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Al-Zahra Mosque-Ashurra 1426 - Sydney, Australia. Photography by S. Abidin

Al-Zahra Mosque-Ashurra 1426 - Sydney, Australia

Sayyed Hashem Nasrullah- Al Zahra Mosque, Arncliffe, Sydney. Photography by T. Zayn al-Abidin

Sayyed Hashem Nasrullah-
Al-Zahra Mosque

Al-Zahra Mosque-Ashurra 1426 - Sydney, Australia. Photography by T. Zayn al-Abidin

Al-Zahra Mosque-Ashurra 1426 - Sydney, Australia

Al-Zahra College- Sydney, Australia. Photography by T. Zayn al-Abidin

Al-Zahra College- Sydney, Australia

Syed Zawar Shah Naqvi,Sayyed Abul Hassan Naqvi, H. Ahmad Mokachar-Al-Zahra College, Sydney

Syed Zawar Shah Naqvi, Sayyed Abul Hassan Naqvi, H. Ahmad Mokachar-Al-Zahra College, Sydney

Photography by T. Zayn al-Abidin

Ashurra in Sydney 1426 - Marana Auditorium

Sayyed Amar Nakshuwani,[second left] H. Sodiq Hossain, H. Moufid Beydoun-Marana Auditorium

Sayyed Amar Nakshuwani,[second left] H. Sodiq Hossain, H. Moufid Beydoun-Marana Auditorium

Imam Hasan Centre, Annangrove, Sydney

Imam Hasan Centre, Annangrove, Sydney

Sayyed Mustafa al-Modaressi -Imam Hasan Centre, Annangrove, Sydney. Photography by Hajah Bassima's Husband

Sayyed Mustafa al-Modaressi -Imam Hasan Centre, Annangrove, Sydney

Imam Hasan Centre, Annangrove, Sydney. Photography by Hajah Bassima's Husband

Imam Hasan Centre, Annangrove, Sydney

Imam Hasan Centre, Annangrove, Sydney. Photography by Hajah Bassima's Husband

Imam Hasan Centre, Annangrove, Sydney

Further Reading:
˚Al-Zahra in December -

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Bismillah ir Rahman ir Raheem
Published on 12 Muharram 1426/22nd February 2005

Ashurra in Sydney 1426

VNM Report on Sydney Ashurra Events 2005/1426

˚Introduction

˚Al-Zahra College, Arncliffe

˚Ashurra at al-Zahra Mosque

˚Majalis at Marana Auditorium

Aerial view -Sydney Australia. Photography by T. Zayn al-Abidin

˚Ashurra Day at Imam Hasan

˚Centre

˚Conclusion

˚Sydney Shias

Introduction

Departing Sydney in New South Wales, the last of the Ashurra photos for VNM were taken from the departing aircraft. Muharram in Sydney 1426, was as busy as it usually is according to VNM's hostess Mrs Layla Beydoun. Some of the faces this year are as pictured below and we apologise for being unable to attend all of the majalis programmes due to clashes in timetable and limited time.

Al-Zahra College, Arncliffe

The only Shia school in Australia presents itself with beautiful architecture, carefully designed and chosen by its Chairperson, H. Ahmad Mokachar, who kindly picked us up from the airport and introduced us to his college with Lebanese bread and black tea for breakfast, alhamdulillah. We give our sincere gratitude to al-Zahra College and Mosque for their very kind hospitality in Sydney. 

While at al-Zahra College, we were fortunate to meet the Organiser of the Muhammadi Welfare Association, Syed Zawar Shah Naqvi, located in Granville, with their visiting Sayyed from Qum, Iran, Sayyed Abul Hassan Naqvi, and their lectures were all in the Urdu language, which we were unable to attend. We thank them kindly however for their invitation.

Sayyed Mustafa al-Modaressi, H.Sodiq Hossain, Sayyed Ammar Nakshuwani, Sayyed Abul Hassan Naqvi, H. Ahmad Mokachar, Br Mohammad Hammoud, Sayyed Hashem Nasrullah

Sayyed Mustafa al-Modaressi, H.Sodiq Hossain, Sayyed Ammar Nakshuwani, Sayyed Abul Hassan Naqvi, H. Ahmad Mokachar, Br Mohammad Hammoud, Sayyed Hashem Nasrullah

Ashurra at al-Zahra Mosque

Thousands of the faithfuls attended the only Shi'ite Mosque in Sydney where majilis were held over the grounds of the Mosque and the Al-Zahra College. The bookshop was bustling and Shias of all ages, including babies in prams, were all in the same precinct protected this year by heavy security with the road blocked off. The thirsty and hot day was a perfect reminder of how the family of Imam al-Husayn ('a) suffered on the Day of Ashura in Karbala.

The believers started arriving early in the morning as Qur'an recitation played from both the lower and upper floors of the Mosque, which was founded in 1980, and  after so much activity in and around itself, still stands majestically with great popularity during the months of Muharram and Ramadhan especially. Until the majalis began, the believers busied themselves in salat and ziyarat. Sayyed Nasrullah began the majalis with the recitation of Ziyarat Ashura, which was followed by another brother's recitation of Ziyarat Husayn. The crowds were, however, hushed when the emotional recitation of the events of the Day of Ashura began. Mothers hushed their children as tears and sobs flowed freely in remembrance of al-Husayn ('a) and all of the Household at Karbala and his companions with astonishing accuracy. The reciter himself broke down in sobs.

Exiting the ladies' section, it was a struggle to find one's shoes amongst thousands of pairs and dodging small children became an art form as the crowds all slowly moved towards the gates. Men in black, women in black and even young children in black.

We struggled to find our lift back to our hostess' house, but couldn't find the face we had only been introduced to once, considering everybody was dressed almost the same and I am sure that he felt the same way. But the Almighty intervened, alhamdulillah, and a sister came to us and said, "You are staying at Hajjah Layla's house aren't you? Would you like a lift?" She hastened us from the Mosque grounds, putting Lebanese breads in our hands and we moved with the sea of believers and finally arrived back at the house to start all over again, where there were another twenty five to thirty sisters meeting for afternoon tea provided by our hostess.

M.C. Marana Auditorium, Hajjah Layla Beydoun, Bassima & Children, VNM Tech, Al-Zahra Sisters, VNM Editor

M.C. Marana Auditorium, Hajjah Layla Beydoun, Bassima & Children, VNM Technician/Photographer, Al-Zahra Sisters, VNM Editor

Majalis at Marana Auditorium

Organised by Haji Sodiq Husain from the al-Emaan organisation, this year's speaker was a Sayyed living and educated in London, Sayyed Ammar Nakshuwani, who appealed to the younger people within the Shia community who may have lost some of their Islamic identity. While some of the elderly and conservative were clearly unimpressed by his presentation and style, the youth were equally as impressed. 

Sayyed Ammar Nakshuwani- Marana Auditorium. Photography by T. Zayn al-Abidin

Each night's majalis was opened by the composed M.C.s, who were sisters, who settled the crowd and introduced the recitation of segments of Surah Yusuf from al-Qur'an across all of the ten nights. The beautiful recitations of al-Qur'an were presented by five members of the community, including Br. Mohammad Hammoud (pictured below), Br. Mustafa and three other brothers. The technical work was very impressive and the equal participation of all members of the community was seen without any gender discrimination. The sisters were seated on one side of the hall and brothers were seated on the other. Throughout the sessions were frequent salawats of Allahumma Salle Allah Muhammad wa Ale Muhammad. On Friday night, Hj Sodiq Husain gave a beautiful recitation of Ziyarat Husayn.

Qur'an recitation by Br. Mohammad Hammoud. Photography by T. Zayn al-Abidin

Ashurra Day at Imam Hasan Centre

Many Shias in Sydney have located themselves in and around Arncliffe, located near the airport, and therefore the Mosque, the School and most of the centres are either in Arncliffe or no further away than Hurstville and Granville, which is approximately 20 minutes in a car from Arncliffe. Arncliffe is now being called Australia's own 'Kufa'. The signs on the shops indicate Muslim ownerships, halal food and everything that supports a Shia Muslim lifestyle. However, the newly opened Imam Hasan Centre is located a very long way from the traditional Shia areas or any other centres or the Mosque or the school in a newly developing location. After one hour in the taxi and after having passed through farming areas, we finally found the building which had no signage and no number. If trying to locate this centre, please check your maps first and the building, looking more like a modern office building, can be recognised by the security signs in each panel of the barred-fence bearing the face of an Alsatian dog.

Once inside, the cool air-conditioning is a pleasant surprise, as are the very superior Wudhu facilities. However, the atmosphere hasn't yet been achieved due to it's newness and thus the majalis conducted there struggled to reach the heart of the message of Ashura. The unusual cultural combinations can give one a sense of a clash in Ashura traditions.

The well educated young Sayyed from Karbala, Sayyed Mustafa al-Modaressi, dressed complete with the black turban, recited a beautiful Ziyarat Ashura without leaving out any parts or repetitions, such as the Salam to Aba Abdillah ('a) repeated one-hundred times. The very friendly Iraqi sister, Hajjah Bassima, and her family enhanced the experience with traditional Shia hospitality, kindness and friendship. Alhamdulillah, the sister's husband was able to take the photographs, as that particular centre didn't enable women to see anything, which made the program very confusing to follow and therefore informed Muslimahs are not advised to attend that centre until that situation is improved on or alternatively could assist this centre to improve on quality experience for women and children.

Conclusion

The dedication of the Shia community of Sydney can insh'Allah only lead to the betterment of the Australian Shia community as a whole and its relationship with the world, the knowledge of our religion and the encouragement in the practise thereof. We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the organisers of the majilises and the food, the guest speakers, the drivers and the hospitality extended to Shias from other parts of Australia.

Imam Hussayn ('a) said:

"Experience enhances the intellect" 

[A Brief History of the 14 Infallibles, pge 110]

Allahumma Salle Allah Muhammad wa Ale Muhammad

Sydney Shias

(Arab Speaking)
Sayyed Hashem Nasrullah
Al-Zahra Mosque,
2-3 Wollongong Rd.,
Arncliffe,
Sydney
(Arab/ English Speaking)
H Ahmad Mokachar
Al-Zahra College,
2-3 Wollongong Rd.,
Arncliffe,
Sydney
(Urdu/Eng Speaking)
Syed Zawar Shah Naqvi
Muhammadi Welfare Assoc.,
419 Blaxcell St.,
Granville,
Sydney
(Farsi/English Speaking)
Sheikh Mansour Leghoie
Imam Hussain Centre,
6 Lang Rd.,
Earlwood,
Sydney
(Arab/Eng/Urdu Speaking)
Imam Hasan Centre
165 Annangrove Rd.,
Annangrove,
Sydney
www.imamhasancentre.com  
(Arab/English Speaking)
Jaffariya Society,
Arncliffe,
Sydney
(English Only)
H. Sodiq Husain
Al-Emaan Organisation
No Centre
http://www.al-emaan.org
(Farsi/Eng)
Nabi Akram Islamic Centre,
36 Cowper St.,
Granville, NSW 2142
Australia

END

Authors: Victory News Magazine Report on Sydney Ashurra Events 2005/1426
Photographer: Hj S.Abidin
Chief Editor: Hj Nurzaynab El-Fatah
Production: Hj S. Abidin
Published Date: 12 Muharram 1426/22nd February 2005

Modification Date: 2nd February, 2009/ 6 Safar, 1430
Publication ID: 05ashSydney. Ashurra in Sydney 1426
Copyright: Victory News Magazine, 2010

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