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Friday, November 14, 2014

Love

Why does love seem so farce to me now?
Like a figment of my own imagination!
Like a killer escaped from the gallows of truth,
A dream which better not be.

The promises in lore seem prism of cheat,
The words of tradition all wrung with despair.
Why is it so difficult to believe someone would live for me?
Or that one will ever be worthy of my death?

Why does love seem so farce to me now?
Like the best enchantment of a wizard great!
A trap set by unseen eagles above,
A fisherman's net, a serpent's lair.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Teeny life's big troubles.

There are many memories of childhood that remain with us always. One such memory which my family often recall is when I was only a few months old and had a severe bout of dehydration.

They say I had to remain hospitalised in the local doctor's clinic. My parents had to stay awake all night holding me in their lap in turns, while I drifted between periods of light sleep, diarrhea, long wails of pain, and discomfort.

The night passed like a nightmare over my mother who wouldn't leave my side even when my father would take over the turn to cradle me. She would sit beside me, reciting verses of healing she remembered, blowing them over me and praying to The Almighty for my speedy recovery and health.

My father too was so consumed in worry, he couldn't catch a wink of sleep nor care for it.

Even my elder sister, who was around 5 years old then and staying over at my grandparents' home for the night, suffered no less. She was so stung by our parents' absence that she hardly found sleep and would awaken time and again crying to be by their side. From her queries it was even evident she was quite scared for me too.

It was only when my health restored near dawn and the doctor allowed my parents to take me home that their health and happiness returned.

My family has used Dabur Chyawanprash since then as part of our regular diet.

Learn more of this,wonder stuff here: https://
www.liveveda.com/daburchyawanprash/

Surely, parents love and care is the most precious gift in life, and a happy and healthy child is the heart of the family.

I'm linking this post to indiblogger's prompt "A healthy child makes a happy home."

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Tributes and traditions

In the concluding part of this series, let's look into some of the prominent forms our tribute to the martyrs takes and the various traditions that have evolved with regard to it over the centuries.

The present:

One of the notorious forms of tribute known to the world at large is that done by the Shia muslims who take out procession in dramatic recreation of the one taken by Yazid, who disintergrated the head and limb of Imam Hussayn and several warriors and displayed them atop lances, after declaring victory in the battle and holding in captive the family and survivors of Hussayn's side.

Shias are a division of muslims who emerged as a consequence of conflicts which occured during the rule of Hazrath Ali (father of Imam Hussayn).

The Shias immerse themselves in complete mourning annually during Muharram by shunning all pleasures in this month, reciting eulogies (poems of lamentation) and taking out such processions with acts of chest-beating and self-flagellation.

The origin of this form is obscure, but as far as I understand (forgive me if I'm wrong) it must be adopted from the lamentations of the people of Kuffa (some of the earliest shias who had sworn their faith and support to Imam Hussayn but back-tracked on witnessing a single display of wrath by Yazid) who joined the procession taken by Yazid, crying their hearts out and beating their chests, regretting their cowardice and helplessness.

To know the details of the above incident read the section of "events before the battle" in the wikipedia article of Battle of karbala.

I'm really in blind as to when, where or how the self-flagellation became a part of the ritual, but it was around 4th or 5th century Hijri (islamic calendar). Long after the battle had been fought in 1st century Hijri.

The Sunni division of Islam, however do not express such passionate forms of mourning, instead display a silent form of mourning by recalling the incidents of Karbala, paying their homage to the martyrs by reciting verses from the Holy Quran, distributing food and charity in their,name, and reciting eulogies in gatherings.

Few sufi-shrines and sects of sunni do take out simpler form of procession, but it is not done on large scale or joined by mass as it was an act done by Yazid and the Sunni's condemnation of him repels them from adopting any similarity to him.

But as many experts say and I believe the actual tribute which will honour the warriors cause and which they too would dearly wish for, is us to derive lessons from their lives and death, and inculcate them in our lives, to differentie good from evil, just from savagery and stand strong against every wrong-doing, follow the divine principles and never shun from our duties even in the most darkest hour.

I had a short yet effective discussion the other day on facebook about the message of karbala. You can access it here.

But one really wonderful message which this annual observance sends out is, and which must be of some solace to the warriors is, that the Shia and Sunni cults are so opposed to each other almost always, sometimes to heart-wrenching extent, yet in this hour of grief both come together to share the sorrow as a true family would. They stand united even through their diversities. A cause Hazrath Ali and his amazing family always sought to achieve- communal unity.

In the concluding part of this series, let's look into some of the prominent forms our tribute to the martyrs takes and the various traditions that have evolved with regard to it over the centuries.

The present:

One of the notorious forms of tribute known to the world at large is that done by the Shia muslims who take out procession in dramatic recreation of the one taken by Yazid, who disintergrated the head and limb of Imam Hussayn and several warriors and displayed them atop lances, after declaring victory in the battle and holding in captive the family and survivors of Hussayn's side.

Shias are a division of muslims who emerged as a consequence of conflicts which occured during the rule of Hazrath Ali (father of Imam Hussayn).

The Shias immerse themselves in complete mourning annually during Muharram by shunning all pleasures in this month, reciting eulogies (poems of lamentation) and taking out such processions with acts of chest-beating and self-flagellation.

The origin of this form is obscure, but as far as I understand (forgive me if I'm wrong) it must be adopted from the lamentations of the people of Kuffa (some of the earliest shias who had sworn their faith and support to Imam Hussayn but back-tracked on witnessing a single display of wrath by Yazid) who joined the procession taken by Yazid, crying their hearts out and beating their chests, regretting their cowardice and helplessness.

To know the details of the above incident read the section of "events before the battle" in the wikipedia article of Battle of karbala.

I'm really in blind as to when, where or how the self-flagellation became a part of the ritual, but it was around 4th or 5th century Hijri (islamic calendar). Long after the battle had been fought in 1st century Hijri.

The Sunni division of Islam, however do not express such passionate forms of mourning, instead display a silent form of mourning by recalling the incidents of Karbala, paying their homage to the martyrs by reciting verses from the Holy Quran, distributing food and charity in their,name, and reciting eulogies in gatherings.

Few sufi-shrines and sects of sunni do take out simpler form of procession, but it is not done on large scale or joined by mass as it was an act done by Yazid and the Sunni's condemnation of him repels them from adopting any similarity to him.

But as many experts say and I believe the actual tribute which will honour the warriors cause and which they too would dearly wish for, is us to derive lessons from their lives and death, and inculcate them in our lives, to differentie good from evil, just from savagery and stand strong against every wrong-doing, follow the divine principles and never shun from our duties even in the most darkest hour.

But one really wonderful message which this annual observance sends out is, and which must be of some solace to the warriors is, that the Shia and Sunni cults are so opposed to each other almost always, sometimes to heart-wrenching extent, yet in this hour of grief both come together to share the sorrow as a true family would. They stand united even through their diversities. A cause Hazrath Ali and his amazing family always sought to achieve- communal unity.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Day that was...

The Event (battle of Karbala and the martyrs):

Imam Hussayn, the blessed grandson of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon them), laid down his life to defend liberty, truth, what was right and the cause of Islam from the tyrant and heinous successor to calliphate Yazid. It was a battle between power and prestige, between oppression and public welfare, between politics and humanity. Yes, Imam Hussayn and majority of his kin and supporters laid down their lives in this battle, but their cause was not lost. The struggle for liberation continued even after the Battle and liberation was achieved long at last. Yazid's rule was tyrannic as feared but short-lived and his death is a lesson of how God's ways work.

I found the wikipedia article on Battle of Karbala really informative and well-covered, and have not found any documents to confront the report so far. So, anybody wishing to know the entire unfolding of the event can visit the link above.

All the martyrs and warriors involved in this battle symbolise such patriotism, valour and strength, our heart swells with pride and honour for these heroes, and our souls cry over the brutality meted out to them.

But three honourables I would wish to give a special mention here are Imam Hussayn, Hazrat Abbas ibn Ali, and Bibi Zainab ibn Ali for they have each projected such different aspects that are not only praiseworthy in warfare but give a lasting message for life.

Imam Hussayn sacrificed everything he held close to his heart- his country, his home, his family, his friends and even his life, for the supreme cause and never yeilded to the extreme pressure and cruelty of Yazid. This courage becomes more commendable in the light of the fact that his death as a martyr in the field of Karbala was long ago revealed on Prophet Muhammad via Angel Gabrielle.

He didn't fear death, nor loved life more than his duties on earth. He teaches us about true dedication, courage and how life is more than mere existence.

Hazrath Abbas ibn Ali was the half-brother of Imam Hussayn and what a brother he proved to be! A true guardian, a keeper of promise and a man who honoured words and kinship above life. A man who laid down his without a regret when duty called.

Do read his section of the wikipedia article I mentioned above to understand what I mean. A brother every sister wishes for and a comrade every brother would pride in. He teaches us the value of an uttered word (an oath, promise or even testimony) and how love and dedication knows no boundary.

Bibi Zainab ibn Ali showed her strength under the most trying hour. She stood by her brother Hussayn and the warriors giving them the much needed emotional and moral support during the battle, confronted the oppressors with her strong will after the death of Hussayn, guarded and supported the womenfolk and children, and never shunned from standing for the cause her family died for.

Her role played after the battle in raising people's courage to fight Yazid and the consequent uprising is esp. commendable to note, for she never abandoned her duty using her gender as an excuse. She also never feared for her life and if it was not for her, all the lives lost and sacrifices made would have been in vain.

She teaches us the power of womanhood and how our duty rises above all obstacles.

My salute to all these valliants and warriors.

Monday, November 3, 2014

The 10th of Muharram

The 10th day of Muharram (the first month of Islamic Calendar), also called as Yom Aashura meaning the tenth day, has always been known the world-over for the martyrdom of Imam Hussayn and many of his family and supporters (blessed be their souls) in the Battle of Karbala in 61 A.H (islamic calendar), that is, 680 A.D.

Every year I have attempted to pay my homage to these great warriors through a blog dedicated to them. This year I have decided to go deeper and make it a three-part series segregated into The past ( prominence of Yom Aashura prior to Mohammaden era),
The event (the people connected to Battle of Karbala), and
The present (the traditions and state of people today).

The past :

There have occured phenomenal events in the lifetime of several prophets preceding our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon them all) on this day, which have been rather blissful and liberating.

On this day (as revealed by Our prophet and various Hadiths), Our earliest Prophet Adam (blessed be his soul) was forgiven by the Almighty on this day, for eating the forbidden fruit.

Prophet Moses (blessed be his soul) gained victory over the wicked last Pharoah of Egypt on this day, and the Pharoah with his army drowned in River Nile in the epiculean tide.

Prophet Jesus was raised to heaven on this day.

And also Prophet Noah's ark survived The Great Flood beginning on this day.

There are several such incidents which credit this date with great prominence in Islamic History. To know of more of such events, check on towards end of the article SDIPRO: DUA-E-AASHURA by the Sunni Dawate Islami Public Relations Office, Mumbai.

As Islam embraces all the prophets preceding Prophet Muhammad as his ancestors and a true muslim's Faith can never be complete without the acceptance of all the prophets and their religion as true, we commemorate these events in accordance by the guidance of Prophet Muhammad (adapting the gesture of Prophet Moses who observed a Fast on this day in gratitude of the victory over Pharoah), we muslims Fast on the eve of Ashura and observe night long vigil seeking Allah's blessings as He bestowed on this day.

This Fast and vigil is very much appreciated in Islam though not made obligatory (for ease of convenience).

Allah knows His will better but one other aspect about this day which stands out strongly is, He didn't make bestow prominence to this day in the lives of every prophet, or if He has, He hasn't revealed it onto us. Also, the day invokes a rather emotional recollection for muslims, and a mixed feeling of pride and sorrow with regards to the Battle aforementioned. Maybe The Almighty willed so to discourage any superstitious or blind faith to get associated to this day! As I said, He knows his will better.

We shall look into The event of Karbala in my next blog tomorrow.

May this day be peaceful to all world-over.