Thursday, April 28, 2011

On the lighter side-Travel- Syria-8

As with other developing countries, there is little to no traffic sense and you have to navigate yourself carefully through the traffic with your hands on the horn all the time since it is the only way to let other people pay attention to you and avoid an accident. After visit the shrine of Hazrat Hujar bin Kundi, we proceed to a place called Bab-i-Saghir (roughly translated into the Little Door) this is the place where the heads of the Martyrs of Karbala (more of it in my future posts) was brought in by the forces of Yazid and washed. There we cried for a while listening to the torture inflicted on the household of Prophet Mohammed by the enemies of Islam. We then went into another area in the same compound where the heads of the Martyrs of Karbala were kept. After paying our respect to them and cursing the people who killed them, we then proceeded to the graveyard beside them. It is a vast graveyard holding the bodies of the companions of the household of the prophet. We visited the first Moazan (a person who give calls to prayer) of Islam. We also went to see the Maid of household of Prophet. It is said that she was very wealthy and could have stayed with her family but decided that it is much better to serve the Prophet’s household. Walking through the graves is not easy since you are trying to be careful not to step on any of the graves.

Since we were travelling on a bus, during the afternoon after our visit to the graveyard just outside it we were entertained to a packaged meal which we ate a little and the rest was given to a guy who was collecting for poor people or somebody else. After that our guide decided to take us to the specific bazaar of Damascus where the ladies (and children and men) of the household of the Prophet were paraded to the court of Yazid. We had a little mourning period right outside the bazaar and then we started to proceed towards the court of Yazid through the bazaar. It was a surreal moment since we walking taking the same steps as the Prophet’s household took in chains and bruised and injured to the court of Yazid. You can just imagine how humiliating it would have been for them to walk like that when you have known that those were the same ladies not seen without a viel outside for a second now being paraded without one. Reaching the palace of Yazid I saw a huge courtyard where you can see the whole court being flashed in front of your eyes almost 1500 years ago.
Inside the palace we saw the grave of John the Baptist (the Muslims call him Prophet Yahiya) and did a Majlis (rough translation a congregation of sort remembering the hardships of the household of the Prophet) there. It was also told by our guide that previously thousands of Christians use to come pay a visit to his gravesite but now due to the political situation in Syria, they have stopped coming. After that we went to a place where the head of Imam Hussein (the Grandson of Prophet Mohammed) was kept after being brought by the forces of Yazid. It is hard to control your tears when you are in such a place, but you also feel lucky that you have been to such a place. Thousands of devotees and followers come to this place to pay their respect and give whatever money they could give inside the glass covered dome. After paying our respects there, we excited the palace to go through the small lanes of the bazaar to the shrine of BIBI Sakina (A.S.) (the Daughter of Imam Hussein) who was the favorite of Imam Hussein and who died at a young age of four. The shrine is very big and very beautiful and thousands and maybe millions of devotees come there and give their regards to her. She really was touched by what happened to her family but she was brave enough to endure it and it is so incredibly sad that Yazid would be so vicious enough in his hatred to harm some innocent child. I saw some dolls inside the shrine and I really became sad that she did not even had the opportunity to play and saw so much sadness in her life at such a young age. There we prayed the evening prayers and gave our final respects to her and then proceeded towards where our buses were to take us back to the hotel. Coming back after a tiring 11 hour journey around the city and visiting religious sites, it was nice to have a hearty meal and going back to our rooms to start packing again for the next and final leg of our journey to Iraq.

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