Writing in Dawn in Madinah: A Pilgrim's Progress, Muzaffar Iqbal described his experience of venerating the Black Stone during a pilgrimage to Mecca:
"At the end of the second [circumambulation of the Kaaba], I was granted one of those extraordinary moments which sometimes occur around the Black Stone. As I approached the Corner the large crowd was suddenly pushed back by a strong man who had just kissed the Black Stone. This push generated a backward current, creating a momentary opening around the Black Stone as I came to it; I swiftly accepted the opportunity reciting, Bismillahi Allahu akbar wa lillahihamd ["In the name of God, God is great, all praise to God"], put my hands on the Black Stone and kissed it. Thousands of silver lines sparkled, the Stone glistened, and something stirred deep inside me. A few seconds passed. Then I was pushed away by the guard."
Meaning and symbolism
The Black Stone, in Muslim belief, originated in the time of Adam. According to belief, an angel spoke to the prophet Abraham, and told him to institute the rite of the stone in the hajj at Mecca.
Islamic tradition holds that the stone fell from Heaven to show Adam and Eve where to build an altar, which became the first temple on Earth. Muslims believe that the stone was originally pure and dazzling white, but has since turned black because of the sins of the people. According to a prophetic tradition, "Touching them both (the Black Stone and al-Rukn al-Yamani) is an expiation for sins." Adam's altar and the stone were said to have been lost during Noah's Flood and forgotten. Ibrahim was said to have later found the Black Stone at the original site of Adam's altar when the angel Jibrail revealed it
That's Not My Job
This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody's job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realised that Everybody wouldn't do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have.
Example #3 of Prisoner Amnesia
(If you wish to start back at the beginning of this essay scroll back to June 21st to "Oh That's Right. We're In Prison.")
In this next example, we're going to take a look at a major alteration of a prisoners memory loss. It's at this time when a prisoners has no problem remembering that he's in prison. Wow! Have we suddenly come up with a cure for amnesia? No. I said Alteration, (to change or become different.) Not Correction (to remove the errors or mistakes from). These alterations are usually triggered when it appears that the Department of Correction (D.O.C.) doesn't know how to run a fine oiled machine, or basically keep things in running order. So now that the prisoners have somebody to blame for their problems, the prison system is the only thing on their minds. So where has the amnesia been altered to? The tip of their index finger, that's where. Sound a little strange? God I hope so, because it would sure have me confused. What I'm referring to is the neglect to remember which way to point their finger when it comes to the true cause of a large number of their problems. Continue with me as I take a look at a few instances where D.O.C. is the first direction to point this forgetful finger.
The chow hall always brings about a good example of this. The best is probably the evenings they serve chicken. (Basically the most desired meal of the week.) Unfortunately, there have been numerous occasions that they have run out of the chicken, leaving anywhere from 5 to 30 guys stuck to eat some soybean patty. (Hamburger wanna be.) So who gets the blame here? Well, obviously D.O.C.; they didn't order enough chicken. That all seems simple enough. Unless of course they were to remember those guys they saw, sneaking back in line to get a 2nd or 3rd tray. Then there was the guy who, while the officer was turned around, was yelling something in the serving window, and his tray mysteriously came out with 3 pieces on it. Or, how about the kitchen guy who was doing all that bragging about how he was able to sneak out of the kitchen with 24 pieces saran wrapped to his body? Does it still sound like D.O.C. is to blame when you start remembering all the aspects?/
How about going through the turmoil of a "raid/strip search" This is probably the most annoying thing that D.O.C. carries out. Usually, around 15 officers, and maybe a couple of snoop dogs, come rushing in, yelling for us to line up. We are then told to strip, lift them, open that, spread those, bend over, and cough. (Of course that might be carried out in a different order at a woman's prison.)
After this little set of calisthenics, we redress and are escorted to some other room, or perhaps the rec yard. While we're gone, the officers go all through our property, searching for any kind of major contraband, and throwing out any minor contraband. If any major contraband is discovered in a guy's area, an officer comes to get him, and lock him up.
When we return a couple of hours later, we find our property, beds, and clothes in shambles. The next half hour is spent looking around to see what all we lost, putting all our property back in our lockers, making our bunks, and sweeping up all the trash. This is also the time of having to listen to about 75% of the guys bitching and complaining at how they can't understand why D.O.C. does stuff like this, and how the officers are such idiots.
Now, I understand that D.O.C. sometimes has to perform raids like this for training new guys and what not. So I'm not going to sit here and try to put the full blame in any one particular direction for these annoying ordeals. I mean, we are in prison, remember? However, it is still the prisoners who are the cause of just how many raids they are going to have to endure. In case you have any doubt on my opinion there, let's take a look at that experience tells me.
I've been at my present location for over 4 years, and have been assigned to 3 different dorms. I spent about 3 years in the first dorm, where you had things going on at a moderate level that would attract the guys in brown. At this third location, where I am now, there is hardly ever anything to attract their attention. Hence, in the 1 year & 3 months I've been in here, we have only had 2 raids.
Excuse me a moment here, but I just realized that I forgot to inform you of the fact that back at my first location we had to put up with one of these raids on an average of one time every 3 months.
Okay, so, we have 4 times a year in one dorm, 2 times a year at another dorm, and then (ready for this?) at the other dorm, where you had a bunch of junkies, dopeheads, crack-babies, and twackheads, we had 3 raids in the one month I was there. I'm sorry, but simple logic tells me which way to point my finger.
Here's something you might find interesting. There have been numerous things that we prisoners were once able to enjoy purchasing and owning that have now become labelled on the contraband list. "Man, what's D.O.C.'s problem? They don't want us to have anything. They want us to just sit here and rot with nothing to do!" (Obviously some typical quotes I've had to listen to, from guys who keep forgetting which way to point their finger.) Lets take for example the wholesome game of scrabble. Certainly nobody could take such a creditable game like that, and do something with it that would cause it to be put on the contraband list. Right? Wrong. Some guy decided that he would take one of the wooden letter holders and carve it into some kind of stabbing weapon. It's basically the same reason for so many other things we can no longer have, all because some prisoner wants to try and convert it into some form of contraband.
I could go on for days, regarding this subject. However, I think you all have pretty much caught on to the fact that the vast majority of the guys in the prison system have very forgetful fingers.
Don't you forget to keep checking back for example #4.
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