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Karbala Articles

Updated September 01, 2012

Karbala related articles

Relating the Narrative

Reflections on Karbala

November 22, 2012

There are in every generation those who betray a double trust. They betray the bonds of humanity to which Ali ibn Abu Talib alluded when he said “people are of two kinds, either they are your partners in faith, or they are your partners in humanity, so behave accordingly.” And they betray the archetypal “trust” infused (in potentia) in human nature at the beginning of creation, the turning away from which results in the spreading of injustice and unnecessary bloodshed, repeated in an ever compounding generational loop as new technologies emerge that exponentially allow us to leverage our reach and killing power....

Mourning Husayn

On Matam

March 02, 2004

Time was briefly erased as the magnitude of the matam and the absolute concentration of the mourners evoked the memory of the final moments of the martyrs of Karbala - their remembrance hammered into hearts with every beat of hand against chest....


Martyrdom of Imam Husayn

March 02, 2004

When nobody except a group of three members of his family was left with al-Husayn, he moved against the people (the soldiers), while the three (moved with) him until (all) three were killed. Al-Husayn was left alone. Despite being weighed down by wounds in his head and body, he began to strike against them with his sword and they scattered, to right and left, away from him....

Tawil of Karbala

Relate the narrative that they may reflect

February 26, 2004

When we remember past events and recite the stories of the incidences that took place at Karbala and draw lessons from them we are fulfilling a qur'anic entreaty to call to mind past occurrences and draw lessons from them. Just as the qur'an is a book of guidance for us, from God, so also is the universe, the world which we inhabit, a "book" of God replete with signs (ayats) and waymarks - a guidance to those whose hearts are inclined to seek guidance and who strive to understand the significance of human actions in this world....

Remembering the Martyrs

Witness Your Time

February 25, 2004

A question frequently raised in reference to Imam Husain's martyrdom and our commemoration of it is "Why dwell on the past?...Why put so much time and energy into remembering an event that happened centuries ago?...Why not let the past be past and put it behind us once and for all?"....


Looking Towards God

February 24, 2004

"...We heard the fierce, grief stricken background of this sound - the sound of men groaning, crying, and shouting.... There came into view....rank after rank of men naked to the waist.... They were like a regiment of...soldiers marching as captive to their doom....their eyes gazed fixedly ahead....

Commemorating Martyrdom

Remembrance and Reaffirmation

February 23, 2004

For those not well acquainted with the life and death of Imam Husain(a.s.), the commemoration of his martyrdom is seen as an emotional occasion - a cry of the heart for what is lost. It is this, but it is also much more than this....

On Martyrdom

Witnessing truth

February 22, 2004

The word "shahid" (martyr) means "witness", in the sense of one who is a witness to the Truth of God as manifested in the Qur'an, in history, in the world, and within one's own self. It describes a type of person who has clearly understood the deep distinction between truth and falsehood and who, by the example of his life and the manner of his death becomes a criterion (furqan), a standard of judgement between right and wrong....

New Year's Day

Remembering Karbala

February 21, 2004

A new year signifies renewal, birth, new beginnings. While the 1st of Muharram marks the new year celebration for many Muslims - for others it marks a time of remembrance, mourning and contemplation. But this is not an inappropriate activity for a new beginning....

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