Mirza Zainul Abedeen Salmaasi says – Once it so occurred that some wealthy people from Tehran came to Najaf Ashraf for Ziyarat and stayed at my residence. One early Wednesday morning, I brought them over from Najaf to the mosque of Kufa. We sat together in that part of the mosque where Hazrat Ameerul Momeneen (as) used to recite his prayers and was fatally wounded with the sword.We had just sat there when Maulana Abdul Hameed Qazvini came there. He was carrying a tumbler of water and a food mat under his arm. He saw and turned in my direction. When he saw the other people from Tehran, he turned away and went in the direction of the grave of Janab Muslim Ibne Aqeel. I called out to him, Come over, all of these are our people only.
He came over and sat down amongst us. We exchanged greetings and then I asked him, where were you? He replied, Last night, as it was the eve of Wednesday, I was in Masjid Sehla till morning. I came to Kufa and soon I will leave for Najaf.
I said, what is it with you that you frequently visit the mosque of Sehla? Have you observed something special there? He kept silent and did not reply. When I pressed him further for details, he said, I was once deep in debt and I had no means to repay it. I was very fearful that I should not die while I was having loans on my neck. God forbid, if that had to happen, how would I face the people (on the Day of Judgement). With these worries, I went one day to the blessed shrine of Hazrat Ameerul Momeneen (as). I just sat there and fixed my eyes on at the grave of the Imam (as).
I was narrating my difficulties to the Imam (as) when a young student passed from there and said to me, Janab Abdul Hameed Qazvini, why are you looking so worried? I replied that I am very deep in debt and am troubled how I will repay my loans.
He said, you are anxious for nothing. I said, why do you say that? He replied, the one who has Imam Mahdi (as) with him, then he has no reason to be worried. I was highly inspired by these words of the student and said, so what should I do?
He said, go and spend 40 Tuesday nights (eve of Wednesday) in Masjid Sehla and seek help from Imam Mahdi (as). Inshallah, he will solve your difficulties.
Thus, I started visiting Masjid Sehla every Tuesday night. Even before the passage of 40 nights, I was able to repay my entire loan. I was very motivated by this and made up my mind that I will repeat this act and spend another 40 Tuesday nights in Masjid Sehla, this time with the intention of getting an opportunity to meet with my master Hazrat Imam Mahdi (as).
I was performing this act regularly when the fortieth Tuesday night of the sequence fell on the day of Arbaeen (fortieth day of martyrdom) of Imam Husain (as). On account of Arbaeen, people were travelling to Karbala. I was in a dilemma. If I went to Karbala, I would lose the fortieth night in Masjid Sehla and it is not appropriate that I don’t go to Karbala on Arbaeen. Finally, I decided that, God willing, if life permitted, I would perform the Ziyarat of Imam Husain (as) next year. This year, I decided that I would complete the act which I had set out to do.
On Tuesday night, I reached Masjid Sehla and found that I was alone. Everybody had left for Karbala. There was no one there and the mosque was enveloped in darkness. I completed the aamaal of Masjid Sehla, went to the roof of the mosque and after eating something, I went to sleep. After about two and a half hours, a person came to the mosque and shaking my leg said, O Abdul Hameed Qazvini, get up.
I awoke and saw an Arab standing over me. I said, Yes, what is it?
He said, get up. If you wish to do the Ziyarat of the prince, then do so.
I thought to myself, perhaps some ajamee (non Arab) person has come and this person wants me to meet him since I am the only one available here. With this thought in mind, I said to him, you go. I have nothing to do with him.
Hearing my response, the Arab went away. As I lay down to go back to sleep, a thought struck me that anyways I had not gone close enough to him to meet him. It may not be a bad idea to catch a glimpse of him from afar and see who he is.
I stood up and saw that a respected personality was seated in the western area of the mosque. His face was radiant as the full moon and some people were sitting around him. I turned to go back to sleep, but as I lay down a thought came to my mind that when I entered the mosque, all the lamps were silent and there was darkness all around. Then what was the reason that the mosque appeared illuminated? I got up from my place and went again to take a look, but saw that there was nobody there.
Ref: Bulbule Dostaan Hazrat Mahdi (as), volume 2, page 234
Lessons from this incident
There are several lessons which can be derived from this incident. Some of these are given below,
Hazrat Imam Mahdi (as) says that our Shiahs should be fearless because we are praying for them; such a prayer which is not rejected by Allah. The main issue is that we are slow in seeking from Imam (as). Traditions advise us that in every place and in every time, we should be in close contact with the Imam of the Time – we should narrate our difficulties to him, seek our legitimate desires from him and seek solutions to our problems from him.
Visits to the shrines of the Holy Imams (as) removes the difficulties of this world and the hereafter and is a cause for guidance of people to the right path.
Masjid Sahla is a sacred mosque and a place where the prophets used to stay. It is narrated that after the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (as), Masjid Sahla will be the place of residence of the Imam (as)
As per a tradition from Imam Sadiq (as), two units of prayer in Masjid Sahla is equivalent to one year of safety for the one who recites this namaz.
As per a tradition from Imam Sadiq (as), there is a tablet of the names of the prophets in Masjid Sahla which Imam Mahdi (as) will bring forth after his reappearance.
Therefore we should perform the aamaal of Masjid Sahla in complete peace and tranquillity. We should be aware of the presence of Hazrat Imam Mahdi (as) and open our hearts to him.
There are several recommendations in traditions for Masjid Kufa as well. Imam Sajjad (as) narrated to Abu Hamza Thumali that if people became aware of the true merits of Masjid Kufa, they would come to it even if they had to crawl if they has no strength to walk to it.