By: Seyyed Ali Shahbaz
"And think not of those who are slain in Allah's way as dead, nay they are alive (and) by their Lord well provided." (Holy Qur'an 3:169)
"I do not wish a death for myself other than martyrdom, while life among the unjust would be unbearable." (Imam Husain)
It has once again arrived — the month of Muharram and its memories of the greatest tragedy that the world has ever seen, and will never see the like of it in future.
It is the month when blood, including that of a 6-month old boy, triumphed over sharpened swords. It is the month which each year, jolts human conscience and reminds mankind of its duties towards religion and society.
It is thus irreligious to indulge in outward modes of worship alone, leaving social, cultural, political and other issues which govern human life, in the hands of charlatans. Likewise, it is self-deception to ignore the Divine Law and give free rein to whimsical ideas of the fallible mind, thereby allowing the fate of the people to slip into a state of social injustice, which in turn provides breeding ground for would-be Yazids.
This is the message of Muharram, the month of the life-inspiring mourning ceremonies.
In other words, the First of Muharram is not a day of celebration, as is unfortunately done in some Arab states, which seem oblivious to the great sacrifice of the Prophet’s grandson. Such celebrations, on the pretext of the start of the so-called New Year are nothing but practices of the days of Jahiliyya, in view of the fact that the Prophet’s auspicious migration from Mecca to Medina was not on the eve of Muharram, but on the eve of Rabi al-Awwal. So such frivolities are nothing but plots to distance Muslims from the essence of Islam, as preached by the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt and guarded by their sacred blood.
Muharram is a time for reflection for Muslims, and the best way of pondering on facts are the mourning ceremonies for Imam Husain (AS) and the martyrs of Karbala that could indeed part of the Prophet’s "Sunnah” (practice) and "Seerah” (behaviour).
Islam does not permit Muslims to indulge in wild celebrations such as dancing and drinking – as is done in Persian Gulf Arab states and Egypt.
Islam also does not allow Muslims to shed the blood of fellow Muslims, as the Takfiris and other deviated groups practice today by massacring Muslims. This is surely not what was taught to us by the Messenger of Mercy.
With the start of Muharram the blood of Imam Husain (AS) becomes fresh, as the hearts of the faithful turn towards Karbala in Iraq, the rendezvous of martyrs, where the hypocrisy of the Godless Omayyads was unmasked to show them in their true pagan Arab colours.
Muharram is thus the month that jolts human conscience to expose the roots of terrorism which in our days is trying to tarnish the humanitarian image of Islam. This is evident by the bestial ways of the Salafis and similar groups that shamelessly call themselves Muslims, while in practice they have nothing to do with the egalitarian laws of Islam. The eating raw of the bodily organs of human beings, as the Takfiris do in the occupied parts of Syria and Iraq, as well as continued bombing of the people of Yemen by Saudi Arabia are certainly not Islamic acts, even if they are mischievously called "Jihadis” and "puritanical Muslims” by the Zionist-supported western media. Islam teaches us the highest form of humanitarian values.
Islam means adherence to the letter and spirit of the holy Qur’an, coupled with love, affection and obedience to the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt. Islam means resistance against oppressors and readiness to court martyrdom for the defence of humanitarian values as taught by Imam Husain (AS).
This is the message of Imam Husain (AS). This is what the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) stood for and drank the cup of martyrdom so that humanity could have a worthy model in every age and clime against the forces of oppression and exploitation.
Condolences on the Start of Muharram