WHY WE MOURN ASHURA
The tenth of Muharram of every year is the day of Ashura, the tenth day in new Islamic calendar. The day of Ashura is historically significant due to the unprecedented tragedy that befell the pure Household of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) in the plain of Karbala 61 AH. On that fateful day, Husain, Grandson of the Holy Prophet, son of Imam Ali (AS) and Sayyidah Fatimah (AS) was mercilessly slain alongside his family members and a handful of his companions in cold blood by the army of despotic Yazid, son of Mu’awiyyah.
The epic of Karbala defy description, its aftermath is soul-stirring which has left an indelible impression on the minds of men over time, who recall it with fresh deepest feelings and emotions. As we mourn this monumental tragedy, we are at the same time celebrating the triumph of truth over falsehood and the display of supreme sacrifice as exemplified by Imam Husain and those brutally killed with him. Ashura is therefore a day exclusively for freedom seekers; it is festivity in black, a day for tears and tribute.
To any unbiased and dispassionate mind, what led Imam Husain (AS) to sacrifice his all was to defend the ideals which he considered far more precious than his life. It was not a fight for a kingdom or dominance, but for defence of ideals and principles of Islam instituted by his Grandfather (the Holy Prophet), nurtured and cultivated by his father, Imam Ali (AS).
Today the descendants of “Banu Umayyah” are not only fighting Islam, but are also agents of the world arrogance and imperialism imposed across the world. The new slogan is now ‘War against Terror’ to persecute those who revive the tradition of Ashura. Similar tragedies are being repeated in Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, Pakistan and Iraq by terrorists who are hired by the evil states of Britain and the United States.
Here in Nigeria, the Islamic Movement led by Sheikh Ibraheem Yaqoub Zakzaky (H) had been victim of series of machinations, especially by the present government and other past governments through international conspiracy. The massacre carried out by the Nigerian army in Zaria on 12-14 December, 2015 bore many similarities with the inhumane atrocities unleashed on Imam Husain, his family and followers in the plain of Karbala. Infact Zaria tragedy is the reincarnation of Karbala tragedy. We therefore call in strong terms for the release of our Leader, Sheikh Zakzaky and all those incarcerated with him.
We use this period of mourning to condemn the crimes of Myanmar government on defenseless Roghinya Muslims upon whom genocidal trend is being executed. We urge the UN to take stern action against the Buddhist inclined government of Aung San Suu Kyi.
While also condemning the Saudi-led, coalition in killing of civilians in Yemen and Bahrain, and other similar atrocities in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, we call on OIC to take immediate practical step to stop the brutality and bring culprits to book.
We urge people of all nations to shun divisive tendencies and imaginary boundaries and differences created to cause chaos and disharmony. Let us unite in freedom.
Through Ashura tragedy, we have learnt that the victor and the vanquished cannot be determined by the immediate results of a battle, but by the long-term repercussions of the clash of their ideologies on the course of events and influence on the minds of men. We hold firm the belief that to uproot evil, one must act like the candle, who burns itself to give others light. True love for martyrdom is the one and only way of genuine revolution. While we feel afresh the anguish and pain inflicted on the Household of the Holy Prophet (SAWA) on Ashura day, we re-echo the sayings of Imam Khomeini (QS): “Every day is Ashura, every land Karbala.” We have also learnt never to bow down to humiliation and tyranny.
Peace be upon Husain, and upon his son Ali Ibn Husain, and upon the offspring of Husain, and upon the companions of Husain.
SHEIKH ABDULHAMID BELLO
Muharram 10, 1439 (Sunday, October 1, 2017)