Part 11 – Friday in Karbala

I woke up to the sound of a Pakistani Kafelah doing matam outside, I can’t say I have ever said that before.
Reflecting upon yesterday – it was heaving yesterday evening in the hotel lobby. People were there just chilling out, sharing food and talking. And it almost doesn’t feel as if we are here to commemerate but a mini party. However, who am I to judge, they could have noble intentions.
There was no Dua Kumayl yesterday at the haraam which I found a little upsetting. I would have loved to hear a Dua Kumayl with masaib, to soften the heart and take me to that step closer to God.
I wanted to recreate the spiritual lull within me, and came much earlier that I would’ve normally for Fajr. Also, now it is very busy, it is the holiday now, and that one day closer to Ashura.
I walked out of the hotel and saw the Pakistani kafelah doing matam, I sincerly hoped that when they got to the haraam, they would pray at Awwal.
Our usual spot had gone, due to the vast amount of people. I went to the Zarih gave my salaams from afar and went into the other Sahan. I found this one (relatively) more calming. There wasn’t as much trampling and more people doing their own dhikr.
I was trying to look for somewhere to sit without pushing because surely the point is moot if you are going to do that (in my opinon). I found a spot in between two of the old people chairs, which is the perfect spot. No one tries to push you, walk over you whilst you are praying, no one squeezes next to you. Those on the chairs thought I was mad and did suggest I sit in front, where there was more space. I said no thank you and sat down.
There are so many people here, even though it is the early hours of hte morning. It is beautiful to see the Lovers of Husayn, but there is a lot of people!
Today has been an emotional day, I do believe we sometimes let matam sometimes take presendence over other actions e.g. Dua Kumayl on a Thursday Night. I am also very tired, I haven’t slept much these last few days and wasn’t really feeling it.
We came to the Haraam for Maghrib, when we entered the Sahan and my companion goes to me, look where you are on the Eve of Ashura.
I thank God for giving me the opportunty to come to Karbala and Imam Husayn for inviting me. Imagine, me, in Karbala, in the haraam of Imam Husayn, on the Eve of Ashura. Words cannot describe this feeling.
We walked in and you could hear Latom being recited by the Lovers of Husayn. [Right now, the whole of the Sahan was reciting Ya Husayn…Goosebumps]
We went inside the Zarih and we said salaam and tried to get in. We got propelled in, but then also back. There was a lot of material being pulled by the force of the propellers. We turned back, but at least we tried. We did our best to get as close as possible to Aba Abdullah as possible.
We came back into the Sahan (there is a whole walking system, so you have to go round), we tried to look for a place for Jamaa’ah but there was no connection. So we spotted a place at the back, where the men were doing Latom and were finishing up. We sat down with our back to a fan of cool breeze blowing through us (quite literally).
I have tried to come for Salatul Jamaa’ah for Maghrib and Fajr, and the Imam has given me the best of seats to me hear him. Thank you O Imam.
I still cannot believe I am sitting here in comfort in the vacinity of Aba Abdillah on the Eve of Ashura.
Alhamdullah I feel spiritually revived.
Ayatollah Qazwini did the majalis after Salaat as susal, and after the masaib he did a mini Latom where the chorus is ‘Ya Habibi, Ya Hussain, Nooralayni Ya Hussain.’ The whole of the Sahan replied in unison in these words. It was magical to be a part of something so great. At the end, everyone stood up and shouted ‘Labbayk Ya Husayn.’ The people just didn’t cry out this, you could hear it echoing through the Haraam and the walls echoing his name.
Husayn is so Loved, but he must love us so much more.
When I left, there were so many men, and it was quite difficult to get home. The shops were all open, and people were just sitting around talking and eating. Although, spending time with people, and doing matam has it’s place, on the Eve of Ashura, Imam Husayn and his Family and companions spent the night in prayer and supplication. Shouldn’t we do the same?
Sunset over Baynul Haramain

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