Beloved Community,

Muhammad, the Prophet of love, peace be upon him, declared in love  "Huseyn is from me and I am from Huseyn. O Allah be pleased with and love those who love my Huseyn."

O Community, today is Ashura, the day of martyrdom and the day of salvation.

 On this day each of the Prophets experienced a form of Divine succor and release from tribulation. For Imam Huseyn and most of those with him, salvation came in the form of death on the holy bloodstained field of Karbala, the field where Truth stood against tyranny, ignorance and violence.

Ash-Shabi narrated that Imam Ali a.s while on his way to Siffin passed through the desert of Karbala, many years before the tragic event. The Imam stopped there and wept bitterly. When asked regarding the cause of his weeping, Ali answered that once when he visited the Holy Prophet, pbuh, he found him weeping. When he asked the cause of his blessed tears, the Apostle of Allah replied, " O Ali, Archangel Jibrael has just been with me and informed me that my grandson Huseyn would be martyred in Karbala, a place near the bank of the river Euphrates. This moved me so much that I could not help weeping."

When we call upon Allah with love and a weeping heart to bless the soul of Imam Huseyn and his family and the martyrs of Karbala we are simultaneously calling upon Allah to help humanity come to its heart and consciousness, and to turn away from harm and oppression. We are asking for Allah’s help to redress the wrongs of our generation which are so abundant and to forgive all of us for the ways in which we participate in wrong doing, knowingly and unknowingly. We are calling on the Essence of beauty, tenderness, love, wisdom, compassion, courage and forgiveness.

If we look at the condition of our human family we cannot help but be overcome by the amount and degree of injustice and harm perpetrated all over the earth. We bring to mind the terrible plight of the Rohingyas in Myanmar who are burned out of their villages, raped and killed, of the Uighurs in China who are rounded up into mental institutions to coerce them to drop their Muslim religion, of the people in Syria who are daily bombed and killed by super powers, the people and children in Yemen who are starving because of war raging between super powers, the people all over the world who are in jails or tortured by tyrannical regimes, the new form of slavery of African Americans in the US – incarceration for profit, the unpunished killing of African Americans by the police, the separation of thousands of children from their families at US borders, the unpunished killings of women and innocent people in Mexico by drug lords and their police helpers, the rape of Africa by the super powers, the devastation of the First Peoples in the Americas, the killing and discrimination against people because of their color, their religion, their gender, or their sexual orientation, the ever ongoing oppression of the poor all over the earth and the triumphalism of the super wealthy, the violence and injustice in families, the devastation and rape of the earth and her creatures, Allah’s family, the ruthless drive to dominate other beings and to use them for our benefit...

There is no way out of this labyrinth of oppression and suffering … except to turn, to turn altogether to our Creator and Lover and to turn to our heart… seeking forgiveness, seeking reconciliation with our heart and with the hearts of others, turning to our self and to others with a heart of compassion, not with a desire for vengeance or retribution, deeply in touch with our humanity and the humanity of others, relying upon the Most Merciful of the Merciful to answer our prayers for goodness to prevail.

And to stand courageously for truth and justice and to speak out for truth and justice.

Ya Imam Huseyn, may the All Merciful embrace you again and again, and embrace your family and your community in the most tender embrace, and elevate you to the highest station of martyrdom and truth. May the All Forgiving forgive humanity for your sake.

Farah Fatima Nur

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