Houd:  Ancient Prophets Never Forgotten [Archives:1998/49/Last Page]

December 7 1998

Rasheed Al-Saqqaf,
Yemen Times,
Hadhramaut is a very large governorate, including both desert and coastal areas. It is the cradle, all at once, of some of Yemen’s most famous religious scholars, poets, singers, and architects. It was, and still is, the source of migration waves to the rest of the world. Its people are industrious and very well known for their mercantile acumen.
Allah’s Prophet Houd
The region – its far more than a mere governorate – is rich with age-old traditions. One such ancient ritual is the annual visit to the mausoleum of the Prophet Houd. Situated in Shi’b (valley) Houd in the Ahqaf area of Hadhramaut, the shrine is the focus of a pilgrimage that takes place between the 5th and 10th of Shaaban – the month just before Ramadhan.
Being four arduous hours by car away from Seioun – Hadhramaut’s interior capital – does not deter people from all over the world from visiting the place. Muslims from Indonesia, Malaysia, Kenya, Canada, the USA, and several other countries make this annual pilgrim.
People from this region and other parts of Yemen also visit other shrines on the way to the Houd mausoleum, arriving exactly on the 5th of Shaaban.
Houd Enters Into a Rock!
One of the most revered attractions of the pilgrimage is a very large and imposing rock, dominating the site and is known as Naqat Houd (Houd’s camel. Another revered rock is split in the middle, where ancient folklore has it that Houd hid from his enemies inside the rock!
Preaching & Washing
Throughout the pilgrim’s five days, preachers continue giving much sought-after sermons. Major families from the region each has its own special visiting ceremonies known as Dakhla. The biggest of Dakhlas is that of Abu Bakar Bin Salem, which is held on the pilgrim’s last day.

During Dakhla, people bathe at a rivulet near the Houd Village. They then visit a well, mentioned in the Holy Quran, situated in the middle of the village. Afterwards a last visit of the shrine is conducted with more sermons and preaching, praising not only Prophet Houd, but also all other prophets, especially Mohammed (PBUH).

Seasonal Village
Houd Village is not inhabited all year round. It is a seasonal village, so to speak. People only live in it during the five-day pilgrimage.
Oldest Shrine
Sheikh Salem Bin Abdullah Al-Shateri, one of a several revered scholars who preach to the faithful, said that Houd’s shrine is probably the oldest shrine in the world, which people still visit. “It more than 4000 years old, as stated by Al-Tijani in his Taj Al-Ayan book,” explained the Sheikh.
It also mentioned in the Quran that Alexander the Great visited the place with his army. All other Arab historians agree that Houd’s shrine have been visited since time immemorial.
The annual pilgrimage, however, did not start in earnest until one of Prophet Mohammed’s descendants – Imam Ahmed Bin Isa visited the place in 318 AH (more that 1100 years ago).