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A fragrance; raihanat, khushboo

One often senses an unusually familiar aroma wafting by, transporting us down memory lane to emotional, often cheerful times. The scent of freshly baked bread reminding us of a parent’s warm embrace, or the delightful mist of bukhur around our homes in these sacred days, reminding us of the packed masjid, resplendent in the garb of Ashara Mubaraka, awaiting that one entity, who will breathe life into its structure.

A study of the human body explains that the olfactory sense (sense of smell) is more closely linked to emotions and memory than other senses. We as humans are selective in our choice of fragrances; some may find a scent highly appealing and heady, while others may find it nauseating and cloying. However, there are some smells that are universally repugnant, like that of rotten food and smoke, thus the sense of smell acts as a defense mechanism.

Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS, poignantly spoke today about Rasulullah’s SA last moments, and his unique action therein. Rasulullah SA used to often proclaim that, ‘Hasan Husain are my fragrance’. In those moments, while in the throes of death, between cognizance and unconsciousness, he held them both in a close embrace. The Ahle-bait would remove Imam Hasan, Husain from his arms to offer relief, but on awakening, Rasulullah SA would once again ask for them, “where are my beloved Hasan, Husain? Let them be! So that they may take my last blessings, and I may breathe in their fragrance one last time.”

Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS explained that, sometimes the last breath, the naseem, does not easily leave the body, causing great discomfort to the dying. At such a trying time, raihaan (fragrance) is brought close to the dying, who instinctively breathe it in and then the soul is released with ease. He explained that Rasulullah’s SA action of drawing them both close was to show, that the soul garners an easy release   by Husain’s remembrance.

Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA spoke affectionately about a Mumin’s birth, and the importance of the surahs of the Quran which are whispered into his ear at birth. “It is our child, a Mumin’s child – my child! It is necessary that this should be done.”

We pray to Allah, after thanking him for a blessed birth, that may our entire life be spent breathing in the fragrance of Imam Husain’s AS matam until that fragrance eases our last breath.