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!