24 February 2006

A leader is a person you will follow to a place you wouldn't go by yourself.

What a beautiful drive it is from Joburg to Newcastle- we should look around more and appreciate the beauty all around us. Good relaxing weekend- needed regularly to push the dreaded thoughts of traffic way to the back of your mind.. This weekend, the mountain we seek out to climb and conquer!

I know I promised an insight into the event of Karbala and also some info on the Islamic Republic of Iran. Hang on a bit longer for the Iranian review but here’s a bit on Karbala. In the month of Muharram 61 AH, an event took place in Iraq, on the bank of the river Euphrates, at a place known as Karbala. An Umayyad army besieged a small group and put them under pressure to pay allegiance to the usurper of the Caliphate, Yazid. The small group resisted and a severe battle took place in which they were all killed. The leader of this small band of people was Hussein, son of Ali, the Prophets cousin and Fatima, the Prophets daughter. History tells us how the head of this fond grandson of the Prophet was speared and paraded through villages and towns as it was taken to Damascus and presented at the feet of Yazid!

The day of Aashura is one on which the Prophet encouraged spending wealth on family and friends. But since the Prophet passed away, a sad event occurred on this day. So do we continue to just enjoy as a day of celebration and giving gifts? Or do we totally ignore the advice of the Prophet and mourn the death of Husain, mourn his death in an extreme manner? There were many great figures in Islam who were treacherously assassinated. Then why don’t we mourn their deaths just as veraciously?

Is it not possible to follow, with understanding and wisdom, the advice of the Prophet, and at them same time, use the event of Hussein’s death to remind us of his life and the ultimate sacrifice he took to ensure that this beautiful way of Islam could reach us all today? How much of our history do we really know? Your thoughts please*

The Information and Education department of the US consulate had an interesting video conference this week. Technologically superb link-up with an American Muslim girl referred to in the email as, Muslim Feminist Cowgirl! Expecting a confused, apologetic soul I was pleasantly surprised. Quite interesting and informative to say the least, Asma Ghul Hasan, author of a few books on Muslim Americans, engaged us in quite an educational discourse. Few interesting points she made: as an American citizen, born and bred, she has to be a positively contributing member of society. She gives off to American culture all the good of Islam and accepts from is all the good that it has as well. 9 million Muslims in America, ‘just you imagine it’! A large percentage are of Indian sub-continent decent, but growing numbers of Afro-American, Caucasian (especially young females!), and Latino Americans as well. Being a Muslim makes them better Americans- does the same apply to us? Does being a Muslim make us better South Africans? Does being a Muslim force us to behave differently from wealth hoarding capitalists? Does being Muslim makes us fight against suffering, oppression, inequalities, etc, all of which are widespread in South Africa?

Did you feel the Mozambican earthquake? I was awake and a friend smsed me when it happened, but didn’t feel a thing. I do however remember with crystal clarity the earthquake I felt in Kashmir. And it’s scary to think that it happened so close to home. I was at ease thinking that this slice of the planet is immune to those earth-shattering events but I presume we are not so safe after all! When the ground moves under your feet, you are literally at its mercy- make a prayer, we need it!

Sounds: Cat Stevens. Immortal Technique. Two totally different ends of the gamut, yet both so flippin brilliant!


Anonymous said...

Good research, I appreciate it!
Just a few more questions for you
1. Who is Yazid? Can you tell me more about him? Who was his father?
2. The Umayyad celebrated the day of Aushura and fasted in that day after their victory over Imam Hussein’s army; were they also following the prophet’s advice after killing his beloved grandson?
3. How common was fabricating hadith in the time of Yazid and his father?

I mentioned initially that I also think some do take it to extremes. The whole point of the commemoration is and should be to remind ourselves about the lessons we can learn from this incidence. hearing what happened to the beloved family of the prophet and the tragic way he and his family including his 6months old baby were martyred after being kept thirsty in the heat of that area for a few days and being denied access to water by Yazid‘s Army brings tear to the eyes of many of us, is that what you call an extreme manner? Did you find the commemoration you attended on the day an extreme one?
I’ve never read this hadith of prophet, but heard that it mentions being generous on family, never had heard about the friends!
Even if this hadith is authentic, does it mean celebrating the day? Don’t you think that is also the extreme considering the other event that happened in this day? Are we doing what the prophet has told us or the Umayyed’s?
Is giving chocolates in the JK ONLY in the day of Aushura being generous on our families?
Yes, there is a lot about history that we really don’t know and it is very good to read about it and learn from the lessons, but we shouldn’t let these controversial points in the history to bring disunity between us and to let us call each other an extremer, we have other enemies, lets all unite and concentrate on defending our religion.


Bilal said...

Slmz Sister Zainab,

Thank you very much for your responce. I will get back to you in due course...