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September 10, 2019

Muharram heightens sense of caring


September 10, 2019

The Muharram rituals remind us of the battle of Karbala in 61 hijri 680 AD). In this battle blood triumphed over the sword. Imam Hussain (as), the beloved grandson of Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him), and his 71 companions were up against Yazid and his 30,000 strong army. To invoke Allama Mohammad Iqbal, “Imam Hussain watered the dry garden of freedom with the surging wave of his blood, uprooted the despotism and awakened the slumbering Muslim nation.”

“The month of Muharram is inseparably linked with my childhood memories. Being filled with the thought of wearing black clothes — a custom observed in this month to display the grief at the tragic events of Karbala — asking my older cousins to let me help with making food to be distributed among the mourners,” says Zainab Hayat.

Rubab Naqvi calls to mind experiencing Muharram both during long and hot summer days and freezing winter days: “My grandma’s house, a fairly large two-story home with a vast courtyard, was the best place to stay during the mourning days of Muharram. Staying up all night to prepare food for mourners, taking turns to stir the food in big pots, either during chilly nights of winter or short summer nights with the soft breeze sweeping through the trees, are the emotional, precious recollections of my childhood.”

“Family boys used to go out with their fathers to take part in mourning rituals such as chest beating, and we the girls used to stay at home with our mothers and aunts to prepare food for mourners,” recalls Sidra Batool.

“In fact, women in our family, my Grandma above everyone else, were very keen to get ready the best food and drinks they could and distribute it among the mourners particularly on the ninth and tenth days of Muharram (Tasu’a and Ashura),” reminisces Aleena Zaidi.

“On the cold winter days I can evidently evoke large pots of milk boiling on the stove and as soon as we heard voices of mourners passing our street we hurried to pour milk in small cups to dish them out among them,” recollects Sara Hussain.

“During summer, when the scorching sun made everyone to work up a thirst we distributed cold homemade drinks to quench the mourners’ thirst,” remembers Imaan Ali.

“In my view it’s a time for us to reunite with our families and to remember those we lost, it reminds us to cherish what we already have and develops deep intimacy between us,” says Sania Zahra.

“That’s how the battle of Karbala, and what Imam Hussain accomplished by sacrificing himself and his family not only kept Islam truly alive, but also kept humanity alive,” adds Sania.

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