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In the Name of Allah, the Magnificent, the Merciful. Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Muhammad, his pure progeny and his steadfast companions.

Muharram 10 of every year, the tenth day in new Islamic calendar, is marked as the Day of Ashura. The day is historically significant due to the unprecedented tragedy that befell the pure Household of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) in the plain of Karbala, Iraq, 61 AH. On that fateful day, Imam Husain (A.S.) was mercilessly and brutally killed alongside his family and handful of companions in cold blood by the army of Yazid, son of Mu’awiyyah.

Imam Husain (A.S.) in lineage is son to Ameerul Mumineen Ali bn abi talib (A.S) and Sayyidah Fatimah (AS). The noble Messenger of Allah (SAWA) is his grandfather and the one who named him and Imam Hasan (A.S.) as: “The leaders of the youths in paradise.” 

The tragedy of Karbala was primarily the direct result of deep hatred (hamiyyah jahiliyya), and arrogance of Banu Umayyah for the Holy Prophet (SAWA) and Islam. That was why upon their perceived “victory” at Karbala, innovated the festival of “Cika-ciki” (Thanks-Giving) as a mark of joy for their evil deed. 

The incident of Karbala and its aftermath eliminate the heedlessness of the masses. Just as water can bring back an unconscious man into consciousness, the pure blood of Imam al-Husain (A.S.) spilled at Karbala becomes the impetus that awoke the collective consciousness of people. 

 One of the sayings of Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny)  stated: "Surely there exists in the hearts of the believers, with respect to the martyrdom of Husain, a surging energy that never subsides." We recall the words of Imam Hussein (AS) in Karbala, “I have not risen up, but to safeguard the religion of my grandfather, the Prophet.” Therefore, Ashura is a day for freedom lovers; a day for tears and tribute. As we mourn this unprecedented tragedy, we are also celebrating the triumph of truth over falsehood and the display of supreme sacrifice as exemplified by Imam Hussein(AS). 

Imam Husain’s martyrdom at Karbala provides evidence of the moral victory of right over wrong, of virtue over vice, of principle over compromise, of the oppressed over the oppressor, of the denied over the denier; the ultimate victory of blood over sword. A lesson teaching humankind, how he conveyed to the world, through his struggle, the meaning of life; that that living is truly of value which offers itself for a cause greater than itself; that to die with honor is better than living in subjugation to injustice. 

When the family of Imam Husain (A.S) were being paraded in chains as prisoners through the cities, Yazid’s purpose was to hold them up as an example to those who would dare oppose him. But Yazid’s purpose was thwarted. Imam Zainul Abideen (A.S.) and Sayyida  Zainab together used their trials and tribulations to awaken the Muslim community from its indifference to evil and deep slumber.

The spirit of Ashura continues forty days after the martyrdom of Imam Husain (AS), with a symbolic trek by followers of the Imam worldwide. This is to symbolize the enforced long trek in the scorching desert of women and children of the Imam’s household, after the Karbala incident. 

Ashura exposes those who watched what was happening, knew what was right; and yet did nothing. Opposing Ashura is sign of fear that, truth is being revived, and true Islam will eventually triumph. True love for martyrdom is the one and only way of genuine revolution.

Our marching procession on the day of Ashura and trekking on the  Arba’in (40th day) are symbolic solidarity and allegiance to Imam Husain (A.S.) – the pillar of truth and justice. It is also our dissociation (bara’a) to Yazid, his followers and all tyrants like him, anywhere anytime! 

For those conscious of their moral obligations, consistently striving against injustice and oppression, we re-echo the saying of Imam Khumaini (Q.S); “Everyday is ‘ASHURA and every place is KARBALA”. 
AbdulHamid Bello
For: Islamic Movement in Nigeria
Muharram 11, 1435 H (14/11/2013)