Volume 4 – Arbaeen 1440
I begin in the Name of the Lord
I wonder, what have I done to be invited for Ziyarah al-Arbaeen. I do so little, if anything, to serve the Ahlul Bayt, why I have got that privilege of going to say Salaam to Imam Hussain.
How does God work to ensure I have just enough days of Annual Leave to go to Karbala
Its 4 in 4 for me to visit Imam Hussain, I am so thankful, that Imam Hussain has called me to go to him. For me, it was never about going for ‘Arbaeen’, it was just to go to him and say Salaam.
It wasn’t so smooth getting to Imam Hussain, we had an 11 hour stop over, and when we got to Najaf there was miscommunication of where we had to go. So we had 11 hours stopover, 3 hours waiting at Najaf airport, 1.5 hour a detour then eventually a 5 hour journey to Karbala.
O you who have faith! Take recourse in patience and prayer; indeed Allah is with the patient. (2:153)
I wanted to see Imam Ali before we travelled to Karbala, and it just so happened as we driving I saw his golden dome shining in the moonlight. For me that was enough, just that glimpse settled my heart.
We drove to Karbala until the coach wasn’t able to go any more simply because of road blocks. So I had the opportunity to walk to Imam Hussain. And we saw both domes of Imam Hussain and Hazarat Abbas on the way. What a way to be greeted to the Holy Lands.
It feels like home to back.
Part 1 – The Electric Atmosphere
It truly an honour to be here with the Lovers of Hussain.
It is busy here, but manageable. It is similar to Hajj, where it is difficult to get into the shrine for Salaat.
I am just embracing the atmosphere, and not taking it though a lens but in my heart.
It is my time to reflect, give thanks and re-energise my soul.
There is just food and water everywhere, and this is all free for the visitors of Hussain.
Part 2 – The Fortieth
To go to our majalis, we walked via Abbas, the protector of the Land. But what happened to Zainab when Abbas was gone, who was her protector when she was the protector of the Ladies.
The matam after the majlis was one you could feel in your soul. The beat was like it was on surround sound. You could feel it, see it and hear it. It felt like angels were amongst us mourning Hussain. Is this what is was like after Hussain was slayed, everyone was mourning Hussain.
After the majlis we were walking to Imam Hussain to send our salutations upon him. This wasn’t an easy feat, it was a long to time that we had to wait. But truth be told the whole experience I enjoyed. The atmosphere was buzzing and I got to meet and spend time with people I wouldn’t normally be able to spend so much time with.
Just sitting on the streets of Karbala, I was thankful I was here, on the Night of Arbaeen.
The vibes were cool that night, I was buzzing from the energy.
I took very few pictures, I was trying to live in the moment and take it all in.
It was post Fajr by the time we got into Imam Hussain. But what a privilege and an honour, that I was inside of the haram on the Day of Arbaeen. It was a really cool experience. I felt really energized, and you get strength just from being in these Lands.
Part 3 – Sitting with Him
We went to the Haraam after Dinner following day. I got my spot. For those of you who know, I have a spot that I liked to sit in. It is facing the dome, in an alcove where you are sitting against a wall so you can see His Lovers and His Dome.
It is hard to put into words what it feels like to be here, again. Only he knows and understands what is in my heart of hearts and how grateful I am to be here. You just feel so at peace just sitting here, you don’t even need to be doing anything and Love fills your heart.
Part 4 – Kadhamiya/Samarra
Your heart feels sad as you see Samarra, you feel for the Imams who were buried here, how far away were they from their Grandfather and they were just put in jail away from everyone.
Coming here, reminds you about our current Imam, how I need to serve him and honour his name.
I was overcome with emotion as I approached the mausoleum here, I didn’t expect that I would be able to come here. I was only ever expecting to go to Karbala and Najaf due to the short time I was here for.
I was blessed again to sit against a wall facing the Zarih, where I could see the beautiful dome and just sit and say my prayers and wishes.
Part 5 – Al Wida Karbala
How is this day here, how can I say farewell to these two individuals who have invited me to their presence year after year. How can I say goodbye knowing that this could easily be my final farewell.
Part 6 – Najaf
O Mawla, I am finally here, able to sit in your presence and by the knowledge you impart to those who are sincere.
Sadly, we only had a day and a half in Najaf before we were leaving back to England. Its never enough time in Najaf, when is it ever. However I managed some wajib jamaat salaat in Sahan Fatema which is not something I managed to do in Karbala.
It was wet in Najaf, but you could see the atmosphere buzzing with the presence of Ali.
Al Wida was rushed again here, there was never enough time to truly say what you feel, however, I hope in my heart Mawla knew, and Mawla knows that I tried.
It’s getting harder and harder to write this epilogue, knowing full and when you don’t know when you are coming back.
To go back to see the beautiful domes in Baynul Haramain, to walk where Mawla walked, to see the beautiful dual shrines in Kadhimiya. What can you say when this image will be imprint in your memories, but they eye will not be able to see it again for the foreseeable future.
If you visit, please send my regards to the Imam, and tell him Thank you for honouring me with visitation year after year.