I would like to know what actually is "alam"?
Can you explain the significant of it?
Since I don't much about it, I wish to know/learn about the significant of it.
I will much appreciate your explanation.
i thought id share my answer with u guys as well, in case anyone was wondering. if anyone can provide a better response can u post it here?
im not the best person to explain this, im not the most knowledgeable nor the most eloquent, but i will try my best to explain this. i think i should post this in the thread, ill keep your name out of it, is that ok?
during the prophets lifetime, in all his battles, he would always give his battle standard, in arabic "alam" or flag, to someone to show the muslims where he was, and to give them hope and courage, and put fear into the enemies. it was a great, great honour to anyone who held the alam of the prophet during a victorious battle, because they were holding the very symbol of the muslim ummah.
there is no better example of this than, as we all know, the battle of khaybar, where the alam/battle standard was given to our maula ali , as a symbol to show the person who the prophet loved, and who Allah loved, and the person who won the great victory that day.
this tradition was carried out through all the imams who fought in battles - imam ali, imam hassan, and imam hussain. the alam was the symbol of hope, and the sign of the muslims who loved those who the alams represented.
there are many many accounts of miracles linked with the shrine in najaf where imam ali is buried. the story of how it was discovered, when deer used to use the small hill above imam alis grave as a sanctuary from hunting dogs, and dogs did not dare to climb the mound, is listed in full in the book "peshawar nights" under the section "discovery of imam alis shrine". you can see it here. we believe that even touching the shrine, even standing in the haram and LOOKING at it, gives us enormous sawaab, and can fulfill our wishes. if you asked on shiachat im sure you would find many accounts of peoples wishes being granted using the intercession of imam alis shrine. for those who can not travel to do ziarat, the alam is the symbol of the ziarat, in the same way the alams were the symbols of the ummah during battle. during my fathers youth the ghulaaf which covers the kaaba came to pakistan via train, the alam symbolises the ziarat of imam ali in the same way that the ghulaaf symbolised the kaaba for the people back in those days.
in kerbala, the significance of the alams is much, MUCH more pronounced. not only does the same apply as above, but there is a hadith that tens of thousands of angels decend from jannat every DAY through the dome above the shrine (and the alam) to mourn for hussain. the dirt on the floor around the shrine is considered holy and pure, and has been known to cure diseases and the imams would keep pouches of it with them at all times, if that is the blessings linked with the DIRT around the shrine, how much more baraka is there for the alam through which MILLIONS of angels passed through to mourn for imam hussain?
if we want to kiss heaven, then the closest we will come physically in this life is to kiss the alam above the dome of imam hussain.
now, to ghaazi abbas. even typing his name brings a pain in my throat and makes my eyes sting. we believe that ghaazi abbas has been given the title "babul hawayej", or, the gateway of your wishes. we are encouraged to seek his intercession, and i personally have experience of having my wishes answered from an alam made by us, a symbol of a symbol, let alone the "real" alam! when i see his alam, i see a man who had both his arms cut off in an ambush so he placed the alam in his teeth so it would not fall to the ground, and when i see pictures of his alam still flying high and proud above his dome, i will always know he is haazir au naazir and here to help us, his devotees.
again, to stand in his haram and to kiss the door at the entrance will grant you your wishes, yet if you cannot go there, then the alam is the symbol of that place, and it came to us.
i hope this has explained where im coming from, without too much waffling? if ive made you think of 20 more questions lol just let me know i will try and answer them to the best of my ability.