Monday, March 17, 2008

Labbaik Ya Hussein

Perhaps we might mute our criticism, for a moment, of the rush and pressure of the crowd, what we might interpret as disrespectful, what we call “pushing” and “shoving” of the momineen. Because it is not only a push, there is an immense pull also - that draws the momineen towards their Imam. And then, after all, love is about attraction - being drawn towards - an owerpowering magnetic pull. And here we speak about the love of and for our Imam - whose majestic beauty and purity is best left unexplained.

The answer to the call of the Imam: Labbaik Ya Hussein reverebets throughout the shrine, there are tens, if not hundreds of thousands who are in the courtyard, men, women, children --- if not saying those words aloud, then their tearful faces of devotion speak the story of their love for Imam Hussein.

Its not the mere political and historical personality - the Imams are immense, and one can only wonder at how low the killers of Imam Hussein and all of the other Imams, must have been - to have not felt that majesty. And it is no wonder then that the skies wept tears of blood on Ashura.

There are ten doors to the shrine area (courtyard) - with hundreds and thousands streaming towards their Imam - yet, even with this many people, there appears to be some organization. The security personnel carry a rainbow colored feathered stick (about as non-threatening as a stick can possibly get) directing people through the areas. At first one might find the push of the crowd distracting, but allowing one's self to go with the flow (literally) and not pushing back, with some patience, one gets the beautiful opportunity to be close. The devotional emotion is overpowering, and not a single person is left unmoved.

Time appears to slow down, and the moments are so potent, and packed. As if waiting for the right moment to be unpacked - that right moment is our own preparedness. The voices of Labbaik Ya Hussein contain both devotion, and a protest - once again this voice raised loud and clear… once again, because the petty tyrants of all stripes have repeatedly attempted to silence the people. Yet, time and again the people have risen - in the worst of times - the people have risen. The petty tyrants' only recourse have been to restrict, or disallow - but such a powerful call cannot remain without a response for long: Labbaik Ya Hussein.

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