Masjid e Kufa – it’s history left me in awe. And it’s future prospects had me spellbound.
Let me go back a little. Where Masjid e Kufa is today, was where Prophet Noah built his ark. It is also the place where many prophets and their successors lived and worshiped Allah (swt). I was thinking about this and after a bit of contemplation it all makes sense. The Tigris and Euphrates are, after all, the Mesopotamia – the cradle of civilization – the place where the human race was evolving: man was changing into ‘food grower and settler’; he was slowing becoming a thinker. And therefore, being close to the Furaat, it is quite reasonable that this area was the focus of visitation for all the Messengers of Allah who came to guide the people of Mesopotamia, and ease the process of their ‘civilization’. And that makes the place quite historic; I mean you are sat in a place, and thousands of years ago, to know that great Prophets sat there contemplating, is quite humbling. And to pray where Hazrate Nooh prayed, or where Hazrat e Ibrahim prayed, or our Prophet Mohammad (as) prayed (one of his stops during Meraj) – I felt privileged.
Masjid e Kufa – the place from where Imam Ali ran the Muslim Hukumat, is a grand building with a massive courtyard in the middle. All reconstructed and beautiful with marble flooring that keeps your feet cool although the sun is pouring down its heat in torrents. The ‘Dakkatul Qadha’, or Imam Ali’s court room where he meted out justice; his maxim: ‘Innallah yamuru bil adl e wal ahsaan’ (Allah enjoins you to act with justice and goodness) was printed bold and clear on its walls. This place, with an amazing past and an even more remarkable future, is the place where the 12th Imam will establish the hub of his Government. Incidentally it is one of the four places where we do not have to read qasr namaz: we have the choice of reading the full namaz. And why not? In a way, it is ‘home ground’ for every follower of the Ahlulbait (as). Felt a deep sense of belonging. We did our full namaz there – it was a home coming.
Masjid a Kufa – ‘fuzto be rabbil kaaba’ – the place Imam Ali was martyred. The mehrab has been done up – glittering and pristine – quite at odds with the austere simplicity of Imam Ali (as) life and lifestyle. I find it a bit difficult to associate the grandeur with what we know of our maasoomeen. I don’t know if I am being obtuse, but a true to life representations of all the maqams would have been more helpful in giving us the feel of the space and time.
Did my hadya salaat ….and just sat there ….re-living the tragedy. Cried a lot ….the tears would not stop. I prayed that I acknowledge the purpose of my tears – so it’s not only 'eye service'. That my tears were not only to reflect grief but also make penitence - with purpose: to become an ‘insan’, to remove from within me the petty flaws that keep me from being ‘civilised’. Incidentally, in the lecture arranged at the hotel the speaker spoke of the conditions required for a nation of people to be considered ‘civilised’. For eg: succumbing to anger, back biting, mocking, ridiculing others, and telling lies, even the little white ones that are so tantalisingly attractive, show a lack of ‘civilisation’; and a people can never consider themselves worthy unless they overcome these weaknesses. Inshallah, we will return cleansed of any unworthy pretenses. Iltemase dua.