Alhamd, we diligently did what we could to mourn for I.Hussein (as) and the brave martyrs. The tragedy springs forth a stream of sadness and an engulfment of grief. On one hand it seems like just the start of an inner revolution, while on the other with the declining frequency of communal activities this centripetal force starts to die down and it feels like only a lip service is given to the Jihad e Akbar that was endured by a very vulnerable group – bereaved women and children.
There are such important lessons to be learned from their over-thirty-days of suffering, pain, loss, grief, callous treatment and diabolical humiliation. Pain and suffering that permanently altered anatomical bone structure and expedited decades of physical signs of aging. Not to mention, the incomprehensible psychological trauma they must have experienced!
It is no wonder that I.Hussain (as) during his final farewell, admonished about the Jihad e Akbar – the true essence of Jihad. The Jihad fought with soul-strength, to the drum beats of patience, using swords sharpened with the ultimate faith in the Decree of Allah, shielded with the armor of unconditional gratitude to Allah and retaliating all inhumane tortures with unfaltering hope and love for humanity. All for the sole purpose of attaining the pleasure and closeness of the Almighty Allah (SWT)
So let’s do our part, as little as it may be, to keep this spirit going at least until we reach Arbaeen. This was one of the hardest test our AhlulBayt had ever endured, we owe them a little more than a regular Thursday majlis.
Here are some suggestions which have worked for us to help continue the ambience of grief and mourning at home inshA.
1. Let them tell stories:
We’ve all heard so much and now its their time to tell stories. Use different interactive ways for them to relate their understanding to you. One thing that really works for us, is a story bag.
In this bag we have: a bottle of sand (desert), chain pieces (I.Zainul Abideen as was tied in chains), a horse, a camel picture, some toys (that the children were probably missing out on), A little heart that says ‘Al Hamdu Lillah’ because the women and children, despite their situation, were always thankful to Allah (SWT)sponsor-widow-orphans-month
2. Let them rise to the occasion:
One of my fondest memories of childhood include role playing to be a Mulyani and even a Mowlana. Let them rise to the occassion, reserve a special seat or Mimbar for them. Gather the family and let it be a special moment of glory as they tell you about our master Hussein (as) and for the pleasure of Allah
3. Moments of Silences and personal traditions:
On busy days, when we can’t sit down and have a little Majlis, we have moments of silences with a candle. The candle reminds us of the darkness that surrounded the family of I.Hussein (as) in the prison. Make up your own tradition be it listening to Lathmiyya or Nawhas that kids can remember for years inshA!
Put a little reminder next to everyday things that might help us remember the women and children and how much they endured to keep the message alive. Using everyday objects as Visual images representing a piece of information, this concept/information therefore sticks into the long term memory inshA!
5. Giving up:
Giving up something or abstaining from a habit to get closer to Divinity is not limited to our faith. Many religions and cultures practice sacrificing something they love doing or especially eating for example Lent practiced by Christians. When the atmosphere around gets us merrier, it might be a good test to see whether we can give up celebrating for a brief period of time in honor of Aba Abdillah. Some things we’ve heard, seen and done are: giving up treats, take-aways/restaurant dining, basically anything that would be classed as indulging or things we wouldn’t do of one of our dearest family member had just passed away.
A perfect opportnuity to incorporate a healthier lifestyle inshA.
6. Supporting the poor, needy, orphans and widows:
Perhaps this was one of the most crucial aspect the Almighty wanted us to never overlook. Alhamd, our tears have softened our hearts and now is the best time to get involved in sponsorship programs that could make a world of difference to someone. Get kids involved in this noble act as much as possible e.g. writing to the sponsored child, donating pocket money, fund-raising and so much more inshA.
Some organizations include:
The World Dederation of KSIMC
Zahra and Zaki’s Orphan Fundraiser (For Eid and every other day)
Az Zahra Trust- Sponsor widows and orphans
Sister Darifa’s just giving page
So while we couldn’t respond to I.Husein (as)’s call of ‘Hal Min Naasirin Yan Surna’ nor could we walk or comfort his family through the toughest days to ever befall on a human being, we can send a little comfort through our regular and continued actions in the little things we do everyday inshA.