When I was a child, I used go with my mother to Al-Sayyid Al-Badawi *Mosque in Tanta**, especially in the nights preceding my school exams, to recite Surat Al-Fatiha and to pray to God Almighty to enlighten my heart and mind and to guide me to the right answers. Then, I used to stand under the feet of the Prophet, peace be upon him, to acquire his Barakah and to seek forgiveness.
The footprint of the Prophet on this black basalt stone had a major force and eeriness on me. Every week, especially after Friday prayer, I used to pilgrimage to it, I stand before it and touch it amid large crowds.
Everyone who had lust for Barakah, used to touch the Prophet’s cavernous stone
Silently, I was crying in front of this stone to which I used only to speak concealed words about what was troubling my mind.
But when I joined the Faculty of Fine Arts, I was studying anatomy that helped me to dissect the foot for its importance and holiness - paradise is under the feet of mothers. I started to compare between the human foot and the footprint on the stone and to question its authenticity until I read an article by Youssef Idris in which he was appealing to Al-Azhar’s Sheikh and to Al-Awkaf Minister to remove the stone from Al-Sayyid Al-Badawi Mosque because it faked by a non-gifted sculptor who envisioned a footprint on the stone.
At that moment, my body tingled in deep silence
To whom I was crying and speaking?
To whom I was subordinately revealing my secrets throughout my childhood years?
But now I am still visiting..
to watch ordinary people touching the stone
to seek peace and faith while crying in front of the monument