No Muslim can deny Imam Hossein’s gracious sacrifice in Karbala. When Islam needed a savior, the son of Imam Ali (AS) stepped up and offered 72 lives of his kin to save Islam for eternity. Imam Hossein fought with such grace, valor and unspoken bravery that his name is embedded in history like no other, he is an example for Muslims and the rest of the world to follow.
The tragic and heroic events that happened in Karbala in the year 61 AH (October 10, 680 CE), cannot be described adequately in these limited lines. However, every year, across the globe, the principled struggle of the noble 72 defenders – led by Imam Hossein – has been commemorated. The elegies, the reflections, the tears, and the principled actions of sincere devotees pronounce a glimpse of Imam Hossein’s universal message of truth, justice, and love for humanity.
The holy month of Moharram was a month in which bloodshed was considered forbidden among the Arabs, even before the advent of Islam. However, on the tenth day of that month, on the day of ‘Ashura’, in the land of Karbala’, sacred blood was shed. Imam Hossein was martyred at the hands of heartless criminals who falsely claimed to follow Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). Little did they know that Imam Hossein’s revolution had only just begun.
Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) has said that God loves those who love Hossein.
It became more obvious once I entered a place where I witnessed such great love, courage, faithfulness and sympathy which came from the heart of many old men who dedicated a lifetime to mourn for Imam Hossein, well known as Pirgholaman [old servants of Imam Hossein].
The international summit of paying homage to Pirgholaman is being held each year in one of 31 provinces of Iran to grant a special honor to old men devoted to Imam Hossein since the beginnings of their lifetime. The event takes place one week before the first day of Moharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar (falling on September 11-October 11 this year).
This year, the 16th international conference of paying homage to Pirgholaman and servants of Imam Hossein was held on September 4 to 7, in Khorram Abad, western Lorestan province, which hosted a population of 400 Hossein lovers from 30 countries around the world, including India, Afghanistan, Chili, Malaysia, England, Bahrain, Syria, Argentina, Azerbaijan, etc.
During the three-day event, programs to commemorate Imam Hossein and his Martyrdom and also to honor the old servants who have been tearing for Imam Hossein’s selfless devotion were held.
Many of the events associated with the congress took place in congregation halls known as Hosseinieh and also in popular ancient historical places of the province, meanwhile, people of the hosting province warmly welcomed those who are God’s beloveds and followed them in the events, in addition to holding special local ceremonies for the martyrdom of Imam Hossein.
During the trip, wherever we went accompanying those who remained committed to Imam Hossein, to take part in the events, every now and then each of them were narrating empathetic eulogies dedicated to Imam Hossein, the highest caliber in intellect, faith, and love.
And I deeper and greater felt that how big and brave is our Imam that few men indeed, if any, have ever received such love, inspired such allegiance, and commanded to their name such selfless devotion.