Pilgrim in Jordan – The Dead Sea Controversy

My trip to the Dead Sea was nothing short of a breathtaking experience – and a controversial one.

Standing at the lowest point of the Earth may not mean anything to anyone – I mean it is just the Dead Sea, right? Probably. But just like those who climbed Mt. Everest, their difficult journey to the tallest peak does have its merits to bragged about. While descending to the Dead Sea is an effortless journey (bar the difference in pressure that made my ears explode), it is what the Dead Sea represented that made it such a remarkable and majestic place.

If you’re not into religion or myths or anything spiritual then this might not mean anything to you. But standing at the lowest point on Earth and a miracle site (while cracking a joke or two about it with Hamza) does make you rethink a LOT of things.

Describing the texture of the water and the mud cannot be explained with simple words. You have to go down there and experience it for yourself for you to ever know what it feels like. I didn’t find it filthy or disgusting, but it was weird and the whole place was eerie enough for me to understand where the “Dead” part came from.

And yet in this Death there is a lot of life, ironically.

I updated my Facebook status and that sparked a heated 25 comment debate rendering it the most controversial Facebook status ever written!

So here I ask you: Is it haram/forbidden to visit the Dead Sea? If so… why? What’s the “permitted duration” of visiting “areas of punishment” (mawaqe3 el 3athab)?

I can’t help but feel that there IS something wrong with this place (although personally I have not dug deep into the Qawm Lot story) but even from a non-religious point of view the whole place freaked me out completely.

We went up to the mountains to watch one of the most beautiful sunsets ever experienced. The air was beautiful, cold, and strong. I remembered Safita with such a sunset, when a couple of friends and I would go watch it set over the sea of Tartous (if the horizon clarity permitted) and the weather and the clouds were as breathtaking as ever.

I felt rejuvenated, and engrossed myself in deep thought (which were completed in Wadi Rum, more on that in the next post).

I didn’t want to leave that place while at the same time I was so glad I did.