The Rhythm of Azadari

It never ceases to amaze me how, just when my heart slows its beat, my senses begin to dull and my soul becomes sluggish in its journey, that I find something to awaken my spirits. Something with an electric touch in it that shocks my consciousness awake. Something that is all the more wonderful, because it has been there all along – I just haven’t seen it.

I was just browsing a website yesterday when I came across a tradition of the Prophet (pbuh) that says, “Surely, there exists in the hearts of the Believers, with respect to the martyrdom of Husayn, a heat that never subsides.”

That’s what brought this feeling on. All this time, I have searched and searched for a description that would satisfy what I feel and what those around me express. We call it love, or passion, or loyalty, even attachment and sometimes, a duty. But, above all things and beyond all words, this one – heat – seems to fit so perfectly that it extends my faith on the perfect wisdom of my Prophet (pbuh).

How did he know that all these centuries later, I, and others like me would seek out this description and find solace in the knowledge that he understands exactly what it is that we feel and cannot put in words? I envy those who lived with him and shared this. This wonderful “Exactly!” feeling.

Normally, when Muharram comes around, all I want to do is be alone. We seem to have lost the essence of mourning and it hurts to see that we restrict ourselves from grief and try to contain it into a time frame: 8.00p.m. to 8.45 p.m. – Majlis; 8.45 p.m. to 9.00 p.m. – Matam

It makes little sense to me. I find myself thinking in the middle of the day, “Now must be the time when they first stopped on the land of Karbala” or in the afternoon “Now they must have seen the thousands of soldiers chanting for their blood approach or in the middle of the night, “Now the thirst must have begun”, “Now the weakness set in”, “Now the first body brought in” … so may individual moments of intense pain, that we conveniently compress into 15 or 20 minutes.

Where is the justice in this? That a person should suffer endlessly and bear each moment, and you should share in it only in small doses?

I have always heard that if the whole world were to sit and mourn for Karbala and Husayn (pbuh), they would never weep for him as he deserves to be wept for.

I am now beginning to understand the unarguable truth of this statement. And with it comes the grief that we don’t seem to be mourning more in our efforts, but rather less because of our distractions.

Sometimes, I think – ‘O God! Who will save us from the future?’ And then I think ‘more importantly – who will save me from mine?’

Bint Ali


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