A tragedy unparalleled
Reminiscent of a holocaust,
Karbala* as its locus,
Several centuries in the past
Death with dignity is better
Than a life of humiliation
Advocated the central protagonist to defend
Tenets of Islam against annihilation
Commemoration of the battle every year,
In essence and fervour never could fade,
Fighting against tyranny, injustice, and falsehood
Lives for a cause Prophet’s clan laid
Homage, millions of pilgrims
Like a personal loss, do pay
Recreating pain that infuses humanitarianism,
A reminder to stand steadfast for values, come what may.
Mourning congregations, battle discourses from the pulpit,
Elegies for the martyred souls rent the air.
While chest-beating and self-flagellation form an expression of grief
The Milieu seems plunged into despair beyond compare.
The love for Imam Hussain(a.s)* is
not confined to any single community
His indestructible soul rules the hearts
Of all those who believe in humanity.
* Karbala is a city in central Iraq located about 100 km southwest of Baghdad.
* Imam Hussain(a.s) is the grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He was killed and beheaded in the Battle of Karbala.
Why does the heart
Want to wallow in grief
For no apparent reason
The mood is sombre in brief
Kneeling in obeisance on your grave
With a prayer on the lips
Renders a sense of being afloat
Lest my life is akin to a sunken ship
The worldly relations so shallow
Require precise balance to maintain
Ties of blood never seek equilibrium
Neither, one has to ever feign
Though homage to the ties so profound
Often as an afterthought all pay
They are all ears for emotional quandaries we share
Even in absentia or otherwise slain, to allay
Fear of the impending tribulations
Sends shivers down the spine
With none to resurrect my crumbling morale
Battling solitude is my bottom-line
Each human being is a fascinating combination of Devine and Demonic qualities. We all have the devil in us, something that makes us pursue self-destructive ways. Yet, even the worst amongst us have extraordinary Devine traits. Our success depends on how well we are able to operate out of our own goodness and marginalise the demonic qualities. Some Devine qualities listed are fearlessness, purity of heart and Charity.
Those two turn spiritual are driven by fear or retribution. Worship must be backed by love not fear. Purity of heart comes with freedom from selfishness and desire. Charity comes from recognising the infinite benevolence of nature. Yet people visit places of worship only to ask for more. True prayer is acknowledgement of what you already have and the desire to share, serve and contribute to the less privileged. You become rich by what you give. The difference between Devine and Demonic is knowledge. The Devine have access to higher knowledge, while the Demonic, deluded by greed, lust and ego are ignorant of their potential.
We are a combination of matter and spirit. You know only matter. You have no inkling of the spirit in you. Yet, spirit being our original nature, it makes its presence felt. Thus, you attribute the glory, magnificence and grandeur of spirit to your individual personality. The way out is knowledge of the distinction between matter and spirit. Then there is no more confusion. Misery and grief vanish and you get established in happiness.
You have to free yourselves from the gates of darkness, desire, anger and greed. Anger and greed are mutation of desire. So it is desire that needs to be combated and overcome. Yet desire is encouraged, fanned and promoted. The doors to your soul are kept shut and you live and die without even a glimpse of your own power and magnificence. If you follow your Devine nature, you do yourself good and uplift others as well. You live a life of success and happiness and eventually transcend the world to attain liberation.