Chapter 2 – Meeting Mawla

It is surreal being here, in the presence of Mawla. It’s the stuff dreams are made of – to be in the presence of a man who lived and served in God’s name.

It’s hot here though, really hot. They have fans, but it blows out hot air, but somehow you aren’t uncomfortable, you feel the heat, and your body is ok with it. I for one am not here to complain, the fact of the matter is that I am here – in Najaf.

It is quiet here though. Considering it is a few days in to Muharram (Day5). I can touch the zarih with ease during the day. There is no rush in the Sahan, not queue to get in. I was able to sit in the Zarih room for ages and there was space to sit! It is much quieter than previous years.

I sat in the front of the main entrance in the Sahan simply looking at his beautiful shrine and Zarih, and contentment and solitude washes over you. There is nothing else, no worries about life, just sitting in his presence.

To show how quiet it is, we left the hotel at 550, and salaat was at 612/ I made into salaatul jamaat, granted I had help giving shoes in and I am sitting in Sahan Fatema and not outside under the starts, but it is an impressive feat.

The processions in Najaf don’t go inside the Sahan, they just stick to the outside courtyard unlike in Karbala. Those drums are loud though! You feel it right to inside.

Comparing last year to this year, I am very much able to do my own thing, which I am a fan of and totally appreciate the notion. Less of the waiting and just going when I want to go. I believe this is important on journeys like this, this is the time for self-reflection and being near the Imams.


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