Be Taha Poem (Persian with English subtitles)

Be Taha (click on the video to watch the video of the poem)

Be Ta Ha Poem

  1. By Ta Ha, by Ya Sin, by the ascension of Ahmad
  2. By Ghadr, by Kawthar, by Paradise, by Tree of Tooba
  3. By the Holy Revelation that is Quran, by the Torah of Moses and Gospel of Jesus,
  4. Let me be a King in my begging
  5. A beggar amongst the beggars of Zahra (as)
  6. What nights have passed that Zahra (as) has prayed
  7. For us all to be Shia in love with the Master (as)
  8. Serving this Family is the reason and purpose for our creation by Allah
  9. You direction and commander clear, do not hesitate and be free like the sea
  10. That the world is not worth the loss of the hereafter
  11. It is a great loss to be far from the Son (as) of Zahra (as)
  12. And this transient life, youth and worldly pleasure of this world, is not worth the regret of the next world
  13. If you passionately seek to be his follower
  14. If you earnestly attempt to be his follower
  15. If you place your honour in front of his feet
  16. Surely, Surely you have earned the title of follower
  17. How many Friday mornings did you not have rest and how much you were moved by Dua Nudbeh
  18. Did you assist in removing the sorrow from his heart
  19. Or did you increase the burden upon him like others
  20. If you introduce one person to his cause
  21. You become one of the leaders of his army
  22. Did you cry from night to the raising of the sun?
  23. How much do you miss to be by his side
  24. Heartbroken is your greatest reason
  25. If you are restless know you are a true follower
  26. And the outcome of this restlessness is Paradise
  27. A Paradise were its pleasure is to gaze upon him
  28. The wind of Generosity and
  29. The rain of Mercy have descended upon us
  30. May you never close your heart to the sights so clear
  31. Of those who sell Yousef (as) so easily and cheap in this dark era
  32. O’ Allah by the brightness of Mahdi (as)
  33. By the black distressed hair of Mahdi (as)
  34. By the gracious heart which is an ocean of pain
  35. By the eyes filled with tears of sorrow of Mahdi (as)
  36. By the lips warm with the saying of O’ Ali, O’ Ali (a)
  37. By his remembrance of his beloved Hassan and Hussain (as)
  38. By his benevolent hand and compassionate look
  39. By the hope in the eyes of the beggars of Mahdi (as)
  40. By the supplication of his prayer
  41. By the saying of “Glorious is Allah” of Mahdi (a)
  42. By the electrifying look and his black birth mark
  43. By the graceful perfume of the Mahdi (as)
  44. By his beautiful ceremony of haj and his great and lofty position
  45. By the Hejazi Quranic recitation of Mahdi (as)
  46. By the morning of Iraq and his evening in Damascus and his love towards Khorasan
  47. By the lovers who gave their life on his path
  48. By the sweet intuition of the martyrs of Mahdi (as)
  49. Make me permanently enthusiastic for him
  50. May I be sacrificed for his separation
  51. Grant to this undeserving servant
  52. Make me the companion, confidant, follower of his journeys towards Khorsan, Syria and Iraq
  53. O’ Mahdi (as), O’ Mahdi (as), Assist me!

به طاها به یاسین به معراج احمد،
به قدر و به کوثر به رضوان و طوبی،
به وحی الهی به قرآن جاری،
به تورات موسی و انجیل عیسی،
بسی پادشاهی کنم در گدایی،
چو باشم گدای گدایان زهرا

چه شب ها که زهرا (س) دعا کرده تا ما،
همه شیعه گردیم و بی تاب مولا،
غلامی این خانواده دلیل و مراد خدا بوده از خلقت ما،
مسیرت مشخص، امیرت مشخص، مکن دل دل ای دل بزن دل به دریا

که دنیا که دنیا که دنیا به خسران عقبا نیرزد،
به دوری ز اولاد زهرا نیرزد،
و این زندگانی فانی جوانی
خوشی های امروز و اینجا،
به افسوس بسیار فردا نیرزد

اگر عاشقانه هوادار یاری،
اگر مخلصانه گرفتار یاری،
اگر آبرو میگذاری به پایش،
یقیناً یقیناً خریدار یاری

بگو چند جمعه گذشتی ز خوابت؟
چه اندازه در ندبه ها زاری یابی؟
به شانه کشیدی غم سینه اش را؟
و یا چون بقیه تو سربار یاری؟

اگر یک نفر را به او وصل کردی،
برای سپاهش تو سردار یاری،
به گریه شبی را سحر کردی یا نه؟
چه مقدار بی تاب و بیمار یاری؟

دل آشفته بودن دلیل کمی نیست،
اگر بی قراری بدان یار یاری،
و پایان این بی قراری بهشت است،
بهشتی که سرخوش ز دیدار یاری

نسیم کرامت وزیدن گرفته،
و باران رحمت چکیدن گرفته،
مبادا بدوزی نگاه دلت را،
به مردم که بازار یوسف فروشی در این دوره بد شدیداً گرفته

خدایا به روی درخشان مهدی،
به زلف سیاه و پریشان مهدی،
به قلب رئوفش که دریای داغ است،
به چشمان از غصه گریان مهدی،
به لبهای گرم علی یا علی اش،
به ذکر حسین و حسن جان مهدی،
به دست کریم و نگاه رحیمش،
به چشم امید فقیران مهدی،
به حال نیاز و قنوت نمازش،
به سبحان سبحان سبحان مهدی،
به برق نگاه و به خال سیاهش،
به عطر ملیح گریبان مهدی،
به حج جمیلش به جاه جلیلش،
به صوت حجازی قرآن مهدی،
به صبح عراق و شبانگاه شامش،
به آهنگ سمت خراسان مهدی،
به جان داده های مسیر عبورش،
به شهد شهود شهیدان مهدی،
مرا دائم الاشتیاقش بگردان،
مرا سینه چاک فراقش بگردان،
تفضل بفرما بر این بنده بی سر و پا،
مرا همدم و محرم و هم رکاب،
سفرهای سوی خراسان و شام و عراقش بگردان،
یا مهدی یامهدی مددی

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When darkness surrounds you!

When you feel the pain on your heart, dark and heavy. As if the world has become a darker place, and that which you wanted or needed is taken away form you. You feel as if nothing matters any more, and that you are cast out from Allah’s grace.

But in those deepest darkest moments, that’s when you cry His name, and seek closeness to Him. Through those tears of sadness, and pain, through the heart ache and sorrow, He loves you more than He has ever loved you before.

Specially when you turn back to Him! Surely Allah is the Lord of love towards his creation. Surely Allah is the Most Merciful and Compassionate towards His creation. So with that reasoning and logic if some thing happens that you feel is not to your liking, then could it be a blessing in disguise? When your heart aches and your mind is sad, you may think not.

But in those moments of darkness when your heart is so low and you cry His name, and you seek love and strength from Him, Allah is so close to you, you can feel His love calming your heart like a summer breeze from the sea.

Send three salawats, to seek Divine assistance by those most close to Him, and ask His Majesty to answer the pain that is in your heart with His most beautiful words, and then open the Holy Quran some where randomly, and read the first verse you see on the top right corner of that page. Its as if Allah speaks to you directly. He has seen your pain, your sorrow and heartache and through his miracle which is the Noble Quran answers you, speaks to you directly, sending light onto where it seems dark!

He tells you what you need to know and what will calm you and what gives you strength to realise that what has caused your broken heart is not necessarily a bad thing, but its the way for better things to come.

Some times those doors that close on you were not the best of places to have gone.

For when Allah opens doors for you, you will be sure that He guides you to places that you could not have even imagined. For Allah’s love for his creation is in no doubt and His guidance at times maybe mysterious to our limited minds and comprehension but to give your heart back to its rightful owner, the one who created it in the first place, is the hardest and most challenging task.

Mercy unto those who give back to its rightful Owner the heart which He has lent to them to spend.

“Indeed, those who came with falsehood are a group among you. Do not think it bad for you; rather it is good for you. For every person among them is what [punishment] he has earned from the sin, and he who took upon himself the greater portion thereof – for him is a great punishment.” Holy Quran 24:11

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Day Seven, Reality of the warmth that surrounds us!

When you realise you have only hours left in Karbala intead of days. The time seems so much more precious than in the days before.
Only a few hours left with my Imam Hussain (as), and his beloved and brave and noble brother Abulfazl Abbas (as). It takes many years, even decades to realise how magnificent these personalities are, and what they really stood for and how their actions and decisions and their strength have made a difference to the history of the world.
But you also realise another thing. You realise that when you are crying for these most beautiful personalities, you will never always be with them. You will always be distant either in physical form or even in spirit.
So when you perform the prostration in front of the shrine and you cry, because you can’t believe you are near them and you can’t believe they permit you to visit them, a greater reality descends upon you, like warmth of the sun shine that warms the sea and the land.
You realise that there is One Who you love even more than the beloved Ahlul Bayt, there is One Who is closer to you than the Ahlul Bayt. You realise that there is One Who will never leave you even if you leave Him, he will never let go of your hand even if you let go of His.
One Who holds you when you fall, One Who is with you when you are sad and One Who causes your happiness. One Who cures you when you are ill, One Who thinks of you when you aren’t thinking of Him. One who is closer to you than you are to yourself, One Who knows you better than you know yourself.
Then the second reality hits you when you are in prostration, that this One that I am so close to, that I take for granted all my life. That He is a creator and Absolute Majesty and Glory of everything in existence. He is the One Who created the Imams I love so much. He is the One Who gave them the respect they deserve, He is the One Who permits me to see them and permits me to feel what I feel. It is by His permission that the love of Ahlul Bayt flows in my veins and in my heart. It is by His permission that I can express myself to the Ahlul Bayt, and to the rest of the world.
So why have I not been thinking of this One Who is always with me. Why have I not really understood his Greatness, and His complete love. Why have I turned my face away from the truth and reality, that all that exist is from Him, and all that I feel is by His permission.
When you close your mind’s eye and look at the world, and see how small it is in comparison to the rest of the universe and existence. You realise, I am now talking to the One Who created things that I will never even see, He is so great that even the most noble and beloved of creation, Mohammad Al-Mustafa (s) can never comprehend Him.
Those tears that flow, are of true value, they express the feeling, that ‘O’ Allah, O’ Lord of creation, I am humbled by Who I am talking to during these Salats’. Now I realise why Salat can never be broken, for who wishes to break such a beautiful dialogue with You. We wait for years to meet someone important in this world, and yet we have access to you through Salat at any time we wish! You Who has created all the kings, and queens, You Who has created all the power and strength that others have. And without your permission they will be nothing.
So next time I say ‘come to the best of deeds’, and I say ‘Allah is Great’ and I lower my hand, let me remember who I am talking to and Who I am having the most beautiful conversation with.
The rest in this world seems petty and not important, the gossips, the efforts for worldly materials, worldly desires, when compared to the knowledge of You and the love of You, I will throw it all away, even for a second of knowing Your Greatness and Majesty.
Coming to visit the grandson of Prophet Mohammad (s) and his brother makes us realise, that the One Who we need. The One Who can fulfil all our spiritual and worldly needs is He, Who is always with us. Wherever we are and whatever we do, we must think of Him first and He will assist us.
Those few moments left with Abulfazl Abbas (as) in his beautiful shrine, beating our chests, and crying Ya Hussain! Ya Hussain! on the occasion of the passing of Lady Fatemeh Zahra (sa), seem like a dream. But in some ways, they are also a reality, because through those moments, we reached an understanding and truth that can never reached within a dream.
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Day Six, Walking in the footsteps of Ashura

How many years have we heard the stories of Ashura, in Arabic, Persian, Urdu, and English? How many tears have we shed tears for the tragedy that befell the grandson of the Last Messenger of Allah (s)?

For how long have we been told of the stories of Ali Al-Asghar, son of Imam Hussain (as), who was brutally martyred by the arrow of the damned Harmalla. All the time we were told the stories, in our mind we would imagine the scene, the heat of the desert of Karbala, the dryness of the family of Prophet Mohammad’s (s) mouth.

We imagined how Imam Hussain (as) would raise his younger child, who was only months old, to the sky. And he would ask the opposing army of Yazid son of Muawyah the cursed; “if you are against me, what has this child done for you to be against him”?

Truly what kind of a person can you be to deprive an infant child of the most basic of human rights, water!


When you stand by the canal which is diverted from the Euphrates, and you look deep enough into that water, you see the face of Abulfazl Abbas (as). You see the beauty of his bravery, the light of his loyalty to his brother and the Imam of his time, Hussain (as).

Cut off from water for three days, no mercy being shown to the grandchildren of Messenger of Allah (s), Abbas (as) was the last of the companions of Imam Hussain (as) on the day of Ashura. He had managed to cut through the army of Umar son of Saad and reached the Euphrates.

– We take water for granted, but if it is cut off from us for a day, or even half a day, we lament for our fate. Imagine yourself to be the beloved grandchild of a Prophet. The person whom the same Prophet titled, the leader of the Youth of Paradise. A title shared only by your brother. Now imagine an army, numbering in tens of thousands standing against you, so full of hatred that they want to kill you and your children. What would amaze you is that army professes to be the follower of your grandfather, the same Prophet who brought them out of an era of darkness and inhumanity. And yet they wish to kill you and your family, only because you do not pledge allegiance to their evil leader.

A man so deprived of humanity he would fireball the Kabbah and attack the mosque of the Holy Prophet, same holy prophet he claims to succeed in leadership.

I find it hard to imagine such a situation in my wildest imagination, but this is what happened, the lowest of creation stood against the best of creation. The lowest of morals was presented against highest of nobility in character.-

AbuFazl Al-Abbas (as) kneeled in front of the water, so sweet and tempting to any who has been thirsty for three days. He put his beloved hands into this water, the coolness reminding him of the paradise awaiting him. Raised the water towards his face, only to prove to the world that Abbas (as) is not only the brother of Hussain (as), but the most loyal of his companions. Not drinking the water he threw it back to where it came from.

We stood in front of the Euphrates, and imagined all this and more. Stories that have been recited to us for decades of our lives every year in the holy month of Muharam. But to be in the same space that was shared by the great Abbas (as), you cannot but feel pain, and sorrow. Your eyes filled with tears, of not only the pain and suffering inflicted, but by the strength and pride you feel in Abbas (as), son of Umul Baneen, Mother of the Children, and son of the Commander of the Faithful himself, Imam Ali (as).

This was the beginning of our journey on this day of days. We moved to locations that marked the place where Abbas (as) was attacked once he managed to fill his water pouch with water for the children of Hussain (as). But they, the army of darkness and evil, were determined not to let the standard bearer of the tribe of Hashim to get through. They attacked from all directions, striking at his arms and cutting them off.

When we arrived at these holy locations marking where the arms of Abulfazl Abbas (as) were severed, you realised where you were. All this time visiting the shrine of Abbas (as) across the street, you knew he was great, you knew he was the symbol of bravery and loyalty. But for a split second standing at those locations, you realised the reality of what Ashura is, and who Abbas (as) is.

Ashura is where pure evil came in direct conflict with pure good, not like a film, but for real. This event for a moment felt so real that the magnanimity of it makes your mind spin. It’s as if all your life you are told what electricity is, but for one moment you actually feel the power of electricity go through your body, the shock and power of it, numbs you. This is the closest I can explain realising who Abbas (as) brother of Imam Hussain (as) is, for that split second.

Ali Al-Akabr and Ali Al-Asghar

“If I had a thousand sons, I would name them all Ali”! This is how much Imam Hussain (as) loved his father, that he would name all his sons after him. We all love our fathers, for the kindness they show us, for when we fall they pick us up, for when we make mistakes they are there to help us amend them.

But imagine your father is the first man to profess to the religion of Islam, imagine for a second that your father is the only person to be born in the holiest of houses, the Kabbah.

Imagine for a second if your father was closest to the most pure of Allah’s creation. Imagine if your father was named the sword of Allah and the gate to Allah’s knowledge given to his Last Messenger (as).  Imagine if your father is Ali son of Abitalib (as), would you also name every child that you had Ali?

Imagine your son, Ali Al-Akbar, is so close in his features to the Last Messenger of Allah (s), and when you look into his face you see his great grandfather the Seal of Prophethood (s), now imagine how you would feel to see him cut to shreds by the army of Yazid?

How would you feel when he tells you, “father, my mouth is dry, I am thirsty”! How would you feel when the final blow is struck and he falls to the ground? O’ Hussain, I can’t imagine your pain, but I can say, the pain you felt, makes me love you more. The pain you felt was for your Creator, because with your blood and the blood of your children and companions you saved the religion of Islam. So I cannot possibly imagine what the third Imam went through, but I know that by visiting the locations of these incidents, the love I felt multiplied to such extent that I know nothing but Hussain.

Of all the stories of Ashura, the most painful and touching is the event of Ali Al-Asghar. An infant so pure, he became a martyr without being able to hold a sword; he saved the religion of Islam without even crying one word or taking one step. The tragedy of Ali Al-Asghar is so painful; many scholars find it hard to write about. Tears falling on the ink that is written on the paper and pain too strong that it defies reason. The inhumanity is brought to life, when you visit the narrow street, marking the location of his martyrdom. A cradle reminding you of the place and age.

This is most painful for mothers, who have either had children or those who can’t have children. The innocence of Ali Al-Asghar is so great that non-Muslims remember him on the day of Ashura around the world. His status so high, that he is one of the gates of acceptance of wishes. Allah Almighty loves this infant so much, to the extent that prayers interceded by this beloved grandson of Imam Ali (as) will be answered.

To stand at the location where the arrow pierced the beloved throat of this infant was too much for some of our group members to bear. The reality and vividness felt of where we stood, and in the presence of such personalities, humbled us, so much that we couldn’t but express our feeling through tears, and the crying of a beloved for his loved one.

The story of Ashura came to life; so much so, it was more powerful than decades of hearing it from the pulpit. We cannot say we lived the story, for only They lived Their story, but we felt a drop of the truth from the ocean of the story Ashura, and we could not with stand that drop of truth, because the pain is so great.

Now, I have come to the reality of why, at the end of every mourning for every Imam, or every person who passes away, we mourn the tragedy of Ashura. Without mourning the tragedy of Ashura we are not complete, and our love for Prophet Mohammad (s) does not reach the height of the heavens.

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Teaser of Cities of Light

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Day Five – Reflection on what we know

This was one of the days I was looking forward to the most. The day I see four infallible Imams, one more oppressed than the other, and yet, they managed to become the great figures that they are today.

We were tired, with lack of sleep enveloping us like a warm blanket, however we woke up in the morning, to board our bus. The difference between this journey and the ones to Najaf and Kufah, was security. The likely-hood of us not returning back from this journey was high. Samarra where the tenth Imam, Imam Ali Al-Hadi (as) and his son Imam Hassan Al-Askari (as) are laid to rest, is one of the most dangerous sites of pilgrimage for Shia Muslims. But it is one of the most important places.

Imam Ali (as), Imam Hussein (as) and Imam Reza (as) are visited by some forty to fifty million pilgrims a year. They are well known and well looked after. But we must never forget the importance of the other Infallible Imams of the family of Prophet Mohammed (s). By visiting them we assist in spreading their message and cleansing our own souls. The more we visit them, the more we learn from them, the more we learn from them, the closer we get to Allah the Almighty, and the more we attain truth.

It being the fifth day, the strain from lack of sleep was showing itself on us. Almost everyone except our bus driver and some others in the front were asleep for the duration of the three to four hour drive to Samarra from Karbala.

We would wake up every so often just to confirm we were still on our away, catching glimpse of military check points, as they become more frequent and more manned. Samarra itself was the most military manned area of all the holy cities we had visited so far. I wondered, what danger does the grave of these holy Imams possess to others. They cannot possibly lead a revolt, or direct any military threat to any one?

But you realise, the closer you get to these shrines, that it’s not the Imams that others fear, but the message they stood for. The power of the message is greater than the messenger. But how can you destroy an idea that is firstly known by many and secondly is the natural part of all human beings, to know their creator.

The Imams suffered more than any one; they were either imprisoned in holes in the grounds of palaces for years, or were subjected to house arrests, with constant intrusions with psychological and physical torture given to them and their respected families.

The shrines of Samarra are in a very hostile part of Iraq. Imam Hussein (as) and Hazrat Abbas (as) shrines are in Shia dominated areas, so you feel at least a welcoming or love and respect given by locals to these important personalities. But I can put my hand on my heart and say this was not the case for Imam Hadi (as) and Imam Askari (as), in Samarra.

Again these are more reasons why we most go and visit these Imams. It’s only through hardship and effort you prove to your beloved you love them. If everything was easy and comfortable where would be the challenge and the struggle, which the loved one makes to prove his love, and his devotion? Can we be counted as the lovers of the magnificent personalities? Even with making the effort to visit them it’s not enough, we still haven’t proven our love. A learned scholar on our journey reminded us, how much do we know about these personalities and what they went through? What lessons do we take from them, and what do we reflect upon?

Is it enough to just know the story of Karbala and Khaybar? Surely if it wasn’t for these lights of Allah, we wouldn’t have come to the point we are now at. That The Guide, the Imam of Our Time, the Saviour of Mankind is the son of these Imams.
Do we really love the Imam of Our Time? Do we really want to be his servants, and his aid? Then what do we know about his father, and what his father went through? Do we know any narrations or stories from his grandfather Imam Hadi?

This visit to Samarra was more of a wakeup call then a visit. This journey to Samarra opens up our heart to what we have neglected and that is history, and the history moulds the future. We have to wake up and unlock the 12 parts that we need to become complete humans. We have only been looking at 2 parts of this magnificent library of knowledge. We must come out of our comfort zone and venture to learn more.

And if you are in doubt as to what I mean by these twelve parts, I am referring to the 12 infallible Imams that Allah chose through his last Prophet Mohammed (s). Allah Almighty, made his message of Islam perfect through these twelve guides. If you doubt this or do not know about it, then you are the one at loss, not the truth. For the truth will last until it is gathered back to its originator.

Broken Heart

It is impossible to not cry when you see the damage caused by the eight bombs that went off in the Shrine of Samarra. The damage it caused is clearly visible even now. I close my eyes and just see it as if it’s in front of me, and my eyes are filled with tears. The pain of seeing our beloved in this state cannot but break even the hardest of hearts.

We call Imam Reza (as), the eighth infallible Imam, ‘Gharibal Ghoraba’, which roughly means, the lonely amongst strangers. But I tell you, the Imams laid to rest in Samarra are more lonely amongst strangers.

Kazamain, is a little different. It’s more like Karbala and Najaf. The city has grown around the beautiful shrine, and is more receptive of its guests. The Shrine of Kazamain looks after the beloved Imam Musa Al-Kazim (as) and Imam Mohammed Al-Jawad (as). This shrine is one of the most beautiful shrines in Iraq. It has a sense of peace about it that Samarra didn’t have. It has two golden domes that no other shrine has and its beautiful palace like design invokes a majesty, which is befitting its hosts.

Whatever sadness you feel in Samarra is drained from you in Kazamain, not because Imam Musa (as) and Imam Jawad (as) were any less oppressed. But the hostility felt when you arrive in Samarra is not present in Kazamain, because these two Imams are amongst those that love them.

This makes me ponder, how responsible are we? What are our actions toward our Imams who have passed away and our Imam who is alive, waiting patiently to be called. Waiting, watching us, his lovers, from far, sometimes helping, sometimes not. Watching us make our mistakes and the sadness that befalls his heart. Wanting to tell us not to make these childish mistakes, but knowing his place is fixed. His heart full, full from centuries of witnessing injustice in the world. We watch a news item of famine and we become upset for days, and yet our Imam has witnessed, wars, famine, genocide, and such crimes that we haven’t even heard of and yet his heart, is so tender. So ready to receive our call for help, our call for guidance. How much do we value the Imam who is alive and with us, and how much do we strive to get close to him. Instead of wanting him to do all the hard work of showing himself to us and coming to us!

Cities of Light Film – Fatemyiah in the Shrine of Abufazl Abbas (as)

Cities of Light Film – Facebook Page

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Day Four – Walk to Imam Hussain

Video of walk to Imam Hussain (a)
This day without doubt was one of the highlights of our spiritual journey. Not only to discover ourselves and our place in this world, but to feel a glimpse into what bibi Zainab (a) went through. To try and understand the path that our fourth infallible Imam Sajjad (a) took, which was paved for him with pain, grief and sorrow.

When you take your shoes off, and walk on the streets of Karbala, towards the two sanctuaries of Imam Hussain (a) and Hazrat Abbas (a) you can’t but think and reflect. The heat with which the children of Imam Hussain (a) felt under their bare feet, the tiredness of bibi Zainab (a) and the pain inflicted on Imam Sajjad son of Imam Hussain (a).
We were lucky to have armed police escort us to the two sanctuaries, but it is easy for you to close your eyes and imagine, that the armed soldiers surrounding the family of Imam Hussain (a) were not there to protect them from harm, 1300 years ago. Can we forget the humiliation these soldiers tried to inflict by carrying the severed heads of the Imam Hussain (a) and his companions in the middle of Imam Hussain’s (a) female family members.
As you walk, you feel the thirst that builds inside of you, but how can you drink even a sip of water when your master couldn’t drink for many days before he was martyred? This thought is enough for you to look at the bottled water in rejection.
As you walk closer to the two sanctuaries a climatic mixture of feelings develop. On one hand you will be reunited with your master, your beloved, the one whose name you recite after every drink of water, the one name you hear after every majlis and every mourning program that is held.
And yet the joy of seeing him again or for the first time is mixed with the sadness of how he was treated. How could they so violently martyr the beloved of the Messenger of Allah (a). Brutally kill the one who had been called the “leader of the youth of paradise”. The one whose lips were kissed by the same lips, who revealed the words of the holy Quran to this world.  The one who was the son of the best of all Allah’s creation, whose mother is the leader of all the pious women of the world. Whose father is the proof of Allah on earth.
But that is where the tragedy of Ashura is so great, and after more than a millennia, it grows with passion and it grows with power. The innocence isn’t lost on any person who opens his heart to the truth of what happened on that day. Who died for what reason and who fought for what reason?
When you arrive at the main boulevard that leads straight to hazrat Abbas (a), the standard bearer of the tribe of Bani Hashim, you realise in whose presence you are at.  This is no normal brother, but the greatest brother any leader could wish for. Abbas’ (a) loyalty, courage, valour, compassion, steadfastness was next to none. He performed his role as the right hand of Imam Hussain (a) with perfection.
So it’s natural that before we see the master we must gain permission from his guardian. For Allah is the guardian of all of us, but it was through Abbas (a) that Allah protected Imam Hussain (a). The children still had hope until their uncle Abbas (a) was alive. Even seeing the huge army of Umar ibn Saad, the children kept saying we have Amoo Abbas (a). He cemented a place in history for himself that will never be repeated and the love for him has been created in the believers heart that will never die. O’ Umol Baneen (Mother of Sons), you sacrificed all your sons, but you kept on asking  about Imam Hussain (a), can we learn from you and sacrifice our desires in the name of Allah and for the sake of Ahlul Bayt?

Photos of Walk to Imam Hussain

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Day Three – Valley of Peace

Entering Wadi Salam is a very emotion place for many; however it carries extra significances for me.  We entered the vast cemetery spanning miles from each direction, late morning, before the heat was to strong.

It’s customary to visit the Prophets Saleh and Hud who are buried in Wadi Salam. These prophets are there to remind us of many aspects of life, and one aspect is our inevitable departing from this world. Wadi Salam is a very calm place, and the peace you feel with in this location cannot be experienced in any other location.
When you sit under the shade outside the graves of these two prophets, you can feel the power of the Allah and His Majesty, from the simple breeze of the day wind that curses your face. When you look beyond the ocean of tall graves marking someone’s beloved mother, father or child, you come to a realisation that you must admit no matter what.
We will all leave this world! Eventually we must take the final journey to the final and most important place in our long journey in the scheme of things. We forget that we are guests in this world, and that this world has many trappings and if we are not careful we can fall for these trappings and waste the short valuable time we have been given on matters that are not beneficial for our final journey.
I remember the story told to me once by very great Alim. Prophet Khizr was with his companions and they entered a cave so dark that none of them could see the other. They felt an unusual material under their feet, they enquired from Prophet Khizr what it is. He replied that it’s something, that if you pick it up you will regret it, and if you don’t pick it up you will regret it as well.
Confused, some companions picked up some of the material and other half didn’t pick it up. When they left the cave and came into light, Prophet Khizr told them to open their hands and see what they had picked up, it was pure gold!
Prophet Khizr explained to his companions, when we leave this world, some of us will have some good deeds to take with us in our hands, and some won’t have any! Those who have good deeds will regret why they didn’t take more and those who go empty handed will regret why they are empty handed.
Which one will we be, those who are empty handed or those who have managed to accumulate enough to be accepted into gardens where rivers flow.
Wadi Salam is not a scary place, but a part of every believers heart. It moves you so much that you don’t feel fear of Allah to become good, but you feel the Power of Allah, His Greatness, His Mercy and Compassion overwhelms you into realising that you need to be better. You need to cut some of the control the world has on you and be free.
Free from desire, free from need of loving anything more than Allah, our Creator, the One Who will never leave you alone. The One Who is there when your family bury you and leave you, the One Who is there when you are sick, and when you are hurt, when you are happy, when your heart is broken and when you are seeking something.
Allah you say to us you are closer than our own jugular vein, and yet we close the eyes of our heart to you, why? Why do we look in other places for love when you are most loving, why do we look for acceptance in other places when you are the most accepting? You give us all we ever need and we never thank you, you save us from our own mistakes and yet we never acknowledge Your Majesty and Compassion.
Wadi Salam is it possible one day I can be buried within your holy land? Near my forefathers, and my master. The one who was the living Quran, the one who was patience, love, compassion, mercy, knowledge and power personified! The one who after the Prophet of Islam (s), Allah said he created humanity for.

Photos of Wadi Salam Visit and Najaf

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