Ashura Story...searching for time to read what I've found

A salaamu aleikum,

For those who responded to my last post, either by sms or email, I'd like to let you know that I've got quite a bit to read now.

I have collected the following texts so far:

The History of the Karbala by Abu Ammar

The Tragedy of Karbala by Dr. Musharraf Hussain Al-Azhari

Defence Against Disaster by Qadi Abu Bakir (translated by Aisha Bewley)

The plan: read them all then summarise them into one shorter story. I will have to then grade the language so that I can present it to the kids.

At first it seemed important to present it to them by Ashura but now I feel otherwise. I'd rather place importance on the story of prophet Musa's ('Alaihis-Salaam) victory over Firaun because this was the original reason why we were instructed by our prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) to fast on the day of Ashura.

Reading one account of the death of Hussain (Radiyallahu 'anh) while riding the LRT to work, really grabbed my heart. I could understand why some Muslims see Muharram and especially Ashura as a time to feel a deep sense of mourning. However, there are those that go beyond this, heightening the rememberance of this tragedy to the point of violence against themselves. This is doesn't seem appropriate in light of the fact that Husain himself, (Radiyallahu 'anh) advised his beloved sister Zainab, not to mourn over his death in this manner. Shortly before he was killed, he said, "My dear sister! I swear upon you that in case I die you shall not tear your clothes, nor scratch your face, nor curse anyone for me or pray for your death" (Al-Kamil, ibn Kathir, Vol 4, pg 2)

So I will delay my Karbala tragedy story without regret. Inshallah I will be able to present it to them in a way that inspires them!

wa salaamu aleikum

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Ashura Story...searching to find the one

A salaamu aleikum,

For the past month I have been wanting to tell the story of Ashura in my Sunday school class. Unfortunately I have not been able to find one that is based on the teachings of Sunni scholars and historians. By the time you read this, Ashura will probably have come and gone, too late to tell the kids the story in a timely manner. However, I'd still appreciate any references you can send.

Meanwhile, Beirut based company has produced a 3-D animated film that tells the story of the life and tragic death of our prophet's grandson Hussein. I found out about the film at the Al Jazeera site. Their article very briefly summarises the ashura story but I'm really eager to find an in depth account so please let me know if you've got something!

wa salaamu aleikum :-)

p.s. For those going the sunnah route (i.e. fasting 2 or 3 day combos within 9-11 Muharram), may Allah accept your fast and erase your sins.

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To Shake or Not to Shake ...

I stopped shaking altogether about five years ago.
For the most part, I believe the nodding of my head and smiling has not been taken as offensive. Some men (muslim and non-muslim) have taken a while to pull their hands back, time standing still while they come to the realisation that I don't wish to make that kind of contact. Perhaps some have walked away thinking me to be an extremist, but I truly doubt it. In fact, I received a compliment from an orthodox jewish manager of the company I used to work for. He said that his son had often reminded him that he should not shake the hands of women and that he respected my position.

Some say that it "comes with the job". They say that shaking hands is necessary when your vocation requires "good public relations". It is somehow an integral part of your work. If you don't shake, you offend. When in Rome...

Well, it's a matter of principles for me. There are some things I don't wish to compromise. I think I see my life (my spiritual path) as one that will cause me to accumulate more and more "things I don't wish to compromise". I feel that this is part of my increasing iman.

Just as there is no compulsion in Islam, I don't feel that anyone should stop shaking hands with members of the opposite sex unless they truly feel that it is wrong. So, I won't preach about it. I won't quote any qur'anic ayat or hadith. I will simply invite comments and hope that in the course of dialogue each will come closer to Allah's will.

p.s. The photographs I've chosen should not be taken to imply my approval of or disdain for Ahmadinejad or Rice. LOL, just happened to come across and like these particular photos. Besides, any talk about these two figures would need to be addressed in another post. Hmmm...

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