They said it was going to be fun. They said I was going to make new friends, they said that I would experience new things, and above all, they said that I would not want to leave. But that was all an understatement – they had no idea.
Updated on 12 March 2018
My first day in Mashhad was a rollercoaster of emotions. The excitement of visiting Imam Ar-Redha’s Shrine motivated me to stop pressing the snooze button, finally pulling myself out of the comfortable hotel beds. After breakfast and Ghusl we headed off to the Haram of our 8th Imam (AS) led by Shaykh Kumail and Syed Shabbar. As I arrived in the Haram and rested my eyes on the golden dome and the vast outstretching courtyard, the peace and tranquillity that prevailed in the surrounding overcame me. Walking through the massive courtyard was the epitome of reflection for all of us; we remained silent and walked with humbleness – keeping in mind the etiquettes of Ziyarat we were made aware of before leaving. As the Shrine came nearer I could sense the presence of this Holy personality more and more!
There I was, staring at the Holy Dhareeh from a distance. Suddenly, I could feel my heart was lighter, my mood happier, and my soul purer. It was as if Imam Ar-Redha himself had come to welcome me, to remove my sorrows, to allow me to enter into the Haram. As eager as I was to rush inside and get as close as possible to Imam Ar-Redha’s Shrine as I could, I stood outside for a while; contemplating. I wondered; what have I done to get here? Deciding to make the most of this opportunity, with tears in my eyes, I first read Izn Al Dukhul, asking Allah (SWT), the Prophets (SWT), the Angels and the Imams (AS) to grant me permission to enter the holy premises.
Struggling to get past through the crowd of passionate people I attained a position as near to the Dhareeh as possible. Despite the fact that there were hundreds of people around me, whilst reciting the Ziyarat I felt as though at that moment it was only me. Everything in the world seemed futile and feckless, like nothing in this Dunya matters and we are all present for a purpose much greater than what we are able to perceive. Having let out all my worries to Imam Ar-Redha, I felt cured of an otherwise incurable disease. Peace and satisfaction had successfully replaced emptiness.
Soon after this emotionally challenging visit, we prayed Dhuhr and Asr Namaz in congregation and returned to our hotel rooms. After resting for a couple of hours we headed back to the Haram for classes by Sheikh Kumail and Sister Najiya. Shaykh Kumail spoke about Ma’rifat-ul-Nafs and we explored the different types of Nafs that are potentially present in individuals. Sister Najiya spoke about the benefits of visiting Imam Ar-Redha’s Shrine and analyzed the meaning of Izn Al Dhukul; once again reminding us of how fortunate we are to be able to visit our Holy Imam. Once the classes finished we hurried to the courtyard to occupy a place in the Jamaat Namaz. Whilst waiting for the Adhaan I sat down staring at the sky above and the surrounding atmosphere, admiring the spirit I could sense all around. After dinner some of us slept, whilst others headed off to do some shopping in the vivacious and lively streets of Mashhad. Those who say New York never sleeps have never been to Mashhad!
Written by: Marium Fatima Sabir from Leicester Jamaat, UK
Celebrated Iranian Shia scholar Ayatollah Sayyed Muhammad Baqer Musavi Shirazi (1931-2014) has passed away at the age of 83 in a hospital in Imam Reza (A.S) Hospital in Tehran on Tuesday (13th May).
A number of books and papers have been written on wudu’ in its practical and spiritual aspects. This particular work is different in that it tried to understand the deeper secrets of wudu’ through some of the recommended supplications of Imam Ali(a).