Monday, August 14, 2006,5:14 pm
Iran: Road to Salvation
Iran, a country unlike any other on this face of earth, bears a past of oppression and tyranny but the fragrance of freedom and the aroma of independence can be noticed in the masses who laid their lives to make this revolution a living present. The importance of the great Islamic revolution can be seen around every corner with the images of the martyrs and the Islamic leaders of the country. Iran, a theocratic state yet a place of religious importance. You have from the beautiful and majestic shrine of Imam Al Ridha (as) to the blue turquoise dome of Masjid-e-Jamkaran.

I have visited Iran many times but every time I have been there it feels different. It is a journey from one realm to another, it seems so real when you leave the west and break all the attachments and go to an Islamic environment. It dawns upon you the importance of religion, the need to evolve into a society which upholds values and . West is like a spiritual desert and a believer living in the lands of the West will always have the thirst for spirituality. Spirituality is not just worship, but it is a package which includes worship, morals, deep thinking, peace and most of all being at ease. The state of ease, perhaps the most important of all the attributes of spirituality, is the feeling when one self is contend with what he is blessed with from Almighty and has no fear or greed abt the worldly and the materialistic attachments. The state we all progress towards only a few make it.

The city of Mashad illuminates at night with the reflections of the Golden dome of the Shrine of Abal Hassan, Imam Al Ridha (as). The city has its own special appeal, you would feel calm and relaxed. It is the city of the Imam (as). Described briefly is the journey of a follower to this magnificent shrine:

"In the name of Allah the all-Beneficent the all-Merciful

Peace be on you, O poor and innocent Imam.
Peace be on you, O helper of the needy and of the deprived.
Peace be on you, O listener of the wishes of the followers.
Peace be on you, O benefactor of the people.
Peace be on you, O you who is buried in Mashad Muqadas.
Peace be on you and your ancestors and also on your progeny and May Allah send His blessings on you and them.

The lips recite these eloquent sentences again and again, the eyes fills with tears, the heart beats faster and faster with hope, the head bows in respect and admiration and the hands raise in gratitude, thanking and asking for the fulfilment of requests.

This was the scene which took over me on seeing the holy shrine of my beloved Imam (a.s). The day was too hot, the sun was burning down but the masses did not subside but increased. And there was I standing facing the shrine with tears constantly rolling down from my eyes. Tears of happiness, tears of joy and tears of reunion, I had finally obtained what my heart had desired for so long. He had invited me to come for his ziyarat and of his sister Bibi Masooma-e-Qum (s.a) and i came leaving behind all that matters for a short time in his company, to pay my allegiance to him. A privilege it is but an undeserving one for a person like me. It will be an everlasting memory."

Words cannot do justice to what the lovers and the followers of Ahl ul Bayt (as) feel in this vicinty. Only the Almighty knows how the hearts and the soul of the lovers connect with their master, who greets and meets every pilgrim to his shrine. The pilgrim leave with what they had desired for and what they had asked for, no one leaves empty handed from this door, for this door is where supplications are answered, where miracles happen, where dreams are fulfilled and where answers are seeked. How I wish to be there day and night to worship in that vicinty, to meet you O Imam. The heart cries from the separation, the souls wishes to escape to the illuminated city of my master and dwell there for as long as this world exists.

Qum, a city in the middle of a desert yet it is not a desert more like plains of spirituality waiting to be explored. The city is a battle arena on one side you have the hardships of everyday life and on the other you have the spiritual aroma encompassing the city. The battle is more internal rather than external. You see yourself fighting to discipline your lower self to adjust to this hard way of living yet this rebellious soul prefers the luxury and the pleasures of this materialistc world. The way I have always seen is that living in the west is like living in a hard shell you are immune from the hardships and other things, you have everything given to you. However in Qum that is not the case, especially not for the young newbie hawza students. Life here is all do it yourself nothing is done for you and neither you are immune to the hardships. Everyone has to learn and develop themselves more like evolving, breaking the barriers and removing the veils of ignorance. More like in the west you are in a coccoon but over here in Qum you are like the butterfly who has developed through education, knowledge and spirituality.

Also in Qum lies the resting place of a great lady Sayeeda Masooma (sa). The lady of light as I call her. She is the source of inspiration for many who settle there for education purposes and for others she is a source of enlightment. Her shrine is the focal point of this city. The light from it illuminates and shines up the city. It is the city of Scholars, a city which shows the mark of great personalities as Ayatollah Najafi, Ayatollah Bahjat, Ayatollah Lankarani, Allama Tabatabai and many more. These are the people whose hearts were illuminated by the lady who dwells in this city. May Almighty give them a long life and on the day of judgement make them amongst the companions of the Ahl ul Bayt (as)

May Allah give us the oppurtunity to visit these special places and to preform the ziyarat of our Master, Imam Al Ridha (as) and his sister Lady Masooma (sa).

May He hasten the appearence of the Imam of our time Imam Al Hujja (ajtf)
posted by Ya_Baqiyatullah
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  • At 4:37 pm, August 15, 2006, Anonymous Whizbee


    Very nicely wriiten :)
    [b] It dawns upon you the importance of religion, the need to evolve into a society which upholds values [/b]
    But I don't get this. Even in Iran, they really aren't upholding values as a society, as you put it. Life for a Muslim is a struggle everwhere, in every country be it Iran or the UK.

  • At 6:11 pm, August 15, 2006, Blogger Ya_Baqiyatullah


    Well true it is a struggle everywhere for muslims but in Iran you find that religious values and principles are upheld better than in any other country around the world. And the importance of religion is seen there I mean where in the world apart from Iran you find spiritual sights 24/7? The way I see it religion is the answer to West's social and moral problems.. Hope that helps

  • At 1:49 pm, August 16, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous


    I think the fact that Iran is not as morally corrupt as most Western countries, helps the spirtual wayfarer. Also, because it is a theocracy i.e. ruled by the laws of God, there is more importance placed on religion.

    Iran is not immune from corruption, every society has it's good and bad, but it is much easier to be a better Muslim in Iran, than it is in any Western country - although, I sometimes think this is one of the ups of living in a Western country; You become stronger in faith, once you resist all temptations (It's all about Jihad Al-Nafs).

    Whereas, if someone from Iran or any other Islamic country, came to live in the West, it may be hard for them to 'resist'; there's a big culture difference.

    By the way, your description of Maqam Imam Redha (as), Fatima Masouma (as) and Iran in general, was quite beautiful. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. :)

  • At 4:03 pm, August 17, 2006, Anonymous Whizbee

    Iran you find that religious values and principles are upheld better than in any other country around the world.
    I have never been to Iran :cry: so I can't say for sure but I have heard from peeps that even in Iran there are "modern" people who look down on people who are practicing.

    But then you have been there so you know better.

  • At 1:07 am, August 21, 2006, Blogger Sarah

    but in Iran you find that religious values and principles are upheld better than in any other country around the world.

    Nice blog entry! Written like an essay lol...

    I disagree with the above, however. I've been to Iran. And yes, while there are spiritual sites here and there, there is still corruption in Iran and people who are not religious at all and look down on those who are. You wouldn't believe what I saw in Iran one night. I can't say here cause I am too embarrassed to even tell you what I saw, but it was really quite disgusting! and shocking.

    So if you are talking about on a government level, perhaps I can understand. Cause it's a theocratic state, so the objective is to make Iran as religious as possible.

    But if you mean individually speaking, I wouldn't say there are more religious people in Iran than elsewhere.

  • At 1:41 am, August 21, 2006, Blogger Ya_Baqiyatullah


    I guess I feel the need to add a disclaimer to this post. When I talk abt religious people or spirituality in Iran. It is on government level and also in places like Qum and Mashad and other religious sites. I know Iran has its bad points too and yes like Whizbee said there are people who have 'reformed' themselves and moved away from the concept of an Islamic State. However in every society you have a spectrum, where you will find really good people some who are gonna make up the middle of the spectrum and some who are gonna be real bad. I guess I am leaning on one side of the spectrum maybe because I find that the right way is by supporting these people and promoting good and forbidding evil

    Hope that clarifies my statements...Sorry abt the confusion


  • At 9:33 pm, February 04, 2007, Anonymous Asadollah

    Nice article bro.

    Regarding the discussion, I have a harsh but firm view:

    It is sad to say that the honourable Iranians are to be found in Qom, Mashad, or 6 feet under at Behesht-e-Zehra.

    What a blessing to bring the revolution but what a curse to not be able to maintain it.

    A lot like the general Muslim Ummah. Blessed by the Qur'an and the Ahlulbayt, but cursed not to learn and use these.

  • At 12:44 am, April 07, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous

    very enlightening!! u have captured in essence what Iran means to you in only a few paragraphs. I like that ur only trying to focus on the good, a very optimistic view, cause the bad will always exist no matter what is done. There will always be "westernized" people looking down at the "religious" ones, that's the case even in Lebanon and everywhere. In Lebanon, you will find a girl in chador and a girl right next to her wearing a bikini. I like the fact that in Iran there isn't so much of an obvious religious gap. The atmosphere plays an important part of course.. again powerful entry!

    Are you happy now? ;)

  • At 7:44 pm, April 13, 2007, Anonymous zeinab

    very nice :). it's amazing how history permeates a place; how great presences linger there centuries after they are gone; how the noor from one can illuminate a nation.

    this is beyond iran--it's the entire shi'a ummah. insha'allah we will all see this blessed place, but it doesn't take a place to revive the soul...allah (swt) is everywhere...