The ‘Youm-e-Ashur’ the 10th day of Muharram has passed peacefully. In memory of our beloved Imam Hussain (AH), hundreds of small and large processions had been taken out in the form of millions of people from across the world. Thousands of mourners beat their chests and shed blood with the astringent concatenation of knife-like blades. Muharram, being the first month of the Islamic calendar, holds a great place in the history of Islam. 

This month always begins with a dismal note and brings back all tragic memories of Karbala more than 1400 years ago. On the 10th of Muharram, Hazrat Hussain (AS), grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had been massacred at Karbala along with his 72 fidus achates by Yazid’s army in southern Iraq. His conviction was so strong that he refused to go into Yazid Ibne Muawiya’s allegiance.

What is conviction? The Cambridge Dictionary defines its meaning as “a strong opinion or belief. After the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (AH), the opponents headed towards the tents, displaced the women, mistreated them and their tents had been set on fire. In the words of Charles Dickens, “If Hussain (AS) had fought to quench his worldly desires, then I do not understand why his sister, wife, and children accompanied him. It stands to reason, therefore, that he sacrificed purely for Islam”? Today, the world is and will be unable to provide such instances of Imam Hussain(AH) who sacrificed himself, his entire family and his companions for keeping Islam alive till the resurrection day.

Everyone observes this day with due solemnity and pays homage to Imam Hussain and his loyal companions with deep sad hearts and do virtuous deeds in order to purify their souls. Some have fasted, others indulge themselves in distribution of rice and some setup water labels so as to quench the mourners’ thirst on processions’ routes. At one side, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar visited the CCTV room along with his comrades in order to examine the cameras working properly so that stringent security could be ensured. On the flip side, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah also oversaw the procession via helicopter ride. 

Several streets had been blocked with the help of the heavy-weight containers. Security arrangements were made very strictly and the mobile phone services had been cancelled to processions’ paths in many parts of the country. Thousands of police officials, rangers, vigilant snipers on the roofs and army personnel had been deployed to different sides of the country to avoid any mishap until the processions reached at their allocated and planned destinations.

The National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) issued Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the mourning processions to contain the spread of Covid-19 and delta variants.

Considering that viruses are not over yet, few people wore face masks and followed SOPs while rest of them showed complete negligence towards SOPs and put their lives and others in danger. Why do people want the government to make implement SOPs strictly and impose lockdowns in case of any spike in Corona cases? People must learn to protect themselves on their own, follow SOPs and show responsible behaviour of being an honourable citizen of this country.

In short, Imam Hussain will be alive and remembered in the hearts of all Muslims until the world reaches its cessation.

HAMZA MALICK,

Lahore.