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Arbaeen Refreshes the Revolutionary Inspiration of Karbala

Arbaeen Refreshes the Revolutionary Inspiration of Karbala-Highlight of Sayyid’s Zakzaky’s Arbaeen Lecture. By Dauda Nalado
The fortieth day majlis after the Karbala tragedy, popularly tagged arbaeen was observed worldwide.

 The Islamic Movement in Nigeria was not left behind. Muslims trooped in multitudes to Bakiyyatullah Husainiyya at Zaria on Saturday 20th Safar, 1433 H/14th January, 2012.

This year there were many brothers and sisters from different parts of the country notably those from Zaria periphery, Kaduna, Jos, Bauchi Kano, Bichi, who trekked to the venue in order to grace the occasion. In his speech, the revered leader of the Movement, his eminence, Sayyid Zakzaky (H) identified with the Muslims in mourning on this date. He noted the increase over the years of the population of people trooping to Karbala during arbaeen. The official number quoted was 18 million. In Lebanon multitudes of people including women, children and the aged trekked to ba’al bakk, an ancient terminal which the progeny of the Prophet were arduously dragged through on their roundabout route to Damascus after the Karbala tragedy. The tomb of Hawlah, who died on transit, is located at this important terminal.

Sayyid (H) noted that whosoever observes, keenly, the arbaeen gatherings worldwide, will ponder on the moving force inherent in the minds of participants. The ‘mind’ surpasses every force or money bargain. Those attendant humble minds were reiterating their unflinching loyalty to the cause of the Imam. They wished that they were at the plains of Karbala then. The issue of the sacrifice of Imam Husain (AS) transcends beyond Islam. Hitler of Germany, India’sMahatma Gandhi and some Christians hold Husain sacrifice as a Model.

Husain, therefore, continues to be a rallying point for the salvation of mankind. In his speech Malam (H) noted, rather with dismay, that some Muslims consider the issue of Husain as exclusively for the ‘Shi’ah’. The Muslim Ummah is unanimous on the narration that Hasan and Husain are the leaders of the youth in paradise. It may not be an overstatement to say that whosoever thinks Karbala concerns only the Shi’ah should reexamine his belief with the Holy Prophet (SAWA).

Sayyid (H), as the tradition in such gatherings, briefly reviewed the Ashura happenings after the final severing of the head of Husain (AS), the humiliating display of the progeny of the Prophet through major towns, the inhuman journey to Damascus and the encounter of the cursed Yazeed (LA) with Zainab and Aliyu zainul abideen (salamullah wa salamuhu alaihim).
On the issue of the number ‘arbaeen’ (40), his Eminence explained that there is a special divine marvel behind it. He cited some examples: The prophet started to receive revelation at 40. Musa (AS) prepared (miqati) for 40 days before ‘talking’ to his Lord. Sulayman (AS) made special prayers when he reached 40.

In the ahadith, it was reported that man metamorphoses at the mother’s womb in stages each 40 days interval before he becomes a living embryo. There is also the famous narration from Imam Hasan Askariy (AS) that there are five distinctive signs to identify a true believer: Near and far Ziyaratu arbaeen (40); putting on rings on the right wrist finger (s); regular observance of a total (obligatory and optional) 51rakats in day and night; shukr prostration (at the end of prayers) on piece of sand and finally recitation of Basmalah (bismillahirrahmanirraheem) openly in both silent and quite recitations in obligatory prayers). Also whosoever secludes himself for 40 days, Allah would bestow him with marvelous wisdom. Sayyid Zakzaky in his remarks also emphasized that the actions of Yazeed and those of Husain continue to manifest and draw parallels in our lives today.

He cited the sad development where some Yazeedistelements implant bombs which kill innocent men, women and children. Hence Ashura lives on. Again, Malam (H) provided a food for thought to the advocates of removal of ‘bidiah’ by explaining the fact that it was Jabeer bn Abdullah al ansariy (RA), the renowned companion of the Prophet, who was the first to visit the tomb of Imam Husain at Karbala on the fortieth day after Ashura. So even according to their supposedly set standard, ziyaratu arbaeen is an established Sunnah. Sayyidah Zaynab, Imam Zaynul abideen and the remaining members of the progeny of the Prophet, after being released, met Jabeer at Karbala. They brought along the severed heads of the Imam and other martyrs and linked them with the respective bodies. They stayed for three days and mourned.

Sayyid Zakzaky, before the final note, translated a narration of the letter sent by Imam Ja’afar as Saadiq (AS) to his cousin Abdullah bn Hasan. The latter, together with members of his family were jailed. So the Imam sent the letter in order to soothe the aggravations of his kin. He tried to persuade them to persevere on the calamity that befell them. For every museeba, there is a corresponding reward. He cited many verses from the Holy Qur’an exhorting man to perseverance. The letter also touched on the fact that this world is worthless in the ‘eyes’ of God.  If it has a value, the unbeliever could never get even a drop of water. Allah usually tests the believers with museeba. Their perseverance raises their status with God. Imam Sadiq cited great museebas that were inflicted on his grandfathers Ameeril mu’umineen, Imam Hasan and Imam Husain. They all persevered. Sayyid Zakzaky (H) urged listeners to derive and act upon the valuable lessons from this golden letter.

On a final note, Malam (H) noted that one stands to get sa’adah as a result of sympathy to the Karbala museeba. On the other hand, one stands to get shaqawah as a result of affirming the museeba. There is no NEUTRAL position. Those who claim neutrality are actually for Yazeed. Either be for Husain or be for Yazeed. Imam Mahdi (AF) will take vengeance on those that follow the ‘aqeedah’ of Umayyads. They are pleased with the actions of the Umayyads.
Maghrib and Isha’i prayers were conducted. After that Sayyid (H) recited the Ziyarats of Arbaeen and Ashura. Then Du’a Alqamah was recited. The majlis was closed and people set for their respective destinations hoping for a similar chance years to come.