Saturday, November 17, 2012


Shree Balasaheb Thackeray ...RIP

17 November 2012 at "Matoshree"

An irreparable loss for India And all Indians .

The Shias of Mumbai

Batil Na Karde deen e Payammabr Lahu-Lahu
Karbobala me yu the Bahottar(72) Lahu-Lahu
dega Zamana Oun'o Muhammad ki Kya Misal
Thy dono be misala barabar lahu-lahu
sadiya hui shahadat e sabbir* ko Magar
Hay karbala k aaj bhi patthar lahu-lahu
Aakar zara to Bani e Islam Dekhiye
Hay karbala me Aap k Dilbar Lahu-lahu
Ek Hashr Barpa Ho Gaya Taiba me Us Ghari
aaya jo Karbala se Kabootar Lahu-lahu
Roz e Azal se Qatib e Taqdeer ne "Jameel"
Likkha tha Karbala ka Muqaddar Lahu-lahu —

the shias of mumbai

Viola Shoots Ashura Amin Imambada 2011

I am trying to avoid text, but once we reached Amin Immbada where a passion play depicting emotional scenes of Karbala is performed by the Mumbai Iranians I placed Kim and Glenn on a ledge , and Habibs mom took Viola in the safety of the ladies for me I shoot head long I climbed a platform that is used by the drummers or Damam..

And this plan is totally packed the moment the alms come in hard core zanjir matam kama matam begins and later the sword matam by Habib Nasser..

You can see Viola shooting the soul of pain at Amin Imambada..

This began at about 12 noon and ended after an hour , than we we went to Habib Hospital to see my friend Habib have his deep wound stitched .. Kim Viola barefeet and Glenn too.

After this got over we had a break for lunch and than shot the procession Ashura juloos from JJ to Mazgaon , I saw my friends off but completed the documentary of the majlis called Shame Gariba recited by Maulana Yasoob Abbas and I cut my head too and Viola shot the pictures Kim filmed the entire display of a moment called Ghame Hussain translated in my way my Indian ethos as Tandav on the soul of Shimr the Hindu Shias dance of Death..

Ashura Amin Imambada Mumbai 2011

This is the Replica of the Cradle of Ali Asghar 6 Month Old Martyred Son Of Hussain

The entire series of events at Amin Imambada on Ashura Day happen under the aegis of Irani tradition thought and is a powerful passion play ,it is their pain their heritage they share with us .. it is what their forefathers early migrants bought too our shores and it continues by the new generation till date .

I have seen this on the shoulders of my Uncle when I was a little child ,,, it is part of the memory of my childhood.

The Shabis replicas take a round of the Amin Imambabad courtyard , this includes alams taboots and Iranian gentlemen playing the parts of the Battle of Karbala.

But the person who stands out larger than life is Shimr..beating the people around.

Once the Shabis move out or rather as they enter the hardcore zanjir kama and sword matam takes place .. even shooting this is next to impossible for years I sat perched on a gate and shot from a single camera slides BW and color ..I would shoot over 40 rolls .. I mean today it is much easier .

The contribution of the Iranis to the tapestry of Ghame Hussain in Mumbai Imamwada is immense ..and they have nurtured it adding Hindustani hospitality and other beautiful ingredients making it a a memorable experience.

I Is a Great Feelin To Know People From Diverse Faith Are Shooting Moharam And Spreading The Message of Hussain As Humanity

In the ladies section shooting all this is Viola my friend from Denmark... and the raised camera belongs to Hyder Mirza from Bangalore , he shot Moharam events and with his tiny frame he was almost everywhere .

I was standing on the edge of a platform somebody holding the waist of my shalwar so I dont slip down.. and it is very tough shooting Moharam events , the Shia community sadly does no see the importance of Media and some dont take kindly to photographers even veterans like me who are Shias .

And I dont understand, this stance today with Facebook Twitter and other social networking sites Moharam gets its pride of place as local media only remembers Moharam on Ashura with one or two pictures .

There is no coverage of Moharam at all..say a coverage from 1st to 10 Moharam so I as a a blogger in humility shot what I could , staying at Bandra without transport it is tough going to town everyday, besides I am not a majlis hopper at all.

I listen to Nohas and thus rekindle the fountain of my pain.

From the eve of 7 Moharam I would take my foreigner friends to shoot Kaisar Bagh , the scourging s and kama matam.

This Ashura I do not want to do in Mumbai I have yet not decided will sit in a chalu dabba and move out to any destination maybe Hyderabad .. Srinagar seems a million miles away I have no contacts no friends and only Mullahs are invited by Anjumans not bloggers like me who shoot all religion .. there is narrow mindedness in my community too I dont blame them I come from different background and surroundings.

I told my foreigner friends I wont be in Mumbai so Dr Glenn is coming in Jan hopefully ..

And these are blank posts I am adding my angst.. my wife does her Moharam in the bower of Karbala and she deserves it .. she saves every dime to make it happen.. I am a Malang I wait to see my Karbala that unfolds in India itself.

marziya shakir and her father

Hussainiyat is another name for Humanity

The Shias are a unique race among Muslims , having an identity that cannot be diluted, though desperate attempts have been made by vested interests and the Shia Wahhabis, talibanisation of Shia Islam is a daunting task , but an agenda kept alive by the enemies of Hussain and the enemies of Shiasm.
Azadari of Hussain , our blood , our sweat our tears differenciate us from other communities, we are one as Muslims , but we go a step ahead we believe in Ahle Bayt, and the supreme sacrifice of Imam Hussain..
We are also known as Aliwales, followers of Hazrat Ali..
Its our black shirts our mourning , our scourgings our blood and gore that upsets the radicals and others..
But this is a legacy preserved since 1400 years, that erupts each year when we raise the chant of our spiritual freedom Ya Hussain..
We will curse Yazid , and his followers, this is a Shia fundamental right , we call this Tabarah, we will curse the enemies of Shiasm, this is to remind the world we forgive but some acts of omission and commission we dont forget.
We are human so we think this way, we are emotional, hyper about our sensitivity
to Imam Hussain.
We are Shias..a persecuted race since time immemorial, our collective ethos of being Shias has been hijacked by other sects also who when they split from the main body also called themselves Shias.
Or those leaders like the one at Khartoum, who conveniently called himself the Mahdi, fighting the English in Sudan.
I am not a historian, anbd do not wish to delve in Islamic discourse.I firmly believe in live and lets other live peacefully...
Being an Indian Shia Muslim , adds to the unanimous mutual respect for all religiosities , save those that hate Shiasm and Shias..
Any religion that tramples on human rights , woman hood , and does not believe in the nationality of the country one lives in is an anti - human religion..and anti -national.
The country comes first , is what I believe it keeps my faith alive , my faith is my personal prerogative, and my country preserves the identity of my humanness and my religiosity.
The Shias are patriots in India and elsewhere, Imam Hussain did not want his people killing each other causing bloodshed at Medina that he chose Karbala , and the Imam did not want bloodshed at Karbal too, so he asked to leave for Hindustan..
by this fact alone Hussainiyat becomes of chief importance to the Indian Shias..
a Hussainiyat that is another name for Humanity.

Tatbeer Or Kama Zani

The Majlis At Bandra East To Commemorate The Martyrdom of Zainul Abedin Syede Sajjad

About Zainul Abedin

Name: Ali ibn Al-Husayn (a.s.)
Mother: Ghazala, Shahzanaan

Kunniyat (Patronymic): Abu al-Hasan

Laqab (Title): Zayn al-'Abidin, Al Sajjad

Birth: He was born in 38 A.H. in Madina.

Martyrdom: He died of poison in the year 94 or 95 A.H. at Madina and is buried at Baqi near his uncle Hasan (a.s.).

His Birth and blessings

The 4th Imam after Imam Hussain(a.s.) was his son Imam Ali Zain-al-Abideen(a.s.). His mother was Bibi Shahar Bano who was a princess from Persia, the daughter of the Kind Yazd Gard II. She was brought as a prisoner of war during the caliphate period of mam Ali(a.s.) during 31 A.H. and Imam Ali(a.s.) got her freed and married her to Imam Hussain(a.s.). Imam Zain-al-Abideen was born from this wedlock. She, however, died within 10 days of the birth of Imam Sajjad(a.s.).

His title Zain-al-Abideen was granted to him by the Holy Prophet(pbuh&hf) himself who mentioned that on the day of judgement a call for Zain-al-Abideen will be made and my son Ali bin al-Hussain(a.s.) will responde to the call saying "Labbaik". His other Title, Syed-us-Sajideen, was given because of his devotion to prayers. He would pray for long durations specially during the nights and would pray a lot of prayers of gratitude - Namaz-e-Shukrana.

Imam Sajjad(a.s.) spent the first 2 years of his life under the care of his grandfater Imam Ali(a.s.) and after his death in 50 A.H., he was brought up under the care of the 2nd Imam Hasan(a.s.). Imam Sajjad(a.s.) was married to the Bibi Fatima(a.s.) - daughter of Imam Hasan(a.s.). Imam Hasan(a.s.) was martyred in 50 A.H. and the Imamate of Imam Hussain(a.s.) started which terminated on 10th Moharram 61 A.H. from where the Imamate of Imam Sajjad(a.s.) began.

Period of Imamate and events of Karbala

Imam Sajjad(a.s.) was about 22 or 23 years old when the sad event of Karbala occured. Since Allah(swt) mentions in his holy Book that this world cannot survive for a moment if there is no Masoom "Imam" present at all times, Allah(swt) arranged it such that Imam Sajjad(a.s.) became severly ill during that battle and could not participate as a warrior. He asked the permission to fight in the battle but Imam Hussain(a.s.) told him that he had been assigned a different type of "Jihad" that was to start after the martyrdom of Imam Hussain(a.s.) - namely leading the women and children of the household of Prophet Mohammad(pbuh&hf) into the bazars and courts of Kufa and Damascus. Imam Sajjad(a.s.) was made a prisoner of war together with the whole family of the Prophet Mohammad(pbuh&hf). It was at this time that he was given the responsibility of Imamate and his was one of the most difficult times when any Imam was given this responsibility. Truly speaking, for him, it would have been very easy to die on the battle field as a martyr than to be taken as prisoner of war and see all the insult and humiliations thrown on him and on the womenfolk of the house of the Prophet. However, he did what Allah wished him to do

After the martyrdom of Imam Hussain(a.s.), the survival of Islam depended on Imam Zainul Abideen(a.s.), and that also at a tender age of 22. He had a very hard job of letting the world know the mission of Imam Hussain(a.s.) and exposing the evil intentions of Yazid and the Bani Umayyah. He had to keep the message of Islam alive and save it from being confused by the evil Bani Umayyah.

The army of Yazid treated him very badly by putting him in heavy chains. As a prisoner of war, he was made to travel on the open back of a camel in burning sunshine from Kerbala to Kufa and then from Kufa to Shaam (Damascus) - a distance of about 750 kilometres. Sometimes, he would be made to walk on the burning sands of the desert. This was not all. Women and children of the family of the Prophet Muhammad(pbuh&hf), too, were hand-cuffed and treated like they were slaves. The daughters of Imam Ali(a.s.) and Bibi Fatima(s.a.) were treated worse than criminals, their Hijabs were taken away from them. A caller accompanied them introducing them to the passersbys as "Those who had disobeyed the Muslim ruler, Yazid". They were then presented as prisoners, first to Ibn-e-Ziyad in Kufa and then to Yazid in Damascus.

In the courts of Ibn-e-Ziyad and Yazid, Imam Sajjad(a.s.) gave lion-hearted lectures and presented the true Islam to the listeners and introduced himself and his accompanying members as the descendents of the Prophet Mohammad(pbuh&hf) and the leaders appointed by Allah(swt). His lectures had such an impact on the listeners that despite several attempts to kill him inside the court of both Yazid and Ibn-e-Ziyad could not materialize. Bibi Zainab(s.a.) and other women of the household of Prophet Mohammad(pbuh&hf) became the frontline protectors and were backed by the people in the court of Yazid who had still left some shame in them.

To quote one incidence, Yazid asked one of his employed preachersto go on the 'Mimber' (pulpit) of the Mosque and abused Imam Ali(a.s.) and his family. When the preacher finished his lecture, Imam Sajjad(a.s.) turned to him and said, "Be ashamed of yourself, you evil speaker. With your words you have displeased Allah so as to please people". Then the Imam(a.s.) asked Yazid to let him talk to the people. Yazid refused to do so. The people of Syria, however, forced Yazid to allow the Imam to go on the Mimber.

Once on the Mimber, Imam Zain al-Abideen(a.s.) first praised Allah(swt) and His Messenger(pbuh&hf). After that the Imam gave along and very powerful speech letting the Syrians know the great position of Imam Husain(a.s.) to Allah(swt), and how evil Yazid and his family were. Part of the speech is summarised below:

"O listeners Allah has given us (Ahle Bart) six things which no one else has. He has given us special Wisdom, Patience, Dignity, Power of speech, Courage and Respect. He gave us special benefit of belonging to the family of his Prophet. To us belong Hamza and Jafar. To us belong Asadullah (The lion of Allah, Imam Ali(a.s.)). To us belong the leader of the youths of paradise (Imam Hassan(a.s.) and Imam Hussain(a.s.)).

"Those who know me, know me. Those who do not, then know that I am the son of Mecca and Mina. I am the son of Zamzam and Safa. I am the son of he who gave Zakat to the poor. I am the son of the best of those who have ever put on Ihram and performed ceremonies of Hajj. I am the son of he who was taken on the night journey from house of Allah to the Mosque of Aqsa and then to Miraj. I am the son of he who was taken around by Gibrael to the Lote-tree of the boundary (Sidratul Muntaha).

"I am the son of Muhammad Mustafa(pbuh&hf). I am the son of Ali Al-Murtaza(a.s.) who fought the polytheists in the battle till they submitted to Islam and fought in the presence of the Prophet until his sword was broken and to whom Zulfikar was given. I am the son of he who had the honour to migrate twice in Islam. I am the son of Fatima the best women of the world...".

The effect of the speech was so powerful that everybody in the Mosque began to weep and to blame Yazid. Yazid was afraid that if the Imam continued his speech, there would be a revolution and revolt. At the same time Yazid could not stop the Imam and get him down from the Mimber. He therefore ordered a "Muazzin" to give Azan, knowing that this would automatically cut the Imam's speech. But he underestimated the Imam's bravery and intelligence. The Imam stopped his speech but did not get down from the Mimber. When the Muazzin said " Allahu Akber" the Imam testified Allah's greatness. When the Muazzin said, "Ash hadu anna Muhammaddan Rasulullah", the Imam stopped the Muazzin from going any further. He then turned to Yezid and asked him. "Tell me o Yazid, was Muhammad(pbuh&hf) your grandfather or mine? If you say he was your grandfather it will be an open lie and if you say he was my grandfather then why have you killed his son and imprisoned his family? Why have you killed my father and brought his women and children to this city as prisoners?"

Yazid had no reply to give.

The effect of this was to turn Syrians against Yazid. Everyone of them now found out about Yazid's crimes that he had committed against the Prophet (pbuh&hf) and his family. They began to blame him and ask for the release of Imam Zain al-Abidin(a.s.) and the womenfolk of the house of the Prophet. Yazid was now afraid that if he did not act fast his rulership would be lost. He therefore freed Imam Zain al-Abidin(a.s.) and let. him return to Medina with full honour and respect.

His Life in Madina
Yazid had to free the Imam(a.s.) out of fear of his own rulership, therefore, Imam(a.s.) was still not completely safe from his evil designs even upon reaching back to Madina. Once in Madina, Imam(a.s.) gathered the people and told them the horrifying stories of Karbala and informed them that his father Imam Hussain(a.s.) and his companions were martyred and his family members were made prisoners and were taken from one city to another and branded as traitors.

Imam Sajjad(a.s.) started regular mourning session right from the day he arrived in Madina and apprised the people of the hard times that the family of the Prophet(pbuh&hf) had to to through. Day in and day out, people used to go to Imam(a.s.) and present condolence and hear the events of Karbala. Once a visitor named Noman came to Imam(a.s.) and asked him which was the most difficult time he had to face and the Imam(a.s.) cried for a long time and three times said "AS-SHAAM AS-SHAAM AS-SHAAM". Another visitor asked him as to how long would he continue mourning and crying and he replied that Prophet Ayub(a.s.) had 12 sons and only one of them got lost and he know that he was still alive but he continued crying until his eyes became white and his back got bent - I had seen 17 members of my family being slaughtered around me like sheep and you ask me as to how long I would continue mourning.

Another task that Imam Sajjad(a.s.) did after coming back from Syria was that he started praying and saying supplications with full devotion. His devotion was so strong and felt by his companions and visitors that they started collection his supplications which still exist by the name of SAHIFA-E-KAMILA. It is also know as SAHIFA-E-SAJJADIA. It consists of 54 Duas, 14 additional duas and 15 Munajaat. In addition to the SAHIFA there are several other supplications of the Imam(a.s.) which appear under different cover names.

His martyrdom

Imam(a.s.) kept his life very personal and preferred to stay in a town close to Madina from where he would preach the true religion of Allah(swt) quietly and with character. His character and preaching inspired a large number of people specially in the vicinity of Madina and Makkah. Slowly the tyrrant rulers of his time began to realize the dangers that they faced from the Imam(a.s.)'s preaching and character. His period of Imamte was full of tyrant rulers such as Yazid untill 64 A.H., Moawiya bin Yazid and Marwan bin-al-Hakam until 65 A.H, then from 68 A.H. until 86 A.H. was the rulership of Abdul Malik bin Marwan and finally from 86 A.H. until 96 A.H. was the period of Walid bin Abdul Malik. Amid this growing threat, Walid decided to poison and kill the Imam and finally he succeeded in his ulterior motives and Imam Sajjad(a.s.) was poisoned by the governor of Madina and martyred on 25th Moharram 95 A.H. (713 A.D.)

The Message of a Majlis Of Imam Hussain

Every Maulana has a human desire to see crowds when he recites his Majlis, not only for the content of his Majlis or his oratory skills, but because spreading Ghame Hussain is of supreme importance.Maulana Hasnain Karari knows the pulse of his audience and their demands, the Shias listen to a Majlis to be educated on the tenets of Islam, this is Fassail, and than comes the narration of the tragedy of Karbala this is known as the Massaib.
THe Shias come to a Majlis to cry their hearts out to their beloved Imam Hussain.
The two little kids are there in the crowds bare chested, they want the majlis to get over so they can scourge, they are ready just for that moment .This is Shiasm too, invoking pain , reliving the pain of Hussain..

Imam Hussains Taboot at Bandra East

The Taboot is the replica of the coffin of Hazrat Imam Hussain.
Like the Alams, the Zuljana, the Taboot leads the procession during the major events of Moharam.The Taboot is a reminder of a supreme sacrifice of Imam Hussain..
His Taboot invokes pain and the sufferings that he and his family had to undergo to keep the values of Islam alive , Yazdi Islam was the most corrupt, ditatorial, terrorising Islam if ever , with Arab barbarism in sheer display, it was based on fear, and had made even the spectators of this carnage into eunuchs, a quality you will find existing till date , silence that the Jehaddis take for approval for their heinous acts againts humanity at large and sectarian strife and violence promoted by Rogue Mullahs to fill their coffers on earth.

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