Written by Alefiyah Shikari
Ashura. My heart and mind tremble when I think about what transpired on that day.
Husain ibn Ali, his family, and his 72 companions left everything and traveled to Karbala in the name of Islam. Even before Moharram begins, my senses are already prepared for the following 10 days known as Ashara Mubaraka.
My eyes are ready to cry, my mouth is dry from thirst, my hands are raised in dua, my ears shake with every “Ya Hussein” that they hear, and my heart is ready to be torn into 72 pieces.
Hussein ibn Ali sacrificed himself, and his loved ones sacrificed themselves to save an entire religion. Their selfless act is what every Shia remembers on Ashura. But, the battle of Karbala represents more than that. Hussein ibn Ali and his companions fought for justice and the truth. They resisted in the face of oppression and tyranny. For Shias, this signifies the ultimate battle between good vs. evil.
The battle of Karbala happened more than 1,000 years ago, yet every Shia yearns to visit Karbala at least once in their life. It is said that one never leaves Karbala without their wishes being fulfilled.
Karbala is no ordinary place. It is where Hussein ibn Ali and and his companions were refused to drink water for 3 days, and their camps were burned. It is where Hussein ibn Ali’s sister, Zainab, witnessed her brother being martyred. It is where his surviving family members, including women and children, were taken as prisoners until they reached Damascus.
On Ashura, every land becomes Karbala, and Shias remember Hussein ibn Ali’s strength and compassion when he was faced with adversity. They are reminded to remember him when they might not have hope for themselves.
As long as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, the memory of Hussein ibn Ali and Karbala will live on in the hearts and minds of Shias with “Labbaik Ya Hussein” being chanted in every corner of the world.
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