Like every year, in the beginning of the month of Muharram, Muslims around the world who follow the Prophet and his household commemorate Ashoura, or the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS). The Muslim community in Europe, especially in France and Switzerland, prepare for this commemoration passionately.
Imam Hussein (AS) Facing “ISIL” of his Time
Imam Hussein (AS) whose name is also Aba Abdillah was the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon his and his family). He rose against the dictator of his time, Yazid, the inheritor of the Umayyad dynasty. Left in the desert of what is now known as Iraq, the Imam, his family and his loyal companions were all brutally massacred in a land called Karbala.
To honor the memory of the grandson of the Prophet (peace be upon his and his family), Muslims around the world made this day a day of mourning and a special time to revive the sacred laws of the religion of Islam. The revolution of Imam Hussein (AS) can be summed up in the sacrifice for the core human values such as justice, freedom, equality and truth. All these meanings can be expressed clearly in the speech of Imam Hussein (AS), where he defines the reasons behind his uprising:
I am not rising as an insolent or an arrogant person, or as a mischief-monger, or tyrant. I have risen against Yazid as I seek to reform the Ummah [Muslim nation] of my grandfather. I want to enjoin the good and denounce the evil, and take the course of my father and grandfather.
The Commemoration of Ashoura in France
In Paris, many associations commemorate this event on the occasion of Ashoura. We can many find Islamic centers in other French cities, including those in Dunkerque, Toulouse, Lille, Besançon, in Givors and Marseille. All these associations reunite together for the purpose of showing the French society the real face of Islam, shedding the light on the first person who stood against the takfiris of his time, Imam Hussein (AS).
Ashoura in France
We had the privilege of holding a meeting with the director of one association, Mr. M.U. He assured to us that the revolt of Imam Hussein (AS) has made all the difference between the good and evil, justice and injustice, right and wrong.
“We all know from the Islamic texts that theses holy persons, like the prophets Ibrahim (Abraham), Moussa (Moses) and Muhammad, were sent to humanity with a reforming message, aiming at the instauration of justice and equality and to serve the well being of the human kind. The ultimate goal is to save people from the servitude of tyrants”, explained Mr. M.U.
“We should mention that our Prophet was sent to his people in a time where obscurantism was prevalent in society on all levels: dogmatic, ethic, social and politic. Furthermore, in that time, Europe was living in complete chaos and the Persian Empire lived in totalitarianism and debauchery”, he added.
It was in this sorrowful context that the Prophet was sent to people to announce the glorious message of Islam and invite them to embrace this religion of peace. His goal was to rescue them and guide them to the straight path. However, fifty years after the death of the Prophet, Yazid arrived to the rule in the Islamic state.
By means of the many speeches of Imam Hussein (AS), we can clearly distinguish the reasons behind his revolution. He wanted to establish justice and bring about the prophetic teachings.
Thus, for the sake of this noble cause, Hussein sacrificed his life, for sincere and dedicated reformers are ready for all sacrifices for the purpose of achieving their goals: the prevalence of divine justice, of peace, love and the well being of mankind on this earth.
Ashoura in France
One should also know that if Muslim people commemorate this tragedy, they do it to console the Prophet and his family and recall the memory of this great man that the tyrants are trying to erase from our minds. Their goal is to make us drown in complete ignorance, which can be translated in all the different events occurring around the world: explosions, acts of beheadings and decapitation. They are trying to fill our hearts with terror but Imam Hussein (AS) and the memory of his martyrdom is always there, nourishing us with courage even if the situation in the world outside is less and less reassuring.
The Advantages of Attending Ashoura Reunions
One of the benefits of attending such reunions in groups (men, women and children) is the act of weeping. Weeping makes the person more compassionate and more sentimental. It is a psychological and spiritual remedy. It is a kind of alliance that we are fortunate to have with Imam Hussein (AS).
In addition, Mr. M.U. stressed the importance of the visit of Imam Hussein (AS), the zyarat, even if it is performed from a distance. The zyarat is a way of showing the Imam our support, our recognition of his courage, our sorrow for his wounds and of delivering a message of peace, where we assure him that his blood did not go to waste.
Besides, the zyarat is a testimony that the loyal and dignified people will continue to walk on his path until justice is predominant.
Mr. M. U. states that the association uses this event to gather people from all backgrounds, nationalities and religions under one single banner- that of Karbala. It is worth mentioning that Karbala gathered Christian people along with Muslims, and a Jewish man fought by the side of Imam Hussein (AS) in that battle.
As a matter of fact, Imam Ali (AS) did not neglect mentioning this exact issue, for he stated: “Know that people are of two types: they are either your brothers in religion or your equals in creation.”
Humanity reunites us. There is no better figure to reunite us other than Imam Hussein (AS).
Source: Al-Ahed News