The Spirit of Karbala

The Spirit of Karbala
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The day of Ashura, which is the sad and tragic climax and denouement of Hazrat Hussain’s(AS) odyssey , is a day of rememberance for all Muslims. To recapitulate briefly, Yazid, in a brazen attempt to seek legitimacy for himself and the incipient state that he was building, sought legitimacy from Hazrat Hussain(AS) , the grandson of the Holy prophet of Islam, Hazrat Muhammad(SAW), by seeking baya from him. Seeing through the nature of Yazid’s agenda and his maneuverings, Hazrat Hussain(AS) not only refused but also resisted Yazid, along with his young family and meager band of followers. Hazrat Hussain’s resistance was met with unprecedented brutality and cruelty, leading ultimately to his martyrdom, along with almost all his family members. (This is a very brief delineation of the nature and denouement of the epic tragedy). The pathos and bathos of Karbala is then remembered by all Muslims, but more poignantly and with great alacrity by the Shia Muslims. The passion plays that aim to recapture the agony and pain of Hazrat Hussain(AS) are a case in point here. Hazrat Hussain’s( AS) sacrifice and martyrdom was and is a ringing endorsement, by laying down his life and that of his family members, for principle(s) , faith and Islam. Even though, the whole saga and its import cannot be replicated by mere mortals, but the aspiration of Muslims, across the world, must be to emulate Hazrat Hussain’s(AS) spirit of sacrifice. But, what is observed on the ground, so to speak, that Muslims, almost everywhere are trapped in issues and themes that defy the spirit of Hazrat Hussain(AS) and therefore Karbala. Some of these issues are self created and some are exogenous, that is, external. The spirit of Muslims of yore, especially the doyens of Islam, like Hazrat Hussain(AS), is increasingly forgotten with Muslims becoming not only trapped in trivial issues, and eliding over major issues that confront the Muslim world, but also self absorbed. All this goes against the spirit of Islam. But, there still is space and time for redemption. The path to redemption would lie in actually not merely following and emulating symbolism but the real spirit of Islam, in though, deed and action. What better day than Ashura to imbibe this spirit in our emotional, intellectual and practical universes. Hazrat Hussain(AS) remained true to the spirit of Islam in every sense of the term. To repeat, we as ordinary mortals cannot emulate the odyssey of the great son of Islam but we must not fail for want of trying in the sense of living principled, honorable, dignified, moral and ethical lives , in consonance with the spirit of Islam.