The month of Muharram marks the start of the Hijri calendar. In this sacred month, the banks of Euphrates witnessed that epic battle between truth and falsehood that will forever echo in the east and west until the Day of Judgment. No discerning person can overlook the significance of this encounter. This month edifies the values of troth, altruism, sacrifice, faith, unity of the Ummah, mutual lenience, and peaceful coexistence. Allah Almighty declared this month as the sacred month. Verse 36 of Surah Taubah proclaims four months as sanctified (Minha Arba’ata Haram); Muharram is one of those months.

The question that arises here is; what is the philosophy of Karbala? What lesson is concealed in this sacred month for Muslims? We will have to stand in the court of our own conscience and ask ourselves, have we led our lives in the footsteps of the grandson of the Last Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him)? Have we understood the spirit of the struggle and timeless sacrifices of the martyrs of Karbala? Have we passed this message on to coming generations successfully? If not, then we will have to ponder over it, only then will we be able to comprehend its true message and denotation. We will understand the purpose of our lives, and the rationale in being declared the paramount creation.

The philosophy of Karbala is actually the philosophy of pain and anguish (karb o bala). It is a heartbreaking account in which history has proven effectively that the cause of Islam was harmed more by hypocrites than by the outsiders. These hypocrites crossed every limit of brutality in order to make Islam hostage to their own desires. Their viciousness made the heavens cry. This battle was a faceoff between truth and falsehood.

The grandson of the Last Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (Peace Be upon Him) sacrificed 72 people who embodied innocence in the path of Allah, but didn’t bow down to falsehood and a usurper. He preferred death over pledging allegiance with Yazid. He laid down his life and gave eternal life to Islam. This altruism and sacrifice teaches us that the actual purpose of life is gaining the approval of Allah. Submission to the will of Allah should be the focal point of life. We should aim to achieve Allah’s blessings that will validate our existence. This should be the legacy for our eternal life. If we can achieve this objective then nothing else matters. There is no desire or yearning for anything else.

This modern era has its own predicaments. We love our religion dearly but practically; we don’t want to follow the edicts of the same religion. We are like a hollow building, a human-like marionette made of flesh and skin whose insensitivity and incapacity should be pondered upon. We have grown farther apart from wisdom, insight, perception and sensitivity. We don’t even stop for a moment to think about the real purpose for our existence.

The fact of the matter is that in the race of life, we have forgotten our benefactors whose enduring sacrifices gave us knowledge of the true faith.

Which direction are we heading in? What are we doing? Why are we impassive and inert? What will the impact of our inconsiderateness, insensitivity, selfishness, conscienceless behaviour be on the younger generations? What are we contributing to their grooming? Are we a source of joy for those around us? Do we make their lives easy? If not, then we should make a solemn oath that we will change our way of life in this sacred month.

We will have to move forward in the right direction. We will have to destroy the deity of factionalism in this holy month. We will have to spread the spirit of brotherhood, humanitarianism and humanity in order to make Pakistan the cradle of peace and love. We have to ensure that the purpose for which the martyrs of Karbala laid down their lives carries on till the end of times. We will have to make our struggle unadulterated and incessant. We have to pull out the poisonous plant of religious abhorrence from its very roots. We will have to stand with truth and stand firm in the fight against falsehood. We need to spread the culture of tolerance and benevolence in order to safeguard the sanctity of this month. We have to lend a hand to the law enforcement agencies for maintaining law and order in the country. Concrete measures need to be taken now to meet any unforeseen situation. Just like previous years, we have to stand together to defeat any possible threat of terrorism in this holy month of Muharram.

Keep another thing in mind. Coronavirus is on the decline but we haven’t eliminated it yet so take care of each other in this blessed month and follow the SOPs issued by the government so that the dangers of the second wave of COVID-19 could be avoided. Allah has asked us to do our level best with good intentions; the rest is up to Allah who is the most benevolent, kind and gracious.