Imam Ridha (‘a) said: “With the advent of the month of Muharram, my father Imam Al Kadhim (‘a) would never be seen laughing; gloom and sadness would overcome him for (the first) ten days of the month; and when the tenth day of the month would dawn, it would be a day of tragedy, grief and weeping for him.”
The ‘new year’ in Islam is marked in a way which perhaps no other nation or community marks their own ‘new year’. Our eyes anxiously scan the sky to see the new crescent of Muharram with tears – in line with the traditions of our Aimmah (‘a) who upon its sighting would weep in remembrance of Imam Hussain (‘a) and his Holy Household. Instead of joyous celebration, the New Year commences by putting away all the happiness of life at bay and inviting people of all races in grief and sorrow with open arms. The mourners (Azadars) of Sayyidush Shohada Aba Abdillahil Hussain (‘a) pay homage by attending programs at Imambargahs and Mehfils in every corner of the world, be it in villages, towns or cities.
Imam Hussain’s message speaks to each and every heart that hears his story. Imam Hussain (‘a) stood up to change the Islamic society that had become corrupt under the despotic and tyrannical ruler of that time of the Umayyad dynasty, Yazid son of Muawiya bin Abi Sufyaan. The courage, stand and sacrifice of Imam Hussain (‘a) paved the way for our success in this world and in the hereafter for his movement at Karbala not only called for the eradication of all forms of outward tyranny by whoever is enacting it over ANY oppressed individual, but also to purge the inner tyranny which our own lower passions and desires pull us towards. Thus, the movement of Imam Hussain (‘a) was a divine mission with clear manifestation for dealing with one’s own soul and with others, for he wanted to teach us a lesson about service at every stage of his noble mission, leaving an everlasting landmark to all mankind until the Day of Judgement.
The message of Kerbala is not relegated to the year 61 AH. Yes, Imam Hussain (‘a) was mercilessly martyred on the plains of Karbala on the 10th of Muharram; however, he ensured that his message was not limited to his time. When he was proceeding forth, he continuously reminded us that his mission was timeless and borderless. We notice every year the magnanimity of the remembrance of Imam Hussain (‘a) all over the world. This revives our sense of hope that there is still a heart beating in the body of this nation, a heart which draws its blood from the pure blood that was spilt at Kerbala, the sacrifices for Islam by the grandson of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw), his household and faithful companions of 72 martyrs.
GLIMPSES OF AZADARI IN AFRICA
Imam Hussain (‘a) is a source of inspiration for mankind since he gave up everything for the sake of religion, human values and principles of al Amr bil Ma’ruf wa Nahy anil Munkar – who was so in love and at peace with his Creator that his life had no doubts and he was full of certainty for every action he took.
Lessons from the Event of Karbala:
The two months that we commemorate this great sacrifice is an opportunity to remind ourselves of the movement and the divine mission of Imam Hussain (‘a) and his family members faithful companions, and take lessons from it.
“The best lesson which we learn from the tragedy of Karbala is that Imam Hussain (‘a) and his companions were firm believers in Allah (swt)’s Will – Tawheed. They demonstrated that the numerical superiority of one’s enemies does not count when it comes to stand for truth and reject falsehood.” It was Thomas Carlyle who said: “The ultimate victory of Hussain (‘a), despite his being out-numbered, amazes me!”
ARCHIVES SECTION OF THE AFRICA FEDERATION
20th August 2021 / 11th Muharram 1443 A.H