Chand Raat, the eve of Muharram | Muharram is not a festival

Today is Chand Raat – the new crescent moon of Muharram 1445, has appeared in the sky to tell us that new month and a new year starts tomorrow. But, it is not a time for rejoicing. Rather, it is the beginning of the month when extreme hardship would be faced by Ahlulbayt (a.s).

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Why are we sad ?

We are sad because it is the special time when we remember Imam Hussain (a.s). The Imam and all his family are on their way to Koofa. They are travelling in the hot desert and there are many hardships ahead.

The days are hot, long and dusty, the caravan moves quietly through the waterless desert under the burning sun. They offer their salat (Prayers) and stop for the night in the desert.

When the cresent moon of Muharram appeared in the sky in 61 Hijri, Bibi Zainab (s.a) looks at it, she reads a dua, then sends Bibi Fizza (s.a) to call her brother Imam Hussain (a.s) as she wants his face to be the first she sees at the beginning of the month.

Imam Hussain (a.s) comes in the tent to greet his sister Zainab, but has tears in his eyes.”Why are you sad, my brother?” she asks.He replies,”O my sister this is the month of Muharram.On the 10th day, Ashoor, we all will be killed by Yazeed (l.a) on the banks of the River Euphrates.”

Also, at the appearance of the moon of Moharram 61 Hijri, daughter of Imam Hussain (a.s) Bibi Sughra (s.a) who was left at home in Madina wished someone would bring news. She had a lot of thoughts, hopes, fears and prayers for the well being of her Holy Family.

Alas, before the crescent makes its next appearance, this holy family would be massacred on the field of Karbala. Hazrat Qasim (a.s) would be trampled by horses. Hazrat Asghar (a.s), 6 months old, will suffer pangs of hunger and thirst before being killed by an arrow in his father’s arms.

Hazrat Abbas (a.s) arms will be cut. Imam Hussain (a.s) will be brutally killed.At the night of Ashura, Umar ibne Saad will order his troops to set fire to the tents & will snatch the earrings of Bibi Sakina (s.a). They will took away the chadar, the hijab that Bibis had on their heads.

So, Muharram is not a festival to celebrate. It is the month in which eighteen moons of Bibi Fatima (s.a) were bathed in their own blood ,in the desert of Karbala. And if you have a heart you would feel the suffering of the Holy family of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H).

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