lebbe Marikar Effendi, (Haji) Muhammad Lebbe Marikar Zainudeen Effendi, Sheikh Mahmood bin Sinne Lebbe Marikar Effendi Shamshi Lebbe Marikar Ahmed Lebbe Marikar Effendi, Sahib Doray Ismail Lebbe Marikar (Haji) Effendi. They are people of repute in business in Colombo, Ceylon; in the neighborhood of India. The have come here on political and business purposes and will proceed to Hajj. They called at our office on Saturday last. This is a matter of great honour to us. They are people who extend to us their sympathies in our war with Russia. The have arrived in Istanbul, to be received by the Ameerul Mumineen (Sultan) in audience, after Jumma Service at Salemlik (Ceremony), and we pray that this blessing will be granted to them. There is, in this group, an individual of great learning, Sahib Doray Ismail Lebbe, who is learned in Law and Logic, whose use of the Arabic language is refined and acceptable. They will be leaving shortly for Madinah, and from there they will proceed to Palestine and Damascus before going for Hajj. We are grateful for their visit and thank them.
We pay that their Hajj will be Haj Mabroor (acceptable), and we pay that they will return home safely. May Allah increase this type of warriors to strengthen the cause of Islam.”
We then left for Hajj and returned home by the Grace of the Almighty Allah.