Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Ashura

The Tenth of Muharram - better known as the Day of Ashura - is a source of deep mourning and grief for the Prophet's (P.B.U.H) followers. The day marks the brave sacrifice given by Hazrat Imam Hussain (A.S) and his brave companions. To this day, there are some morons who think all this was a political war between two "Princes". If that were the case, why would have the Imam brought along his family and children? Did he not have the foresight to see the eventual outcome of the situation that was developing? This post is primarily aimed at my foreign readers (Yes, I have a few I'm told) so I'll avoid the inane questions and doubts devoid of common sense shown by some of our Muslim brethren.

Every year, the arrival of Muharram is marked with majalis (lectures) aimed at making people realize the greatness of this sacrifice in the context of history and the far-reaching repercussions it has to this day. Had it not been for this sacrifice, the Islam we'd have had today would've been anything but the one that was brought by our Prophet (P.B.U.H). As a poet has famously said:

Qatl-e-Hussain Asal Mein Marg-e-Yazid Hay
Islam Zinda Hota Hay Har Karbala Kay Baad
(Killing of Hussain is actually the death of Yazeed
Islam is revived after every Karbala - implying every year in the month of Muharram)

While it is extremely important to remember this sacrifice year-on-year, what is also equally important is to understand the message of Karbala and try to apply it to our daily lives. As Imam Jafar-e-Sadiq (A.S.) said:
Kullu Youm-e-Ashura, Kullu Arz-e-Karbala
(Every day is Ashura, Every Land is Karbala).

Indeed, the message of Karbala is much much more profound than we believe it to be. What the Imam means by saying that is the fact that the message of Karbala is not limited to a certain period in history. In fact, it is so profound that every living being can take something from this great sacrifice and apply it to their lives no matter where they are and what time period they live in. Quoting another poet:

Insaan ko baidaar to ho lainay do
Har Qaum pukaaray gi hamaray hain Hussain

(Let humanity wake up from its slumber
Every nation will cry out: Hussain is ours!)

The poet wants to convey the fact the message of Karbala is truly universal and is valid for all humanity regardless of race, cast, creed and other differences. It is a slap to the face of oppression, tyranny and falsehood that continues in one form or another to this day. Imam Hussain (A.S.) by his remarkable actions has created an eternal distinction between good and evil, and that good is worth every sacrifice, no matter how big.

Shah Ast Hussain, Baadshah Ast Hussain
Deen Ast Hussain, Deen-Panah Ast Hussain
Sar Daad Na Daad, Dast dar Dast-e-Yazeed
Haqqa kay binaey La Ilah Ast Hussain
(Ruler is Hussain, Emperor is Hussain
Faith is Hussain, Guardian of Faith is Hussain
He gave his head, but refused to give his hand (in allegiance)
Indeed, Hussain is the foundation of La-Ilah (religion of truth) )

Alla humma La'an Qatla-tal Hussain-e-wa Ashaabehi
(May Allah curse the murderes of Hussain and his companions) Amen!

Image courtesy: Saeed-Art

2 comments:

SAWJ said...

According to Zameer Akhtar, "who's prince was Yazeed?"

And again, according to ZA: "Imam Husain (A.S.) changed the norms of battle. He showed that victory is not achieved by only killing, but by sacrificing too!"

Shah Ast Husain is by Khwaja Moeen-ud-din Chishti Ajmeri.

Razz said...

@SAWJ
I thought the Muslims were unanimous in cursing Yazeed until I heard Zakir Naik call him R.A. Amazing someone as low and despicable as Yazeed can be remembered as "good"!

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