(click on the audio title 01-Prayer for music/song accompaniment).
Bernard Foong (a.k.a. Young) is ranked amazon.com International Best Selling Author.
A Harem Boy's Saga - Book I I - Unbridled;
A memoir by Young
"Muslims have a very bad attitude toward homosexuality: they are very tolerant."
After travelling an hour on the SAQR, we arrived at the holy city of Mecca, the capital of Makkah Province, Saudi Arabia. Mecca was the birthplace of the prophet Muhammad; it was also the site of the revelation of the Quran. Our entourage consisted of Aziz, Tahu, Gabrielli, Sayid, Jasim, Jul, Isa (both were the boys' uncles), Oscar, Devaj, Andy and me. After checking into our 5-star hotel, Aziz and Gabrielli suggested we explore the city. We wouldn't be going to the Masjid al-Haram, which housed the Kaaba ("The Cube", "The Primordial House", "The Sacred/Forbidden House"), until the following morning.
Although non-Muslims are prohibited from entering Mecca, the holy city, Wazir Thabit had made special provisions with the Makkah authorities to allow the foreigners among us enter. If any pilgrim questioned our presence, we were to inform them that we were Muslim converts, there for Hajj.
Aziz joined us, mostly to secretly scout for suitable locations for Sacred Sex In Sacred Places. He had already done Hajj several times prior to this trip. Gabrielli, on the other hand, was there to make sure that his foreign students were well guarded, since the Wazir had instructed him to watch over our well-being throughout this experience. Education
As we toured the souks and marketplaces near the hotel, my teacher took the opportunity to explain Hajj to his students, including Sayid and Jasim.
"Do you boys understand the significance of this pilgrimage?" He asked as we gathered round him.
Tahu was the first to answer, "We are here to perform Hajj and to assume Ihram,” he said. Ihram, I later learned, is the sacred dress of Muslim pilgrims for pilgrimage or for other acts of worship, especially the daily worship. “We are not to have sexual relations with our wives, commit sins, or conduct unfair disputes because Allah is sure to know."
Before he could continue, Isa spoke, "Hajj is the perfection of one's faith. It combines both the physical and monetary aspects of worship in Islam; an example is the Salaat (prayer), which pilgrims offer in the Kaa'ba. Hajj also encourages the spending of material wealth for the sake of Allah, which is the chief characteristic of Zakaat (an annual tax on Muslims to aid the poor in the Muslim community). By spending our wealth, we cleanse our hearts from the greed of this world. Hajj also builds generosity and develops in us a willingness to sacrifice for Allah."
"Very good explanation, Isa," my teacher congratulated him.
Before Gabrielli could utter a word, Jul explained, "When I set out for Hajj, I disassociate myself from my home and dear ones in favor of Allah. I suffer hardship and self-restraint, fast and perform Itikaaf,” he referred to a particularly commended pious practice — a period of retreat in a mosque for a certain number of days in accordance with the believer's own wish.
"I am also to forget my material comforts. I’m to avoid using scented oils and perfumes, wearing only my Ihram. I can't cut my hair and nails. I busy myself worshiping Allah and carrying out the rites of Hajj. In other words, I abandon all my worldly desires and submit to my Lord with Ikhlas (sincerity), Ittiba (obedience) and humility. I call out to Allah, ‘Here I am before You, My Lord; I'm a slave for you.’” As the man spoke these sentences, a sly sarcastic grin crept onto his face.
Tahu added, "You may or may not be aware that the physical demands of the various Hajj rites far surpass those of prayers and fasting, thus enhancing the patient pilgrim’s self-control, obedience and humility, which are required for his daily Eebadah (worship).
"Therefore Hajj develops a man's spiritual and moral goals, allowing a deeply spiritual transformation to take place within the individual and resulting in the reformation of his life according to Islamic ideals. There are certain pre-conditions before this act of pilgrimage becomes compulsory. I believe these are Islam, soundness of mind, puberty and capability.”
Directing his attention to the foreign students, Gabrielli advised, "Boys, you must understand that Hajj is not meant to be a hardship. It is an act of devotional worship Muslims perform, but only if it is feasible and affordable for them to make the journey."
Andy asked, "What do you mean by feasibility for them to make the journey?"
"Feasibility includes having the physical health, financial well-being, and sufficient provision needed to undertake the Hajj. Hajj is not obligatory for one who does not possess adequate money to feed his children during his absence. If he has to borrow money, he stays at home until he is financially able. Muslims with physical disabilities are not obliged to make Hajj unless they can pay others to carry them.
"Hajj is also not obligatory even if the journey to Makkah exposes the Haji's (pilgrim's) life to risk. In addition, woman should have a Mahram (escort), since she is not allowed to travel alone without a Mahram. Therefore, a woman who cannot find a Mahram to accompany her is not obliged to make Hajj." Gabrielli explained. Sapiosexual
We had been wandering round the souq for an hour before we found an outdoor cafe to rest our feet. As we continued our chitter-chatter, Oscar burst forth with a comment. "Professor, I, for one, am a sapiosexual: I’m attracted to your incisive, insightful and irreverent mind. I'm completely mesmerized and aroused by your intelligent philosophical discussion of the Hajj. It’s an intellectual foreplay and I can't help but go ‘ouch’ to your witty sense of explanation."
Andy, quick to second Oscar's announcement, said amusingly, "I agree with Oscar wholeheartedly. I too, dear professor, am also a true sapiosexual!"
"What's a sapiosexual?" I interrupted.
My lovers and my professor laughed before Andy replied, "You, my darling, will soon be initiated to become a sapiosexual under the guidance of your excellent teacher and mentors."
To The Souk
Since the evening was young, Aziz, who had been to Makkah suggested, "Let's have some fun. I'm bored sitting at the cafe. I am going to treat you guys, especially my nephews, to a special place I know in this part of the world. Who wants to join me on this special excursion?"
Since we were all jibber-jabbering about nothing, we agreed to the photographer's secret outing. Aziz would not disclose its whereabouts. He wanted it to be a surprise and to astonish us.
We hopped into several taxis following Aziz's lead and arrived in an old section of town, some distance away from our hotel. Alighting at a night souq, we ventured into a labyrinth of stalls filled with hawkers, vendors and shops selling knickknacks and trinkets. I had no idea where we were heading. I was glad Andy, Oscar, and my teacher were next to me. If I had gotten separated in this busy souk, I would not have been able to find my way back to the hotel. Street vendors were shouting at the top of their lungs to attract buyers to their kiosks while shoppers were busy bargaining on their purchases, looking for excellent deals.
The Secret Hideaway
Turning a corner behind a Persian-carpet vendor's stall, Aziz led us into a hidden passageway. I would not have known that such a secret alley existed if not for the photographer’s guidance. Down the long arched corridor we proceeded until we came to an obscure wooden entrance. The Arab knocked several times before a turbaned Bedouin came to answer the door. Opening it a crack, our host spoke Arabic to the guard before the man guided us into a dimly lit foyer.
It took me a few seconds to adjust to the light. To my surprise, I had stepped back in time, into a 19th-century Arabian decorated interior. On the ceiling hung an array of Persian lanterns that gave off soft, sensual glows of ruby reds, emerald greens, topaz yellows, turquoise blues, and tangerine oranges. Brocade cushions and ornately embroidered pillows lay scattered around the waiting room.
The guard told us to wait while he hurried off to summon the proprietor. Before long, an elegantly dressed Arabian in traditional garb came to greet our entourage. Since we foreign students did not speak a word of Arabic, we relied on our Arab friends and Gabrielli to conduct the communications. After much cordiality and friendly greetings with the toothy, grinning salon keeper, we were ushered to a quiet back room with a floor-to-ceiling double sided mirror one side of the wall. Next to the comfortable floor cushions and pillows were hookah pipes, at the ready to entertain the customers while they waited for the “line-up” to assemble in the adjoining chamber.
Since the foreign students knew nothing of what was to happen, we sat still as our Arab companions giggled grinning from ear to ear. My curiosity got the better of me and I asked my professor, "What kind of a place is this? Where are we?"
Gabrielli shushed me to be quiet and gave me a wicked wink. He said nothing. By now, I was too inquisitive to be quiet. I turned to my Valet and BB and asked, "What are we waiting for? What's going to happen?"
A Harem Boy's Saga - II - Unbridled; a memoir by Young is available at: