ITALY, Rome: Moharram is that month which became the essence and
fountainhead of defensive front for the protection of religion and
Shariah because of incomparable and unparalleled sacrifice rendered by
the grandson of holy Prophet Muhammad (S), Imam Al-Hussein (AS) along
with his companions and lofty family.
With the appearance of crescent of Moharram – the first lunar month –,
aza Al-Hussein and marasim-e-azadari (majalis, matam and mawakib
al-aza) began, black mourning dresses were worn, mourning carpets in
Imambargahs, Imambaras, Ashour-Khanas, Aza-Khanas, Hussainiyaat and
Islamic centers were spread, and religious relics (tazia, standards
etc) were decorated by the mourners of Al-Imam Al-Hussein bin Ali
Ibn-e-Abi Talib (S), across the globe to pay rich homage to his
supreme sacrifice presented in the burning desert of Karbala in 61 AH.
Touching voices of lamentations “Ya Hussain (S) and Wa Hussaina
(S)” are being heard from every nook and corner and tears are being
gushed out of every eye with intense grief over the martyrdom of chief
of martyrs Al-Imam Al-Hussein (AS).
In some countries, this year Moharram crescent was sighted on December
6 while in some others on December 7.
According to traditions the Chief of Martyrs Imam Hussein (AS) had
sighted the crescent of Moharram 61 AH when he reached
“Manzil-e-Ashraf” passing through different places after he departed
on Dhul-hijjah 8 the holy city of Makkah for Iraq.
History tells that whenever the sixth infallible descendant of holy
Prophet (s), Al-Imam Jafar As-Sadiq (AS) sighted the Moharram
crescent, his grief increased. People used to come to him for
condolence, consolation and matam.
Al-Imam Ar-Reza (AS) said: “In the month of Muharram nobody had ever
seen my father (AS) happy and merry. During this month he remained in
continuous grief and pain and on the 10th of this month he was used to
say, ‘Today Imam Hussein (AS) was martyred brutally’.”
In previous times in Indian city of Lucknow, as the Muharram
crescent was sighted, the brood and youth were prohibited from
laughing; married women even newly married weds were asked to smash
their bangles; wear out red outfits. Mouth-watering dishes were
prevented till the 40th day of Imam (AS) martyrdom on Safar 20 rather
for 2 months and 8 days; Desserts were not prepared; Sweet dishes were
put on the table on Rabi-ul-Awwal 9; fish was also not allowed. Cold
drink was considered the best tabarruk in majalis even in the winters
and patients after drinking it became healthy. The word of drink
(sharbat) is found in the original words of Imam Hussein (AS) “Shi’ati
in sharibtum maa azbun...” (O friends! when you drink sweet water
remind my thirst…).