by Jonathan Azaziah
Muharram, the Islamic calendar’s pinnacle of heartbreak, is upon us. Its first ten days, culminating on Ashoura–when the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s (S.A.W.W.) grandson Imam Hussein (A.S.) was butchered and beheaded by the bloodthirsty, psychopathic tyrant Yazid’s (L.A.) accursed mercenary Shimr (L.A.) on the sands of Karbala in 680 A.D.–are the most excruciating of all. There are many a story to be told about what took place on Iraq’s bloodied southern battlefields 1,338 years ago.
From the brave ones like Jawn Ibn Huway’s (A.S.) angelic cries of poetry amidst the fight along with Abis ibn Shabib al-Shakiri (A.S.) taking off his armor and confronting the traitors of Kufa head on… To the melancholy ones like Ali Asghar’s (A.S.) tiny body being pierced with an arrow as well as the unspeakable repression of Lady Zaynab (A.S.) in the aftermath of the slaughter. But in this current climate, one that stands out in a rather massive way is Imam Hussein (A.S.) dying thirsty. That Yazid (L.A.) allowed the Chief of the Youth of Paradise (A.S.)–who Muhammad al-Moustafa (S.A.W.W.) loved like his very own son and who said of him, “Whoever loves Hussein loves me, whoever is against Hussein is against me”–to be denied water, shows you how malevolent, despotic and rotten at the core he was.
Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (A.S.) famously coined the phrase, “Every day is Ashoura. Every land is Karbala.” So it is not just a Mouqawamistic and humanitarian imperative to look to Ashoura and the sacrifices of the Karbala 72 for inspriation and guidance when dealing with modern geopolitical affairs but an Islamic, Muhammadi-Husseini one. And when we think of Aba Abdallah (A.S.) dying… Parched… Despite the banks of the Euphrates being right at the fingertips of his partisans… After getting brutalized by one of the most satanic personalities to ever walk God’s Green Earth… the peoples of Gaza and Yemen should come right to the forefront of your mind’s eye.
In the besieged Strip, 97% of the drinking water is contaminated thanks to the usurping Zionist entity’s criminal siege since 2007 as well as multiple wars of aggression in 2008-2009, 2012 and 2014 in which chemical munitions like white phosphorus and depleted uranium were used against Palestinian civilians and infrastructure. Severe diarrhea, kidney illnesses and urinary tract diseases are rampant. In Yemen, US-UK-French-‘Israeli’-backed Saudi Arabia has bombed water bottling plants, water stations, wells and other key H2O facilities, contributing to the biggest cholera outbreak in history. Last July, Saudi and Emirati warplanes bombed Nushour Water Facility in devastated Saada, cutting off 10,500 Yemenis, including more than 5,000 children, from clean water alone. Indeed, ‘Israel’ and Al-Saud are Yazid (L.A.) and Shimr (L.A.) incarnate.
Tears should be shed for Aba Abdallah (A.S.) and his martyred family members and companions during this time of solemnity and reflection. That goes without saying. However, if you’re going to cry your eyes out for the Karbala 72 but fail to mention the Karbalas of today–i.e. Gaza and Yemen–then perhaps it is best that you save the howling and wailing and kill the waterworks too. Yeah? Ashoura is not a ritual. It’s a transcendental, eternal mission statement; a Divine decree; a holy order; a fatwa to end all fatwas–stand up for the oppressed and fight the oppressors even if you’re outnumbered… Even if you’re outgunned… Even if you’re hungry… Even if you’re thirsty… Even if a physical victory isn’t possible in the moment, the spiritual victory is ensured and will manifest through your literal and ideological progeny in the end.
The Imam (A.S.) was murdered thirsty. Gaza and Yemen are on the verge of facing the same fate. It’s up to us, as the sons and daughters of Muharram, the children of Ashoura, the offspring of the Muhammadi-Husseini Resistance tradition to prevent that from happening. Raise your voice first. Then we raise the banner–like Abou Fadl al-Abbas (A.S.) planting the standard of Ahlul Bayt (A.S.) for all of the murderous devils to see. Labaykah ya Hussein (A.S.)!