MIKE TYSONíS SPIRITUAL JOURNEY
By Majed Al-Suqairi
MADINA Ė Former US heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson, who is on a visit to the Kingdom to perform Umrah, Sunday prayed at the Qubaí and Qiblatain mosques.
He also visited the Islamic University and met the universityís president, Dr. Muhammad Al-Oqla, and American nationals studying there.
Tyson was mobbed whereever he went. Large numbers of fans gathered around the hotel where he is staying near the Prophetís Mosque. Some people waited for hours just to see him and take his pictures.
Tyson had to scurry toward the Prophetís Mosque for Dhuhr prayers as fans gathered around him in large numbers. He used the Shimagh of one of his companions to cover his head but the fans recognized him and followed him.
ďI am happy that I have fans who love me here in the Kingdom, but I hope they leave me alone to enjoy my spiritual moments at the Holy Sites,Ē he said.
ďI couldnít resist shedding tears when I came to know that I was in one of the gardens of paradise,Ē Tyson said referring to Arrawda in the Prophetís Mosque.
Tyson was accompanied by Shahzad Muhammad, head of the Canadian Dawah Association, which organized his visit to Saudi Arabia.
ďTyson became emotional when offering Salam to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him),Ē said Shahzad.
ďHe cried for more than half an hour while standing in front of the Prophetís grave, raising his hands.Ē
ďHe remained in front of the Rawdah for hours praying, reciting the Qurían and making supplications,Ē Shahzad said.
Later Mike Tyson went to the Meqat to change into Ihram for Umrah.