New posts are on the way about my trip in October to Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif, and about my upcoming trip later this month – just waiting for proper permissions from the organisation I’m working with. I know it’s a bit of a wait but we’ve all been so busy with planning and prep work on the project that processing permissions for blogs took a bit of a backseat – really looking forward to sharing info soon! So watch this space…
A little about The Shrine of Hazrat Ali:
The Shrine of Hazrat Ali, fourth Caliph of Islam, the son in law of the Prophet Mohammed is an iconic sight in Mazar-i-Sharif in the province of Balkh in Afghanistan. The story the founding of the shrine indicates that, shortly after the murder of Ali and the burial of his body at Najaf, near Baghdad, some of Ali’s followers worried that his body would be desecrated by his enemies, and they placed his remains on a white female camel. Ali’s followers travelled with the camel for several weeks, until the camel ultimately fell to the ground exhausted. The body was then reburied where the camel fell. All knowledge of the final resting place was lost until the body was said to be rediscovered in the 12th century, its existence having been revealed to a mullah in a dream.
On the east side of the shrine is a tall minaret-like pigeon tower. The doves in the shrine complex are famous across Afghanistan. Every seventh pigeon is said to contain a spirit, and the site is so holy that if a grey pigeon flies here it turns white within 40 days. (If you look closely at my pic you will see one of these famous white pigeons in flight.)