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Mashhad: City of Exaltation

I begin in the name of Allah, the most merciful, the most compassionate, the Creator of heavens and earths, the Master of the Universes and the Creation. The One who alone deserves to be worshipped, the One who is the light in darkness, the One who is hope in despair, the One who is pardoner for all sins, the One who possess majesty and splendor, the One who is all knowing and all hearing.
The lips continue to glorify Allah (s.w.t), the heart is humbled by the presence of the Lord, and the eyes are filled with tears… An image of a majestic place enters the mind; it is as I am at the gates to the Shrine of my beloved Imam Reza (A.S.) once again. The door of mercy and forgiveness is open to me once more. The Golden dome harboring the Zarih radiates its light all around the courtyard. It is as if the light illuminates the place further adding to the already majestic touch of beauty.
The soothing wind touches the pilgrims lightly; the calmness of the place brings a sense of peace and tranquility to the heart of the believers; the guided ones are here to see their beloved one who lies with the Golden Dome in the city of Mashhad.
I stand at the gate of his shrine looking at the magnificent site, preparing myself for that visit with my beloved, the waiting has come to an end, the heart is filled with joy and the eyes cry tears of reunion. I walk towards to the doors of his Zarih, a small distance but one which seemed an eternity. The mind wanders in a sea of endless thoughts; the heart is overcome with anticipation of this reunion.
I stand at the door to his Zarih and call out to him, a call of happiness for at last I am there once again to be with my master, my beloved and my guide. The sadness of separation was gone, the curtains which prevented me from his Noor were gone, the veils of darkness were lifted and there I was amongst the many lovers of my beloved standing near his Zarih and just losing myself in the ecstatic atmosphere.
I move towards the Zarih in hope of meeting him, connecting with him. The long days were gone I was there again within his sights, under the dome of his mercy, just like another follower seeking the light of the path to my Lord. I embrace the Zarih as a mother embraces her child; the tears stream down uncontrollably, the heart releases a sigh of relief and the soul reaches the stage of contentment. The feeling of union was so great, it felt like there was nothing but his Zarih and me, it was as if I was absorbed in that moment of union, my soul and my heart were enlightened by his Noor. His words filled my heart with light, my eyes with vision and my soul with inspiration… It was the means of survival in the days of separation after the farewell.
Then the moment came when I had to leave the moment of farewell to my beloved but how could I do that. I stood by the doors of his Zarih with a heart of sorrow and eyes filled with tears. How can I leave this place? The place of my master, my beloved, the place where the heart feels the bliss and the soul contend with the glory of the Almighty, the sublime kingdom which brings tranquility to a believer, it breaks those obstacles and evolves the person, the majestic nature of the place humbles the soul. I leave with a prayer to my Lord, with a request to Him, a request of another visit to this place, to see my beloved, to be near his Zarih again. I pray to Him to strengthen my faith, to strengthen my belief and to give me patience to bear the difficult times ahead…
With pain in my heart, with tears in my eyes I leave his vicinity…. I longed for the return of my master, my Mawla, Imam Al-Hujjat (A.S.) to be my aid in this hour of despair and sorrow. To guide me and lead me in these oppressive times… Oh Imam! You are my leader, my guide, my master…. O Imam! Be my light on this path I am all alone with out you… O Imam! Bless us Shias, your followers with your grace and your intercession in the hereafter….
These words were uttered by the heart as the Tasbih of Hadrat Fatima Zahra (A.S.) came to an end…
I feel the pain, the pain of separation from my Imam [as] till today and I shall carry it in my heart till Imam Reza (A.S.) invites me again to meet him, to be a pilgrim and to do his Ziyarat!
O Ahl ul Bayt! (A.S.) Peace of Allah be on each of your patient hearts. O Ahl ul Bayt! (A.S.) Peace of Allah be on each of you.
May the return of the Hadrat Hujjat (A.S.) bring us all ease!
Labbayk Ya Mahdi!

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