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In the Name of God بسم الله

Tips for visiting Karbala and Najaf


Dylan

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Guest Some brother

Salam

  • Find hotels very close to the Shrines and make sure you take the card incase you use a taxi to go to various places and need to come back. You'll be hard-pressed to find English speakers. 
  • Bring cash to be exchanged (you'll find places near the haram and can ask hotel staff about the location), no credit/debit card use.
  • Get sandals/flipflops as you can easily lose footwear (you can purchase from local shops for like $2 USD).
  • For medicines bring acetaminophen and anti-diarrheal.
  • Get in touch with a local scholar who speaks English (assuming you only speak it), often times they can show you a lot of places you might otherwise miss. Be kind and give some "hadiya" money for their efforts (in private) at the end although they don't expect it. 
  • If you are going to get any kind of ring like Aqiq or Fairoza etc, purchase from the shops within the Shrine complex itself run by Al Kafeel and everything will be genuine. The one located near Imam Ali (a) shrine has a big selection.
  • Phone/wifi connections can sometimes be spotty and sometimes work. Might be worth it to invest in a local SIM but you can get by without it. If you plan on doing duas via your phone then download beforehand as it is easier than bringing a book.
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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Advanced Member

Peace

do NOT wear any expensive trainers/sneakers. I wore mine and this 10 year old looking kid came up to me and told me his father was killed by Saddam and that he wished his dad could buy him some sneakers like mine..even when I said they would be too big for him he said he would wait to grow into them.....He almost had me , but then the Math was not Mathematicianing in my head because I suddenly remembered Saddam was captured in 2003 and killed 2006...this kid was too young to have a dad that was killed by Saddam. Anyways after that another 100 other kids wanted my shoes! 

avoid speaking English anywhere in public. Try and learn Fluent punjabi by February..everyone will just think you're from Pakistan/India and won't try to finesse you. 

Seriously though have a wonderful time, I hope your experience will be a fruitful one. Blessings on your journey! 

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  • Advanced Member

If you can, go during Ashura that way you wont have to worry about money exchange as almost everything will be for free plus you will see and witness the rituals of Ashura and get  a better image of the events that took place. Either way i hope you have a lovely safe trip ! And remember As Rasulullah saw said, “Innamal a’malu bin niyat.” Meaning , “The deeds depend on the intention.” so even if you couldnt go for reasons beyond your control then your ziyara (holy visit) is already counted by the will of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) 

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