Muharram mourning in a strange country

By: Seyed Hossein Hosseiniseddiq

TEHRAN, Sep. 15 (MNA) – A few years back, I went to Germany to study for a doctorate and settled in a university campus located in a small town hundred kilometers North of Frankfurt in the woods. After a short while, I got to know the university and its surroundings.

In a cold evening, it was about four o’clock after returning from the library. I was browsing my Persian calendar, and I suddenly realized that it was the fifth or sixth of Muharram and I was struck by a strange tragedy or grief. I knew that there was not definitely a mosque for Shiites in this small town. Of course, later on, I discovered that a leased mosque belonging to the Ahmadiyya sect of Pakistan was located behind my faculty, the Middle East Studies Center.

Anyway, I had a Mohr (Holy soil dried) from Iran with a compass to determine Qibla or Holy cube, prostration rug and handmade rug to carry out the prayer rites, but what was my intention to attend the mourning ceremony of the martyrs of Imam Hussein (PBUH)?

A celebration that most of us Iranians have been obsessed with since infancy. I watched some mourning videos over the internet and I hit my chest a few times alone in my own room, but my soul was not convinced. Suddenly, on a Google search page, I wrote: “The Mourning of Muharram in Frankfurt.” The search result found the address of an Iranian mosque, or Islamic Center, at the time, at Alt-Hausen St., No 15. In fact, I contacted a couple of new friends in the city who were studying pharmacy and dentistry and suggested that if they wanted to go to Frankfurt Mosque tonight, but those friends apologized, and I decided to take the train by myself at the same sunset. I still didn’t know Frankfurt. After an hour and a half journey, I arrived at Frankfurt’s very large central train station, went to the information desk and was instructed by a passenger donation map to reach the two subway lines 7 and 4.

After about 200m walk from the Grosse Nelkenstrasse station, I reached a large courtyard with many cars parked on either side and at the end of the enclosure was a two-story building. Unlike Iranian cities outside there was no sign of mourning, banners, and flag. There was no black noise or the sound of a noose leaking out. I pressed the bell and one of the black dressed career opened the door. I asked if there would be a Muharram ceremony here. I am a student and recently came to Germany and he greeted me after welcoming me, he apologized and inspected my backpack because he had never seen me before. which was not uncomfortable for me, but I thought it was necessary for security reasons. The mosque in both male and female sections was filled with lovers of Imam Hussein (PBUH) and had an intimate and warm atmosphere, and very quickly some Iranian students attending ceremonies from and around Frankfurt, such as Wiesbaden, Mainz, and Siegen universities, were treated with indescribable kindness. It became a background for deeper friendships of the future, and after joining the Center’s email list, I was always aware of various events and attended as much as possible.

Finally, that night after reciting the Qur’an and the pilgrimage of Ashura, the speech and commemoration of the Imam of the Center, a passionate rite of passage, and a reception dining; moving around at 32 minutes midnight, I would arrive at the university town at 2 in the morning and from the railway station to the dormitory at midnight, there would be no bus service and the use of a taxi that did not fit the student life budget and then through the snow, I reached the student village through forest narrow way and steep slopes.

“Amiri Hossein and Nema Al-Amir” Hossein is my commander and he is what a good commander should be.



Categories: Europe, Europe and Australia, Islam

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