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Ashura and Professor Sa’ib ‘Abd al-Hamid

In his book entiltled, “Manhaj fi al-Intima’ al-Madhhabi”, he recounts the story of his religious transformation and spiritual insight in this way, “Yes, the beginning was like this. The actual beginning was the guiding light of al-Husayn.

The ship of salvation began with al-Husayn; a beginning that I had not intended, but one which he had intended. Allah granted me success by giving me the wisdom to welcome al-Husayn. Allah held my hand and took me to al-Husayn’s doorstep… and this happened on the day when a sad voice touched my ears.

How often before had that voice reached my ears, but I had passed by paying no attention to it. I had placed veils over this voice and, as a result, it paid no attention to me either. However, this time, al-Husayn himself had invited me, at a time when I was near seclusion or something like that. Because of that voice, all my senses trembled, and I surrendered all my feelings, affections and will to him...

That voice captivated all my attention… its stormy waves and scattered flames were affecting me every moment as it narrated, to the extent that my whole being melted into it. All my being was entirely attentive to this voice. I started to move along with the voice and started to relive the events which was relating.

I melted into all these events with my imagination, picturing everything as the voice was narrating. I was moving with the caravan of Imam al-Husayn, and wherever they camped, I camped too. I followed them from the beginning to the end of the journey. Step by step, I traversed the way.

The incident which was being described by the voice was the story of Imam al-Husayn’s martyrdom. The voice belonged to Shaykh ‘Abd al-Zahra Ka‘bi. The day was the tenth of Muharram, the year 1402 of the Islamic calendar.

I was listening to the calls and mottos of Imam al-Husayn and my whole body was shaking. I was shedding tears and learning lessons as all this occurred. Then, something occurred in my blood… it seemed as if there was a call and a revolution in my being… here I am, O my master! Here I am, O son of the Prophet! Here I am, O al-Husayn (as)...

There were endless questions in my mind. It seemed as if I were seeing a light within myself; a light that had been veiled in my soul all this time. This light had now been incited, and in a split second, the light had opened up and lit my whole inner being.

This luminosity was acquired from imitating al-Husayn. Al-Husayn, a gift for mankind and a remembrance from the Chosen One of Allah, Mustafa Muhammad (S), was one of the great leaders of religion.

The light of Islam was newly incited in me in the best sense of the expression; a light which the Prophet of Allah (S) guided me to through a religious preacher and one of his own family members, Imam al-Husayn.

Wherever the call of Islam is made, it spreads and everyone recognizes it. There is no other meaning for Islam than this.

Yes, the places where the Prophet’s children fell…”25

Notes:

25. Sa’ib ‘Abd al-Hamid, Minhaj fi al-Intima’ al-Madhhabi, pp. 31-32.

Adapted from: "The Uprising of Ashura and Responses to Doubts" by: "‘Ali Asghar Ridwani"