Monthly Archives: October 2014

October 24

Aun Hasan Ali : Some thoughts on the remembrance of Karbala

One of the tragedies of modern life is the monopoly of reason. Keats’ lament that Newton would unravel the rainbow and clip an angel’s wings was prescient indeed. I find it increasingly difficult to access those aspects of my self that are not meant to be governed by reason. I cannot appreciate Mir’s couplets without analyzing them, and the expression “subḥāna rabbī al-a‘lá wa-bi-ḥamdih” has become a philosophical project of tanzīh and ithbāt. The majlis of Husayn is one of the few places left where I can still access something visceral. It is one of the few times that I experience the tranquillity of a mode of knowledge that is not discursive. That is precious to me and I’m not willing to give it up for yet another rational act like political mobilization.

October 20

Iraq : A Portrait of War, Peace and Pilgrimage

The indescribable power of faith is visible everywhere in Iraq. It transcends rationality and eschews all modes of categorization. It is peculiar that it was in a country so plagued by religious tension and violence that I found some of the greatest harmony and peaceful tranquility of mind that I have ever experienced. We spent New Years Eve at the mosque during our last night in Karbala, ushering in a fresh start with the chants of the world and the humming of a universal law all around us.