When Bassim came to London

As a child I lived away from London, I was born and bred in a small town where majalis where held in one mosque and those who attended where mainly from my ethnic background.

I dreamed to attend the majlis in other languages and cultures apart from my own to live and feel how the message of the Ahlul Bayt was universal.

This started when I went to Barcelona for Muharram to attend the majlis of Hussian in Urdu, where I was greeted with induviduals who were amazed that I travelled so far. I answered simply, that I was fed the majlis of Hussain as a child, and now grown up, how can I miss it.

I came across the majlis of Hussain at the Iranian embassy in Madrid, where Iranian immigrants gathered at in the Spanish Capital to mourn Hussain in their mother tongue. They were again surprised my ethnicity and asked my as to what drove me to attend the majlis of Hussain via public transport. I answered, this is where my heart is just now, if I cannot go to Karbala.

I returned to university, again to my local ethnic mosque, but was fortunate to sit by the shoes because the hall was so full. They say it is where Sayyedah Fatema Zahra sits, and I cannot see anything but an honour to sit beside here amongst the shoes of Zuwwars of Imam Hussain.

Fast forward two years, and I was blessed to go to Karbala for Ashura. And on the night of Ashura, I heard Bassim recite in the Sahan of Imam Hussain. The atmosphere there was electric partly because it was the Sahan of Imam Hussain, but Bassim’s voice is something else. That voice and the jawaab given still gives me goosebumps to this day.

In January 2018 Al Akbar Foundation invited Bassim Karbalai to recite Eulogies at their Fatemiyah majalis. I had the ability to go and we went. We could only make the last day because of commitements on the other days, but that one day – I felt I had been there for all three. Bassim’s presence meant that you were transported to Karbala, to pay respects to Imam Hussain on the death of his mother.


[Written in January 2018]

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