The Prophet (SAWA) said: The best of deeds after performing Prayers, is making a believer happy with a lawful act.

The Night of the Homeless, Shaam-e Ghareebaan

October 24, 2015

On this night of 11th Muharram, the eve of calamity termed as Shaam-e Ghareebaan, the eve of the most oppressed homeless captives, we continue mourning the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (as) but now we mourn the calamities and tortures that were meted out to his family, the womenfolk and children left in the Hussaini camp.
 
After the killing of Imam Hussain (as), the bodies of all the martyrs were trampled by Yazid's soldiers on horseback. Zainab the sister of Imam Hussain (as) witnessed this horror of horrors. The Imam was survived only by his women, children, and his heir the fourth Imam who was so ill and bed-ridden that the enemy, due to divine plan, spared his life. But he was in no position to defend his camp. It was Hussain's sisters Zainab and Umme Kulsum who took up swords and lay watch on their tents. What a difficult night that must have been! Not only did the women witness their sons, brothers, husbands, fathers, being massacred, but they had no idea what would happen next.
 
Historians write that while the killing of Hussain is a most painful unbearable incident, what happened to the women folk was doubly painful. The fourth Imam, Zainul Abideen (as) would cry more on the tragedies of the women than Karbaa itself. The murderous army returned to loot and plunder the camp of Hussain (as); they set the tents on fire and snatched the hijab coverings of all the women. Nothing could have been more degrading and humiliating. Imam Zainul Abideen (as) ordered the women to leave the tents uncovered in order to save themselves. However, they were all captured, tied with ropes and chains, put on unsaddled mounts and dragged, often mounted and often walking, through the streets all the way from Ibn Ziyad's palace in Kufa to Yazid's palace in Damascus. The women and children were pelted with stones, had hot water thrown on them, and were tormented by onlookers who were told that these captives were traitors.
 
But despite such horror, Zainab (sa) spoke up against Yazid in his very court. She challenged him and she exposed how he massacred her brother and tried to change the Prophet's message. The family of Hussain (as) however were kept in captivity for over a year, with his daughter Sakina dying in the dungeons. Eventually they were released, but before returning to Madinah, they visited Karbala and cried on the graves of their martyrs. How pitiful and oppressed were the household of the Prophet!
 
Why do we recount all these events and how should we respond to them? We remember these days so that we never forget how Islam was saved by Hussain. In fact, if the tragedy of Karbala had not been so horrific including the killing of children and the torturing of women, we would perhaps not have heard of it in the pages of history. It is for this reason that we call this the greatest sacrifice, because Imam Hussain and his family knew that in order to ensure the salvation of Muslims and the preservation of Islam, the most difficult sacrifice was required - Imam and his family had to sacrifice EVERYTHING. They gave up their entire lives and loved ones, so that today, we would be on the right path!
 
 
This is why we are obliged to commemorate, mourn, and cry for Hussain, to thank him, But the best way in which we can honour his sacrifice is by being  Godly, pious, devoted to Allah's laws, full of manners, etiquette, kindness for humanity. And let us not forget that those who killed Hussain were so-called Muslims! It is these very same people whose descendants to this day continue to wreak havoc and spill blood. ISIS are those very people who pretend to be Muslim but like Hussain's killers, they behead, loot, and torture people. So we must stand up as Hussainis and answer Hussain's call of help, we must show the world what the real Islam is. If it was challenged and threatened by Yazid then it is still being challenged today, But Hussain and Zainab (as) both taught us never to accept oppression and to speak up at all costs. 
 
The best way we can show loyalty is to hold onto the Quran and the Prophet and his Holy Progeny. We must be upright law-abiding moral citizens. We must set our goals on the Hereafter, so that while enjoying life wealth and comforts, we remain focused on Allah, on being humble and pious, and helping our fellow humans.
 
A most important message to our sisters is that we gather to mourn the hijab of Zainab (as) and all the women, being torn away from them. We cannot imagine the humiliation they felt at being exposed. And yet so many of our sisters and daughters walk around uncovered, without any hijab on their head and with the most inappropriate tight revealing clothing. Ask yourselves, how can you mourn the uncovering of Zainab when you are uncovered women? The same applies to our brothers and sons who wear tight inappropriate clothing, designer outfits, attracting the attention of the opposite sex. Hussain (as)  died to preserve Islam, but how have you valued his sacrifice when you do not follow the laws of Islam? Do not add to the pain of Imam Hussain by not valuing his sacrifice: do not torment Zainab (as) further by mourning her covers being snatched from her when you yourself are uncovered. Make today the day that you pledge to follow the laws of Islam correctly.
 
Do what Hussain (as) would have wanted you to do: keep up your prayers; excel in practising the faith fully; donate your blood in a blood bank; help in some soup kitchens for the homeless; work along with other faith communities to establish peace; keep your cities clean and tidy; guide the youth towards goodness and education and away from mischief and crime; stand up for the rights of those wrongly imprisoned; fight racism.
 
In short, follow Islam and make Hussain and Zainab (as) proud.
 
Sayed Mohammad Al-Musawi
World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League (WABIL)
London, UK  
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