REFLECTIONS BY SHEIKH FAIYAZ JAFFER - BEYOND ASHURA

REFLECTIONS BY SHEIKH FAIYAZ JAFFER – BEYOND ASHURA

Beyond Ashura
Safar 1440\October 2018

Over the course of the next few days and weeks, people from different pockets of the world will align their hearts and their souls to the land which was once barren, deserted, and drenched with the blood of the Master of Martyrs. The focal point of love will be on Karbala, and while millions will begin to make the sacred journey to visit their Imam, millions of others will spiritually transmit themselves within the confines of that blessed land. The days of the Ziyarat al-Arbaeen are upon us, days which are demonstrations of loyalty, identity and allegiance to the son of God’s Messenger (s).

Beyond Ashura
Safar 1440\October 2018

Over the course of the next few days and weeks, people from different pockets of the world will align their hearts and their souls to the land which was once barren, deserted, and drenched with the blood of the Master of Martyrs. The focal point of love will be on Karbala, and while millions will begin to make the sacred journey to visit their Imam, millions of others will spiritually transmit themselves within the confines of that blessed land. The days of the Ziyarat al-Arbaeen are upon us, days which are demonstrations of loyalty, identity and allegiance to the son of God’s Messenger (s).
During the course of the past month of Muharram, our bodies and minds go through a lot to bear the tragedy of Imam Hussain (a). Though perhaps little sleep, drink and food, and recollecting the horrific episode of the day of Ashura, it may prove to be difficult—but in the midst of the process, our souls make a spiritual ascent seeking closeness to God due to our love for our Imam…as the Prophet stated, “God loves the one who loves Hussain!” And as our souls mold into the love of the Prophet and his family, we have an innate spark which pushes us towards emanating all of their qualities: mercy, compassion, patience, love, justice, beauty, etiquette, altruism…amongst many others. But though the spark is there, and the light is ready to be manifest, it requires for us to light the match, and put forth the effort to emanate all of those qualities and fulfill our responsibilities to them, to God and to ourselves. And the performance of the visitation to Imam Hussain 40 days after Ashura is one such means to reach that new height.
And for those of us who are not fortunate enough to have that most epic of experience as we walk to the Master of Martyrs and one of the Leaders of the Youth of Paradise, there is still an opportunity to emanate that light as we are living in the climate of Imam Hussain during these months. It’s important that we sit back during the course of the next few weeks and spend some time reflecting and contemplating what we have experienced and what we will continue to experience as we make the rituals rounds of majalis and mourning ceremonies for the Prophet and his family. And then, of course, we need to reflect in terms of asking ourselves whether the performance of our rituals have really yielded the result that is intended…
At the end of the day, everything that we do in the name of Imam Hussain (a) is sa-cred—the weeping, the recitation of poetry, the distribution of food—but its more than just getting the reward of performing a ritual…it’s about allowing for that demonstration of love to, again, illuminate our hearts. There are plenty of people who walk to Karbala on the day of the Arbaeen, and who attend majalis every day for weeks, and who recite poetry in the name of the Imam, but it doesn’t necessarily make them a better person, or someone who treats their family well, for instance. And while I am more confident than anyone else that they will get a reward for their sincerity to the butchered son of God’s most beloved creation, there is still something to be said about the lack of real transformation that individual failed to go through.
So as we enter into the month of Safar, I remind myself that I need to spend some time alone and really wonder if I am making that incremental change that is allowing for me to connect with the Ahlul Bayt on a metaphysical level. In other words, am I allowing the beauty of living in these days to really take me to a state whereby I am emanating the qualities of mercy, compassion, patience, love, justice, beauty, etiquette, altruism…amongst many others? Or am I just going through the motions once again this year?

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