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Rihla - the Great Quest

The RIHLA (or rahla) of a Bedouin tribe, especially at the beginning of the rainy season, was a sight to behold. Because all herds, all men, women and children, all their belongings were on the move. Like an army marching. 

The Great Quest - if we are allowed this expression - took place in the winter and summer seasons. In general terms, one saw the Bedouins leaving the desert in the summer when the heat became intense and water supplies dried up, and heading for the settled regions - or the land adjoining the settled areas. They spent the entire summer there and waited until the rains fell in the autumn and some of the rain and flood pools in the desert filled up, and then began to return to the desert. Each tribe had a dira (pl. dir), or recognized  territories within  which it wandered throughout the winter and spring season until the water supplies dried up. Then they headed again for the settled regions. One must not suppose that whenever the Bedouin penetrated deep into the heart of the desert he ended his journey at lands mostly  parched,  full of sands, and possessed of very  little  pasturage  and water. The land  of Nejd, which lies almost in the center of Arabia, is one of the areas most amply supplied with water, and in the oases of the Ahsa/Hasa province there are springs practically equal to the fullest springs in Lebanon. Whatever the case might have been, when a tribe had decided to move on, it did not proceed before making sure that water and pasturage was better than in the land currently occupied.” For this reason they sent out scouts. On many occasions the large tribes counted on the assistance of the tribe of Slayb for the needed information (Jabbur).

This Great Quest of the Bedouin of old is a wonderful picture for the Great Exodus on the Day of the Lord, the day of Judgement. The GREAT EXODUS into a new world when heaven and earth are made new in a heavenly marriage.

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