The Pledge of Ashura

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O mourners of the most supreme sacrifice in the realm of humanity! O you Azadaar of the Chief of Martyrs and his family! O you whose hearts are softened and your souls tear apart from the reminder of the supreme tragedy of Ashura! Are YOU prepared to face the day of Ashura?

Ashura – the day when the hardest of hearts have melted, the cruelest of tyrants have mourned, the laws of nature have inverted. Ashura is the day that calls for change, the day that calls for revolution. No matter how magnanimous or how tiny the revolution is, no matter at what level (societal or individual) the change can be, but change is inevitable on the day of Ashura!

Ashura in its all-encompassing glory is and always will be the inspiration of stark thinkers and revolutionaries. It pushes individuals into the direction of inner self reformation which manifests in the society as good actions and noble behavior, thus creating an outer revolution! This is how we can see an actualization of the essence of “Every day is Ashura, every land is Karbala”.

As we enter into the day of Ashura, we must let our hearts explore the depths of the supreme revolution of Imam Hussain (peace be upon him), delve our hearts and minds into how and why the spirit of Ashura has inverted human nature and the essence of human relationships of father-son, husband-wife, mother-child, and so on. How intensely do we experience the grief surrounding this day in the words of Ziyarat Ashura:  “…More than the personal grief that torments anyone who is in great agony, sorrows which have no parallel and overshadow all calamities that took place in the history of Islam, for that matter, throughout the whole universe.”

Oh Shias of Hussain! Know that on this day, the one who is the most intensely aggrieved is the Imam of Our Time (may Allah hasten his reappearance). On the day of Ashura, what will you communicate to your Master and your Leader of the Time? What vow(s) will you make to the “avenger of the Martyred ones in Karbala”? How will you yearn to assist him in his much awaited revolution?

On this day as we read the Ziyarat Ashura and try to connect our hearts with the heart of our Imam (as) and embark on these words: “I make peace with those who made their peace with you, I search out and confront those who waged war against you, I make friends with those who stood by you, I strive against those who came in conflict with you”, ask yourself if you know who the enemies and the friends of the Ahlul Bayt are in today’s world. Ask yourself how successful you have been in keeping this promise with your Imam over the years.

To put it briefly, we have two characters before us that stand out from the day of Ashura. On the one hand we have Umar ibn Saad, who in his complete knowledge (Ma’rifah) of the Ahlulbayt, betrayed them and waged war against them. On the other hand we have Hurr ibn Yazid al-Riyahi, whose conscience could not tolerate the torture and seclusion of the Ahlul Bayt, leading him to leave the path of Yazid and tread on the path of martyrdom with the truthful ones. On the day of Ashura, let us pledge to become the Hurrs of our time; let us give in our lives, our hearts and our souls to the path of everlasting truth and infinite bliss – the path of Imam Hussain and his grandson, the Imam of Our Time.

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