Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Day 12: Zambal

Today we visited Zambal, the special graveyard reserved for the awliyaa' of Tarim. All other Tarimis are buried in Bashshar, the normal cemetery.

Muslim graveyards are usually simply an enclosed area with no headstones, so it was initially strange to see hundreds of them. And not neat, straight-in-a-line headstones on even ground, but ones arranged in no particular order in an extremely small area.

We went at night, and it was utterly silent. If you visualize it it must look like a scene from a horror movie. But even a passing cat with an arched back didn't seem at all spooky. On the contrary, it was extremely extremely peaceful. Serene even. I felt like I could spend the night there and not be at all freaked out. More than one person commented on how different the atmosphere was to ones in normal graveyards. It felt extremely disrespectful to take photos, so I only took the one:

Habib Umar's wife came with us, and led us in making du'ua. We stood in front of al-Faqih al-moqadam's grave, who was an incredible scholar and pious man.

It was definitely an experience. But I'm not exactly sure what I feel. Like I was saying yesterday, I looked around me at the people crying and felt like a dunce in a class, frustrated because I'm not able to reach that spiritual 'high.' Part of me was saying 'it's a graveyard.' But another part was definitely moved and awed, recognizing that there were great people buried where I was standing.

It also rained today. I have no idea how rain could possibly come down in this heat, but it did. And lighting too.


sisterA said...

asalaamu alaikum,

A sis who is visiting Yemen to study there recommended your blog to me.

I've been reading and I must say your blog has moved me. I appreciate you sharing your experiences with us.

I must ask however, what was the point of standing in front of this wise person's grave-"al-Faqih al-moqadam" and making du'a there?

Anonymous said...

The Prophet (SAW) said: visit the graves for it reminds you of the hereafter.
And remembering the hereafter is very important as you learn in Tarim.