Mumineen let us travel back in time. We find ourselves in the bazar of Kufah on 12 th Muharram 61 AH ( 13th October 680 AD).
The first majlis-e-Hussain was recited in the market-place of Kufah by Moulatena Zainab (AS) from whose head her veil had been ripped off, whose hopes and aspirations had been destroyed on the blood drenched sands of Kerbala but whose indomitable spirit stepped forward to free the Islamic values from the yoke of tyranny and oppression. She was the first one to answer the call of Imam Hussain – ‘ hal min naserin yansurna’
Standing on her unsaddled camel, she looked at the multitude rejoicing the victory of Yezid. As soon as people saw her, they became quiet. A historic moment had arrived that will for ever change the course of Islamic history . Looking straight at them, the daughter of Moula Ali said :
ويل عليك يا أهل الكوفة. هل تدرك أي قطعة
من قلب محمد قد قطعتها !!……
“Woe upon you O people of Kufah Do you realise which piece of Muhammad’s heart you have severed!
Which pledge you have broken! Whose blood you have shed! Whose honour you have desecrated!.
It is not just Hussain whose headless body lies unburied on the sands of Kerbala. It is the heart of the Holy Prophet. It is the very soul of Islam !”
Note: The literal translation does not do full justice to the pathos and power of Arabic, but at least we are moved to tears just bringing to mind that these are the words of our beloved and revered Moulatena Zainab.
The first majlis touched and moved the people of Kufah so deeply as to give rise to both the Tawwabun (Repenters) movement and al-Mukhtar’s quest for vengeance.
When the prisoners were finally freed , Imam Zainul Abedeen Moula asked Yezid to give them the right to perform majalis in rememberance of the shodah e Karbala in Damascus. A house was provided and for seven days aza e Hussain by Ahle bait was performed in the very Capital of the murderer Yezid.
Moulatena Rabab recited :
هو الذي كان ساطع ضوء يقتل …
He who was a light, shining is murdered
Murdered in Karbala and left unburied …
For you were to me a mountain, solid in which I could take refuge…
O who shall speak now for the orphans, for the petitioners….
Ref: Article by Lynda Clarke. University of Toronto ‘ Elegy on Husyn. Arabic and Persia.
Home page : al- islam.org
Ten days after Ashura, a messenger from Yezid arrived in Madina. His name was Abd al-Malik ibne Abi al Harith al-Sulamee. He came to tell the Governor, Amr bin Said al-Aas that Hussain ibne Ali had been killed in Kerbala. Amr told Abd al Malik to make the announcement after fazr namaz.
There was such intense weeping and wailing from the homes of Banu Hashim that the very walls of Masjidun-Nabawi reveberated with their cries of pain and anguish.
Marwan ibne Hakam reports that every afternoon men and women would gather at Jannat-ul-Baqee and there would be remembrance of the tragedy of Karbala’ and the weeping and wailing could be heard miles away.
Nauman b. Bashir was ordered by Yezid to accompany Ahl al Bayt from Damascus to Madina. Under him were thirty men to serve the kafla through the journey. On this return journey Ahl al Bayt were treated with respect and when they arrived on the outskirts of Madinah
Imam Ali Zain al Abedeen halted, two tents were erected and Nauman bin Bashir was sent inside the city walls to make the announcement.
On hearing that that the caravan of Ahl al Bayt is on the outskirts, the residents ran out beating their faces and with loud cries, lament and anguish and gathered around the tents.
Imam Ali Zain al Abedeen came out wiping tears with a kerchief and a servant placed a chair on which Imam sat and narrated the tragic events of Karbala and the gathered multitude could not control their emotions and cries of lament and remorse filled the skies.
Marsiyah of Syedah Umme Kulsum:
As soon as Syedah Umme Kulsum came near the kabr mubarak of Rasul Allah ( SA) she could not hold back her tears, and her emotional outpouring resulted in the following Marasiya.
Madinata jaddena la taqbaleena,
Fabil hasraat e wal ahzaane jeana
Wa haza qissiyyin maa’ sharea haali
Ala ya saameoo nabku alaina
O Madinah of our grandfather!
Do not accept us; because we have returned with grief, sorrow,
being pained and distressed.
Yes, inform Rasulullah (S) that we are shocked for the loss of our father’s disappearance.
Inform him that bodies of our family members are still at the land of Taff; their heads were separated and enemies have slaughtered our children.
Communicate with our grandfather that we were made captivates and driven like prisoners and were humiliated.
Enemies attacked Husain as beast and slaughtered him; they did not consider us exclusively with your special reference of blood relation.
For full translation of the Marasiya log on to http://www.durrenajaf.com
Qazi Dr. Shaikh Abbas Borhany
Imam Ali Zain al Abedeen held regular Majlis of aza’ al Husyn at his house and encouraged composing and recitation of Marasiya. As the Ummayads were the rulers of the land it was done in secrecy.
Likewise Imam Mohammad Al Baqir and Imam Jafar as Sadiq also held aza’ al Husyn majlis and encouraged composers of elegy.
The poets who composed elegies and the devout Shiahs who attended the gatherings at which these marasi were recited did so at the risk of their lives. Nonetheless, the poets continued to pour out their emotions in their poetry.
Sharing an authentic historical narrative.
Jafar b. ‘Affan came to Imam al-Sadiq’s residence and seated himself next to him, upon which the Imam said :’ Ja’far, I have been told that you recite poetry for Husayn, peace be upon him, and that you do it well.’ ‘Yes, and may God make me a sacrifice for you!’ replied the poet. ‘Recite, then’, said Imam al-Sadiq, and Jafar recited these verses:
He who weeps for Husayn might well weep for Islam itself
For the principles of Islam have been destroyed, and used unlawfully:
On the day when Husayn became the target of spears,
When swords drank from him, busy with their work.
And corpses, scattered, were abandoned in the desert.
Great birds hovering over by night and by day …
And Imam Sadiq wept and those around him with him, until his face and beard were covered with tears. Then he said, ‘By Allah, Jafar, the angels closest to God are witness here and they hear your words; they have wept as we have, and more … ‘
Public demonstration of grief first occurred in 351 A.H. On the 10th of Muharram, there was a spontaneous procession in the street of Baghdad and thousands of men, women and children came out chanting “Ya Hussain! Ya Hussain!” beating their breast and reciting elegies. In the same year, a similar procession took place in Cairo.
Soon thereafter aza’ al Hussain became an institution with deep roots in the hearts of Muslims. Majlis evolved into an institution for amr bil ma’ruf and nahya anal munkar as well as reminder of the tragic events.
Historian Al-Maqrizi tells us that under the Fatimids, the martyrdom of al-Hussain came to be commemorated by the state for the first time in 362 H /973 AD
During the time of caliph Imam al-Mu‘izz (SA) the Day of Ashua was institutionalized, and State Commeration took place, and all subsequent Fatimi Imams were great patrons of Azadari.
The Ashura observance was a solemn occasion under the Fatimids, and on Ashura markets and shops were closed.
Sultan Oljeuti – the 8th in line of the Mongol dynasty who died in 1316 AD became a follower of Ahyl al Bait and azadari of Imam Husyn was widely prevailent.
The rise of Shah Ismail in the 15 th century and during the Safavid Dynasty the rememberance of Imam Husyn was widespread through Iran and many heart rendering marasi were composed and recited.
Mir Anis who lived in Lucknow during the mid nineteen century is reported to have composed thousands of elegies and marasi.
A few decades back a few of his marsiyas were frequently recited in our Majlis.
For his literary merit he is compared to Shakespeare. Sharing an excerpt of his marsiya which depicts the call for fazr namaz on the day of Ashura.
Jab qata ki masafat e shab aaftaab ne
Jalwa kiya sahar ke rukhe behijaab ne
Dekha suwe falaq Shahe gardoon rakaab ne
Mudh kar sada rafeeqo ko di us janaab ne
Aakhir hai raat hamd o sanaye Khuda karo
Utho fareezaye sahri ko ada karo
When the sun had completed its night journey, the unveiled dawn appeared in all its radiance; the king (Hussain) whose stirrups are the firmament looked towards the sky. That Lord, turning to his companions, called them out and said, ‘At last the time has come; praise and magnify the Lord. Arise and perform the morning prayer
Our Doat Mutlaqeen – Hudood Fozala Kiram sahebs khidmat in Azadari of Imam Husyn is unparalleled.
A layman like me with limited knowledge and resources will not be able to do full justice.
However, Bhai Mohammad Rangoonwala – a zakereen has helped me in this endeavour.
The 5th Dai el Mutlaq Syedna Ali bin Maula Mohammedenil waleed R. A. in one of his Qasida states:
“Fakam abahu hemal at’thaare wantakahu,
Harima m’an tala ma kullal wara taaloo.
The enemies very very coercively desecrated the courtyard of pious
Ahl e Bait A.S. and disregarded their (Ahl e Bait’s) piety who are always generous to whole mankind.
We mumineen to this day are moved to tears and our matam and a’ahozari reaches a crescendo when we recite the marasiya :
Huznoon azaba javanehi wa fuaadi,
Wa asaala dameei misla faizil wàadi
The sorrow of shahadate Imam Husain has burnt out my vessel of blood (lever) and has liquefied my heart,
And now the tears roll down from my eyes like flow of water during floods.
Written by 19th Dai el Mutlaq Syedna Idrees Imaduddin R. A. Yemen.
Syedna Taher Saifuddin
R.A. the 51st Dai el Mutlaq in an stanza of one of his Qasida titled ‘Alaa Tahan Nabi e khairul anam” states: “ya le sara’a bit Taffe anjale Taha
Tatla la fil ardhe kal anjaami”.
What a lofty progenies of Nabi Taha (prophet Mohammed S.A.) who were sparkling stars of the sky on this earth and fell on land of Taf ( Kerbala)
A’li Qadr Muffadal Moula’s heart touching simply worded Nashihat ‘ Chalo ae Piyara azizo chalo’ in each of its verses rings true of Saifuddin genre of poetic composition by which I mean the Nashihat – ‘Kika Bhai jaldi parho’ by Sayedna Abdo Ali Saifuddin Moula and ‘ Biradar to Nashihat s’un’ by Sayedna Taher Saifuddin Moula are of similar poetic composition – simple in its essence and wordings but touching the hearts and minds of mumineen with a powerful message.
Would highly recommend readers to download and take barakat from recent Sautuliman noha Aweel Volume 4
which has three Marasiya/Salaam in Arabic besides matami noha.
1. Qawme-ibku ala-alShaheede be taff – Sayedna Taher Saifuddin Moula ( RA)
2. Fakam abahu hima alathaar wa-intahako – Sayedna Hussain b. Ali (RA)
3. Khairatullah min alkhalq abi – in the words of our Moula Imam Husyn. The recitation of which will surely engulf your being with blessing and kurbah (nearness)
Those who may be interested are requested to log on the following links and read and reflect on my writings.
Marasiya Ya Sayydedus Sohdaee
Abkika Molayal Hussain
My taffakur on the 10th verse of Abkika. In this verse Hay’yul Muqaddas Burhanuddin Moula eludes to a deep hidden secret in the azadari of Imam Husyn and extols us to cry aloud.
An audio of 9 min of my taffakur.
The azadari of Imam Husyn is universal and encompasses different cultures and languages. Heart rendering Marasiya are recited in different languages.
Tejani Brothers have recited a soulful Marasiya in four different languages. This is just one fine example. A must watch video
My recitation of an English Composition by Ben Mubaraka Sk. Dawoodbhai Diwan of USA.
Listen to O Moula through your eyes by Asgar Fakhrudin on #SoundCloud
My dear readers count yourselves as blessed if the NIDA of Imam Husyn – ‘hal min nasirin yansurna ‘ (is there anybody to help me) reveberrates in you for then it will surely motivate you to perform Amr bil Maroof wa nahi ‘anal Munkar ( enjoining good and forbidding wrong) the very reason for which Imam Husyn sacrificed himself and his family.
OHBAT is very encompassing. Just recall Imam Husyn discontinued his ‘tawaf’ to answer a call of a needy. Reaching out to those in need and all kindly acts that ease the suffering of others and acts that help the marginalized to achieve their dreams and potentials, all selfless acts for the betterment of humanity are akin to answering the call of Imam Husyn on the day of Ashura. Harken to his call my dear readers and make this world a better place.
In my humble way I have done OHBAT and indebted to all who took time to read – reflect and share. SHUKRAN.