by Jonathan Azaziah
We mourn this month for Imam Hussein and the Karbala 72, the peace, blessings and mercy of ALLAH (SWT) be upon them for eternity, recalling tragic heroes like Abdullah ibn Omayr Abou Wahab al-Kalbi, the Christian-turned-Muslim who was dismembered and beheaded after single-handedly killing dozens of Yazid’s (L.A.) mercenaries; Habib ibn Madhahir al-Assadi, the elderly warrior who led the Imam’s (A.S.) left flank and stayed by his side until martyrdom; Zuhayr ibn Qayn al-Bajali, a man who at first didn’t even want to speak to Aba Abdallah (A.S.), then wound up one of his fiercest defenders and the leader of his left flank as he divorced his own wife to fight with him on the Iraqi plains before being speared to death by Shimr’s (L.A.) savages; and many, many others.
Yet amidst our grief over the atrocities inflicted on the grandson of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.W.) and those nearest and dearest to him, there is still reason to smile thanks to the oppressed peoples who cling tightly to their Husseini identities. Specifically those in Yemen as well as Nigeria’s Zaria and now add occupied Kashmir to the list today. From Lal Chowk (Red Square) in the Kashmiri capital of Srinagar, a “Labaykah ya Hussein (A.S.)!” banner is draped across the highest towers for all to see; for all to marvel over. If you have a soul that hates oppression and feels a kinship with the downtrodden, it’s impossible not to feel a tingle at the base of your spine and the hair on your forearms standing up as if it was cheering.
Because when we reminisce about everything the people of the Vale have endured, from a military occupation that has lasted even longer than the criminal occupation of Palestine, it will turn 71 next month; to hundreds of thousands of martyrs and wounded since October 27th, 1947; to the most brutal tortures imaginable, imprisonment over protesting and stone-pelting, censorship, denial of basic freedoms, rejection of even the smallest of human rights, massacres, rapes and kidnappings; to a great many more Orwellian repressions, all at “democratic” India’s hands… You ask yourself, how do human beings endure? How do they find the strength? But there isn’t any need for such inquiries.
Just look up to the skyline of Lal Chowk. How are Kashmiris getting by you ponder? How do they resist and fight on? Through Imam Hussein (A.S.); through Lady Zaynab (A.S.); through Abou Fadhl al-Abbas (A.S.); through Karbala; through Muharram; through Ashoura; through the Islam of Ahlul Bayt (A.S.) that bowed not to the pagans of Quraysh led by Abou Sufyan (L.A.); nor to his “chosenite” allies, the Jews of Banu Qurayza and later Khaybar (L.A.); that knelt not to his son Mouawiyah (L.A.); nor his drunkard, degenerate, derelict grandson Yazid (L.A.); and that shall not ever kowtow to Hindutvadi India and its closest ally, the usurping Zionist entity. Labaykah ya Aba Abdallah (A.S.)!
In occupied Kashmir, whose fight was labeled the “struggle of Islam” by Imam Khomeini (R.A.), the way of Imam Hussein (A.S.), that of “Hayhat minna zilla (Us? Humiliated?! Never, ever!!)”–in other words, Mouqawamah until Victory or Martyrdom–is not ***a*** way of life, it is ***the*** way of life and it’s also the way to Azadi (houriyeh; freedom) for all of the Kashmiri people. Be they Sunni Muslims or Shi’a Muslims, Christians or Sikhs or Pandits. Striking Star Salute to the courageous individuals that risked jail, defied curfew and evaded Modi the Murderer’s occupation army to raise the banner of the Moustazafeen and send greetings to Imam Hussein (A.S.) during this most sanctified time. Sayyed al-Shouhada (A.S.) salutes you back with a smile upon you. And following his lead… Mouqawamists worldwide do too.
(For the photos, we send much love to Abbas Shamael Rizvi, the Lion of Lucknow, Anti-Zionist activist, brilliant director behind Anuragi’s “Aazadi” and a genuine Husseini fighter who I proudly call my brother).