To my Muslim brothers and sisters: May Allah (SWT) fill your hearts and souls with the sorrow and grief of Imam Husayn (a) for all your lives.
Arba’een has passed and with the Prophet (s)’s wafat coming up on Sunday, the end of the season of Azadari is nearing. Every year, we look forward to Muharram with a bitter-sweet eagerness and yet, once the first ashra has passed, we forget the entire concept.
Do we really think that mourning Imam Husayn (a) is about the first ten days of Muharram and the ten days of Ashra-e-Zainabiyya? What about the other days in between? What about the official ending of the season on the 8th of Rabi’ul Awwal? If we declare such loyalty and love for Imam (a), then why do we find it so hard to keep the happiness in our lives on hold for this period of time?
Two of the birthdays in our family fell in Muharram and Safar this year – three actually. Yet, there was no mention of celebration or even a ‘Happy Birthday’ exchanged. The best bit was that none of us expected it either. There was no need to explain why these days had been ignored to those involved. What was there to say? Why should a Shia have to apologise to another Shia for loving the Ahlul Bayt (a) more than they love each other? Isn’t that the whole point?
But the really sad part is when other Shia send b’day emails and smileys and cheers like they have no idea what days these are. I’ve seen people exchange all kinds of happy congratulations – births, graduations, even wedding ones – to both non-Shia and fellow Shia. And it makes me want to cry and rant at the same time.
Hello! The companions of Imam Husayn (a) gave up their lives (literally!) in the most torturous manner for him and they did this gladly and with an eagerness to repeat the entire experience if they could be given a second chance to come back to life. The Bani Hashim did not sleep on soft pillows, colour their hair or use any manners of beautification for five years … that’s FIVE YEARS – until Mukhtar brought the murderers of Imam (a) to justice.
Are we saying that we can’t put our own joy on hold for 68 days a year? The Bani Hashim had no idea that Mukhtar would manage what he did, they were willing to live out their entire lives in sorrow and grief for their Imam (a). We are well aware that the season of mourning will come to an end on the 8th of Rabi’ul Awwal and yet, we still can’t manage the same?
Can we have forgotten the frenzy of our crying and matam in just one month? Is life so distracting for us? If we can’t mourn Imam Husayn (a) who is the greatest martyr of all times in a sincere manner, how the hell will we be able to convince our Present Imam (atfs) that we’re loyal to him? Do we even have the capacity to follow him without hesitation or question when the time comes?
And if we don’t … what’s to become of us?