Indeed to be given one day to do the Azaadari of Imam Hussein is a blessing. A blessing we will never understand.

As the first twelve days of Mahe Muharam come to an end, I wish to share my personal experience of this month of Muharam. This Muharam has been a different one for me as compared to previous ones. In the past I was one who spent maximum time of it in the mosques, majlises and different forms of Azaadari. However this time around being in University and having my end semester exams I was limited in the attending of the majlises and programs.

I recall how as the days came close by to the start of the month, I felt such a state of sadness and guilt that I was not able to attend and participate in the azaadari of Imam. I could not help but hurt that while everyone was shedding tears I had to spend time sitting in the library studying. Of course studying and completing your priorities is primary but the point here was that in those few days one would wish to be in a state of mind free from everything but the thoughts of the great sacrifice. As the days of Muharam went on the feeling got worse.

Come the night of Abul Fadhil I said to myself that this was it, I decided that it was time for Hazrat Abbas now. Hazrat Abbas is a personality who is very special to me for some reason. Every year when that night comes there is a certain feeling I get that is not there in other nights. I continue to discover what the reason is, but maybe its cause my mother named me Abbas after this loyal brother of our Imam. I visited a Centre about few hours away and finally managed to participate in some sort of azaadari. The pleasure and happiness felt was unexplainable. As I was returning back I was having somewhat of a mixed feeling. There was one feeling of deep sadness as to the events that transpired in the plains of Kerbala. But on the other hand I felt at such peace, I felt happy and my heart was smiling. This is when I realized that the heart can smile and cry at the same time. I sat for my exam the next day and with the Imams help managed it.

Two days later was the day of Ashoor and the heart only wanted to be in a gathering which mourned for the son of Lady Fatema (AS) and nothing else. There was no way I was going to spend this extremely heavy day in our calendar doing anything else. I was once again in a dilemma as the next day was an exam. Without much thought I chose to visit the centre and see what would happen then. I have to say it felt so good to make that choice that I fail to explain in words the satisfaction felt. As we finished the majlis of Shame Ghariba I made my way back with peace. A peace that I promise you cannot be achieved in anything but the azaadari of Imam Al Hussain (AS). I was not bothered about anything else for at that time it was about my Imam. The Imam who gave his everything, his everyone for me to be here, for me to feel alive spiritually so one exam couldn’t matter less.

Brothers and sisters, the reason of me sharing this experience is because first of all I wish to state that every individual who gets the chance to take part in the Azaadari of Imam Al Hussain(AS) is fortunate and very very blessed. Many a times we do not realize this until we are in a situation when we don’t have the means. Hence it is important that for all those who have lecturers around, have Imambargh and Centers to visit them and make the most of it. We never know when all this won’t be available.

Secondly, after this experience I have come to realize the true happiness and peace in the activities related to mourning for Imam and his family. Many a times we hear problems disappear and worries perish. It is not a myth brothers and sisters. We only see the benefits when we believe in it. I cannot imagine what it must be to be in Kerbala on these special days and the feelings one would experience. Makes me nostalgic!!!

Thirdly, from this whole experience of having to make adjustments of timings of studies to be able to attend majlises, the taking of effort to commute from one place to another and so on, it makes one realize how great Kerbala was and how massive the sacrifice Imam made was. Today after all these years the Love for Imam continues to grow. The urge to want to participate in activities related to him keeps on increasing and the bond stronger than ever. Look at the number of people doing ziyarah of Aba Abdillah (AS) in Kerbala. I wonder, if this is not a miracle in itself then what is a miracle?

And lastly and most importantly that amongst the efforts to want to participate in the forms of azaadari we should remember the real azaadari is when we are faced with challenges in the real world. Indeed the reward of leave alone crying, even pretending to cry is great in the eyes of Allah. As we all know the famous tradition of the Holy Prophet informing Bibi Fatema(AS) that, “All eyes will shed tears on the Day of Judgment except the eyes which cried over the difficulties of Husain, they will be smiling and pleased with the blessings of Paradise.” But despite this, Kerbala and Azaadari of Imam Hussain have more to it than that. It means the Shia of Hussain is one who with that peace he has achieved will show it in his actions. He will stand up for what Hussain stood up for and he will die if need be but will not sacrifice truth and justice be it even the smallest of forms and even if it is by his own friends and relatives. Brothers and sisters, this is Kerbala and this is our Imam Hussain.

This is the event that made me both cry and smile as I return back home.



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