40th Day Commemoration of the Martyrdom of Imam Hussein (A.S.)

Imam Hussein (A.S) is a grandson of the Prophet Muhammed (S.A.W) through his daughter Fatima (A.S.)

January 626 AD and was martyred along with a host of his family members and companions on October 10, 680 AD in Karbala, modern day Iraq by a group of people who claimed to Muslims. His head was severed from his body and taken to different places. 40 days after his martyrdom, his head was returned to his body and buried together.

Muslims across the world commemorate both his murder as well as the return of his head for his burial in order to remind themselves of his sacrifice and also to remind themselves of our hypocrites can hijack the name of Islam for their own evil intents. This 40th day commemoration is known as “ARBA’EEN AL HUSSEINI” and it falls on the 17th of September this year (2022).

One of the heroes of this tragedy is a lady by the name of Zainab (a.s.) who happened to be the sister of Imam Hussein. We shall address he thus:

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There is only one Zainab (a.s), one woman ever in the world with one Power: a voice of courage and of humanity. She is the voice of justice, the voice of victory and the voice of Truthfulness. she is the voice of Karbala: the voice of the Quran and the voice of the Imams. In fact, she is the voice of the Prophets from Adam through Moses, Jesus and including Muhammed (peace be upon them all) and as such, the Voice of God.

we beckon that the gathering of Arbaeen is not solely related to the martyrdom of Imam al-Huseinn (as)!

Except for the first year after the death of any believer, we have never at any time commemorated 40 days of mourning or ‘Arbaeen’, even for our beloved holy Prophet (pbuh) or our closest ones.

So why is the mourning of Arbaeen commemorated every year for Hussein? Arbaeen should not solely be associate with the great martyrdom of Imam Al-Husayn (as).

Arbaeen in fact has a different narrative. Arbaeen is the expression of a woman’s high position and rank. A woman who constantly visualized the plight of her kin, and yet did not express her lamentation with her tears, and did not reflect what she saw with discountenance in her eyebrows . She stood up in Front of the Yazid (the leader of the army that murdered her kin) and in the presence of his army without fear or panic.

She saw her children, brothers and her whole family drenched in blood and never forgot that all this was to fulfil a goal, rather than bearing personal grudges. fulfilling that goal meant victory. It meant beauty, whether or not most of us understand

Arbaeen, the right-wing movement, is neither weakened nor annihilated by killing, nor by trampling, nor by force or threat.

A brave figure; an educated lady rises up with a loud voice, and changes the course of history for all time.

Yes, a woman.The one that we still have trouble counting on and in whose capabilities we still have difficulty believing when it comes to managing society over the years.

Suffice to say; do we know the name of any woman who played a prominent role in Revolutionary History, or in cultural, political and financial development?

There is no doubt that there have indeed been a few, however our patriarchal society, with our patriarchal rule, and our patriarchal laws, has colluded in burying or ignoring these great and valuable assets to society by all means necessary. Just yesterday, Lady Zainab (sa ) made a stand in history and said, “I am the inheritor of the blood of Hussein (as)” and this is the sign of Arbaeen.

Today, we are both mourning Zainab (sa) and also in mourning for Zainab (sa).

Compared to what she achieved then, we are thousands of years behind! If only the true beauties of our society, with those millions of hidden talents,

could truly be manifest, it would make my heart ache less.

Zainab (sa) rewrote the pages of history forty days after the shahadat of Imam Hussain (as), and the history of oppression became a history of honour.

She stood up, and the community stood up:

She shouted, and everyone echoed and repeated her cries.

She lit the flame, and the wickedness retreated.

ARBAEEN, the fortieth day after Ashura is Victory Day for Humanity.

It is the Day of standing upright against force and oppression,

The Day for exhibiting the sheer human power of the greatest heroine in history, Lady Zainab (sa).

Long live the Mission of Syeda Zainab (sa)!

We shall Never Forget Arbaeen.

This gathering is for the person who sacrificed absolutely everything in the way of Allah (swt), and who elevated and fortified the Religion of Truth.

Arbaeen is a day of pledging allegiance and establishing loyalty and the day for responding to the call that Imam Hussain (as) made on the day of Ashura, and this gathering is the gathering of Lovers of Imam Hussain ( as), Arbaeen is the gathering of those who are loyal to Imam Husain ( as); Arbaeen is the gathering of the mourners of Imam Hussain (as); the gathering of Arbaeen is the gathering of the dignified and self respected; the gathering of Arbaeen is the gathering of the courageous; the gathering of Arbaeen is the gathering the adorers; the gathering of Arbaeen is the gathering of the noble-minded; Arbaeen is the gathering of the faithful, and every single step trodden in the gathering of Arbaeen is of those who stand by the ones who joined Imam Hussain(as) to succeed in his mission.

If present conditions do not allow people to travel to Karbala, nonetheless, in our own cities or areas or towns, we can put up a small stand or stall and arrange for any food to be given out as tabbarruk in the name of Imam Hussain ( as) for those passing by.

It has been emphasised and mentioned through imam Jaafar-e-Saadiq (as), that on the day of Arbaeen the Ziyarat of Arbaeen should be recited in particular, whether you are near or far. At the end of Ziyarat e Arbaeen we recite” ma’ a kum ma’ a kum, laa ma’ a aduwwakum, and we need to bear in mind this is the day to say we are together with you, along with you, not at the same time with your enemies: the day of Arbaeen is the day for proving that we are with Imam Hussain (as).

Furthermore, our loyalties and love on the day of Arbaeen should be professed with Imam-e-Zamana (as) in mind, for on this day we need to renew our allegiance to him and pray for his reappearance, and ultimately on this day our hearts need to come together to become united in one place. Arbaeen therefore, is the day of complete unity.

According to the hadith of Imam Jaa’far e Sadiq, (as) the heart of a believer is the house of Allah, and the Throne of the Merciful. If anyone wants to become closer to Allah (swt) and gain his proximity, the heart becomes the Throne of the Merciful only at the time when it becomes mournful and sorrowful owing to our love for the Ahlulbayt (as), at the suffering and oppression that they endured. When our breath becomes like the beads of a rosary or a ‘tasbih’ in the grief of Imam Hussain, together with the tears that flow as a result of that grief, we can liken each breath as a step towards Imam Hussain (as).

In other words we are able to walk towards Imam Hussain (as) through the steps of our inhaling and exhaling, walking through our breathing, with our souls, with our hearts engaged. If through each breath we take we feel we are becoming closer to Imam Hussain (as), this grief will take us towards the remembrance of Allah (swt), and when we experience this proximity, this grief takes us towards the words of Imam e Zamana (as) when he says, “I cry in the morning and in the evening and instead of tears I cry blood.”

By Sayeda Umme Farwa)

The writer is the Founder of labaika yaa Zahra foundation, London

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