Al-Dai al-Ajal al-Muqaddas Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA relates that when Moulana Imam Hussain AS was born, Jibraeel conveyed to Rasulullah SA tahaani and ta´ziyat —felicitation and condolence. Rasulullah SA accepted the felicitations but expressed surprise at the offering of condolence. Jibraeel then revealed the fate of Imam Hussain AS on the scorching sands of Karbala. The celebration of Imam Hussain’s AS birth was interlaced with mourning for his martyrdom. Joy and sorrow are woven together in every aspect of Karbala.
For Imam Hussain’s AS Ahlebayt and as-haab the grief of their impending shahaadat is linked with the joy that they will make the ultimate sacrifice for their Maula. They sharpened their swords for battle while at the same time applied musk themselves as they prepared themselves for their heavenly abode. The sorrow of Hur’s AS death is accompanied by the joy of his attaining freedom in this world and the next. The deep sense of satisfaction of a mother who encouraged her son to lay down all before Imam al-Zaman and in him see her goal of tafaadi realized is intertwined with the sorrow of shattered dreams and unfulfilled expectations. Maulatona Sakina’s AS happiness of being joined to Maulana Abdullah AS in marriage is intertwined with the grief of separation as he sacrifices his life for his Maula AS. Maulana Imam Husain’s AS contentment in fulfilling the last wishes of his revered brother Maulana Imam Hasan AS was entwined with the anguish of seeing his daughter widowed.
As Maulana Aliakbar lay slain on the battlefield, the pain for the loss of youth is consoled by the privilege of him being blessed by the radiant countenance of Panjatan Paak. While the heavens absorb the blood of Maulana Aliasgar AS, the inexpressible grief of a father for his six-month old son is accompanied by awe at the exalted status of his child.
Thus, it is fitting that our lamentation over Imam Hussain AS is with the understanding and joy derived by the knowledge that it is the key to salvation and eternal existence. We forego worldly matters for the incomparable and lofty pursuit of solely and wholeheartedly devoting nine days of our year to remember Imam Hussain’s AS sacrifice.
When it comes to all other griefs, Allah rewards us for our forbearance, sabr, but for Imam Hussain AS, divine reward lies in expressing our sorrow—with loud lamentations, with floods of tears and with impassioned maatam. The naadimeen mustagfereen’s tears of sorrow for the loss of the divine realm are inextricably united with tears of joy and gratitude for Allah’s mercy: His beloved Awliyaa’.
As the days of Imam Husain AS approach, we recall the marthiyah of al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA:
Cry, in perpetual mourning,
For the Imam who was martyred,
In your mornings and evenings,
A divine reward shall be your’s,
On the Day of Judgement,
What of the grief upon Husain?
O Syed of all martyrs!
al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA, urged Mumineen to cry with him for Imam Hussain AS. Those who understand the truths inherent in Imam Hussain’s AS hardship weep profusely and, when their Dai says ‘Ya Husain’ they respond with lamentation.
In every bayaan and majlis, al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS calls upon us to attend all of the nine days of Ashara Mubarakah, each moment of which should be dedicated to Imam Hussain AS. Responses of Labbaik Yaa Dai Allah resonate in every mumin’s home and heart in response to Maula’s TUS compassionate call: “Chalo ai pyaara azizo chalo!”