We cry for Hussain (AS) …So did the Prophet of Islam (S)
By Yasser al-Madani
Every year, Muslims around the world commemorate the tragedy of Karbala. They attend mourning meetings and processions in which the story of Karbala is retold, lamentations are held and special poetic readers using dramatic techniques and symbolism recite eulogies to mark the events of the day of Ashura. All these commemorative meetings not only serve to convey the events and message of Karbala but also provide opportunities for us to learn about Islam in general.
We commemorate Ashura’ to symbolise and express our grief and emotions towards the martyrdom of Imam al-Hussain (AS), to keep Imam al-Hussain’s (AS) cause alive in our hearts and to be committed to his cause. Also, we want to extract lessons from the tragedy of Karbala and apply them to our daily lives. We want to pay our condolences to the Holy Prophet (S) and the Ahlul Bayt (AS). You might then ask why we do not commemorate the death of the Holy Prophet (S) who has a much higher rank than Imam al-Hussain (AS). The answer to this is that although we do commemorate and mourn the death of the Holy Prophet (S), it is the way and circumstance in which Imam al-Hussain (AS) was martyred which makes all the difference, the fact that he was martyred for refusing a government headed by the wretched Yazid, who drank, gambled and indulged in many corrupt practices, the fact that those who savagely slaughtered Imam al-Hussain (AS) called themselves Muslims is what makes us mourn and lament his martyrdom the way we do.
Imagine, it is afternoon on the day of Ashura’. Imam al-Hussain (AS) is standing on the blood-drenched soil of Karbala in the heat of the scorching sun awaiting to meet his beloved. His head is wounded and blood is streaming slowly down his holy face soaking his blessed beard. He looks around, searching for members of his family and his companions, only to find them brutally slaughtered and slain like sacrificial lambs, lying there on the ground soaked in blood. He hears the innocent crying and wailing of the children and the women. Tears flow down his holy face. He takes a piece of cloth to wipe the blood from his face, whereupon an archer from the army of Yazid (may Allah’s curse be upon him) shoots a triple-headed arrow, which lodges into Imam al-Hussain’s (AS) heart.