Friday, December 31, 2010

And It's 2011...

As another New Year approaches, the usual resolutions like losing weight or taming your career come to mind. According to me, it is also the time to mull over on how to help oneself become a better individual by cultivating certain areas of my life and to not to repeat the mistakes that I committed this year.

It is difficult to feel positive about life when things don't seem to go the way you want. Like all people I too have moments when I feel low but then there is a lot more to life. Abraham Lincoln's words come to mind, "We can complain that rose bushes have thorns. Or we can rejoice that thorn bushes have roses". We all have a tendency to look at the negative but it is so much better to look for the positive in our lives. I know it’s easily said than done. But there is no harm in giving it a try.

Another very important thing that I have learnt is to stop expecting others to change for me because each person has his or her own life to lead, and though you can advise them, their life will be their own. Even in love you have to feel sufficient in yourself rather than worry about being hurt or not being loved enough. As they say, “Life is short, so enjoy every single moment of it.” What we have today might not stay with us tomorrow so let’s cherish it.

It is also essential to be yourself otherwise you will lose track of who you are meant to be in life. Sometime we are swayed by other people or we change ourselves so that people love or like us more. This is when words of Oscar Wilde, "Be yourself, everyone else is taken. It is only by discovering one's true self that you can find your true journey in the world. You have to start liking yourself for others to like you. It’s better to avoid inferiority complex. It just pulls you down.

Every individual should welcome change in life. That is what makes life such an interesting journey. As you grow older you grow wiser and each age brings with it a new beauty and experience.

In conclusion, the words of Jesus, "Pure Love is a flood which covereth all things. Nothing can stand against it, for it floweth from the Eternal Sea" it encourages us to think better and make better persons of ourselves as we grow afar the limits that we set upon ourselves as humans.

Have a kickass 2011! Enjoy! :)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Knocking Our Doors - The Sacred Month Of Muharram

With the observing of the new moon the Islaamic New Year is steered in. Muharram, the first month is one of the four holy months that Allah has talked about in the Holy Qur’an, with which the Muslims begin their lunar Hijrah Calendar. Muharram is so called because it is a holy month and to confirm its sacredness one can read the Allah's words "so wrong not yourselves therein…" mean do not wrong yourselves in these sacred months, because it is believed that sin committed in these months is worse than in other months.

Muharram is so called because it was improper to fight during this month; the word has stemmed from the word ‘haram’ meaning prohibited. Muharram is not a festival in the celebratory sense as it mourns the Karbala tragedy when Imam Husain, grandson of Prophet Muhammad, was martyred in the early days of Islamic history. Their death is a sad day for all Muslims, especially the Shi’a, who hold grieving rituals to recall the virtuous qualities for which the brave martyrs stood and the grave calamities that they thus had to bear. The remembrance of this brutal massacre (Battle of Karbala) begins on the first day of Muharram and reaches its highlight on the 10th of Muharram, the day of the battle, known as ‘Ashurah’.

The massacre of Hussain took place on the tenth day of the month of Muharram; hence, the occasion is called Ashura. It is perceived as a day for public expression of grief. These episodes brought about the division of the community into two sects - the Shias and the Sunnis. The Shias consider Ali, Hassan and Hussain as the just heirs of Prophet Mohammed and mourn their death during Muharram. At the appearance of the moon, people clad in black assemble and recite sorrowful verses over sweetened cold drink, in memory of Imam Hussain. They observe the entire month as a period of mass mourning. There is no celebration or expression of joy of any kind. Women are expected to abandon all adornments. Public enactments of grief, portraying scenes from the Battle of Karbala, are carried out in Shia mosques on the first ten days. This is done to express the brutalities that Hussain suffered during the battle of Karbala. The Sunnis, on the other hand, celebrate the occasion on a quieter note and indulge in calm and silent offerings.

Profusely decorated Taziyas (bamboo and paper replicas of the martyr's tomb), elaborated with gold and mica are carried through city streets. Mourners beat their back mourning and weeping over the murder, accompanied by drum beats. Young men beat their back crying "Husain! Husain!" in collective sorrow.

To conclude I would like to say is the best tribute that we can pay to them is to do some soul-searching. Do we have the right to be called the followers of the Prophet Mohammed? Have we really understood the message of Imam Husain? Are the tears for Husain drawn merely by the scenes of mere bloodshed? Are we ready to shed aside our differences and respect each other’s views during our religious talks during Moharram?

When we will have all the answers and when we will follow the path that they have told us to, only then will we be able to comprehend the significance of Karbala.