I got myself lost in the crowd at the Holy Shrine amongst thousands of pilgrims from different sects, caste, color and creed who had come to pay their homage to the shrine of Imam Ali al Reza (A.S). After offering my visit along with Madrasa Al Mehdi to Mashhad, the torrential presence in the heavenly sanctuary of Imam Al Reza (A.S) strengthened the religious spirit and inner spirituality within myself, the moments provide a remembrance about hereafter, concentration and sincerity towards Almighty Allah and his ordinances in all arenas of life.Before coming to Iran, I was not too much deeply attached with my inner soul but now I am in search of my real existence in this world. In my opinion every creation will be accountable to their own deeds.
In the Name of Allah,the most merciful and beneficent
By Waseem Reza
I am not able to grip my pen, I can’t stop the trembling of my soul, we can`t calculate the hustle of rain drops, we can`t hear the hymn of angels, we can`t elucidate the greatness of Prophet and His Pure Progeny. The universe can`t move without presence of remnant of Allah on earth. Authority of Imamate is limitlessness and is clement upon every creation. A humble servant is not worth to write about the benign and greatest Imam of all the times, Gharib-al-Ghurba, Moeen-uz-Zoaffa-e-wa Fuqara, Shah-e-Khorasan Imam-ur-Rauf Ali Bin Musa Reza (Pbuh) but will try to provide better and deeper enjoyment of this pilgrimage, I would draw kind attention of pilgrims to a brief account of noble Imam’s precious life, attributes and our feelings so that they may go on pilgrimage with more knowledge and, thereby, receive more divine blessings.
Islamic Republic of Iran is delighted to host the blessed body of the Apostle of Prophet`s progeny, Imam al Reza (A.S.), the erudite descendent of the Prophet’s household, the source of blessings, and the eighth infallible Imam. Each year Astan Razavi receives millions of fervent and enamored pilgrims who come to pay homage to the affectionate and gracious Imam.
With the blessings of this benevolent Imam, this piece of land in Khorasan is a piece of paradise which prides itself on the world of angels and is ever the focus of attention to the heavenly cherubim, just as it is a focus of attention and guidance for the people of the world. Divine angels frequent around the sacred mausoleum along with his earnest and what great blessings and graceful effects has the Almighty God imparted on behalf of this magnanimous Imam and his pilgrimage to his pilgrims and enthusiasts.
Shah-e-Khorasan Imam al Reza (Pbuh)
Well known scholars and historians are agree upon that Imam was born on 11th Dhul Qada,148 Hijri /29th of Dec, 765 in the Holy City of Medina.The name is Ali and the son of 7th Successor of Holy Prophet (Pbuh), Imam Musa Bin Jaffar (A.S), the nickname is Abul Hassan and cognomen is Reza.His noble mother was an honorable lady named Najma or Tuktam. She was a pious and wise lady from among the Persian dignitaries. In a tradition, her highness Tahira, when pregnant with her son, Ali said, “I did not feel any heaviness. When asleep, I heard Dhikr of God from within me in a way that I was awe-inspired. After I gave birth to him, he placed his feet and hands on the ground and, raised his head to the sky, and moved his lips, as though he was saying something”. When his holiness, Imam Musa al-Kazim(A.S) saw his son, he said, “O Najma! Blessed are you for the miraculous gift Allah granted you”. “Take the baby as he is the remnant of Allah on His earth”. After the birth of Imam al-Reza (A.S), Imam Musa al Kazim(A.S) gave her mother the nickname Tahira, meaning pure.
Imam Ali Bin Musa al Reza (A.S) was appointed as heir apparent and 8th successor of Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAWW) after the death of his father Imam Musa Bin Jaffar (A.S).Before travelling to Marv, Imam lived in the Holy City of Medina and was occupied with guiding people, indicating Islamic educations and Prophet`s Seerah (Manner and behavior).People of Medina love him and assumed him as their father. Although he had spent most of his life in Medina, he had so many followers throughout the Islamic counties. His moral virtues and piety was such that besides his followers as well as companions and his enemies were attracted to him.
His Imamate was announced repeatedly by his father, grandfather and Prophet Muhammad (SAWW).Especially Imam Musa Kazim (A.S) mentioned him as the Imam after himself several times.
Imam Reza got martyred at the age of 55 by Mamun Abbasi Caliph through poisoning. By divine will and power ,Imam`s son and successor Imam Jawad (A.S) offered last rituals of her father. His Mausoleum is situated at Mashhad in Iran.
Mausoleum of Imam al Reza (A.S)
Iran’s second largest city and spiritual Centre, Mashhad is located in the northeastern province of Khorasan. The Mausoleum of Imam al Reza, known as the Haram-e Razavi, dominates the city centre with seven massive courtyards, and a total area of nearly 600,000 square metres, by some measures it is the largest Mosque in the world.
The millions of pilgrims who flock to the shrine all year round from across the Globe. Intricate blue tile work and Arabic/Persian calligraphy are virtually omnipresent across the numerous Iwans and minarets, and an impressive golden dome stands centrally above the shrine itself.
Non-Muslims are not permitted into the inner sanctuary, and (confusingly) only camera phones are permitted. The numerous museums contained within the shrine complex house a curious mixture of exhibits.
5 Days tour to Mashhad attended by seminary students from 40 countries.
A Grand spiritual, cultural and physical training session tour was organized by Madrasa AL MEHDI in which seminary students of different schools of thoughts from as many as 40 countries attended the honored Occasion.
This group of pilgrims included 327 seminary students of Institute for Language and Islamic Studies Madrasa Al Mehdi (Atfs) Qom Iran visited the Shrine of the Descendant of Holy Prophet (S),Imam Ali Reza (AS) and many historical-natural sites where they enjoyed the services and programs of the management of Madrasa Al Mehdi (atfs) of Jamia Al Mustafa (SAWW) International University.
The group got more familiarity with the historical and cultural exquisites of the Mashhad by visiting the placed like Farhang Sara,Kohi Sangi,Park Melat Swimming pool,central museum of Mashhad & Qadamgah Nishapor.
Farhang Sara,a place in the park namely “WAHDAT PARK” where some Islamic revolutionary movies especially “WAHSHAT QABR” (A Moment in Grave) was telecasted to enrich the faith of visitors. A dreadfulness moments filled with beneficial lessons that what the real existence of Human Being is?
Koh-i-Sangi is Mashhad’s great spot for afternoon or early evening picnicking.A small stream runs through its centre, which you can cross by climbing the rock formations or hopping across stepping-stones.Near the top of mountain many unknown martyrs where laid down who sacrificed their lives for Islam during Iran-Iraq War. People offering Fatiha and praying for success of Ummah and Islamic Revolution. The spot boasts outstanding views of the city from its highest point.
Qadamgah Nishabur is situated 110 away from the holy city of Mashhad,a regular spots on the itinerary of pilgrims and travelers visiting the holy city of Mashhad. According to the accounts of the journey, Imam Reza (A.S.) stopped at a spring, besides which he performed the prayer. After the prayer, the impression of his feet miraculously appeared on the stone where he stood. Later, the faithful built a dome besides the spring and installed the impression of the Imam’s feet in its southern wall.The present building dates from the Safavid period. Millions of pilgrims and travelers visiting the holy shrine of Imam Reza (A.S.) in Mashhad city also visit Qadamgah and drink the water from spring adjoined to the shrine near the impression of the feet of Imam Reza (A.S.).
While speaking over the gathering at Kohi Sangi,Hojatul Islam Wal Muslimeen Haaj Aqa Ghulam Ali Sanjari highlighted the importance of Kohi Sangi and unknown martyrs who sacrificed their lives while defending Islam and nation during Iran-Iraq War.
Termed the achievements and security of Islamic Republic of Iran due to the blessings of Wilayat-e-Fiqhi and steadfastness of Iranian Nation.He condemned the actions of ISIS, Alqaeda, Taliban, Boko Haram and others in muslim countries,Aqai Sanjari prayed for the peace and prosperity of Muslim Ummah.
Seminary students also got a chance to join the lunch on the table of Mehmansara of Astan Quds Razavi where only non Iranian pilgrims are allowded.
A mourning procession was also led by Madrasa on the martyrdom day of Imam Jaffar Sadiq (A.S) and jointly pay homage to Imam Ali Musa Reza (A.S) at Mashhad.There was a separate arrangement of transport and accommodation for married students of Al Mehdi. Among those who led the pilgrims of Seminary Students, Director Al Mehdi (atfs) Hojatul Islam Wal Muslimeen Haaj Aqai Kargar,Deputy Director of Ethical Training Department Haaj Aqai Sanjari,Haaj Aqai Mullah Ahmadi, Aqai Hishmati, Aqai Qambari, Aqai Azizi, Aqai Amini,Aqai Bakhshi Zada, Aqai Adhimie, Aqai Reza Khawani,;Aqai Mosavi and general staff of Madrasa Al Mehdi.
Feelings and thoughts of Seminary Students.
- Last year I along with my friend visited the Holy City of Mashhad and I remember he told me that would it be possible to join table of Astan Quds Razavi for many days? Due to grace of Almighty this year we visit the Mashhad for Ziyarat with Madrasa Al Mehdi and continuously for three days meals were served by Astan Quds Razavi. That was nothing less than miracle. As we know Mehman Sara Astan Quds Razavi serving lunch and dinner for 8000 non Iranians only on daily basis and only pilgrims are allowed to join once during a visit to Mashad. Mohammmad Hussain (Azerbaijan)
- Before visiting Mashad,there were many questions inside my heart which I never shared with anyone but when I offered my Ziyarat at the shrine of Descendant of Holy Prophet (SAWW),Imam Reza (A.S),I got spiritually washed and many changes in my life took place which I am not able to express and share. Mohammad Sani (Nigeria)
- It was not just the tour to Mashhad but a spiritual and cultural training session course for everyone who offered Ziyarat to Imam Reza (A.S).After visiting the piece of Paradise in Khorasan, my faith in oneness of God got strengthened and I learn always to work for the betterment of here and herafter. Kabir Mabariz (Afghanistan)
- When I look at the dome of shrine of Imam Reza (A.S),I lost myself in the throng of pilgrims. The Ahlebayat (as) are the chosen one by Almighty to guide the Mankind on Earth, we all should work for the betterment real task of life. Syed Mohammad Aun (Pakistan)
- The Journey from Qom to Mashad in Bus with Madrasa Al Mehdi(a.s) was a spiritual Journey and a great opportunity to visit the shrine of Imam Ali Reza (a.s).This Journey added best experiences in our lives and provided us a platform to understand the spiritual concept like love , sacrifice , unity , brotherhood, and many more. I before leaving the Mashad , prayed peace and happiness for my browbeaten Nation Kashmir. Syed Karar Hashmi (Kashmir)
- After I visited the shrine of Imam Reza aleihi assalam I felt more powerful. I was a better person with high morals one who sacrifices himself for others I felt but the sad reality was that it was just for a short period of time after some days my energy and my moral got weaker the happy thing is that I realized what I am capable of what my true powers are and I should work to make this potential strong because I felt true happiness and pleasure when I was in this state …. Ali Halal (Germany)
- In my Opinion, a visit to Mashhad was a test of purifying the soul and strengthening the faith with the mediation and blessings of Prophet and his Pure Progeny (Pbuh). I feel after visiting Mashhad, a tough phase of life started to know about real actuality and Satan closely because he is trying to stop by performing deeds for the sake of Allah with pure intention. Ammar (Malaysia)
Role and Objectives of Al Mustafa (S) International University:
Since the fall of Andalusia in 1492, the Islamic world went into decline. During this period of decline, the Ottoman Empire, as a vast Islamic empire that included much of the Islamic world collapsed, and Britain and France disjointed it and divided it among themselves. This decline of the Islamic world reached the rock bottom when Zionists conquered the Quds in the heart of the Islamic world. But, with the victory of the Islamic Revolution under the leadership of Late Imam Khomeini (R.A) the decline of the Islamic world has stopped, the trend has turned upward and the rise of the Islamic world has begun. It has been proved that Islam has the power to advance the religious, educational, social and economic conditions of Nations.
Islamic Iran from the onset utilizing all the means and tools to establish and promote the “Cultural” and “Religious” ideology in the Islamic world.Al Mustafa (SAWW) International University, a vast global network of promoting and preparing cavalcade of clerics and missionaries to serve Islam in its real perspective. .The institution having a firm rooted strategy for “Pure Islam” which means to counter arrogant policies of US, Israel and its allies.Not only followers of different schools of thoughts learning the knowledge of Islam through Al Mustafa International University (SAWW) but non Muslims also researching about Islam and differentiating the DAESH Islam with pure Deen Muhammad (S).
The aim of organizing such tours a golden opportunity to understand the existence and responsibility of oneself for the sake of Islam and Muslim Ummah.
As I born and raised in a Sunni devoted family but I am trying to follow the Proclamation of Holy Prophet (S) at the Day of Ghadeer when he (S) said “For whoever I am his Leader (mawla), Ali is his Leader (mawla) and Almighty Allah sealed it with Verse of Quran “O Apostle!Deliver what has been sent down to you from your Lord; and if you don`t it,you have not delivered HIS message (at all) ;and Allah will protect you from the people…” (Quran 5:67).
I got myself lost in the crowd at the Holy Shrine amongst thousands of pilgrims from different sects, caste, color and creed who had come to pay their homage to the shrine of Imam Ali al Reza (A.S). After offering my visit along with Madrasa Al Mehdi to Mashhad, the torrential presence in the heavenly sanctuary of Imam Al Reza (A.S) strengthened the religious spirit and inner spirituality within myself, the moments provide a remembrance about hereafter, concentration and sincerity towards Almighty Allah and his ordinances in all arenas of life. In that pure atmosphere radiating with the light of Imamate and Wilayat of Ameer-al-Momineen (a.s), I felt peace and purity of the soul, expressed my esoteric needs and enjoyed plenty of divine blessings through the noble Imam.
Before coming to Iran, I was not too much deeply attached with my inner soul but now I am in search of my real existence in this world. In my opinion every creation will be accountable to their own deeds.
May Almighty Allah give me chance to elevate myself towards HIM and also improve myself and drew the SATAN away from myself. Always the era of difficult phase starts when a human being stand against the strings of Devil and try to understand the Satanic temptation.With the assistance, guidance and the blessings of Quranic teachings and bounties of Ahlebayat, a faithful muslim and a dedicated believer can defeat and make the cursed Devil bite the dust.
During the journey from Qom to Mashhad and inward journey towards Qom, I found all the teachers caring , friendly and their behavior towards the students like their own parents. They had been teaching us through the trip with the practical illustrations and logical resonings.
May Allah hasten the appearance of Imam Al-Mehdi (Atfs) and keep the Islamic revolution under HIS watchful eyes and also protect Grand Supreme Leader, righteous scholars and supporters and followers of Islam from evils eyes.
I pray for the unity of Muslim world and freedom of oppressed nations of Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, Burma, Afghanistan, Pakistan and others.
Author is the Seminary student at Jamia Al-Mustafa International University and Director as well as Editor in Chief of “Wilayat Times” from Srinagar of Kashmir and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.