JOURNEY FROM BOMBAY TO MASHHAD
“Departure from Bombay”
It was a pleasant day. It was the day of the fulfillment of months ,rather years of old earnest desire and hope. It was a memorable day of my life and it was Friday, the 18th of Moharram 1385 A.H.(corresponding to 30th July 1926).On that day I started at 8:30 PM by Gujrat Mail from Colaba Station with prayers and good wishes from my relatives and well-wishers. My Beloved destination was the holy city of Mashhad-e-Muqaddas. We were, in all, 17 persons that included my wife, my seven children aged 12 (Sakina), 11 (Zehra), 9½ (Mohammedali), 8 (Roshanali), 5 (Hyderali), 3 (Razaali), and 1 (Narjis); in addition to 5 other ladies and a female servant and a cook. We had purchased tickets for Duzdaab (Zahedan) via Ahmedabaad and Hyderabad Sind. The second class fare from Colaba to Duzdaab (Zahedan) was rupees 105-75 and for third class fare was rupees 36-00.We had reserved two compartments of seven seats each. In order to get this facility at every station of changing we had sent a telegram through the Station Master of Colaba and he gave us a copy of the same. At that time fifty inches of rain had already fallen in Bombay. It was raining throughout the night after our departure.
We reached Ahmedabad at 7:30 AM the following morning. The train for Sind Hyderabad was scheduled to start from here at 8:05 AM. We hurriedly transported our luggage engaging 2 coolies, went to the other platform and boarded the already reserved compartments in the Hyderabad bound train. We had ordered our breakfast from Bombay from a Muslim caterer who had brought Paya (Pacha), Cream, Maalpura, bread, eggs, etc. But as there was no time to take the breakfast on the station we took it into utensils and ate it in the train. One second class and one third class bogie is added to this train at Ahmedabad that takes us directly to Hyderabad. It is marked “Ahmedabad – Hyderabad”. Everyone should board this bogie otherwise one would require to change bogies at Marvad station, which is troublesome. When the train left Ahmedabad we could see continuous greenery on both sides that gave a nice cooling effect to our eyes. Now we shall see how long this green blanket spread by nature continues.
The train reached Mehsana at 9:47 AM. We took tea there as no time was available at the Ahmedabad Station.
We arrived at Aboo road station at One O’clock after noon. Here tea, bread, gravy (salun), kabaabs were available. We had it along with the food we had brought with us. Proceeding further, the train entered Marvaar junction at 5:21 in the evening. Here tea, bread etc. prepared by a muslim caterer was available. The behavior of the station master was also very nice. With a view to make advance arrangements beyond Hyderabad requested him to send a telegram and give us a copy of the same. Though this instruction was telegraphed from Colaba, we did it again to be on the safe side. As we were going for a Pilgrimage he expressed his pleasure and also hoped that we would meet him in our return journey. Here it is necessary to carry drinking water upto next afternoon as only salty water was available upto Hyderabad. Water had to be carried in mashqs. We filled 12 such jute mashqs that were with us.
We reached Luni at 8:16 in the night. Here Muslim caterer’s tea, bread and mutton were available. As we had brought our eatables and since the servant’s bogie was adjacent to our second class compartment we were preparing items like tea ourselves. After taking food we went to sleep.
We arrived at Gadraa road 5:30 A.M. on Sunday, 1st August. The station was big and the train halted for ten minutes, but neither tea nor water was available.
Thereafter we arrived at Chhor at 8:30 A.M. Here muslim caterer’s tea was available. Sometimes mutton too could be had. Water was very sweet but I do not know if it’s quality was good too. Here I recollect that the green carpet of nature had disappeared. Instead a white carpet of sand was spread. There was no sign of any vegetation except scantily scattered trees like babool or aak. Mountains were also of sand. Our cook had prepared breakfast of tea, bread, omelet etc. From here to Duzdaab (Zahedan) we were cooking our food in the train as we had brought stoves and eatables etc. with us.
Finally we reached Meerpur Khaas at 10:45 A.M. Tea, bread, mutton, fruit etc. was available at this station. Many Sindhi gentlemen were seen here. The civil Hospital is near the station. The place is large and beautiful. Proceeding further we could see a number of canals and their branches. Even in the midst of the sandy land we can observe fields and gardens. Is there anything that this black headed man cannot do with the resources and means provided by nature? The prosperity of Punjab and Sind has thus been very much increased with the help of these canals that have turned millions hectares of desert lands into fertile fields. We saw such canals almost everywhere. Today a lot of dust is blowing on the way since morning. Hence it will be better to wear green glass spectacles. It will also prove useful during the car journey from Duzdaab (Zahedan) to Mashhad
At last we arrived at Hyderabad (Sind) at 12:30 in the afternoon. Here we had one and a half hour at our disposal since the Quetta bound train coming from Karachi was to leave this station at 2:19 PM. A little distance from here is the holy place where the footprints of Hazrat Ali (A.S.) have been imprinted. We wanted to visit that place but since we had no time we decided to put it off till we returned from Mashhad. Fifteen minutes were spent in alighting and keeping our luggage aside. We had no difficulty as the Quetta mail was to arrive at the same platform. We accommodated ladies and children by taking them across the over bridge to the ladies waiting room. Thereafter we went to a small refreshment room of Muslim caterer on the station to dine. Immediately after alighting we inquired about our reservation of our accommodation from Karachi but the station master had informed us that on that day army had demanded 2-3 bogies. Yet they had arranged for us a complete small bogie having two five seat compartments on both the sides plus a servants’ compartment in the middle. The availability of the said special bogie had helped us in our onward journey as it had enabled us to cook the said vegetables (which we purchased from Ahmedabad) on our primus stoves. Thus besides getting hot dishes, we did not have to depend on the low quality market food. Before the departure of the train we again requested the station master to get our seats reserved from Spezand (near Quetta) through a telegram. We started at 2:30 PM. The train that was running at the speed of 30 miles per hour on the narrow gauge between Ahmedabad and Hyderabad, was now running at the speed of 40-45 mph on the broad gauge line. It was speeding on the plains as if it had realized our infelt desires to reach our destination as soon as possible. The temperature was cool ever since we left Bombay and we thought it would continue but now contrary to our expectations, it was getting warmer. The temperature at Bombay was 80-85’F when we left. Here it was 95’ Fahrenheit.
When we reached Shahdadpur at 4 O’clock the temperature was 100’Fahrenheit. Tea was available here.
We reached Rohri junction at 8:10 at night. It is a big city and there is a lot of din and rush here. Here on the platform tea, bread was being sold as well as hot salun, kabab, seekh prepared before our eyes. It is like a reversing station. The train pushed forward in another direction with the engine at the rear.
At 8:50 PM we arrived at Sakker, barrage of which is well known for big canal projects. This city is situated on the bank of the famous Indus river. Here the railway bridge is worth seeing. We ate wheat and bajra chapati with salun (gravy), thanking ALLAH. It was still very hot. When I saw the barometer the mercury stood at 96’ Fahrenheit though the electric fans were on.
We reached Sibi that is in Baluchistan at 4 AM where we were fast asleep. The Baluchistan authorities check passports at this place. They do not wake second class passengers but they awake third class travellers. The passport officials who embark here remain here till the border of Baluchistan. So far in Sind the land was 2000-4000 feet above sea level. Hereforth the train began to climb up the mountains. Sibi is situated 433 feet above sea level. We had already passed through 10 to 15 tunnels before we woke up at 5:30 in the morning. Our train was climbing between the mountains. It was noteworthy that whereas the hills on the way to Poona remains green even in hot seasons (due to the trees), the hills and vales here were barren and desolate. There was no sign of vegetation. On inquiring we found out that there is rainfall of hardly 1 to 2 inches in a year.
At 6:17 A.M. we reached Aab-e-Goom, which is 2157 feet above sea level. Temperature was 82’ Fahrenheit. Air was very pleasant. Only water was available here. Two engines, one in front and one at the back, are joined to the train here, the train climbs above. We passed through tunnels every now and then.
We reached Mach at seven in the morning. It is at a height of 3246 feet above sea level. Temperature is 84’ Fahrenheit. Here we get biscuits, tea, etc. for break-fast. Water here is cold, sweet and tasty. It is recommended that water should be filled here in ample quantity. Baluchi people are seen at stations and on the way.
The train arrived at Spezand at 9:51 in the morning. It then proceeds to Quetta. The trains bound for Duzdaab (now known as Zahedan) take another route from here. The train for Duzdaab (Zahedan) leaves here twice a week i.e. on Mondays and Thursdays. Spezand is at a distance of 16 miles from Quetta. The train that leaves Quetta at 8 A.M. reaches here at 9:44 A.M. and leaves from here at 10:14. We had left Bombay in such a way that we arrive here at 9:51 A.M. and got into the waiting train that had come from Quetta and was going to Duzdaab (Zahedan). Thus we were spared the trouble of going to Quetta and the extra expense. Our separate compartment was detached from the Hyderabad train and was attached to the Duzdaab (Zahedan) train. In that way we also saved the trouble of getting in and out of the train with all our luggage again. It may be remembered that Spezand is merely a transfer station; nothing is available here; not even water. There is no platform on this station. There is a shortage of coolies. Enough food should be carried to last until reaching Duzdaab (Zahedan) as there is no guarantee of getting it on the way. We had, before leaving Bombay, sent a telegram through Faiz-e-Panjetani to arrange for food from Quetta to Spezand. Their representative had come with biryaani, chicken, chapati (bread) and fruits. We paid the bill of rupees nineteen and six annas. I empathetically advise every brother who wishes to go to Mashhad-e-Muqaddas that instead of going to Quetta, he should get transferred from Spezand but he should arrange the time of his departure from Bombay according to railway schedule explained earlier. Spezand is 5858 feet above sea level. That is, if we consider the Rajabai Tower of Bombay (Bombay University) to be 200 feet high, we were at a height equal to 30 times of Rajabai Tower. The climate is very dry. There is no sign of any greenery. In the mornings the temperature is 86’ Fahrenheit. It should be remembered that after Sibi tea is not available at any station because very few people drink tea in this area. Moreover on every station one or two soldiers with open bayonets are on guard as the stations are in desolate places and the construction is such that if robbers etc. enter the only iron gate is closed. The walls have holes on every side so that the guns can be used safely from within. As there is an acute shortage of water upto Duzdaab (Zahedan), I strongly recommend that enough quantity of water should be taken from whichever station available. Passports of second class passengers are checked here. The passport officer also travels in the train. He makes the necessary entries and returns these after two or three stations. A few police officers remain in the train upto Duzdaab (Zahedan). Henceforth the train starts descending.
We reached Mastung Road Station at 12:30 afternoon. Water is available here and sometimes also some fruits. It is at the height of 5409 feet. The temperature is 90’ Fahrenheit.
We reached Shaikh Wasil at 12:30 afternoon. Water is available here and sometimes mutton and chapati. The height is 5128 feet and the temperature is 90’ Fahrenheit. The train then stops at several wayside stations that don’t have even water.
We reached Nushki at 3:49 PM. The height is 3341 feet above sea level. Before arriving here the train starts descending. This scene is worth seeing. A lot of dust rises in all directions. Water is somewhat tasteless.
We reached Ahmedvaal at 4:33. This is a big station. It is at a height of 2930 feet. The temperature here is 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Water is available here. Watermelons (Hindwanay) are found scarcely.
We reached another station of Daalbadeen at 10:18 PM. There was a lot of rush here. The Balochi people were loitering aimlessly in big numbers. When we asked the reason for this to the police officer, he said that the train comes on this side only twice a week. The Duzdaab (Zahedan) bound train arrives here after midnight. So for curiosity people loiter here on the pretense of a walk. Here our passports are checked again. The passport officer who saw that a number of women and children are with me, advised me to take enough water to last me till the train reached the Meerjava station at 12 noon next day. The place is 2786 feet above sea level. The temperature stood at 95’ Fahrenheit even in the middle of the night.
The next day, that is on 3/8/1926 we reached a small station of Kooh-e-taaftoon at 11 O’clock. Here airplanes were seen flying in the British territory. As soon as our train arrived here, the planes took two rounds over our train before landing.
Thereafter the train proceeded further and reached Meerjava at 11:50. Iranian territory begins from here. Near the station there was an Iranian military camp. Iranian soldiers and officers had arrived at the station in big numbers. The Iranian Governor of Duzdaab (Zahedan) had entered the same train from here. Therefore there was much movement. All our passports were taken by the Iranian Authorities here. We got them back after reaching Duzdaab (Zahedan). Meerjava is at a height of 2759 feet above sea level. The temperature at noon was about 95’ Fahrenheit. After a salute was given to the Governor of Duzdaab (Zahedan) the train advanced in Iranian territory. From here again it was an upward journey. Travelling at an average speed of 12 miles per hour we came to the last stage of our train journey, i.e. Duzdaab (Zahedan) at 4:30 in the evening. It is at 4531 feet above sea level. Mostly Iranians are seen at the station. Personnel of Faiz-e-Rizviyah had come to the station to receive us. Luggage etc. was carried to the opposite side for customs. Baggage is checked and custom duty levied on dutiable goods and the receipt is handed over then and there. Since we are many our luggage was also large. As it was not easy to carry all of it to the custom house the officer was kind enough to come to us himself for checking. He asked us to open only five to seven out of thirty packages for satisfaction. He then passed all of it. Then we went to the town that is about 1 ¼ mile away in motorcars with our luggage and stayed at the Razaviyyah Musafirkhana that was founded by Haji Meheraali Vishram of Zanzibar. One of the trustees Mr. Mirza Abdulla Panjabi had come to receive us at the railway station. With the view to build the said Musafirkhana Haji Meherali had established Faiz-e-Rizviyyah of which now the main person is the said Mr. Panjabi. The Musafirkhana has a wide area in the front part of the town. When we camped there, a mujtahid was occupying one of the rooms. He was going towards India after performing Ziyarat of Mashhad-e-Muqqaddas. In another room was Syed Jallaluddin Hyder, a professor in Lahore’s chief college. He was also proceeding towards Mashhad. At present there is a facility of one-two rooms accommodation that could serve in all, four to five families. The construction work was still progressing. The work of Masjid and Imambada (Huseiniyyah) will start soon, we were so informed. Though we heard that due to the funds having finished it would be completed after funds were provided from Delhi, Lahore etc. Now the main people who take advantage of this musafirkhana are Khojas and other Indians. Though it has been mentioned in the Trust Deed by Haji Meherali that preferance should be given to Khojas, as the number of Hindustani Zawwars is very big and the management is in the hands of Panjabi, I am afraid, there is bound to be confusion in future. Therefore it is imperative to amend promptly the constitution. One time food was given to us by Faiz-e-Panjetani of Bombay at night. The same night we went in search of motorcars with Abdullahjan. Next morning we engaged a dodge lorry and a hup-mobliecar at the rate of Rs. 1136. For our twelve and a half tickets the average came to Rs. 91. It is hereby recommended that while hiring cars, instead of relying on others one should personally inquire at four to five places in town. We decided to start the car journey next day, i.e. on Thursday. In Iran there is no bathing facilities in homes. The tradition is to use hamaamkhanas. In this little town there are two hamaams. As five-six days had passed since we left Bombay we had to resort to hamaamkhanas. The hamaamkhana for women remains open for two days of the week but as it was under repair, and hence closed, we arranged for the other one for the ladies. We paid the double rate, that is, 2 Karans per person. We went in the evening to the garden. The sun here sets an hour and a half later than in Bombay. When we were in the garden, there were in all twelve persons with us, including Zanzibarwalla Mr. Rashid Natha and his sons who had returned that very day from Ziyarat of Mashhad-e-Muqaddas, as well as Daresalamwalla Mr. Daya Valji etc. After taking our dinner we arranged Majlis wherein Syed Jalaaludin Sahib delivered effective Vaez. Here the maximum temperature was 95’ Fahrenheit and the minimum was 85’ Fahrenheit. Here there is a branch of the Imperial Bank of Persia. We must exchange all our money into Karans here, rather it is better to exchange the entire money required for the return journey from Mashhad, in case you desire to return from here, the reason for this suggestion is that in Mashhad we have to suffer 5-7% in exchange. There is also the office of the British Consul here. They are always ready to assist the Indian Citizen. So, if you face any difficulty or if you require any advice you must visit this Consulate.
After taking a two day rest, we arranged for our onward journey to Mashhad-e-Muqadas. We had two motorcars for us and two for the other Zawwars. Mainly two things are essential for this journey. Waterbag (Mashq) and food stuffs. It is very necessary for everyone to keep two waterbags. Waterbags made of jute (kantaan) are available in Bombay. These should be purchased 4-5 days before leaving Bombay and tested by filling water in them. Bags with leaks become useless during the journey causing problems. While starting the journey enough food to last 24 hours should be carried.
Our car journey started at 6 P.M. on Thursday 5/8/1926 (three hours before sunset). There were potholes on the road and the road surface was peeled off at various places causing jerks. The speed was hardly over 10-15 miles per hour. At the time of Maghrib the headlight of one car was out of order and it took one and a half hour to repair it.
At last, after travelling 37 miles, we arrived at Hurmuk at 11:30 at night. After taking dinner from the food we had carried with us, we slept. Next morning, we filled enough water because it was not available for the next 60 to 70 miles. Zawwars should take sufficient water from here. Therefrom we started in the dark at 6 AM. on Friday and entered the waterless area. There we found some water pits. There was no vegetation at all. Looking far in every direction we could only see the horizon. Though mountains were faintly visible far away we saw hundreds of carcasses of animals that must have died for want of water. Yet, by the grace of Allah, we did not hear any such case of human beings. There was a continuos movement of cars. So if a car experiences water shortage, others help, rather they assist one another in every way. Unfortunately one of our cars suffered a puncture wasting about 45 minutes.
At last, at 11 O’clock our cars went past Maki Surkh which is at a distance of 50 miles from Hurmuk. Here there was nothing except a post and two or three vacant houses for travellers. Water was not available here, so we did not wait here.
We arrived at Khuneek village at 5 in the evening. Saltish water is available here. Sometimes sweet water is also brought here from a distance but it is very costly. On the way we rested wherever musafirkhanas existed. Where they were not available, the poor inhabitants gave their houses and also brought us whatever we needed. Since we were unaware of this, the car driver made arrangements for us. One of the car drivers, Mohammed Ali was the most well known, experienced and efficient driver on this Duzdaab (Zahedan) Mashhad road. So we had nothing to worry about. For tea we went to an Iranian’s house in the village. After having tea that he prepared for us, we offered our namaz and restarted the journey. It should be remembered that after entering Iran, restaurants and homes supply only milkless tea. A cup of tea costs one and a half Sanaar (three quarters of an anna). We paid six Karans for boarding-lodging. Those who are fond of milk tea should keep with them condensed milk tins because milk may not be available at odd hours on the way. Explanation of local coins and currency notes has been given in the forthcoming pages. After passing through rough roads and dry lands for quite some time, we started to see scattered green patches and good roads.
After travelling 27 miles we reached a green village named Sushp at 7:30 P.M. An Iranian entrusted us his house. Some people live on this business. They give every facility to the travellers and remain content with whatever they are given. Their women folk also assist the travellers in every chore. The home which we had expected to engage was taken up by an army camp recently. A stream was flowing from the square (at the center) of the house. So we had to resort to another one. There we ordered bread, eggs, chicken etc. and went to sleep. If we request, they also cook for us. Six chicken cost nearly Rs. 3. After taking our breakfast, we took our lunch with us and restarted at 7 A.M. on Saturday, 7/8/1926. It would be prudent to take our lunch from the place where we have spent the night because it is not advisable to waste time of the motorcar for buying or cooking things on the way. At least 2 or 3 hours are therefore saved. Now there was less heat. The temperature in the morning was 68-70’ Fahrenheit. Now cool and pleasant wind blew and we came across small canals at small distances. So upto our next stop we only took adequate water. After a further journey on 60 miles we reached Sardbisha at 11:45 AM. This small beautiful village is situated in the valley. All houses being earthen were not recognizable from a distance, because they were the color of the mountain. It is always very cool now. The barometer indicated 77’ Fahrenheit. As there was still time for the noon meal we did not stay here but proceeded further. At the end of the village road an arch of Iranian carpets were erected because Iran’s famous ruler Reza Shah was to come here. Henceforth we could see scattered habitats on our way. At various places shepherds were seen with their flocks of grazing sheep and goat. At one spot we purchased a jug full of fresh goat milk and curd. About 15 miles further we arrived at Mood, a little beautiful village, at 1:30 PM. We stayed near that village at a spot full of natural scenes. Beneath the shade of tall trees, by the side of a cold water stream, we selected our resting place. The water of this stream was so cold that even at midday it was not possible to stand bare-footed for a minute. The ice cold water was also very tasty. We heated the food which we had taken with us in the morning and ate it after offering namaz. We also took the fresh milk purchased on the way. Indeed, I have no words to describe the impression which these natural scenery have left on my mind. It needs the efficiency of a learned writer or an expert painter. We left this wonderfully attractive place at 3 O’ clock in the afternoon. After travelling another 25 miles we arrived at Birjand at 4:30 PM. This town is halfway between Duzdaab (Zahedan) and Mashhad. We had travelled three hundred miles and half the journey remained. This city is on both the banks of a dried up river and is populated. We camped in a caravan Serai. There are many hamaamkhanas in this town. There is also a branch of the Imperial Bank of Persia, and also the British Consulate. Everything was available here. We bought our necessities and cooked our dinner. As per local currency eggs are available at a dozen per one anna of India. On Sunday 8/8/1926 at 7:30 in the morning we took our breakfast, carried our noon food and restarted our journey. We were continuously climbing up and descending down the hills for about 40 miles. Thereafter came a plain road. After travelling about 62 miles we came to Koen and camped by the side of a small stream. However this place was not as beautiful as Mood. We ate, offered namaz and proceeded further. Again the roads were very rough and full of pits. Another 40 miles and we reached Khizri which we passed at 4:15 PM. Again the rough roads created a problem and while coming down a hilly area we escaped a serious accident due to the sadaqa of Imam Raza (A.S.). The spot was so steep that utmost care was needed even for one walking on foot. Both of our car brakes had failed before this downhill journey started so the drivers were unable to halt the vehicles. He gave a hint, so two persons jumped off a running lorry, picked up a big stone and put it before our vehicle but the car crossed over it. We were frightened but naturally the cars speed slowed down. So, at once, the driver turned it towards a hill on the left and halted because there was a pit on the right side of the road. All of us got down, walked a little and when the cars were repaired we resumed our journey.
After travelling another forty-two miles we arrived at the big village of Gunaabaad at 6:30 PM. As sunset time was 8:30, we got down near a big Hauz (from a running water stream) and took rest for half an hour then proceeded further. Now it was sandy land, but fortunately the ground was somewhat hard. We were caught in dust storm before Maghrib. The wind was so strong that breathing too had become difficult and the speed of our car was also effected. The blowing of dust was so severe that pebbles striking our car were creating the noise of a heavy rainfall. It was so dark that the ground was not visible even from a distance of fifteen yards. This lasted for about an hour. Journeying further for approximately 60 miles, we arrived at Meena at 9:30 in the night. We lodged at an Iranian’s house by the side of a canal. Here we called for things that were required, cooked, ate and slept. Next morning, Monday, 9/8/1926 we had our breakfast at 6:00 AM. and proceeded further. We were charged 2 Karans (8 annas) for staying there overnight. From here on we saw a lot of populated places. As advised by our driver we did not take eatables with us because at the next stop of Turbat-e-Hyderi there were many restaurants which provide all kinds of food. The condition of the road had also improved. After travelling further 35 miles we reached Turbat-e-Hyderi at 8:30 AM. This town was newly built. At a distance of about 10 miles from here, the damaged houses and the debris of the earthquake of 1923 gave us the idea of destruction. This is a large town where everything is available. We called for paayaa (pacha), seekh kabaab, bread etc. fresh from a restaurant and ate. At 10 O’clock we went on further through the ups and downs of hilly terrain. After 67 miles we reached Rubaad-e-Safed, a small village at 1:30 PM. where we took food brought by us and took tea.
Alhamdulillah, we reached MASHHAD-E-MUQADDAS at 4:30 P.M. The golden dome of the MAUSOLEUM is visible from a distance of about 5 to 7 miles from the holy city. It shone gloriously in the rays of the sun. All of us saw this wonderful scene. We prayed durood and salaam to the Mausoleum. Our happiness knew no bounds. The great urge to reach there and to recite Ziyarat, we felt a minute like an hour even though the cars were at full speed. Finally after reaching at 4:30 P.M. we took bath in hamaams, recited salawaat and bowed our heads in the Haram Mubarak. We thanked the Paak Parvardigaar with whose grace we, without any trouble, started from Bombay, travelled for 9 days and 20 hours and reached Mashhad-e-Muqaddas on the tenth day. While leaving Duzdaab (Zahedan) we had sent a telegram to our Muzavir at Mashhad, Janab Syed Mohammed Kazim Lung (whose telegraphic address is “lung”). So he had come to receive us about 2-3 miles away from the city. He gave us accommodation in his nice house in the holy city. He is a very good and gentle man. No words can praise him adequately. He was always on his feet along with his brothers to serve the ‘Zawwars’. He always thought for the comfort of the Zawwars. He assisted us in buying and recommended the cheapest shops for purchasing articles of necessity. He advises the shopkeepers to satisfy the Zawwars and even enters into arguments with them on our behalf. Each and every Zawwar praised him. While writing about Mashhad-e-Muqaddas’ mausoleum the first priority has been given to the Haram Mubarak of Imam Ali Musaa Raza (A.S.). I will never forget the memorable day of 9/8/1926, when I saw this holy place for the first time. Immediately after entering the Sahn, beautiful scenes greeted us from all directions. The scene of the Sahn and the Haram Mubarak looked like Paradise on earth. They occupied a very large space. It was not yet evening when we reached there. The Namaz of Zohar and Asr were being offered. On the other side different maulavis were giving Vaez at three or four places. Some people were engrossed in namaz, some in duaas, some in reciting Ziyarat and some in reading the Quran. We entered the Courtyard (Sahn) from the Goharshaad Masjid. There are three courtyards of the Goharshaad Masjid. The Courtyard built by Fatehali Shah is known as the new Sahn. All the three Sahns are around the Haram Mubarak. The combined number of doors to these Sahns are fifteen. The Sahns are so vast that, in my opinion, more than 50,000 people could be accommodated.