The spiritual Ziyarat (visitation) is a Ziyarat of the heart, in the heart and by the heart.
As it is said: و قي قلب من والاه قبره
“His grave is within the hearts of those who love him”
The shrine of Imam al-Husayn (a) is in Karbala, Iraq. His presence on this earth is therefore certainly physical, but let us not forget that “Every land is Karbala” كل ارض كربلا
Even the land that lies within my own being is Karbala. This land, which is my heart, must be nourished and made fertile… It must always be watered by tears. Tears of love for my Imam…
And the real place of my Imam will always be in my heart.
If someone asks me: “Where is your Imam?” I will be able to answer sincerely: “He lives in my heart”.
So, every day, I do Ziyarat from my heart (my Imam), in my heart (in Karbala) by my heart!
The Imam called for help on the day of Ashura.
هل من ناصر ينصرني؟ هل من مغيث يغيثني؟ …
And every day he continues to do so. For all days are Ashura. كل يوم عاشورا
Within my heart, both camps are present…
Imam Husayn (a), who is the manifestation of absolute goodness and Divine attraction, and Yazid, who is the manifestation of dark and material attraction.
My Imam said: “Someone like me does not do Bay’at with someone like him!”. مثلي لا يبايع مثله
The Imam did not say: “I do not do Bay’at with Yazid”. What is the difference ?
Every Ashura, I find myself facing the two camps of Karbala.
On one side is my carnal soul نفس اماره which incites me to lean towards evil and on the other side, my soul which holds me accountable نفس لوامه and guides me towards good. Yazid and his army can be interpreted symbolically as the lower self, which the spirit of Aql, outwardly represented by Husayn (a.s), must battle in the Greater Jihad ( Jihadul Akbar)
Every day, I am torn between these two forces. But the essential question is what choice am I going to make?
Hur (a) was also faced with this crossroads, as I am today. But Hur was a free man in the image of his first name, which means “free”, and he chose to honor Karbala with it.
Shouldn’t we ask ourselves: “Am I free like Hur (a) or a slave of my Nafs?”
Every day I say, “Oh Imam, if only I had been in Karbala, I could have helped you and attained felicity. “
”…فيا ليتني كنت معكم سيدي”
But the truth is, I should not have regrets, because… I am already in Karbala!
“Within the Karbala of our heart, it may happen that the powers of the carnal soul kill the intellect and the angelic companions who assist it, and uproot all traces of them from man’s heart. Then indeed there is accomplished in each one of us, word for word, the ta’wīl of the tragedy of Karbala”.
Henry Corbin (Temple and Contemplation, p.46)
Most of the time, I find myself a slave to my Nafs and I prevent the reappearance of my Imam (ajtfs).
Every day my Imam is killed by my inner Yazid…because my Imam, al-Hujjah (a) calls out to me for help.
هل من ناصر ينصرني؟
When I leave from Najaf to Karbala on foot, I am the Hur of the time who, after having associated with the enemies, after having blocked the way of my Imam, finally decided to repent, and to join him.
I am the Hur walking towards the Imam’s tent, ashamed, my head bowed, who dares to ask: “Am I worthy of being forgiven?”
Oh the one who accepted al-Hur into his kingdom and granted him the best of rewards!
Oh he who was merciful even to his enemies! Oh he who even cried for his enemies!
Oh Imam, your habit is goodness (Ehsaan) and your nature is nobility! Oh generous and son of the generous!
Oh Imam, how is it possible that a beggar knocks on the door of the generous and that door remains closed?
Certainly, I am not worthy to be in this sacred place, which is visited by the chosen Prophets, the near angels and visited by your son, who cries day and night, shedding blood instead of tears!
فلأندبنّك صباحاً و مساءً و لأبكين ّ لك بدل الدّموع دماً!!! حسرةً عليك و تأسُّفاً على ما دهاك و تلهُّفاً، حتى أموت بِلوعةِ المصاب!
I am certainly not worthy to be amongst those who come to you, but the expanse of your generosity covers me. Your habit is to bestow immensely!
Salaam on you, Oh coolness of the eyes of the chosen Prophet!
Salaam on you, Oh flower of Fatima Al-Zahra (s.a) cut into pieces!
Salaam on you, Oh Master of the Martyrs!
Certainly, you were for the poor, a source of comfort and hope…
You were for the orphans, a father adored…
You were for the nation, a support…
And you were for your Lord, the best of servants!
Salaam on you, Oh holy land of Karbala! Oh land of lovers!
Salaam on the torn bodies, abandoned under the burning sun!
Salaam on the bodies, which were buried without shrouds!
Salaam on the heads, separated from their bodies, lifted on spears and exposed from town to town!
And Salaam on the orphaned and chained son, looking in despair and saying, “Salaam upon you, Ya Aba Abdillah!”
Surely the angels of heaven were amazed at your patience, Oh Husayn!
When enemies had surrounded you from all sides,
Not giving you time to rest,
And you were left alone, with no one to defend you, no help, no refuge, except Allah!
But still you displayed patience, defending your women and children,
Until they caused you to fall from your horse,
On the burning ground…
Wounded and bloodied…
When enemies were throwing at you, whatever they had…
The sweat of death appeared on your brow…
But you were still crying out of pity for your enemies!
Our Salaams upon the Mountain of Patience, Zainab (sa), who hastened to a height when she saw Shimr sitting on your chest.
Pulling your beard with his cursed hand… choking your breath…. his sword upon your blessed neck!
When Zainab (sa) exclaimed: “Are you my brother!”… Not believing her eyes, she addressed the Prophet in Madina…
…صلّي عليك ملائكة السّماء، هذا حسين مرملٌ بالدماء
Salaam upon Zainab (sa) who, after witnessing all the injustices, massacres, violence and torture said to Ibn-e-Ziyad the accursed: “I saw nothing, except Beauty !”… ما رأيت الاّ جميلا
Yes, no doubt, Ya Mawlati Zainab (sa)! Surely there is nothing more beautiful…
When fourteen centuries later, we see thousands and thousands of lovers, great and small, running from all corners of the world, walking the path to your Paradise, crying out: “By Allah, we will not forget you ever, Oh Husayn!!!”… أبد والله ما ننسىٰ حسينا
This flame manifests from our burning heart, and will never be extinguished within the believers.
إنّ لقتل الحسين حرارة في قلوب المؤمنين، لا تبرد أبدا
The Imam’s generosity manifests step by step, for each of his guests.
But as a pilgrim, going to visit the Master of the Lovers, I don’t visit him for the fulfillment of my wishes.
My visitation is not for myself, for my family nor for my loved ones… Rather I am visiting out of love for my Imam, even if he does not grant me anything! Which is not possible because the generous one cannot leave his guest without granting him the best of presents.
I go for the Imam himself, out of his love, because it is he whom I desire.
Some have come to present their need for money… Some have come for good health and the healing of the sick, some want success, some want knowledge, happiness, prosperity, Paradise in the world and beyond…
My dear Imam, I want nothing from you.
I have come out of love for you, I have come from afar because I can no longer endure this distance. I have come because I love you and it is you that I wish to receive as a gift… Your love, your closeness and Martyrdom in your way, with your son, al-Muntadhar (ajtfs).
You are my wealth, my happiness, my health… The presence of your love is the health of my soul, my success, my spiritual health. You are my joy and my sadness. You are my prosperity, you are my Paradise.
If I have you, then I will be satisfied. Had the entire world been in my hands while I walk away from you, then I would be at a loss, because everything I own would be of no use to me.
Certainly, in loss is the one who could not taste the coolness of your love!
Dear Pilgrim, what a blessed and unique opportunity you have to be able to embark upon this celestial journey, one of the most exceptional journeys of your life.
You, whose pure heart is worthy of being chosen by the Imam (a) to present yourself at his door, amongst his pilgrims. When you arrive in Karbala and your eyes light up at the sight of the dome of the holy Sanctuary, convey our Salaams to the Imam and tell him: “ O You who invite all these good people to visit you, have mercy upon us sinners, who also have a heart!”
And tell our Imam: “We do not forget your last wish: “Oh my Shiites, when you drink cold water, remember my thirst!”…
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