Muharram is a global message to take a stand against all Imperial Powers
Muharram shows us to strive against all imperial powers irrespective of numerical strength taken into consideration.
To think always about one’s defense is the proof of being alive and alert. A nation which does not think about its defense is not alive. We have never been nor we are the warmongers, but being vigilant and alive we are ready for our defense. Whoever sees an evil let him change it with force, if he cannot then with his tongue and he cannot let him with his heart and this is undoubtedly, the weakest faith. Islam according to Prof. Toynbee is the religion which does not recognize the geographical barriers or the bars of colour, sects, caste etc.
“SURELY THE MOST HONORED OF YOU WITH ALLAH IS ONE OF YOU WHO GUARDS AGAINST EVIL.” (49:13)
Islam endeavors to set up cooperation and close knitted society in which people enjoy equal rights, and their duties are tied to each other by the bounds of love, respect, and cooperation.
“COOPERATE WITH EACH OTHER IN RIGHTEOUSNESS AND PITY AND COOPERATE NOT IN SIN AND ENMITY.” (QURAN)
Jihad means to strive or struggle for the cause of Islam, justice and righteousness. It can be waged by various means such as speeches, writings, wealth, enlightening fellow humans by oratory and discourses or writing books and articles is jihad. So also funding of welfare projects like schools, hospitals, roads, bridges is Jihad.
“ALL HUMAN-BEINGS ARE A SINGLE NATION” (2:213)
The doing of good and forbidding of evil is one of the most important principles of faith and ensures the healthy progress of a society. In the modern world, the media plays an important role in influencing the life structure of the society. Therefore, it is highly important to put the right people in its in-charge. To think always about one’s defense is the proof of being alive and alert.
A nation which does not think about its defense is not alive. We have never been nor we are the warmongers, but being vigilant and alive we are ready for our defense. Suppose we are dealing with a powerful enemy who intends to violate our righted or to attack the territory of our lands, and suppose that we are at the moment too weak to defend ourselves and any effort on our part would entail a serious loss and no positive result could be gained now or in the future. In such a case it is obvious that we are unable to resist such a strong foe but, at the same time, we are obliged to strengthen our forces rather than losing our spirit and remaining inactive.
Imam Husayn (RA) had shown by his acts as well as his various discourses during the seven days of Muharram at Karbala, that this conflict was much more universal in nature, and that he knew that he was going to live for ever through his martyrdom. Yazeed died as uselessly as he lived; only three years after the battle of Karbala took place. While trying to race a baboon, he fell from his horse and broke his neck. As history has recorded, those who were apparent victors at Karbala have disappeared without trace.
While the plain of Karbala was transformed from a deserted piece of barren land into a bustling town, of which, the central monument is Imam Husayn’s glorious tomb. Millions of people visit the tomb in reverence, all the year round, day and night. Imam Husayn’s martyrdom is observed with solemn deference all over the world, every year during the first ten days of the month of Muharram, by his followers. Public gatherings are held, speeches are made in which the story of Karbala is retold in touching tones and prayers are made to the effect that may the almighty Allah grant the same courage and strength to his followers in their hour of trial as he did to Imam Husayn. At the end of these gatherings, the audience stand up and pay homage to Husayn and his companions in the following formal terms:
I WISH I WAS WITH YOU ( AT KARBALA ) AND WOULD THEREFORE, HAVE ATTAINED THE SAME EXALTED STATION ( AS YOU DID).
Although, the observance of commemoration of Imam Husayn in Muharram has only recently started in the Western countries, they are a part of the Muslim culture in India, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and other eastern countries. New centers have been established in Canada, the USA, and in many European countries where these practices of Muharram are done with all the elaborate details. The main element of these commemorative practices is the message of Imam Husayn, which is also the message of the Prophet of Islam, which is Islam in its purest form. That is as follows:
1. Islam is a universal religion
2. Islam is the religion of human rights and common sense
3. Islam upholds the basic right of every person to hold his/her own views
4. Islam stands for the poor, the downtrodden and the weak
5. Islam teaches to side with the oppressed and fight the oppressor.
6. Islam appeals to human conscience and consciousness to see the right from wrong
7. Islam appeals to man through his own awareness and power to distinguish between good and evil.
8. Islam does not impose the law by brute force.
Karbala is a gift to humanity. It teaches the parents how to love and cherish their children – however, when the time of sacrifice, the parent comes is in the forefront to sacrifice his/her child for the right cause.It teaches men and women how a husband should behave with her wife, and vise-versa. Even when the family is threatened for life, property, and honour, how sensible people keep their heads and act according to Allah’s and nature’s laws.It teaches the faithful that your beliefs and your convictions are the most important thing in the world.It teaches the faithful to find the right Imam and follow him.It teaches the faithful that helplessness and lack of power in this world do not mean a thing as long as one has chosen the right path and he/she is convinced that he/she is on the side of the truth.
When tents were burning in Karbala, Lady Zainab, Imam Husayn’s sister approached her 24 year old nephew, Imam Ali Zain Al-Abideen and asked him: “Nephew, you are our Imam now, what is your command about us, shall we all get burnt to death or save our lives and go out of the tents without our Hijab?”
IMAM ALI ZAIN AL-ABIDEEN REPLIED: “AUNT, SAVING YOUR LIFE IS OBLIGATORY, GO OUT AND SAVE YOURSELVES AND THE CHILDREN.”
The head coverings had already been looted from the heads of the ladies by the enemy soldiers. However, Lady Zainab is the grand-daughter of the Prophet of Islam; she is the daughter of Imam Ali and Lady Fatima. She did not need anyone else to tell her what the religious law was. She had grown up with Islam. By this one act, Lady Zainab showed to the world the importance of the Imam of the time. At the same time, Imam Ali Zain Al-Abideen’s reply showed that Islamic law is what it is, but common sense always prevails. The Muharram indeed shows us to strive against all imperial powers irrespective of Numerical strength taken into consideration.
The writer is a Social and RTI Activist studying at Jamia Al Mustafa International University, Qom Iran. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: Views expressed are exclusively personal and do not necessarily reflect the position of Oracle Opinions.