After having a good night sleep, apart from the occasion I was woken up by the heavy snoring of one of the brothers in the dorms that we stayed in, we reorganised the vans and set off towards the Libyan border.
In comparison to the first convoy, the number of people who came out on the streets to express their support for this initiative was almost non-existent. I managed to speak to one local who said to me they have forbidden the people to come out of their homes, and this was also what happened on the first convoy. Additionally, the route we went may have by-passed the main area of the town.
It was in this city, Ben Gardan that we received the best reception on the first convoy. People poured out onto the streets in their thousands to meet us, the atmosphere was amazing, the people would come up to our vehicles and give us food, water, drinks, bags of rice, chocolate etc.
The authorities tried to push the people back but mashaAllah they insisted on meeting us. Unfortunately this time it was nothing like the first convoy and was surprisingly quiet.
We passed through the border with much ease, just the usual wait for the passports to be returned back to us after giving them in, but that can be expected.
After crossing into Libya, we drove about 50kM where we had a reception, which didn’t last too long. I managed to grab a take away from a local restaurant and eat it in the van as we weren’t scheduled to stop for long.
We continued for another 30 minutes where I stopped off on the way to get a local sim card as the roaming rates are astronomical, 2.50 a minute, and since we’ll be in Libya for a good few days, it’s worth it.
The next place we stopped off at was a roman ruin of an amp theatre, our hosts are taking us to various sites while we’re here.
The Road to hope is largely supported by a Libyan organisation, hence why they are hosting us and treating us well and a large portion of the aid is supplied by this organisation.
Visiting the ruins was a humbling experience, and to think that the tab’ieen (generation that followed the companions) such Uqba ibn Nafi’ where from amongst those who had bought Islam to this land and inherited it, not long after the death of the messenger s.a.w. We take it for granted and forget what these amazing characters gave for Islam. When passing through these sites I always try to bring to my mind the feelings that our predecessors had when leaving their families behind in order to bring justice to a land that had been ruled by tyranny and oppression.
We often hear of the early conquests of Muslims, but we remain ignorant of the feeling of strangeness they must have felt leaving the land they grew up in, married in, studied in, worked in etc, and were now in a land strange to them.
Likewise the feeling of loneliness, leaving the wife, children, parents, childhood friends, neighbours etc.
We also fail to imagine how it must feel facing an army many fold lager than your own that upon clashing would swallow your ranks and facing the enemy face to face, hearing his heavy breathing when engaging with him, hearing his cries as he attempts to overpower whilst duelling, looking into his eyes as advances to you, having his blood splatter across your face.
A reality unknown to us, the feelings that we’ve never felt, the feeling seeing the dust from the movement of the steeds of war filling the horizon, the thudding sound of the hooves of the cavalry as they draw closer, all for the sake of earning the pleasure of their lord.
Additionally we’re heedless to the feeling of what goes through the heart and mind during the aftermath of the battles, seeing a close companion who you may have known for many years, even family members laying on the floor either dying from injuries or dead from the severity of battle.
These are just some of the things that I try picture when passing through these lands and the saddest thing is that these righteous have been betrayed by our lack of commitment and hypocrisy.
The only two words I can think to describe the state of this nation is pitiful and disastrous. I pray my dua’s are accepted as a traveller, and I ask Allah that he gives us the insight and sound judgment to correct our pitiful state.
Where are the men of defiance and principle?
After seeing the remains we were taken to our accommodation, a scouts hut where we had dinner and rested for the evening. One of the groups were staying the night in a tent which ended up becoming an arena for wrestling. We ended up having wrestling matches as group ‘E’ challenged my group, group ‘B’ so we decided to teach them a lesson. It ended up becoming a very eventful night, before you knew it the tent was packed with loads of brothers, nearly all of them to cheer on the brothers. It was a great opportunity to give da’wah to each other and after the matches we had a reminder about brotherhood in Islam and it really bought the brothers together and the morale of the brothers felt really high.
After feeling drained from fighting I went out to look for an internet cafe, but didn’t managed to find one open so I returned back to the scouts camp to retire for the night.