SHAFAQNA – With Arbaeen about to reach its ultimate climax coming November 21 I found myself pondering over the state we find ourselves in as Muslims … We stand a people divided for a lack of humility. God knows I include myself in this criticism.
We argue when we lack knowledge, we stomp and we slander for a lack of wisdom … all the while it is Islam we are sullying with our short-comings.
Islam demands for us to be better. Islam offers us freedom from the shackles of this world if only we chose to rise ourselves free.
As we prepare to mourn our Imam, martyr among all martyrs – Imam Hussain ibn Ali it is ignorance still which surrounds us. As 20 million walk towards Karbala hundreds of millions know not of our Imam.
It pains me to know that Muslims know not of your beloved Imam, he, who demonstrated such grace that Light shall never set over Karbala. Ignorance will be the real tragedy of Karbala if we do not speak our love of Islam by speaking those names which carried us.
It was our Imams’ calls I heard when I first came to Islam. If the Quran echoed Truth in my heart, it was Imam Hussain’s devotion which forever anchored Islam in my soul; it was Imam Ali’s loyalty and purety of heart which made me a servant of the Word, never to be lost again.
As night is falling on the world, as the Call is soon to be made, I beg you to turn your face to Karbala and witness the miracle of Hussain ibn Ali. I beg you to see in his servants not heresy but a bound so deep and sincere that no Terror could ever make falter.
Karbala has seen many horrors already and yet its people have always risen a Resistance .., under Hussain’s shrine there is no sorrow which cannot be soothed, there is no prayer which will go unanswered.
And so we remember … we remember the righteous blood spilled, we remember the betrayal, and the sting of arrows on the House, we remember the tears and the defiance … Oh how we remember our Ladies and how they held true when others would have faltered.
And so all of our love and all of our prayers we gave to them. Our chest we shall beat and for every tear we shed it is a promise we shall make: that when the Imam of our time will come we shall answer a mighty roar of allegiance.
Why can’t you understand that Imam Hussain is our anchor, he is the path – Mustakhil, he is the Word passed on from his grandfather, father and brother. He is the House which will never shake, the foundation and expression of our faith.
He is our love consecrated! He is Hussain ibn Ali.
Call me foolish, call me whichever adjective you see fit, but I will never renege my Imams, for the Prophet Muhammed commanded we hold on to them … and so I will hold.
Even if for one day remember your Imam and remember your allegiance. Even if for one second remember whose leadership is righteous against the tyranny of usurpers.
Will you follow the master of martyrs or bathe in the lies of fallacy?
One day soon, the son of Hussain will rise and night will be defeated. Until then we shall invite the wary and the oppressed to sit under the protection of Hussain.
There is no greater gift but that of faith, and there is no greater love than the love of Hussain … how can there be any heresy?
I was blessed twice … I pray never to close my eyes again.
By Catherine Shakdam – Director of Programs for the Shafaqna Institute of Middle Eastern Studies