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07 May 2021 / 25. Ramadhan 1442

A Travelogue by Sister Najla Abdul Karim from Bilal Jamaat, Kenya

A Lifelong Journey

It is not far from the truth when I say that I was excited but at the same time worried about my trip, whether it would be as rewarding as I had envisioned. The holy land we were headed to awaited me. Alhamdulillah, I have many experiences and stories from the trip I can recollect but I will try to share some of the most meaningful moments.

After touching down at Imam Khomeini (r.a) airport we then travelled to Jamia-tuz-Zahra where we would reside during our time in Qum. Although I couldn’t wait catch a glance of Bibi Masumah’s (a.s) shrine we stopped to rest at Jamia as our journey had already been a long one.

My first few days were unbelievable. The place was a far cry from what we were accustomed to, and you could literally tell that everyone felt as if were in a different world. There was no stress from business, family, or anything else. The only thing on our minds was gaining proximity to Allah (s.w.t) and blessings from the holy Lady Masumah (a.s).

As I entered the mosque, I was left in awe when gazing at the intricate architecture and beauty of the place. The mosque was extremely crowded and so we had to be really careful not to stray from our groups to avoid getting lost. I offered my evening prayer in congregation with thousands of other people and then rushed to pay my respects to the Holy Lady. As I approached the holy shrine i began to weep as i was overcome by a feeling of immense joy and immediately felt a connection. Touching the holy shrine gave me a great sense of satisfaction and contentment, as I forgot all my worldly issues and immersed myself into the Ziyarah of this holy personality.

It is difficult to describe the exact feelings that one experiences when seeing the shrine of Lady Masumah (a.s) for the first time. It was truly a remarkable experience. I had never seen anything like it before. Crowds were focused intently on their Ibadat as they approached the shrine. I tried to focus on every word I was saying, to understand and really feel the depth of all that I was asking from Allah (s.w.t) and Bibi Masumah (as).

During the Ziyarah, i began to feel very scared when remembering the Day of Judgment and all i could see around me was people asking for “Hajaat” (needs) and forgiveness. This realisation shook me and i began to repeatedly ask myself “What am i doing to save myself from divine punishment and earn Allah’s (s.w.t) Mercy?” I pray that i can one day positively answer this question.

There are many things I have gained from this trip. Although i still have unanswered questions i feel like i have become much closer to Allah (s.w.t). I realise that it is my own responsibility to become a better Muslim. This journey does not end on the airplane, but one that continues until i go back to my Lord.  It is a journey that I hope to continue by learning and improving myself Inshallah. Visiting the holy land was truly amazing and spiritually uplifting, and i pray to Allah (s.w.t) to accept my hajaats.

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