During the day, when we pray to Allah (SWT), we turn our focus towards the Kaaba and focus our minds towards there. Likewise, whenever we face a challenge or a difficulty in our day, we turn our hearts towards Karbala and remember Imam Hussein (AS) and his companions and, through this, draw strength as perspective.

Just as the Kaaba and Karbala are interwoven into our life, we see that throughout history, the Kaaba and Karbala are also interlinked. Every great Nabi of Allah (SWT) visited the Kaaba and every great Nabi of Allah (SWT) cried for the events of Karbala.

In this meditation, we will, in sha Allah, meditate upon the spiritual connection between the Kaaba and Karbala and meditate specifically upon why they have been joined so closely in the lives of the Nabis (AS) and in our own heart.

Rasulullah (SAW) said that ‘Qalb-ul Mumin baitullah’ (the true house of Allah (SWT) is the heart of a mumin). When we understand this deeply, we begin to see how each of the main prophets of Allah (SWT) came to show us how to build our heart so that it is a baitullah, a Kaaba that is dedicated only towards Allah (SWT).

The first Nabi (AS) that Allah (SWT) sent us was Adam (AS), who repented for 40 years before Allah (SWT) accepted this repentance, on the Day of Ashura.

From Adam (AS), we are taught that the first step we must take towards building our heart is through repentance. Just as Adam (AS) repented for 40 years, Rasulullah’s (SAW) mehraj was at 40 years of age. Adam’s (AS) repentance was accepted because Adam (AS) took the wasilo of Muhammad (SAW), Ali (AS), Fatema (AS), Hassan (AS) and Hussein (AS).

Likewise, our repentance will be accepted when we take their wasilo.

After Allah (SWT) granted Adam’s (AS) repentance, Adam (AS) received knowledge. Likewise, as the children of Adam (AS), when our repentance is accepted, we will also receive knowledge and, especially through writing, we will we receive even more.

Once we have received this knowledge, Allah (SWT) will then turn our world upside down so that we can make use of this knowledge. Following Adam (AS), Allah (SWT) sent Nuh (AS) who built an ark when the world was flooded, through this was turned upside down. This ark reached its destination, Mount Judi, on the Day of Ashura.

Just as our world is turned upside down, we will need to strengthen our faith and our heart to whether this storm and create our own ark of salvation. As a result of this, much of our knowledge will turn to wisdom.

After Nuh (AS), Allah (SWT) sent Ibrahim (AS). Whereas Allah (SWT) gave external challenges to Nuh (AS) through the great flood, Allah (SWT) gave Ibrahim (AS) a very different lesson to strengthen his heart.

Allah (SWT) placed Ibrahim (AS) in a sling that was hurled towards the fire of Nimrod (LA) on the Day of Ashura. Ibrahim’s (AS) faith was so strong that Allah (SWT) turned this fire into a tranquil garden and Ibrahim (AS) was saved from this fire.

Likewise, once we have strengthened our heart from external circumstances, we must strengthen our heart through the internal difficulties that we will face. By doing so, we will turn what may appear to be a fire, an internal difficulty, in our life into a tranquil garden of peace and faith.

After Allah (SWT) strengthened the heart through Nuh (AS) and Ibrahim (AS), Allah (SWT) sent Musa (AS). On the Day of Ashura, Musa (AS) split the sea and saved himself and his people from Firaun (LA).

Likewise, once we have strengthened our heart from the external and internal difficulties that we face, Allah (SWT) will provide us with an exodus away from the tyrants, the Firaun (LA) within us, from those parts of our self that are always keeping us away from Allah (SWT).

After Musa (AS), Allah (SWT) sent Isa (AS). On the Day of Ashura (AS), Isa (AS) was risen. Just as Isa (AS) was risen, after we have been saved from those parts of our self that keep us from Allah (SWT), we too will rise. However, where will we rise to?

After Isa (AS), Allah (SWT) sent Rasulullah (SAW). Muhammad (SAW) said that in Medina he heard the footsteps of his true companions. These footsteps were not literal that Rasulullah (SAW) heard, but the metaphorical footsteps of those who walk within Medina, the city of light.

Once our heart has repented, after our heart has been tested and we have found our salvation, after we have tamed the internal fire in our heart, after our heart has been freed from the inner tyrants that keep it from Allah (SWT) and after our heart has been risen, it too will reach Medina, where it will be amongst the footsteps that Rasulullah (SAW) will hear.

The heart is an instrument of love and each of these levels require a greater level of love of Allah (SWT), of walayat. When we look at why the heart is linked to Karbala, we see that this was the greatest mission of love that has ever happened. Imam Hussein (AS) did not go towards Karbala with an army, he took his family, those he loved and on the Day of Ashura, Imam Hussein (AS) sacrificed all that he loved for the one he loved most.

This is why the Nabis (AS) of Allah (SWT) reached their own salvation on Ashura through remembering Imam Hussein (AS) as it was that remembrance that helped them to strengthen their love for Allah (SWT) in their own hearts. Likewise, we continue to remember Imam Hussein (AS), even after the Day of Ashura, as this lesson of love is one that continually helps us strengthen the love within our own heart.

When we begin to understand the very purpose of this world, we begin to understand just how important our heart is. When we are faced with a difficulty or a challenge, we try to use our mind and our intellect to understand it. However, our mind and our intellect is important for our body in this world.

Allah (SWT) has created our soul for that which is much bigger than this world. The challenges and difficulties that we face are always sent by Allah (SWT) to strengthen our heart, as that is what is important in the hereafter. Each challenge and difficulty is sent to help us to build our heart, until it becomes a baitullah, a place that is only dedicated to Allah (SWT) and to nothing else.

As we reflect back on the Day of Ashura and look towards the remainder of the year, may Allah (SWT) give us the wisdom to always keep the Day of Ashura and the events of Karbala as the focus for our heart, just as we keep the Kaaba as the focus for our mind when we pray. May this remembrance help us to always be strengthening our heart and to raising its level from repentance all the way towards the Medina of Rasulullah (SAW). Aamin.