Words Zainab V.
Photograph Murtaza D.
Everything you experience in this world is associated with a memory – the smell of a rose, the sound of the ocean, snowflakes on your nose, a blazing sunrise. Ashara Mubaraka is much the same. It’s the strong smell of bukhur and itr, and the sound of voices shouting “MOULA MOULA!”. It is the feel of tears on your face, and people, people everywhere. It is the blazing light emanating from Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin (TUS) and the sound of His soothing voice. It is the decorations all over the masjid, and the anticipation on everyone’s faces.
But it is so much more than the sum of its parts.
Ashara is happiness and sadness. It is a vibe, a state of mind. When you attend the majaalis of Ashara, you’re not only going to hear the waaz and to do matam. You’re there because there’s some outer force guiding you there, something calling to you from deep within. When you attend Ashara, especially if you attend it with Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin (TUS), you step outside the universe.
For ten short days, you are dipped into a suspended moment of peace in a world of chaos and constant movement, a secure place in an increasingly confusing universe. It’s like stepping into a freeze-frame, where nothing matters except the present, and the past of the present. You forget about the world, about everything else you might be doing, because this is what’s truly important. We need reminding about it, every single year, because every single year, we forget.
The beauty of humanity and the proof of our mohabbat is, no matter how unworthy we might be, we remember when reminded. Ashara is a reminder that the world is only finite, capable of only so much. It is a reminder that there is a higher power. It is a reminder of the power of human love and togetherness. It is a reminder that miracles do exist. Because this capability to love, to mourn, to come together and really feel – that is nothing short of miraculous.
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