Labbaika Ya Hussain! We are IN YOUR COMMAND!
Condolences to you on the eve of the start of the month of Moharram, the month of mourning for the martyrs of the world’s most heartrending-ever tragedy that saw the tragic killing of the grandson of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) by persons masquerading as Muslims.
It is the start of the month in which 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. Here lie the roots of terrorism which in our days is trying to tarnish the humanitarian image of Islam, as 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, which call for adherence to the path of the holy Qur’an and the Ahl al-Bayt, and not indulging in wild blood-stained celebrations for the pagan New Year that the first of Moharram was, for the idolatrous Arabs of the Days of Ignorance.
While the blood of the innocent flows freely on the streets of Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, Idlib and other cities of Syria at the hands of the neo-Yazidis supported by Turkey, Arab reactionary regimes, the US, Britain, France, Germany, and of course, the illegal Zionist entity, and while the oppressed Palestinians in Gaza are targeted almost daily by the Israeli terrorists, the regimes in power, which worship at the altar of the Great Satan (the US), have no inhibitions in insulting the memory of the martyrs by celebrating the eve of 1st of Moharram as the New Year – with pagan-like gaiety reminiscent of the days of Abu Jahl and Abu Sufyan – despite the fact that the migration of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) from Mecca to Medina was on the 1st of Rabi al-Awwal and not on this eve or day. The aspirations for freedom of the Bahrainis, the Yemenis, the Jordanians, and the people of the eastern parts of what is called Saudi Arabia, are also being brutally suppressed by the regimes who have no inhibitions in aligning themselves secretly with Israel, while banning the holding of mourning ceremonies for the Saviour of Islam, Imam Husain (AS). For the faithful, however, the crescent of Moharram moistens the eyes, and grieves the heart, because it was in this month the most heartrending tragedy afflicted the household of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), resulting in the martyrdom of Imam Husain (AS), along with his brothers, sons, nephews, kinsmen, and companions in the most cruel manner, at the hands of the enemies of humanity. Moharram is therefore the month of mourning and not of rejoicing.
Mourning is part of human nature. The sentiments and emotions that the Almighty Creator has bestowed upon mankind, as the Best of Creation, are affected whenever an untoward incident happens. For instance, when the first ever created pair of mankind, Adam and Eve, was expelled from the Garden of Eden by God for eating of the forbidden tree, they were overcome with grief for losing the comforts of a carefree life. They wandered over the earth for years, weeping and wailing, and beseeching the All-Merciful to forgive them and unite them. God accepted their prayer and united them. This started the process of procreation as they begat children and mankind multiplied and spread over the globe. As we read in the heavenly scriptures, God has granted certain positive and negative characteristics to mankind, as a form of trial and tribulation. When the human being controls these negative passions and strives for perfection of the positive qualities, he/she is regarded by God as superior to the angels, but when negative characteristics overwhelm positive ones, he or she is considered an animal, and even more base than animals for degrading human dignity. Thus, when from among the sons of Adam, Cain grew jealous of his brother Abel and murdered him, this first shedding of human blood was a profound shock to the bereaved parents, Adam and Eve, as well as to the rest of the siblings. They naturally wept at this tragedy, expressing affection and sympathy for the oppressed martyr, and feeling aversion towards the perpetrator of the crime.
As mankind multiplied and formed tribes, nations and states, virtue and vice tussled for domination of their characteristics. In every age and era, the undesirable incidents of fratricide happened, bringing tears to the eyes of persons of conscience. That is the reason, in every culture and creed there are accounts of tragedies, with sympathies for the oppressed and hatred for the oppressors. Amongst the Prophets, we hear about the weeping and wailing of Noah for long centuries at the oppression and injustice of his era. Centuries later when the brothers of the young Joseph betrayed him, sold him into slavery in distant Egypt, and then lied to their father, saying he was devoured by a wolf, Prophet Jacob wept for years, although he knew through Prophetic knowledge that his son was alive. The Qur’an says that so bitterly he used to weep for his lost son that he almost lost his eyesight. This clearly means that weeping for the loved ones is not just part of human nature, but the practice and behaviour of the Messengers of God. Then we come across the martyrdom of Yahya or John the Baptist over two thousand years ago by the Jewish tyrant, Herod, who had this Prophet decapitated in a cruel manner in pursuit of his carnal desires to please an immoral woman. The virtuous amongst the Israelites wept for this Prophet.
Now coming to incidents in the clear limelight of history, we find the Almighty’s Last and Greatest Messenger, Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), expressing grief at the loss of his near and dear ones. Both Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims have recorded how he wept at the passing away of his loyal and beloved wife of over 25-long years, Hazrat Khadija (peace upon her). We also find him shedding tears at the passing away of his loving uncle and guardian, Abu Taleb, and years later in Medina at the departure from the world of the latter’s wife, Fatema bint Asad, who had brought him up as her own son, when he was orphaned. It is also an undeniable fact that the Prophet not only mourned his uncle Hamza who was cruelly martyred in the Battle of Ohad on the orders of Abu Sufyan’s vicious wife, Hind (grandmother of the tyrant Yazid), but on returning to Medina when he found the bereaved mourning their martyrs, he remembered his uncle with a deep sigh, which moved the Muslims and made them commemorate the virtuous Hamza as Seyyed osh-Shohada (or Chief of Martyrs). This Sunnah (or practice) of the Prophet is still observed to this day by the people of Egypt, who before mourning their deceased, recount the tragic martyrdom of Hamza and how his liver was torn from his body and almost savagely chewed by Hind. It is true that Hamza had been killed before the Prophet’s eyes, but it was also the habit of the Prophet to express grief and shed tears on hearing of the death, especially in far off battlefields, of his companions, particularly his cousin Ja’far ibn Abi Taleb, who lost both his hands in the fight with the Romans. The grief-stricken Prophet consoled the orphans of Ja’far and took them under his care.
We next read how sad the Prophet was on a natural death, and this time of his infant son, Ibrahim. He also used to regularly visit the graveyard and salute the dead by reciting Fateha and thereby teaching Muslims how to remember the departed ones by visiting their graves. This is all proof of the fact that weeping for the dear and near ones is part of human nature, whether they die a natural death or are killed. However, in case of martyrdom, the greater the magnitude of the tragedy, the more profound the grief and wailing. No one can allege that the Prophet ever felt happy on hearing of the death of a Muslim, or that he rejoiced on the martyrdom of his companions. As a matter of fact, he set a lasting precedent by not just commemorating the martyrs with tears, but weeping, even while conveying information of the tragic events that were to befall his family in the future after his passing away. This is evident by his tearful look at his beloved cousin, ward, son-in-law and vicegerent, Imam Ali (AS), during one of his sermons in the fasting month of Ramadhan when he foretold how one day he will be struck by an assassin’s sword while in prayer and his beard will be dyed with blood.
As further proof of this undeniable Sunnah and Seerah of the Prophet, we come across his tearful countenance, when by God’s command, the Archangel Gabriel informed him of the martyrdom in the distant future of his younger grandson, Imam Husain (AS). This has been attested by all Muslims, including our Sunni brethren, who write that the Prophet used to weep while kissing the throat of Imam Husain (AS), saying that one day he will be brutally killed by a rebellious group. And no one has been ever killed in history in such a brutal manner, as Imam Husain (AS) was martyred in Karbala in 61 AH, and that too for a cause, since for the sake of safeguarding Islam and humanitarian values, he refused to endorse the rule of the Godlesss Yazid ibn Mu’awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan, and courted martyrdom in brave combat against heavy odds, even if it required the death of his near and dear ones, including the six-month old infant, Ali Asghar. Therefore, it is not just part of human nature to mourn for Imam Husain (AS) in order to make Islamic values blossom in society, but it is also the Sunnah and Seerah of the Prophet to mourn for him and the other martyrs of the immortal tragedy of Karbala, which has acted like a catalyst in every age and era, by instilling the Muslim masses with faith and resolve and throwing into the dustbin of history the tyrants and oppressors – the Shah, Saddam, Mubarak, the Zionist occupiers of Lebanon, and Insha Allah (God Wiling) the potentates of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and other oppressed lands.