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Maula Dha Mallang

Diary Of All 13 Ziarats In 1 Year Mission

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(salam)

 

Hmm.. I'm wondering: How could you film with your phone, meanwhile it is not allowed to enter with a phone?

 

i was wearing trainers with socks, so hid my phone in my sock under my feet, then put my shoes on. it was a short walk to the entrance of the haram so i walked with a limp.

 

 

Wassalam

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Day 2 Baghdad

20th October 2012

 

I woke approximately 8am, filled with nervous energy i couldnt go back to sleep. i quietly got up and had a shower to not wake up the others.

 

Breakfast was pretty much the same as it is in Syria, lots of bread, cheese, olives, fruits and salad. there was omlette and boiled eggs on buffet but the flies kind of put me off totally. i had some yoghurt from a sealed carton and Rani drink and made my way to meet my Imam.

 

there is something deeply powerful about entering your Imams (as) haram on your own.

 

imagine you were flying above the haram, it would look like the building in the centre, the courtyard surrounding the building, then there is a wall, then a space around THAT for people to congregate, and an outer wall. sort of like a bullseye concentric circle sort of a shape.

 

i entered past the first guards into the outer ring area. there was a buzz here, to your left, front, back, right, everywhere, were shias. and everyone was grinning at each other. there was a presence here, we could all feel it. i felt like walking up to each individual group sitting on the ground and hug them and talk to them. we were all here under the banner of wilayat, and it felt like i was HOME. the presence of My Imam (as) so close, was a feeling of power. you felt his eyes on you, you felt his welcome. all your doubts were forgotten. you knew just standing there, you picked the right side. what were 1 2 and 3 compared to this???

 

once i left my shoes in the "amanat" hut (where you keep your shoes and they give you a numbered token to collect shoes later), i entered the inner courtyard.

 

yesterday i was too tired to fully grasp what was going on; i had been travelling for just over 24 hours, but now that i was rested, fed and watered, and fully awake, i entered my maulas haram, and was simply blown away.

 

the weather was glorious, easily over 30 degrees but comfortable. fans blew a fine mist of water everywhere, there was a quiet drone of people doing amaal. the gate i entered was to the side of the haram, so the main golden entrance was to my right. i circled round to the right to enter and read my ziarat.

 

Entering the main Zari Room

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thats not noor...ive blurred myself out of the image

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the two men in the bottom right of this picture were looking at me like this --> :blink: they couldnt believed id sneaked my phone in and were taking pictures, and found it hilarious lol.

 

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after i had taken a few pictures i decided i was missing my imam so went back inside to visit him again. once again, people spotted me taking pictures (i need to work on my subtlety)

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after this i decided i would expore a bit. just to the left of the main entrance was a little room and i saw this, i believe it is the grave of hazrat allama al Hilli:

 

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another angle:

 

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and then i just sat in front of the front gate and started taking pictures of random people:

 

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i had been sat for over an hour by now, and i notice this man had not moved once, what ishq!!!

 

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The Azaan for Zuhr and Asr was recited (WITH ALIYUN WALI Allah IN THE AZAAN)

i read my namaaz in the courtyard, and left for the hotel. we were told after asr we would be going to masjid kufa.

 

PART 2 OF THE SAME DAY TO FOLLOW....

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(salam)

 

Jazakallah brother for this thread. You refreshed my memories with your pictures and descriptions. May Allah s.w.t give me an opportunity for ziarat again and again every year inshallah :cry:

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Day 2 Najaf (Part 2)

20th October 2012

 

After Asr we met in the lobby of the hotel and got on the coach for the short journey to masjid Kufa. unfortunately the masjid Hazrat Meesaum Tammar (as) was closed because it was being built/ renovated. the best we could do was take pictures from the coach on our way:

 

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Before we were to go into the actual Masjid Kufa we were to visit the actual house of ameerul momineen (as) and his family! from what our guide told us, the house was next to the masjid, and the shia have built a "shell" around the actual building so you can walk in and around the inside, but not see the outer walls.

 

it is particularly heartbreaking to remember that the Lady Zainab (sa) upon her arrival in kufa after karbala, was stood less than 100 metres away from her former house where she was a princess, for 3 days, in front of the hanging body of her cousin hazrat Muslim bin Aqeel (as)

 

entrance to the house of Imam Ali (as):

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the view as you walk in. THIS IS IMAM ALI (AS) LOBBY!!!! the khadim (bottom right of the pic holding the feather duster) was totally chill about me smuggling my phone in so let me take a pic. he said i deserved it because i had come from pakistan and he kept saying "karachi!" i did not feel it pertinent to correct him.

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entrance to bibi Zainab (sa) bedroom

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this is the well in Imam Ali (as) house. it was dug by a mojiza by imam ali (as) himself and it still brings forth water to this day (we drank some. tasted minerally but lovely)

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Entrance into the library (?) of imams hassan (as) and hussain (as):

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this is the place maula ali (as) sacred body was placed to perform the ghusl Mayyat in preparation for his kaffan:

 

this is the exact spot his body was lain to tie his kaffan

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Once we had finished chillin in maulas (as) crib, it was time to go to masjid Kufa. i had mixed feelings about this place. our guide informed us of the many blessed parts of this masjid, and that it was important to remember these as well as it being the place where maula was struck and where the bibiyan were paraded.

 

walking up to masjid kufa. i believe (although i am most likely mistaken) that this is the same gate where hazrat muslim bin aqeel (as) was thrown from, and where he was hung from:

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some more pics of the short walk to the entrance

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as we walked up we noticed the unmistakable sound of angry iranian women. upon closer inspection we realised that we were near the place where the accursed ibn ziyad (may allahs curse be upon him) court used to be. shia had pulled it down but the ground was still there so there was a queue of women stood there swearing at him.

 

obviously there was only one course of action for me and that was to take part. arabs were looking at us like we were crazy they just dont understand man

 

i needed to sit down and get my breath back after about 10 minutes of swearing and lanats in whatever language i could remember:

1-13.jpg

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DAY 2 PART 3 FINAL

 

so now it was time to enter the courtyard of masjid kufa.

 

there are certain parts (called maqam) of masjid kufa where certain things happened. for example the spot where hazrat jibrail descended with revelation is called maqam Jibrail. the place where hazrat adam prayed (yes the masjod is THAT old) is called maqam Adam and so on. i could not take many pics at this juncture because one of the khadims(guards) appointed himself our tour guide and gave us a singing tour of each maqam. it would have been less awkward if he realised none of us spoke arabic or knew what he was saying or indeed what exactly he was doing or why he was doing it. where are you meant to look when someone is singing at you? was i meant to laugh? cry? sing along? no one prepared me for this!

 

the maqam of nabi Adam (as)

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Maqam of hazrat Jibrail (as)

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Praying Maghrib Namaz in Masjid Kufa:

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Praying Isha in the same Mehraab where maula ali (as) used to pray (but not the one he was struck in)

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after Isha it was time to visit some of my heros.

 

first stop, hazrat Muslim bin Aqeel (as)

 

i had to take a sneaky pic by hiding my phone behind a book so the bottom half is missing:

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once the coast was clear i managed to get a clearer shot:

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next stop...hazrat mukhtar (the avenger of karbala)

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following this, we visited janabe Hani bin Urwah (sa). she was the only person in kufa who helped hazrat Muslim bin Aqeel, and she was made a martyr too. her zari room was a bit of a construction site because its getting renovated so i couldnt take a great picture:

IMAG0773.jpg

 

and then....it was time.

 

we visited the place where our maula was struck, in the best day, of the best month, in the best act, in the best position.

 

May allahs infinite curse be upon ibn muljim and quttams squinty eyes.

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after this we congregated in the main courtyard of masjid kufa

 

and made our way out and home.

 

walking back to our coach i spotted this:

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i asked our tour guide and he informed us that these are found in every major ziarat, for people who have no money to afford accomodation, they will find shelter in places like these.

 

walking to the coach:

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tomorrow we would be visiting masjid sehla (which i personally knew nothing about), masjid hanaana (same) and a few others.

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Day 3 Najaf, Meeting Sayed Sistani, Wadi as Salam, Masjid Sehla & Masjid Hanana
21st October

 

I believe that being in the vicinty of such a powerful being as Imam Ali (as) has a way of changing reality around you. returning from masjid Kufa after eating, everyone retired to their rooms to sleep until Fajr. I could not rest a wink. i could feel a tug from a hook that was lodged into my very soul that was telling me to go to the haram.

 

I sighed. as quietly as i could i dressed, did wudhu and slipped out of the hotel room. my head started to spin a little bit so i grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge and sat on the sofas for a minute. there was that peculiar silence that only comes late at night to the point where even the constant sound of honking car horns was muted.

 

I felt that maula did not want me to take my phone into the haram this time, so i put it in the amanat hut and entered. i felt in my heart that Maula was telling me something important was about to happen. i recited my ziarat and sat in the courtyard outside. coming from the UK, a warm comfortale night like this was simply delicious. i got out my books and began to recite whatever duas and surahs and tasbeeh i came across. after a few hours the azaan for fajr was read (with aliun wali Allah) so i went to join the line of men. there was a quiet time for some reason, and the man next to me began reciting ziarat ashura. i thought he was crazy because it takes about an hour and we were about to read fajr. he noticed me reading along so he shared the book with me, and we both started crying as we read. we even managed to read the bits where you have to repeat 100 times, and yet oddly the iqaamat for namaz had not been read yet. atfer the entire ziarat had been read, there was still that eerie silence all around me. i began to think. i thought back over my life. my anger, my actions, my everything. i cast my mind as far back as i could remember and brought it forward trying to capture memories of where i could say i pleased my maula like a fisherman casting a net, yet i kept coming up with nothing. with horror, with shock which felt like i had been struck by a bolt of lightening, i realised that i was not a good person. worse...i could be a good person if only i put in a little effort.

 

i felt fear like i have rarely felt as this realisation. and yet still there was this eerie silence throughout the courtyard.

 

then...after what felt like hours and hours, the jamaat namaz was read. after it was finished, i met the rest of the men in my group and we returned to the hotel. breakfast wasnt too far off and we were scheduled to meet sayyed sistani before zuhr.

 

Sayyed sistanis house is literally 10 metres away from the entrance to the haram. if you turn your back to the gate and face the road, his house is on the first left as you walk down. you can spot it anyway because of the armed guards stood to attention 24 hours a day. there must be between 10 and 20 at any one time. we queued up outside the entrance of the side street and waited our turn. first we were lined up against the wall and patted down. we were instructed to remove all rings, taweez, tissues and anything in our pockets for amanat. we were told money was fine to take in though. from here we passed through a metal detector and a man with some sort of detector rod. once we were clear we entered a dingy smelly room and were instructed to sit on the floor and wait. kindly looking old men brought us arabic tea and small packets of cake. after they saw that we had all had our fill, we were led into a second room and the process was repeated.

 

following this we were told to form a queue, and follow one of sayyed sistanis hulking bodyguards. i entered the room and as i entered, series rows of chairs were ahead of me, all pointing towards my right. as i looked around the room, i saw for the first time sayyed sistani. he was sat with his back to the far wall, in the far right corner, so he was watching us enter. i was near the front of the queue so i was sat less than 2 metres away from him. i did not want to stop looking at him, i couldnt even look away. he looked old but healthy, i was amazed by the size of his head, how clean and well presentable his clothes and amama were, and strangely how shy he seemed. he seemed nervous and unlinkely to make eye contact. the oldest man in our group was easily over 90 years old, an african. he was very frail so confined to a wheelchair but when he saw sayyed sistani, he stood up and slowly on his arthritic legs walked the distance right up to the sayyed. sayyed sistani smiled, and it was like the moon coming out from behind clouds. he looked almost unrecognisable when he smiled. the old man shook sayyed sistanis hand, and then kissed the sayyeds hands and placed them against his eyes. by now his carer had brought the wheelchair up to him and seemed flustered and apologised to sayyed sistani who didnt seem upset at all.

 

after we were all seated, sayyed sistani gave a short speech which was translated to us where he gave us duas and praised us. following this we had an option to ask questions. the first member of our group asked if it was permissable to invest in money collected in a hussainia in a business whose funds were to be used for the hussainia. sayyed sistani gave a very long answer, before we could ask any more, another set of bodyguards entered and told us to leave immediately. we were unceremoniously bundled into yet another room where it was basically 1 of our group to one of his bodyguards, who pretty much patted everybody down for money. there were many khojas in our group and they had come to give khums to sayyeds hands but they kept getting taken into corridoors and side rooms on their own by random people insisting to give them money.

 

a man came up to me asking for amanat. i said i dont do taqleed to the sayyed so dont have any khums for him. that man went away and i walked up to another man who was standing against the wall, i could tell he was part of the organisation because they all dress the same, a khaki greenish trouser and blazer with a black shirt. i asked him to ask the sayyed a question for me. he said of course and smiled. i asked him to ask the sayyed, that i wanted sayed sistani to write down an amaal that he has never told anyone, which i could read so my duas could be answered. the man looked shocked but impressed. he returned a few minutes later with a s[Edited Out] of paper that sayed sistani had written on in his own hand. the man helped me memorise what had been written and make sure i could pronounce it correctly.

 

by now it was almost time for zuhr, and the khojas were looking flustered and confused. we left his house and went to pray. after asr namaz we were due to go to wadi as salam and then onwards.

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following Asr namaz we crossed the road to the back of the haram and entered wadi as salam. I believe that we did ziarat of two prophets, hazrat shuayb (as) and hazrat Saleh (as). the weather by now was in the high thirties and there were a few elderly members in our group, so we decided to go back to the hotel, gather our things and head out to masjid hanana and sehla.

 

masjid hanana is known for its minarets which rose up upon their own accord when the body of imam ali (as) passed by on its way to burial. it is also the place where many of the heads of the shuahada e karbala were kept overnight on their way to kufa.

 

setting off from our hotel (out of shot to the left of the pic), maula ali (as) dome behind me

 

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inside masjid hanana:

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the outside of masjid hanana:

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after this we went to the zari paak of hazrat kumail, who dua kumayl is named after:

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another angle:

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trying (and failing) to pose casually while taking a pic surrounded by guards:

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after this we went to masjid Sehla.

 

similar to masjid Kufa, masjid sehla is a place where many prominent people have been. it is also the place where imam mahdi (as) will actually live when he returns, and where his court will be held. the most precious part of masjid sehla (for me anyway) was a part called "maqam e saaliheen". in this one exact spot, every single prophet and imam ever sent by Allah starting with nabi adam (as) and ending with imam mahdi (as) has prayed. its absolutely mindboggling.

 

this is the dua you need to read before entering masjid sehla:

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this is me reading 2 rakat namaz in maqam e saaliheen:

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this is me in Maqam e Imam Jafar Sadiq (as), the actual mehraab where imam Jafar Sadiq (as) used to lead prayers when he visited here:

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this is maqam e ibrahim, the place where nabi ibrahim (as) prayed when he visited here:

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this is maqam e Imam e Zamana (atf), the place where the awaited imam (as) prayed when he visited here:

IMAG0824.jpg

 

this is maqam e Imam Zainul Abideen (as), the place where imam zainul abideen (as) prayed when he visited here:

IMAG0826.jpg

 

 

by now it was time for Maghrib and isha. the old man in our group was struggling (his carer had vanished) so i helped push him around to the different maqams. i missed the first rakat of namaz, and the stage in the middle of the courtyard was packed, so i sat in the dry sand next to it and prayed there.

 

again, i felt that stirring inside me. this time i felt the rebuke of the awaited imam (atf). again i was made to think, am i worthy to serve the imam of our time? the answer was no.

 

i finished tasbeeh of isha quickly because i wanted to take some pictures of the jamaat:

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leaving masjid sehla:

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it was time to return to our hotel. this night was our last night in najaf.

 

for tomorrow, we would be in karbala.

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Great memoir there mA. A couple of things though that Hani ibne Urwah was a Shia man of Kufa but different from the lady who eventually sheltered Janab e Muslim bin Aqeel.

And Muslim bin Aqeel was thrown down from the top of palace and not masjid e kufa. It looks as though the picture you have posted of a place is of a mehrab of masjid e Kufa.

May your ziyaraat be accepted and may they benefit you in dunya and akhira.

Edited by abbas110

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Great memoir there mA. A couple of things though that Hani ibne Urwah was a Shia man of Kufa but different from the lady who eventually sheltered Janab e Muslim bin Aqeel.

And Muslim bin Aqeel was thrown down from the top of palace and not masjid e kufa. It looks as though the picture you have posted of a place is of a mehrab of masjid e Kufa.

May your ziyaraat be accepted and may they benefit you in dunya and akhira.

thanks for the clarification bro :)

is it hani bin urwah in masjid kufa or the lady? what is hani bin urwahs story?

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thanks for the clarification bro :)

is it hani bin urwah in masjid kufa or the lady? what is hani bin urwahs story?

 

Hani was a nobleman of Kufa and it was his house where the famous event took of Muslim ibne Aqeel letting go of an opportunity to kill Ibne Ziyad mal'oun while quoting a hadith from Prophet (saww), how Allah (azw) detest shedding of blood, Subhan Allah.

 

From what I recall, Hani is buried in Masjid e Kufa. I do not know where the lady who sheltered Muslim bin Aqeel is buried.

Edited by abbas110

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Sigh. So many beautiful memories flooding back into my soul. I thought those moments were to short and ever enough, yet they seem to have stayed with me so loyally, strong and warming to the heart.  

 

Just gonna call something here, so you know in the future when it happens, i called it first. 

 

Soon, if not already, some freshy shias are going to see these pictures of you blurred out infront of the shrines, not read the part that says "thats not noor...ive blurred myself out of the image"  and we are going to see these pictures go viral on shia pages and websites with the captions related to miricles/mojezas of how someone caught Imam ÚÌøá Çááøå ÝÑÌå ÇáÔÑíÝ [posing] infront of the holy shrines. lol Mark my words, this will happen. Maybe soon or in near future, i can just see it all over my facebook already [figuratively speaking]. 

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(salam)

 

Great pics! btw, does anyone know the incident that happened at maqam e Jibraeel? (basically why its called madam e Jibraeel?) 

 

(wasalam)

 

If I remember correctly, it's said that it's the place where Jibra'il [a] descended from the heavens to converse with Imam `Ali [a] during his caliphate.

Edited by MFAHH

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(wasalam)

 

If I remember correctly, it's said that it's the place where Jibra'il [a] descended from the heavens to converse with Imam `Ali [a] during his caliphate.

 

Yes! I heard from one of the guides in our ziarat group that this was the incident that took place at that maqam--> :  Jibra'il [a] appeared in the form of an old man when imam Ali [a] was with his companions. Imam [a] was telling them, "Ask me any question", and Jibrail (who was in the form of an old man) asked " O Imam, where is Jibrail at this moment? "

Imam Ali  [a] then looked towards the east as far as his vision could go till the depths of the Universe, then he looked to the West till the most distant  edges of the universe, he then looked in the rest of the four directions and immediately remarked "You are jibrail, since Jibrail is nowhere to be found at this moment".  

The companions then became astounded when they saw that old man suddenly disappeared. They asked Imam [a] what just happened and he [a] recounted this incident to them, and this is how that maqam came to be known as maqam e Jibra'il

:yaali:

Edited by wayfarer.

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Unbelivebel, ahsant, may Allah swt accept you ziyarats, however, I got some points I will note down:

 

1. I was dissapointed by Imam Alis house in Kufa, so much have changed, and I felt like "This isn't the real house".

 

2. Is it true, that the Ayatollah speaks if there is a group? But, my uncle who also visited the Ayatollah, he said, that they kissed the Ayatollah, and nothing happend then, but maybe they wasn't a group?

 

3. Do you make fun, by saying, that the Ayatollah gave you a paper? SubhanAllah, I didn't knew, that you could that. I don't say that you lie, but it is really strange, I hope you understand my thougts.

 

May Allah swt accept your ziyarah'

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Unbelivebel, ahsant, may Allah swt accept you ziyarats, however, I got some points I will note down:

 

1. I was dissapointed by Imam Alis house in Kufa, so much have changed, and I felt like "This isn't the real house".

 

2. Is it true, that the Ayatollah speaks if there is a group? But, my uncle who also visited the Ayatollah, he said, that they kissed the Ayatollah, and nothing happend then, but maybe they wasn't a group?

 

3. Do you make fun, by saying, that the Ayatollah gave you a paper? SubhanAllah, I didn't knew, that you could that. I don't say that you lie, but it is really strange, I hope you understand my thougts.

 

May Allah swt accept your ziyarah'

 

Salam Brother Ali-F

 

it was the first time i had been inside maulas (as) house, so it was brilliant for me lol. i liked how they kept it clean despite the hundreds/ thousands of visitors who must come every week,

 

yes, he definately spoke. looking back i cant remember the sound of his voice, only that he was really soft spoken so you almost had to hold your breath to hear him speak. he gave a speech at the start to us, and a very long answer to the first question.

 

no, he definately gave me a piece of paper that he wrote on himself. no joke. my request was real and his response was exactly how he described.

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Najaf, Karbala

21st October

 

we fell in love with maula ali (as) without seeing him, without hearing him, without even speaking his language or living in his country or living in the same time as him. we fell in love with him because our ancestors saw him, and their love for muhammad wa aale muhammad lit a fire in their hearts. like a candle lighting the wick of another candle without diminishing its own flame, this fire was passed down my families generations, heart to heart, until it was placed in my heart and lit my soul so much, that if my soul was physical, people would think a star has fallen to earth.

 

my ancestors taught their children any way they could, by singing poetry about maula to their babies instead of lullabies, by teaching the names of the imams as well as teaching numbers, by always speaking praises of maula in front of their children.

 

standing in the courtyard of Najaf for the final time, i felt as though i was stood with all my ancestors at once. those who had stood in this exact place before even my granfathers grandfathers grandfather was born. the chain of love is what linked us together, one theme down the years and decades, of a servant having to separate from his master. i felt their presence as i tried to drink in every brick, every inch of this place. life is guaranteed for no one. this could be the last time i would ever stand here. i waited my whole life for this chance, and before i could fully enjoy my masters company, i was snatched away again.

 

i thought of one person more than any other this day.

 

i thought of my grandmother, my first teacher. she who taught me stories of karbala instead of childish tales. she who single handedly converted over 2000 salafists to shiaism with nothing but her tongue and wit. i thought of her regret on her dying moments, instead of showing fear or crying or making her peace, her only thoughts was that life had never given her the chance to visit her maula and his son in Iraq, or Iran, or Bibi in Shaam. she died asking forgiveness from sayyeda tahira (sa) that she was never able to fulfill her ziarat.

 

as i prepared to leave my maula, i heard her soft crooning of the poetry  "shahe mardan, shere yazdan, quwatte parvardegaar, laa faataa illa ali, laa saif illa zulfiqar, man qun to mawla" she would sing me as a baby. as my steps turned towards the exit, i heard her singing "jera shaam subha harr vehle, ali nu pukkare, unnu kassam khuda di, dozak kadhi naa saare"

 

this is what she would sing me (warning: music)

 

 

with a heavy heart, i turned my face towards karbala.

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Karbala

22nd and 23rd October

 

It was time.

 

we set off from Najaf late at night, way past Isha. I took my usual place at the back of the coach and tried to compose my thoughts. I had waited my whole life for this day to come. every second now was the time ticking down bringing me closer to Karbala. Historians split the history of time as the time before Jesus (as) birth and the time after. so to my life would be split as my life before Karbala, and my life after.

 

lost in my thoughts, i drifted off to sleep.

 

I do not remember what i dreamt, only that i woke crying, to the wails and screams of those on my coach. everyone was rushing to my side of the coach and pressing themselves against the glass and shouting the name of ghazi abbas (as) again and again. our route to our hotel took us past the haram of ghazi abbas.

 

i remained looking forward, my head down. I refused to look upon ghazi abbas (as) haram for the first time when i was without wudhu, wearing shoes, in this comfortable coach. i began to cry but didnt turn. i felt my head lift no matter how hard i was struggling to keep it down, and again by force, i was struggling so hard, my head twisted to my left, and i saw the dome of ghazi abbas.

 

if you have never eaten cheesecake before, i could write a million words to describe its taste and texture and flavour, but it would never equal one small bite you took yourself. I looked upon the dome and all i can say is, if you tried to fill a tiny dolls toy teacup with water from a hosepipe, thats what it feels like as your body tries to hold in all the emotion which is rushing into you at once.

 

grief like you will never feel in your life. grief like every majalis on every ashura of your life concentrated into one moment. grief like the air is too thick to enter your lungs and you cant breathe. grief like you cannot see anything any more but you dont care if you are blind, grief like you thought you could handle but cant. every masayib every noha every speech every word you read plays all at once, the remembered sounds of a lifetime of hearing his name screaming inside your head simultaneously, what are you meant to hold on to and remember, to cry about? should you remember that he could not bear to break his promise to sayyeda sakina (sa)? are you meant to remember that he let his arms fall as they were cut off, but did not let the standard fall? are you meant to remember his dying words to call his master "brother"?

 

i felt like my mind was unwinding and being torn apart from the inside. we had gone past the haram by now and parked outside our hotel. even though the door was open, no one could so much as raise their heads. every single person in that coach was weeping to the point that no one even knew where they were any more. ten minutes passed, twenty, half an hour, a full hour, and we could not compose ourselves. those who could remember nohay were reading them, those who could remember the names of those who had requested duas spoke them, others just cried.

 

the manager of the hotel and some workers came onto our coach with boxes containing cartons of cold water. yet how could we drink this cold water, when we were in the place where our master, his family and friends were forced to fight until martyrdom after 3 days of not drinking a drop of water?

 

i remembered my grandmother again. she told me that when i was to enter karbala, remove my shoes because i would not know what place i was standing on, if the blood of one of the shuhada e karbala fell in that place, and it was an insult to stand on their blessed blood with my dirty shoes.

 

the hotel had laid out an amazing dinner for us in the basement. whole roast lambs, rice, steaks, curries, sweets, pastas and various salads. we just sat on our tables with our heads down. no one spoke, no one ate, no one drank.

 

the maulana told us that we would be going to the haram of ghazi abbas in one hour and to be ready. we went to our rooms and prepared ourselves. our white clothes were replaced with black. our smiles and banter and jokes became silent tears which could not stop.

 

most could not come. they had cried to the point of collapsing, many were old and ill and frail and tired from the journey. i was sent to call them from their rooms and each told me they felt like they would die if they went at this point.

 

only 7 of us met in the lobby.

 

it was the silent hours before fajr. the roads were empty. we passed the first checkpoint and circled round to our right, following the curve of the wall of the haram to the next entrance. i did not even consider taking my phone. this was for me and me alone to experience. i would fill my cup of sorrow and drink every drop, every second thanking god that i was able to grieve.

 

i entered the outer wall, walking down the marble slope which led down to the main courtyard. i paused at the end of the slope and sat on my knees. i wasnt ready to set foot onto the courtyard yet. i could feel the eyes of ghazi abbas (as) on me. in Najaf i had felt his fathers welcome and power and love. here i could feel nothing but restlessness and awareness. like i was sat in a room with a lion which was just pretending to be asleep but watching me.

 

the group was waiting for me and looking at me. i tried as much as i could, but i could not raise myself to stand. i crawled towards them and sat down as the maulana recited the masayib of ghazi abbas followed by his ziarat. by now i was beyond any thought.

 

imagine if you are a sportsman, and from childhood, every single day, rain or shine, you practice and practice your sport no matter what until you become a master. you go through tournament after tournament until you eventually find yourself in the olympics, looking through your eyes at the field knowing you are minutes away from the world gold medal. you look back at your past and remember where you are. and at that moment, you know that you are ready. this is what i felt. i crawled across towards the zari

 

oh god

 

after my 2 rakat namaz, i was sat next to the zari as the room was almost empty, one hand on the zari just crying. all my plans of whose prayers and salams i would recite were gone. i heard my father whisper in my ear in punjabi "it is time to meet the vadde sarkar" (it loosly means the "greater master")

 

if knowing that we were in the presence of ghazi abbas drove us nearly to the point of insanity, just imagine what knowing we were about to meet sayyed us shuhada (as) was like.

 

i crawled

 

i crawled from the zari of ghazi abbas, to the zari of imam al Hussain (as), on my elbows, knees and face. baynol haramein was silent and almost deserted, i would crawl five steps then kiss the floor and wipe my face on the ground, then crawl. other zawaars kept coming up to me, the women talking foreign languages and the men kissing me and crying and following me.

 

i entered the courtyard of imam hussain (as) alone. the khaadims did not pat me down but squatted down to kiss my cheeks and let me pass. i entered the almost completely silent haram, and crawled towards his zari. i waited outside his gate and just looked at the greatest moment of my entire life.

 

these words came into my head as i sat:

 

I come

I come in the name of your mother

I come in the name of your father and grandfather

I come in the name of your brother and son and descendents

I come in the name of the final proof of god

I come in the name of my own parents

I come in the name of my grandmother, she who died wishing to see you

I come in the name of my brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles who wish they were here by your side

I come in the name of our people who had to watch first as their hands were cut, and then their children killed, but who still came

i come in the name of those who wished they could come but cant

i come in the name of those who have none to offer you their greetings

i come in the name of those who are yet to come to you

i have come, my master, after a lifetime of longing for you

i come in the name of myself, your lover, and i beg you to not turn me away empty handed

 

the maulana and the rest of the group by now had caught up to me so the maulana recited the masayib of imam al hussain (as) and his ziarat. we went towards his zari.

 

i stayed by his zari and the rest of the group dispersed to their own private thoughts. i was left alone by his zari and didnt know what to do. i crawled a way and i spotted a white pair of feet. i looked up, and even in my state, i thought to myself "this is the most handsome man i have ever seen". he had white skin and a pitch black neatly trimmed beard. he was wearing that long plain white nightie thing that arab men wear, and he had a shiny green fabric placed so it covered his head and shoulders. he spoke to me in a manchester accent, and called me by my name.

 

"<mdm>, where are you going?"

"i dont know" i replied

"why dont you go and do salam to ganj shuhada"

 

so i crawled where he pointed and did my salaam.

 

i crawled away and found him again in my way

 

"<mdm>, where are you going now?"

"i dont know!" i replied crying

"why dont you go and visit hazrat habib ibn mazahir?" he said, pointing to a zari i have no idea how i could have missed.

 

once i had been there, i turned but he was gone. the rest of my group had gathered and had come to tell me that we were leaving for the hotel to do wudhu and return for fajr.

 

i was home.

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Karbala

23rd October

 

there was nothing planned for today, so we tried to spend as much time as possible between fajr and tomorrows fajr in the two harams or between them. i took my phone in this time.

 

entrance into ghazi abbas haram

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another angle

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side entrance imam Hussain (as)

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another angle entrance imam Hussain (as)

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the place in the furaat river where ghazi abbas (as) filled the water bag

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sometimes....you just stop and stare

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entrance to courtyard

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another angle

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the food in our hotel:

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Karbala

24th October

 

we would be visiting all the local ziarats within Karbala today.

 

the place where hazrat Ali akbar (as) fell from his horse

 

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the place where hazrat Ali al Asghar (abdullah) (as) was martyred

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random fountain:

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Picture depicting the battle of karbala:

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the place where the right hand of ghazi abbas (as) fell

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the place where the left arm of ghazi abbas (as) fell:

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the azaan for zuhr was read by now and there wasnt time to reach the haram in time, so we read namaz in a masjid nearby called "masjid imam e zamana":

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i know it makes me seem like a total paedo, but i couldnt resist taking this picture, i found it so cute lol may Allah bless them and their parents

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tilla zainabia, the place where bibi zainab (sa) stood as she watched the army cut her brothers body to pieces (blue dome, to the right is haram imam hussain (as)

 

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another angle

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another angle:

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inside tilla zainabia:

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the dome inside tilla zainabia

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look at the moon, shining above the moon of the bani hashim:

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karbala was starting to get more and more full now in the build up to the day of arafat. after isha this is how i saw baynol haramein:

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here is me walking  down baynol haramein. if you ever wished to experience this for yourself now is your chance. i am walking from haram imam Hussain (as) to ghazi abbas (as). please remember me in your duas:

 

 

tomorrow we would be visiting ziarats just outside karbala, the place where the sons of Muslim bin Aqeel (as) were martyred and the place where hazrat Aun son of bibi zainab (sa) was martyred.

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i thought of one person more than any other this day.

 

i thought of my grandmother, my first teacher. she who taught me stories of karbala instead of childish tales. she who single handedly converted over 2000 salafists to shiaism with nothing but her tongue and wit. i thought of her regret on her dying moments, instead of showing fear or crying or making her peace, her only thoughts was that life had never given her the chance to visit her maula and his son in Iraq, or Iran, or Bibi in Shaam. she died asking forgiveness from sayyeda tahira (sa) that she was never able to fulfill her ziarat.

 

as i prepared to leave my maula, i heard her soft crooning of the poetry  "shahe mardan, shere yazdan, quwatte parvardegaar, laa faataa illa ali, laa saif illa zulfiqar, man qun to mawla" she would sing me as a baby. as my steps turned towards the exit, i heard her singing "jera shaam subha harr vehle, ali nu pukkare, unnu kassam khuda di, dozak kadhi naa saare"

 

t

with a heavy heart, i turned my face towards karbala.

Great thread,  really beautiful, especially the part about your grandmother. 

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