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Oct 31, 2015

12th Ashura Walk in Sydney

Hanif Bismi
image Sydney: More than 5000 people participated in the 12th Ashura walk in Sydney,  commemorating the martyrdom of Imam  Hussein the grandson of the Prophet of Islam on 10th of Muharram 61 AH  (680 AD) in the holy city of  Kerbala (in today’s Iraq). The walk was through Hyde Park to the Royal Botanical Gardens.

The procession came together with mourners from different Muslim communities mostly followers of the Prophet and His Family wearing black carrying red flags and green banners beating their chests and chanting poetry against all forms of oppression. 

The Ashura walk was conducted all over the world with various cultural and religious orders like Christians Hindus Sikhs attended these processions showing solidarity with Imam Hussein’s universal message which was to restore dignity, justice and peace for all humanity. This march is a statement that millions of people are making. They are saying 'No!' to oppression. And Yes!' to freedom and harmony.

The last call of Imam Hussein before being martyred was:” Is there anyone to help me?”. What he meant was: “Is there anyone to spread my message?”  

The marchers are answering that call today when they say: “Labbayk Ya Allah!”   “Here I am O Hussein at your service!” 

In this way they express their religious affiliation and bringing the attention of the world to the unparalleled atrocities inflicted upon the family and companions of the Prophet.  Police guided the procession through traffic and everything went smoothly in full cooperation with the authorities.

What was being promoted by this Ashura walk is Imam Hussein’s stand for justice against suppression of freedom and terrorism. The tragedy of Kerbala was the scene of the greatest showdown between good and evil in human history. 

Imam Hussein left Medina when his life was threatened because he would not give allegiance to Yazid ibn Muawiya the despotic ruler. He tried dialogue with Yazid but to no avail. He said to the Muslim community:  The purpose of my stand is to reform the nation of my grandfather. I only intend to enjoin good and forbid evil (and in doing so, emulate my grandfather and my father Ali ibn Abu Talib).”  He said, “Death with dignity is better than a life with humiliation.”

With no other way out Imam Hussein migrated with his family looking to settle safely perhaps in a land called Hind (India). But unfortunately upon arriving in a desert land called Kerbala on 7th of Muharram 61 AH they were besieged by Yazid’s 30,000 strong army next to the River Euphrates.  All 72 male members of that group were slaughtered by the cruel soldiers.

This heartbreaking tragedy has continued to evoke horror and unprecedented reaction from people both Muslim and non-Muslim since that day and has been predicted by the Holy Prophet that it was continue till the Last Day. 

“If Hussein 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.” Charles Dickens the author said on about the grandson of the Prophet of Islam.

Nelson Mandela said: “I had spent more than 20 years in prison. Then one night I decided to surrender by signing all terms and conditions of the government. But suddenly I thought about Imam Hussein and Karbala movement and Imam Hussein gave me the strength to stand for right of freedom and liberation and I did.”