Proclaim Good and Forbid
Evil, Always and at All Costs!
By Shakeel Syed
Los Angeles, CA
you do not march forth, Allah will chastise you grievously
and will replace you by another people, while you will in
no way be able to harm Him. Allah has power over everything”.
No people can live successfully, fruitfully and triumphantly
without a strong memory of their past. 10th of Moharram
is one such occasion. Muslims attempt to recall the tragic
event around the 60th year after Prophet Muhammad migrated
from Makkah to Madinah. This time it was his family led
by his noble grandson Imam Hussain (peace and blessings
be upon all of them).
Reciting divine words, reflecting on Prophetic advises and
studying history enables us to crystallize our insights.
However, when we attempt to draw the imagery of Karbala,
no heart could be so hard as not to be pierced with piteous
feeling while replaying the Day of Ashura. Words can simply
not do justice to the sacrifices made on that day. They
kept their heads high, faces bathed in blood and tears,
looking one upon another. Others stood in dolorous pain,
looking up to the highest heavens, fixing their eyes upon
it, crying out, asking help from the Only Helper; while
others made lamentations in the manner of dirge. Today we
try to recall their pain, suffering and sacrifices, as they
happened, to inspire ourselves and to understand the concept
of sacrifice for a noble cause.
Regrettably, sacrifice as is generally understood today,
is to give up something that should not have been touched
in the first place. Selfless and unasked giving is a rarity
and unheard of. Giving one’s entire self and off springs
for His pleasure is unimaginable. Muslims must spiritually
survive from the unparallel yesterdays of Prophet’s
We have been largely overwhelmed by a culture that has emptied
our memories, made us apologetic for who we are, and stripped
us along the way of the sheerest hope of self-definition.
We alone are presumed past less and are left to repair our
self-esteem. Imperative it is for us today, to define ourselves
by our ongoing tribulations and those who mete them out
to us. Otherwise, we cannot be collectively successful if
we have no idea or, worse, have the wrong idea of who we
were and who we are.
The intent of this writing is to stimulate, not to sate
-- to pose the question and to invite reflection -- to cause
ourselves to act for an almost forgotten legacy of the sacrifices
made by our beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon
him) and his progeny.
O Allah! Bestow upon us the courage to enjoin, proclaim
and enforce Good and patience and perseverance to forbid
and stop Evil for and by all.
(Shakeel Syed lives in Los Angeles and is a freelance writer
on socio-political issues