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Last updateSun, 21 Sep 2014 9am

Muharram

Muharram

 

Muharram is one of the four months declared sacred by Allah in the Holy Qur'an.
The other three months are Rajab, Dhul-Qi'da and Dhul-Hijja.

In verse 59 of Sura An Nisa, Allah says:
"O you who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger and "Ulil Amr" (Those who are authorized to command) from among you."
The believers always obey Allah, obey His Messenger and the "Ulil Amr" appointed by Him. It is an open invitation. Because, Laa Ikraaha Fid Deen [There is no compulsion in religion] (Al-Baqarah, 2:56). Those who (in truth) are not believers can do what they want.

Likewise Prophets, Messengers, sent down by Allah to guide and warn people, never accepted anyone at all as Prophet or Messenger, whatever the circumstances were, be it that they did not stop claimers of this kind, or opponents, with application of force or repression.
In the same manner Imam Ali Ibne Abi Talib (AS) did not recognize anyone as "Ulil Amr".
His elder son Imam Hasan (AS), like his grandfather, the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) [Treaty of Hudaybiah], let Mua'awiyah be the ruler, but did not give up his rights of the "Ulil Amr", which he was at that time.

When Yazid became the ruler he threw to the wind the earlier policy of the rulers not to demand "Baya't" (oath of obedience) from the children of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W), and began to exercise pressure upon Imam Hussain (AS) to swear loyalty and acknowledge him as the "Ulil Amr", which the Holy Imam rightly refused.

It is another aspect of the whole affair that Yazid was the meanest tyrant of the worst degree, but even if he was an ordinary ruler Imam Hussain (AS) could not swear loyalty to him as the "Ulil Amr". So he did not. In the month of Rajab 61 Hijra, he left Medina and went to Mecca. From Mecca, before performing Hajj, he took his family with him, and with some friends and companions, true believers, he began the journey towards Iraq, with the expressed intention to cross the boundaries of the empire under the rule of Yazid, and settle down in some other country, Iran or India, because he wanted to make it clear to Yazid that he could not allege obedience to a "non-Ulil Amr" as he himself was an "Ulil Amr".

It was not to be. A large army of Yazid under the command of Umar Bin Saad surrounded the caravan of Imam Hussain (AS) when he reached Naynawah, Karbala, on the 2nd of Muharram in 61 Hijra.

There are several other aspects of human relationship and behavior in the events of Karbala that took place in the 10 days of Muharram, culminating in the Martyrdom of Imam Hussain (AS), and his 72 friends and relatives, which come into sharp focus as we recount every minute, during the religious gatherings, each year, but, above all, the ultimate reason remains the same, the impossibility of taking "oath of loyalty" (Baya't), by an "Ulil Amr", to obey a "non-Ulil Amr".

After Imam Hussain (AS), all-his successors to "The office of the "Ulil Amr", our holy Imams, refused to obey "Non-Ulil Amr", and every ruler held each of them prisoner, used every trick, applied force and in the end killed every Imam, exactly as Yazid did.
Muharram is a month of mourning for the lovers and followers of "Aali Muhammad".

In this month, on the 10th day In 61 Hijra, Imam Hussain bin Ali (AS), the grandson of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) and the younger son of Ali and Fatima (S.A.), together with his family and friends, in all 72 men, were slain on the sands of the desert of Naynawah, Karbala. Since then, each year, the true followers of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.), through grief, sorrow and tears, keep alive the message, cause and purpose of the greatest martyrdom in human history.

No doubt it is a holy and sacred month:

The believing men and women, in this month, suspend application of good effects of days and dates and avoid rejoicing even if happy events come in their stride.
The friends and followers of "Aali Muhammad" hold meetings (Majlis), they had been doing so, for last fourteen hundred years, in the name of Imam Hussain (AS), during the months of Muharram (and Safar), particularly in the first 10 days of Muharram, to give new life to the Divine Message of "Laa Ilaaha Illallah" as the beloved saint-poet of the Indopak subcontinent, Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti (of Ajmir) had said: "Indeed Hussain (AS) is the architect of 'Laa Ilaaha Illallah' both are reciprocally related to each other."
And the philosopher-poet of Pakistan, Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, had said: "Ismaeel was the beginning (first step), Hussain was the ultimate."

Each year (at the advent of Muharram) Islam turns over a new leaf.
In fact it is on account of Imam Hussain's remembrance, every year, we know who the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.), Ali Ibne Abi Talib (AS), Bibi Fatima (S.A.) are, and what were their true substance, style and wisdom.

It is because of Imam Hussain's memory, we call to mind each year the Islam, and it becomes clearly visible from behind the blur of the dust of delusion, thrown into the eyes of Muslims in the name of Muslim rule.

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