For Muharram al-Haram, 1438 A.H.

In the Name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful

“…And whoever venerates the sacraments of God – indeed, that arises from the piety (awareness) of hearts.” (The Holy Qur’an, 22:32)

With the coming of Muharram this year, more than 1377 years have passed since the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (as) and 72 of his close family members and companions in Karbala. Every year, with the coming of the anniversary of this event, we witness the interaction of the believers, whose enthusiasm and interest in commemorating this occasion increases every day in different parts of the world, even in regions that one would not normally expect to have even heard about the Holy Household of Prophet Muhammad (as).

Keeping in mind the three core components of the memorial commemorations of Imam Husayn (as), namely, the lecturers, speakers and preachers, the caretakers of memorial services and the audience of believers, and building upon the former and the latter, it is important to mention the following points which are noted and derived from the advice of the purified Imams (as) and the directions of our scholars and jurists since the advent of Karbala. These points have been broken down into three announcements that will be conveyed over the next three days for our reader’s convenience:

  • Announcement 1: The lecturers on the podium of Imam Husayn (as)
  • Announcement 2: Pertaining to caretakers of the gatherings and services
  • Announcement 3: Pertaining to the crowds of believers

There is no doubt that the phenomenon of standing at the podium and dressing up in the garb of the people of religion and knowledge causes one’s mind to think of the Honorable Prophet’s (as) role in admonishing and reforming society. Therefore, qualified lecturers and cognizant preachers have always paid attention to the following:

  • They realize that the act of taking this responsibility is only done for the sake of delivering the message and guiding people to attain nearness to Allah (swt). Therefore, it should be far away from any of the other influences or incentives which often accompany this position and status.
  • Speakers have a commitment to providing a lecture that invokes tears by appealing to the emotions of the believers and inspires their minds through wise admonition – in other words, by mixing the heartbreaking eruptions of sadness and sorrow over the tragedy with the lessons and reminders that are inspired by the revolution of Imam Husayn (as). Indeed, the revolution of Imam Husayn (as) exemplifies many virtuous qualities, much Islamic knowledge, and important events from the lives of the Prophet (zs) and his family (as). Imam al-Ridha (as) was asked about the way to revitalize the affairs of the Ahl al-Bayt (as), to which he (as) responded, “By learning our knowledge and then teaching it to the people. If people knew the merits of our knowledge, they would follow us.”
  • They must also utilize moderation and fairness in choosing and proposing issues, while taking into consideration the appropriateness of the discussion with the level and nature of the gathering by using wisdom and good advice; they should concentrate on presenting many different opinions and theories and then focus on following the best.
  • They endeavor to bring the attention of the audience to the new movements and missions which aim to present a false image of Islam and Muslims by mixing truth with falsehood using their scheming and deceitful methods that aim to deviate believers from the correct path. Such methods include taking concepts, which are at the heart of the religion of Islam and its teachings, such as “liberty” and “citizenship,” and placing them under the banner of “liberalism” through programs and projects that aim to deviate society into becoming one which is irresponsible, unethical, and without a religious identity or a noble cultural affiliation. The enemies of Islam have placed all of their efforts and resources into extinguishing the light of the seal of all religions, but were unsuccessful. As a result, armed with money and media, their intention is to innovate new methods to target Islam and Muslims – although it should have been more of a priority for them to analyze the reasons for their repetitive failures, and the secret of Islam’s resilience and success (which is due to the Qur’an and those who carry its message). If they had done so, they would have followed the path of its guidance and happiness, rather than wasting their lives in a war they cannot win.
  • Speakers are attentive to the general level of the audience. It is narrated that the Honorable Prophet (as) said, “We, the Prophets, have been commanded to speak to people at the level of their intellects.” (Al-Kafi) This includes being mindful of the time and place, for it is not expected that different groups of people share the same pride and esteem for a particular type of speech, ritual, or tradition.
  • They understand the importance of emphasizing holding steadfastly onto the Holy Qur’an and the Holy Household of the Prophet (as). There is no guarantee of successfully achieving this goal during the major occultation, except by holding steadfastly onto the grand jurists, those religious experts who have fulfilled the required qualifications of the Shi’a school of thought. These jurists are those whose jurisprudential qualifications, piety and asceticism have been authenticated by major scholars and by all of the Islamic seminaries. Not holding onto them would lead the Muslim nation into division and separation within the community, making it exposed to corruption, loss and deviation even on issues that are not points of contention.

We ask Allah (swt) for success in performing good deeds. Keep a look out for Announcement 2 of 3: Pertaining to caretakers of the gatherings and services.