Hymns of Karbala December 03

Poetry : Hymns of Karbala

  Listen to the author recite Hymns of Karbala : Hymns of Karbala The 1990s were the years of El Niño, the Golden Age of hip-hop, the Gilded Age of commerce. The Roaring Nineties brought opulence, decadence, and freshly minted robber barons on the information superhighway. The landscape awash with ideas, brimming with innovation, the […]

Contemporary Arabic / Chinese " al-Haqq" November 21

Karbala: A Caravan of Mercy

One of the most beautiful and salient aspects of Muḥarram is that it serves each member of the Muslim community in its own way. By its enduring nature, the tragedy of Karbalā’ is the impetus for profound change for all who approach it with a humble heart. Paradoxically however, the sheer magnitude of what can be gained from these nights forces us to limit the articulation of what Muḥarram means within the framework of our own pedantic vision. In other words, Karbalā’ is for many people, many things. For some it serves as motivation for socio-political justice; for others it may be a template for noble character traits. And while the message of Karbalā’ is universal, our internalization of it is often colored by internal and external factors. The various circumstances of our lives cause us to engage with Karbalā’ and derive benefit from this ocean of beauty in our own unique way. Especially since the Islamic Revolution in Iran, it has even become common place to attach temporal political movements and the oppression of various Shi’i groups with the likeness of the movement of Ashūra. However, as Imām al-Ḥussain (as) had sacrificed his life and the lives of those closest to him for Allah (swt), the Ultimate All-Encompassing Reality, the movement of Ashūra is no less than a reflection of that Universal Reality. To articulate the reasons for and the benefits of Muḥarram outside of the words of the Aḥl al-Bayt (as) would simply be attempts at grasping only the particulars.

Unity November 14

David Coolidge: 10 Tips to make MSAs more Shi’i-Friendly

For 7 years as a student (undergrad and grad), and 6 years as a chaplain, I was directly involved in campus Muslim life. In that time, I learned that one of the most important elements of community building is intra-Muslim inclusion and respect. We could talk about many different aspects of diversity, but in this short article I would like to highlight the need to make MSAs more welcoming of Shi’i Muslims.

The Absence of Meaning 
by: Khaled al-Saai November 07

Imam Hussain (as): Language, Perception and Reality

In other words, while we understand Imām al-Ḥussain (as) through words, slogans, and adjectives, they only serve as a medium through which to understand his essential character and mission. The words themselves are not the reality. As a result, we must understand each word that we use to describe him or Islam in general in context. Otherwise, if we continue to use words like justice, peace, and humanity, without questioning the mental concepts they produce and the current forces that are shaping their meanings and colloquial use, we may internalize our faith through false notions.

calligraphy by Irfan Haider Mirza November 03

Poetry : Fragrance of the Found, Love Story and In Night, Rise Like Candles

Hear the Author recite Fragrance of the Found :  Fragrance of the Found I’ve heard whispered tales of a flower in a slumbering wood Whose tears did fall when the world’s weight it understood Drowning in the haze of fairytales, countless once upon a times Of knights bright in shining armor, women with beauty refined […]

Ya Hussain Art November 01

Justin Mashouf : Muharram in the age of ISIS

  Muharram commemoration rituals have been seen by many in the Muslim world to be a divisive performance of sectarian identity displayed by the Shia community. From the outside, these traditions of mourning, chest beating and in some cases self flagellation, tend to be viewed as a Shia declaration of separation from the larger Muslim […]

calligraphy by Irfan Haider Mirza October 31

Haider Shah : Muslim Community In America?

Most young Shii have likely heard stories about how, decades prior, their immigrant parents or community members used to hold majalis in their homes. They would do this with the few other Shia families of which they were aware. People would drive long distances to sit in someone’s house gathered round a television set or radio to listen to a pre-recorded lecture. This, as they often will recall, was the beginning of the establishment of the Shii community in America. It was through this mutual love of the Ahlul Bayt , epitomized by the sacrifice of Imam al-Ḥussain (as) families were brought together yearly and the very first Shia communities were developed. And as immigrants gradually accepted the permanence of their migration, they began to organize and pool together resources in order to plan for what they envisioned as the next logical step: the creation of Islamic centers.

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