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 Eager to visit, Ali Ibn Abi Taleb - cousin and son-in-law to the prophet Muhammad, 4th Caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate, 1st Imam of Shi'a Islam -  and his son Hussein, 2nd Imam of Shi'a Islam, Hero of Divine Justice.  I decided to go on a trip with the Al-Asr group, enabling me to widen my understanding in the different practices of the Shi'a branches. Mattam, Zandjeer, Majliss, Arbaeen all those new words made me feel uncomfortable about having to adapt to a new way of practice, however, with guidance and courage I faced the Shi'a culture with beauty, peace and tranquillity.  It was fascinating to see Muslim believers moaning for the death of the grandson of their Prophet who died 1400 years ago. Died as a Martyr, sacrificing himself for Divine justice on earth, against oppressors and usurpers of rights. His followers (Shia mainly) will remember his act of Love, and will commemorate it by visiting his Shrine, walk the Arbaeen and practice Mattam on the day of Ashura as a self-struggle to remind the soul that we are all guilty of injustice and inaction in the fight for divine justice & Islamic conflicts (Kashmir, Palestine, Rohingya…). Because if Hussein stood against the usurper of rights in 680 AD, and had only 72 companions, the Muslims of 2019, 1.7 million of followers could be standing against usurper of Islamic rights, in the same way the Islamic Revolution (in Iran) happened. As, in Karbala, Najaf and Kufa Sunnis, Shias and Sufis walk around as brothers. Shi'ism school of thoughts tends to look at Islam inwards and better themselves from the soul’s point of view as a way of improving their intention in order to get the right mindset of a dedicated Muslim and promote the divine justice on earth. In order to love God, you need to love and care about the people whom He loves, build a strong and wise knowledge upon Prophets, pious and righteous, whom God has chosen for us to be guided. And it is only through the teachings of Prophets and predecessors that a believer can have a full understanding of absolute faith in God Almighty.

Journey to Iraq



Taiba Riaz holds a BA (hons) of Arabic and Islamic Studies at SOAS University of London. Currently a Master student of Civilisation studies at Ibn Haldun University in Istanbul. Her travels are detailed throughout this website, she provides a depth understanding of the Muslim community. The range of theological perspectives within the Islamic dogma. In addition to the various historical sites that recalls the narration of Prophets and Saints in the Holy Qur'an.


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