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  Updated: January 11, 2008

‘When you drink water remind my thirst…’ Muharram begins

By: Raza Ali

PARIS, France: As soon as the crescent of the month of Muharram appeared on sky, mourners of Hazrat Imam Hussain b. Ali b. Abi Talib (S), holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (S)’s grandson, across the globe wore black mourning dresses, spread mourning carpets in Imambargahs, Imambaras, Ashour-Khanas, Aza-Khanas, Hussainiyaat and Islamic centers, and decorated relics.

During this mourning period (Muharram 1 – Rabi-ol Awwal 8), rich homage is paid to the great matchless sacrifices of Hazrat Imam Hussain (S) and his 72 companions presented in Karbala some 14 centuries ago.

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 Hazrat Imam Hussain (S) along with his near and dear ones in the burning plain of Karbala at the hands of Yazid (L) in 61 AH.

In some countries, Muharram crescent was sighted on January 10 while in some others on January 11.

According to authentic traditions the Chief of Martyrs Imam Hussain (S) had sighted the crescent of Muharram 61 AH when he reached “Manzil-e-Ashraaf” passing through different places after he departed the holy city of Makkah for Iraq.

Whenever Hazrat Imam Jafar-e-Sadiq (S) sighted the Muharram crescent, his grief increased. People used to come to him for condolence, consolation and matam.

A saying of Imam Reza (AS) goes: “In the month of Muharram nobody had ever seen my father (S) 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 Hussain (S) was martyred brutally’.”

Muharram is that dignified month which became the kernel and fountainhead of defensive front for the protection of Din and Shariah by matchless and unparalleled sacrifices rendered by the grandson of Rasool-us-Saqalain (S), his companions and lofty family.

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 (S) 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 Hussain (AS) “Shi’ati in sharibtum maa azbun...” (O friends! when you drink sweet water remind my thirst…).       


 
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