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home :: Under discussion :: 01.06.2009 - Muharram
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     The Islamic Centre of Hamburg wishes all Muslims God's blessing and assistance on the occasion of beginning of the Islamic new year and condoles Muslims on the occasion of Imam Hussain’s martyrdom.

     Muharram is the first month of Islamic calendar. The Hegira (Prophet’s emigration from Mecca to Medina) is considered as the beginning of Islamic calendar. Koran regards Muharram as one of four holy months. That s why this month is very special one for all Muslims and it is recommended to fast on 1. 3. and 7th days. After all Prophet Mohammad used to fast everyday with the exception of a few days.

     50 years after the death of the Prophet of Islam, his grandson, Imam Hussain (peace be upon him) was killed by dynasty of Omayya on 10 Muharram, the day of Ashura. This case was a very afflictive tragedy for the companions of the Prophet and his Family. On the day of Ashura, İmam Hussain, together with other 72 people consisting of his family members and supporters were brutally murdered. There were some close companions of the Prophet among his supporters such as Habib ibn Mazaher.

     The son of Imam Ali, Imam Hussain was born in 3. Shaban in 4. year of the Hegira. He received an excellent education from his grandson, Prophet Muhammad. Because he was usually with him, even in prayers. The Prophet was very fond of him and his brother, Hassan. In one hadith coming from both sources of Sunni and Shiite said so:
     ‘Hassan and Hussain are the leaders of the youth in paradise’

     Hz. Muhammad always stated that he loved both of them very much.

     “He who love Hassan and Hussain, loved me, and he who makes them angry has made me angry”.

     ‘Hussain is from me and I am from Hussain’

     Imam Hussain’s determination againist Muawiyah was clear to Islamic society. Numerous Muslim scholars showed him great respect such as Qazi abu Ya’ala (Hanbali jurist, 560), Abu Faraj Abdul rahman ibn Djusi (a famous sunni scholar, 597), Jalaladdin al Suyuti (shafi scholar 911), İbn Aqil (Hanbali jurist, 513), İbn khaldun and Alusi (author of Ruh al Maani). The great sheikh Muhammad Abduh describes Hussain’s mission as ‘The confrontation with oppression and injustice’. Abbas Mahmood believes that narrow-minded people can not understand Imam Hussain.

     Imam Hussain’s journey from Mecca to Iraq was not an ordinary one. It was an historical journey which was devoted to struggling against tyranny and injustice. Such a journey, therefore, was supposed to have very special passengers.

     For this reason, most of orientalists couldn’t understand his way of struggle. They suggest that he should have accepted the rule of Yazid. But Imam Hussain was very aware of the truth that Yazid was abusing Islam. So he was convinced that such a tyranny, oppression and injustice must not be allowed. He was aware of pressing danger caused by this kind of deviation.

     Therefore, the day of Ashura can not be regarded as a fest. It is a day of mourning for the Muslims and people who believe freedom and justice. In Islamic sources, there is no description of the day of Ashura considering as a fest. But fasting is a good and recommended worship in this day. The Prophet himself mourned more than any other Muslim to his grandson.

     ‘Believers regard Hussain as a symbol for all oppressed, ‘Prince of the Martyr’ just the same as Jesus who had known what would happen to him on the way of devotion.’   
Hans Küng, Catholic theologist.

     ‘I brought nothing new for the Indian people. I only presented the outcome of my understanding from the personality of the hero of Karbala. We have no way but to follow the lead of Imam Hussein’ 
Mahatma Gandhi

     ‘The best lesson which we get from the tragedy of Karbala is that Hussain and his companions were the rigid believers of God. They illustrated that numerical superiority does not count when it comes to truth and falsehood. The victory of Hussain despite his minority marvels me!  
Thomas Carlyle, English writer

     I still remember the deep impression which the first Persian poem I ever read in connection with the tragic events of Karbala' left on me. It was Qaani's elegy which begins with the words:
What is raining? Blood.
Who? The eyes.
How? Day and night.
Why? From grief.
Grief for whom?
Grief for the king of Karbala'
   This poem, in its marvellous style of question and answer, conveys much of the dramatic events and of the feelings a pious Muslim experiences when thinking of the martyrdom of the Prophet's beloved grandson at the hands of the Umayyad troops.     
Annemarie Schimmel, Orientalist

     The entire history of mankind shows that human soul needs many sources to get strength against all miseries and injustices. Our stamina hence has resulted from the struggling or defeats of us and our ancestors. Everyone has a hero inside and they give us courage. They confront all difficulties fearless, but never accept the injustice. They are honoured people. They would prefer to sacrifice themselves instead of letting evil things happen. Thus, Imam Ali at first travelled from one town to another to seek a solution. Then, he was offered to desert his homeland and to live in peace with his family, but no more resistance. But he chose the tough way that brought him honour. His story has purified our conscience. We always commemorate him who taught us how to be brave and steadiness.

A.Yusuf Ali, famous sunni interpreter