At Your Service O' Hussein

                                                             The Caribbean Is One Nation.

                                            ‘At Your Service O’ Hussein

A beautiful Muslim Mosque
by Pachamama
At this time of the Muharram Mourning Ceremonies, especially for the Shia Muslims of the world, we are reminded that we can never be guided by reductionist tendencies alone. On the 10th day of Muharram of 680 AD or 61 AH in the Islamic calendar, Prophet Mohammed’s grandson, Imam Hussein Ibn Ali (PBUT), was martyred at the epic Battle of Karbala, in modern day Iraq.
These highly significant events continue to influence the affairs of all of mankind to this very day. Imam Hussein’s example of self-sacrifice and resistance against injustice is indeed instructive to all justice seeking peoples everywhere. It serves as a powerful connection to the beautiful and the sublime.
Of course, any goodness in this world has to be properly located within an ocean of evil. Within Islam itself, some Sunnis, tend to want to dampen the recognition of these events as sacred. A quarrel which has its genesis in a 1433 year old argument as to whom The Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) left in charge. This argument is the basis of a divide between the two dominate currents of Islam.
It is an argument that today has extremist, Takfiri, Sunni, zealots trying to restrict religious diversity within Islam itself. Of course, most of Sunni Islam don’t share this view either. The zealots have long decided that any deviation from their notions as to what represents Islam is never to be tolerated. It matters not to the Sunni zealots that they prime supporters, themselves, are indeed the enemies of all Muslims everywhere.
These enemies of Islam will include, first and foremost, the Saudis who were brazen enough to attach their family name to Arabia. Then we have the world powers seeking to create strife within Islam based on internal disagreement, divide and rule you say? We have the wider petrol-monarchies of the Persian Gulf. Then we have Muslims themselves who have acted in ways which divide the Islamic Ummah. Acted in ways that contradict the central tenets of Islam resulting in poverty and despotism in too much of the Islamic world.
Imam Hussein’s example maybe prescient for Caribbean nations at a time of social and economic uncertainty. Nations with a little-known but long interaction with Muslims even before the slave period. The surrender of one’s life for the good of all mankind and in the service of justice represents the best of the human spirit. Recently in Trinidad & Tobago we have seen an example of the sacred spirit of Imam Hussein (PBUH) as a hunger striker put all that he was on the line in a confrontation with a dictatorial government apparatus.
Such was the Battle of Karbala. Imam Hussein (PBUH) refusal to recognize Yazid 1, as Caliph, resulted in a small detachment of his defenders and close family facing off against a much larger contingent from an unpopular ruler. A ruler, not unlike most currently in power within the Islamic world and many in the Caribbean today. These are the conditions from which martyrdom is born. 
At this time of Muharram we must all find ways of operationalizing the selflessness and sacrifice shown by the Great Imam Hussein’s (PBUH). For should Imam Hussein (PBUH) had been a Westerner his name would have been marked on the steeple of every door.

Pachamama is a social commentator.           

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