Part 11 – It gets harder to leave

It’s hard leaving Karbala. I have been dreading saying my final al Wida to Imam Hussain since it hit me that everything was become my ‘last’ here. How can I say farewell and leave when he is here. Sayyida Zainab, I feel your pain on a much much smaller level. Imam makes you feel so at home, so relaxed, why would you want to leave.

Someone told me, the more you go, the more heart melting it is. I get it, it just gets harder and harder. Isn’t is strange, you travel the world and you get tired of going places and are happy to leave and go home, but here, you never want to leave.

At Fajr we reached with only 20 minutes to Fajr and got prime positions where we could see the flag. Also the Sahan we were in, we were quite near the front, 2 days earlier, we would never have got such good seats arriving so ‘late’ for Fajr. The roof was also open to let some air in, so we literally had ‘direct connection.’

There is a fragrance that wafts the air, this is one of the blessings: it always smells beautiful.

Despite the rush we had to go right up to the Imam to say Wida, it’s heart breaking to just write it. I don’t even know what to write to say that I am bidding farewell to the Imam.

The company then left but I wanted to stay a bit longer, I wasn’t quite satisfied (when are you ever though). I sat on an alcove (obviously), near where we sat on the night of Ashura. This section is special to me, it is where I spent time just admiring Hussain’s lovers. There is so much bloodshed going on against the Shias but come to Karbala, and you will find us here, strong, with big hearts next to our Imam.

The morning air is so fresh after Fajr, and you can hear the birds and low murmur of people going for Ziyarat.

Despite being in Karbala for many days, I never actually touched the Zarih of Abu Fadhil ‘upstairs.’ I knew I had to do it today, otherwise I would just live in regret. There was so many people, and there is no queue system, so it is literally free for all. I asked just for one touch and I would happy. I don’t know how, but I got it – that one touch.

I didn’t know where all these people came from all of a sudden, but as I was leaving and collecting my phone from Amanaat, there was a huge influx of Iranian women putting their phones in Amanaat. I could tell they had just arrived because they were all needing stickers on the back of their phones.

Al Wida Ya Hussain and Ya Abbas. Grant me the honour of visiting you once again – sooner rather than later.


Al Wida Ya Abbas


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