Tag Archives: Muharram

October 16

Shereen Yousuf : Decolonial Practice of Majalis and its Potential for Communal Healing

What better way to defy systems that de-humanizes us, than through the human act of shedding of tears which allows us to move out of despair, and into the realm of hope? Furthermore, this healing serves a vital tool for resistance. Narrating these stories in a manner that induces grief additionally connects us with principles such as “death with dignity is better than a life of humiliation” as Imam Husayn (as) once said, — without divorcing them from Allah (swt). In fact, our form of memorializing tragedy elevates our tears to the realm of the divine by marking them as an act in devotion to Allah (swt).

October 12

Cyrus McGoldrick: “Ashura”, A poem

I saw a casket go by, and as it passed,
An image came to mind – long was its path.
I thought of the years, the tears and the laughs…
Signs for the future writ in blood of the past.

October 23

Fatemeh Mashouf : How The Prophet’s Daughter Saved Me

Coming back from hajj and heading into Muharram, my entire perspective on Karbala has quite literally changed – I do not see Imam Husayn, Lady Zainab, and Ali Akbar from the perspective of a Shia hundreds of years after their death. I see Imam Husayn (as) from the eyes of a mother who lived her life knowing the great sacrifice she would ultimately make through the slaughter of her son. I see Lady Zainab (as) from the view of a mother who nurtured strength, eloquence, and power into her daughter who would have to live through the most tragic of times. I see Ali Akbar from the perspective of a grandmother who would see the likeness of her own father being deprived of water, waiting for his brutal death to relieve him of his thirst.

October 19

Zehra Naqvi : What Disunity Costs Our Ummah

We are all in it together. This Muharram, reflecting on our shared past has actually made me look to the future and reflect on the legacy our umaah will leave behind for future generations. History will tell whether our legacy will be one of unity or divisiveness. There are many good people committed to doing this work, and I pray that all of us commit to do right by all of our communities, very much in the spirit of the Quran, Prophet Muhammad, and his family.

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 October 31

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.

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.