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Number of posts : 158
Age : 25
Mosque : Shah-E-Najaf Center
Registration date : 2006-10-19

PostSubject: CONCLUSIONS   Sat Jan 27, 2007 11:43 am

We have discussed accounts of how each martyr fell, how even young children eagerly gave their lives to save Islam. We have looked at the misery and suffering of the women and the children. We have talked of the five journeys of tears.

We must now revisit the message of Imaam Hussain. Unless we undertake this journey and make sure that the message of our Imaam for ever remains with us to guide us through our lives, those five journeys of grief and suffering of the martyrs and the captives can not possibly have any meaning for us.

The tears we shed and the maatam we perform will be little more than hypocrisy if we allow ourselves to forget the message of Kerbala until next 'ashra-e-Muharram. If we do so we shall be guilty of having insulted the martyrs in such a manner that our Imaam will never forgive us.

We must remember that mourning for the martyrs is not a ritual we have to perform. We do so out of love for them and to keep their memory alive so that people everywhere in every age will remember what our Imaam lived and died for.

From the day he left Madina on the 28th Rajab in 60 Hijrah, at every stage, our Imaam made his mission clear. He left no doubt as to his intentions. It was not to fight Yezid to get the throne of the empire over which the khalifah ruled. Imaam's mission was to reawaken the spirit of Islam and rekindle the Islamic conscience which was nearing extinction by the conduct of Muawiya and Yezid. Justice and morality were gradually being destroyed by the greed for land and power of those who had become rulers. Where Quraan insists that distinction can be accorded by piety alone, aristocracy based on nepotism and blood relationship was reigning the social order.

Let us look at some of the statements by Imaam Hussain. Before leaving Madina Imaam Hussain made a will and handed it over to his brother Muhammad Hanafiya. In this will Imaam wrote: "My mission is to reform the muslim community which I propose to do by AMRAL BIL MA'ROOF AND NAHYA ANIL MUNKAR, inviting them to the good and advising them against evil. It is not my intention to set myself as an insolent or arrogant tyrant or a mischief maker".

In Mecca a man came to him and said he was a Shiah of Ahlul Bait. Imaam looked at him and said: "My friend, never claim to be one of our Shiahs lest Allah, on the Day of Judgement, raise you with the liars. No one can be our Shiah except a person whose heart is free of deceit, malice or hatred towards others and free of corruption. If you are not such a person you can claim to be our admirer or supporter but never our Shiah."

Imaam Hussain has defined what being a Shiah means. Can we honestly say that we are Shiahs of Ahlul Bait? Being a Shiah means having a pure mind and soul, free of greed, malice, jealousy, deceit. It means keeping away from back biting and other habit of putting down others. It means having a thirst for knowledge. It means living our lives justly, humbly and being true to ourselves and others.

In Mecca Imaam addressed a large group of scholars who had come for pilgrimage. He exhorted them to do amr bil ma'roof and nahya anil munkar and not to pander to the philosophies of the rulers who paid them to keep away from truth. This was a long and powerful speech reminding the scholars of their duty to inculcate Islamic concience and not to mislead the masses who trusted them

In a letter which he addressed to the people of Kufa Imaam wrote: "An Imaam is one who judges by the Holy Quraan, upholds justice, professes the religion of truth and dedicates himself to obeying Allah and His Prophet."

When Hur and his army stopped Imaam's caravan from going to Kufa, and Hur told Imam that his order from ibne Ziyad was to ask Imaam for Bai'at to Yezid, Imaam refused to declare Bai'at to someone who was only serving his own ends and not of Islam. Hur said that such an attitude would cost Imaam his life. Imaam replied: "Are you threatening me with death? Death is many thousands of times better than the dishonour of Bai'at to an enemy of Islam. Do you not see that truth is not being practised and falsehood is not being prevented? I see death as a blessing and life with tyrants as the most disgusting state one can be in."

At Kerbala, facing the army of Yezid, Imaam Hussain addressed them as follows:"Remember that when you see a ruler who does what has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, who indulges in sins, who oppresses the people he rules, and you do nothing to stop such a ruler, before Allah you are as guilty as he is." He went on to add: "My parents did not raise me to submit myself to an evil tyrant. I am your Imaam and it is my duty to tell you that you have surrendered the freedom of your mind to the evil ways of Yazeed. If you do not care for Islam, and do not fear the day of judgement, at least do care for that precious gift from Allah, the freedom of your spirit!!"

When Umar Sa'ad called upon the army to attack and kill Imaam Hussain he said: "Death is better that disgrace and disgrace is better than the fire of hell."

From all these sayings of Imaam Hussain, from the ceremonies of mourning in which we have taken part during the 'ahra-e-Muharram, from all the majaalis we have heard and the literature we have read, what are the specific lessons for the youths of the Shiah Ithnasheri Community?

This question has to be answered by the youths themselves. But surely it can not be anything to do with the form of aza-e-Hussain. The form will always remain culture bound and any comparison between the form in one country with the form in another country is an exercise in futility. We have to remember that aza-e-Hussain has tripartite objectives:

(1) Demonstration of personal grief. This is an issue which has by very definition to remain a matter of personal choice and every community has to ponder over it and decide upon the form acceptable to it having regard to its geographic location and its composition.

(2) The dissemination of Hussain's message to the indigenous population. Where such population is Muslim of other persuasions, processions and public maatam have proved very effective. In the west, there is a need to explore other avenues such as-
a) Hussaini Blood Bank;
b) Visiting hospital patients with small gifts in the name of the martyrs,
c) Food drive for the homeless, the poor, the aged and those in the homes,
d) Distribution of literature explaining the message of Kerbala.

(3) Finally, and most important, a personal commitment by each one of us to make every effort to get rid of those evil qualities within us which could prevent us from claiming to be the Shiahs of Hussain ibne Ali. Supposing every Muharram we forswear one evil habit like drug addiction, back-biting, arrogance, mischief making or any other un-Islamic habit, what a strong and powerful community we would be, and how sincere our maatam and tears would seem to us!
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