Travel: Karbala Diary

By Sakina S. Dossaji

May, 2016 It was my first time.

Donned on long sleeves and covered every bit of hair with a head scarf and a chaadar, my heart was filled with joy, each footstep bringing me closer to the shrine of Imam Hussein A.S.

Crowds of people walked towards the same. Passing through all check-ups we finally entered. The sight totally held me captivated. It was majestic in its glory. Groups of people lamented, prayed namaz, recited Quran, preached, did tasbeeh. Labayk ya Hussein!

The atmosphere was cool and very fragrant. Tears rolled one after another as i walked towards the main entrance and kissed the doors. Oh where was I? Where was I really??

Karbala was my dream. I was finally at his shrine. Touching the grave and lifting my hands in prayer made me cry uncontrollably. I was going through so much emotional pain during that time and I finally reached where healing took place.

Katlaga‘ was the place where Imam was beheaded. At the shrine of Abbas Alamdaar, it was the same. I cried my heart out. Abbas whose hands were maimed and cut while fetching water for his niece Sakina A.S.

Images of Kufa mosque and Moulana Ali’s mehraab flash before my eyes. The spot where Moulana Ali was attacked. The shrine of Moulana Ali where my feet were rooted to the spot and cried in prostration, just not wanting to leave.

Ya Ali mushkil kusha, the solver of all problems. How was it possible to just leave? I stayed there longest until everyone wondered what happened to me!

To all those who have been there, you must have experienced the same feeling. These past 8 months have been the hardest months of my life, I just don’t know how I went through it. The makeup, the smiles, the joyous demeanor will never let you know the secret of my soul. I have mastered that perfectly. But it is at this moment where I feel it was just a test of time and lessons learnt the hardest way.

I smile today, a content smile glowing from the inner depths of my soul, totally unmasked, as I give my thanks to Allah for such a blessed opportunity in my life. I’m healed and now transformed, that is why we say, “Be kind to everyone you meet because you never know what battles people are fighting.” May khaak-e-shifaa be your healing and our calling towards the same once again!

Sakina S. Dossaji is born and raised in Mombasa, Kenya. Currently residing in Tanga, Tanzania with her husband and 3 children. A teacher by profession, and a poetess by passion, she loves to write articles, stories, poetry and conduct activity clubs for kids for ‘Kids Curiousity Club’. She acquired her literature skills at Agakhan High School, Mombasa and inherited mostly from her father whose passion lies in writing English song lyrics, poems, articles and creating crossword puzzles. Reading is her favourite pastime.


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