- Title: EGYPT: Imagery appearing in shrine draws crowds
- Date: 30th September 2010
- Summary: SHARQAYIA, EGYPT, (SEPTEMBER 27, 2010) (REUTERS) ==EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: RED LINES IN SHOWS 10, 13, 16 and 18 WERE ADDED TO HIGHLIGHT THE IMAGES== EXTERIOR OF IMAM YAHIYA Al-MOTAWAG BEL ANWAR SHRINE PLAQUE BEARING THE IMAM'S NAME VISITORS ENTERING THE SHRINE VARIOUS OF VISITORS PRAYING MORE OF SHRINE VISITORS LOOKING AT THE SHRINE MARKINGS IN THE MARBLE OF ONE OF THE SHRINE WALLS WHICH ARE BELIEVED TO CONTAIN THE WORD "MOHAMMED" IN ARABIC, WITH ANIMATION IN RED LINES ADDED BY REUTERS TO OUTLINE ALLEGED DRAWINGS ON WALL CEILING OF SHRINE WITH HANGING CHANDELIER VISITORS TALKING MARKINGS IN THE MARBLE OF ONE OF THE SHRINE WALLS WHICH ARE BELIEVED TO DEPICT THE KAABA (HOLY SHRINE IN MECCA), WITH ANIMATION IN RED LINES ADDED BY REUTERS TO OUTLINE ALLEGED DRAWINGS ON WALL VISITORS LOOKING AT THE IMAGES ON THE SHRINE WALLS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SHEIKH, MOHAMMED AL-ASWANY, SAYING "This is a highly spiritual place, we were surprised by these pictures of the prophets, the Prophet's Companions and the family of the Prophet Mohammedï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ it was something beyond the norm, something unnatural." MARKINGS IN THE MARBLE OF ONE OF THE SHRINE WALLS WHICH ARE BELIEVED TO DEPICT THE PROPHET SOLOMON, WITH ANIMATION ADDED IN RED LINES BY REUTERS TO OUTLINE ALLEGED DRAWINGS ON WALL
- Embargoed: 14th October 2010 23:29
- Location: Egypt
- Country: Egypt
- Topics: Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVAF1DSA36OTCZA52WZRCNJMR0BZ
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: When images of Islamic figures and Arabic words started appearing on the walls of a shrine in Egypt, people put it down to a divine miracle.
The imagery appears in the form of markings in the marble blocks that were used to build the shrine walls. They include a cube shape, which looks like the Kaaba in Mecca, and have been attracting the faithful who come to the shrine to pray and observe what they believe to be a miracle.
"This is a highly spiritual place, we were surprised by these pictures of the prophets, the Prophet's Companions, and the family of the Prophet Mohammedï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ it was something beyond the norm, something unnatural," said Sheikh Mohammed al-Aswany.
One man who has a direct link with the site is Mohammed Zamzam, who also maintains the premises.
His home once stood on the area where people now gather to pray. He claims al-Imam Yahiya al-Motawag Bel Anwar visited him in a vision in 1967, telling him he was a victim of an old Islamic war.
The Imam is also believed by many to be a descendant of the Prophet Mohammed.
Since that year, Zamzam claims he has been repeatedly visited by the Imam, who told him in 2003 that his remains were buried beneath his home.
"I have universal, mystical secrets from this place that I won't reveal except to the office of the President of the Republic, and the owner of the shrine sent them to me," said Zamzam.
Zamzam said he contacted the al-Azhar mosque in Cairo and the Supreme Council of Sufi Doctrine to tell them about his findings. They then proceeded to run tests and finally provided evidence they said attested to Zamzam's claims, and Zamzam's home was turned into a shrine, that is now a site of pilgrimage for those who believe in its divinity.
Zamzam says the first image on the shrine walls appeared in 2005, and believers say it reads 'Mohammed' in Arabic. Pilgrims point out that the words also face Mecca.
Zamzam says the imam initially ordered him not to tell anybody about the first images. But Zamzam says the imam recently appeared to him in another vision and told him to inform others about the images, which look as though they resemble the prophet Mohammed's companion Omar ibn El Khatab and the Prophet Solomon.
Those who have seen the markings say they have witnessed a divine miracle, especially as one of them resembles the late Egyptian Imam Mohammed Metwali al-Shaarawi.
Pilgrims and residents can't tell if the images appeared gradually or overnight, convincing them further that their appearance is a miracle.
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