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A Visit To Lady Fatima (as)

The night in Qom was increasingly cold. The teeth chatter away as the cold seeps into the gloves, numbing the fingers until they ceased to bend properly, stiffened and frigid. The groups of zuwar (visitors) warm themselves upon reaching the hotel which holds a semblance a small piece of home with it’s petite kitchen spaces.  It feels welcoming.

Each and everyone clad in winter clothes, warm gloves, women in chador (the traditional clothing of Iran) prepared to head back out in the cold after completing the night prayers. An agenda was planned out for the night; grabbing a few winter necessities, dinner, and the most looked forward to–the personal quest of ziyarat (visitation) of Lady Fatima Masooma, the prized jewel of Qom.

Back out in the cold, the breath rises in visible puffs, joining the dark clouded night sky. As the feet paced, the eyes caught the glimpse of the golden dome which brightens up the black night, the heart beats faster. The sight of it just makes the self more nervous, an indescribable feeling. The thought of meeting this personality whom resembles the respected Lady Fatima al-Zahra (as). The lady whom the heart always longs for. The lady who is the daughter of the man of universe, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s), the soulmate of the perfect AhlulBayt warrior, Imam Ali (as), the mother of the man of revolution, Imam Husayn (as).

Upon reaching the entrance of the shrine, one must seek permission to enter. The self quivers as it conveys greetings to Lady Fatima. Upon entering the shrine, the sight was greeted with the grandeur of the bedazzled walls and chandeliers. Glory be to Allah. The women clad in black were seen reciting supplications and performing prayers, some were even crying silently with their head facing down and shoulders shaking immensely. Others were up in the front trying endlessly to reach and touch the tomb and gain blessings from the tomb itself. As this lonely soul walked in, still in awe and disbelief, that I was in the vicinity of the haram, I could only sing praises of thankfulness to Him for bringing me self here.

When my hands touched the blessed door, I paused as the image of a figure of Lady Fatima (as) emerged in my the mind. An indescribable aura was suddenly felt and the small hair on the spine stood, an explainable feeling, Glory be to Him! To be able to have this feeling blanketed the soul, really, it was a blessing.

While performing the visitation, reciting the supplications and completing my visit with prayers gifted to the lady of the worlds, Sayyida Fatima (as), the soul feels at utmost ease. All the worries and strains of the mind are lost completely. It’s as if you are communicating with the Mother of the mothers. What a wonderful feeling.

As my hand tries to make its way towards the grave, my body tries to overcome physically with the crowd which immensely has the same goal. Through the small ‘tugging of war’ of reaching the tomb, I witnessed tears rolling down from the delicate eyes of the women while their tongues crying and lamenting out in their own language. The mind wondered about the content. Ironically, these own pair of eyes didn’t shed one tear. Not a single tear. They glanced back at the women in tears and the mind races thinking of why my own pair of eyes won’t shed a tear. I couldn’t shed a tear. Is this self too happy to be able to witness the tomb and meet the Mother of all mothers or am I, myself, not letting a tear fall from this very pair of eyes? The heart couldn’t understand.

When the visitation ritual ended, the heart longed for another meeting with Lady Fatima Masooma (as). Back to the hotel, there’s a few more hours before the morning. I was determined to visit the shrine once more during the early hours of the morning and to perform the morning prayer at the shrine. The alarm was set, my eyelids closed while lips curved upwards with a silent smile, and I rested while curled up into the thick blankets. I was granted the opportunity of sleeping near the window with the sight of the dome of the shrine clearly seen from the window– the most ultimate peaceful feeling one can ever feel. 

At dawn, despite the tiring jet lag from the flight that was still present, it didn’t stop me from crawling out of bed to meet the beloved who calls. After several minutes, covered again in black, the feet set off into the cold with the perfect journey buddy, Adibah.

Right back into the shrine, both of us completed our morning prayer and visitation rites together. When it was time for our personal quest of individual supplications and requests, I sat down with my eyes looking straight to the front. I could not stop myself, for the words came sincerely and honestly, and they rolled off my tongue. My mind and heart raced back from the lack of tears earlier and the reason behind it. I was suddenly lost in the proximity of haram. A roll of film plays through my mind–the legend of Lady Fatima (as), the tragedy, her woes, her sorrows. Throughout the process, I found my hands curling up and hugging myself. Tears just rolled down unforgivingly, I was weeping silently. My shoulders shook tremendously as my heart wept, too.

“Oh Fatima, I understand. You wanted my tears to be meaningful. You wanted my tears to be significant. You wanted me to understand your rights of my tear. You did not want my tears to be worthless. Oh Daughter of Muhammad, how selfless you are. How can I not love you, ya Fatima?”

Tears rolled down immensely and unconditionally. I  didn’t hold back. I embraced this. The love of Fatima blanketed me in that moment. In that moment, I ended with a silent supplication to Allah with her honor:

“Oh Fatima, I humbly seek your permission to continue my journey tomorrow to meet your heroes. Your beloved hero of AhlulBayt. Your warrior, Imam Ali (as) and Imam Husayn (as) in Iraq. I seek your blessings in my every step towards there. I have come here to embrace and understand their legacy. Please allow me.”

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