The Life of Sayyida Zaynab (A)
.... The Shia Islam, she has written short stories and a collection of those short stories have been published, entitled: "Passing Through the Dream... To The Other Side". Salawat ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad. Allahumma salli ala Muhammad wa aali Muhammad.
Bismillah Al-Rahman Al-Rahim. Allahumma salli ala Muhammad wa aali Muhammad. Someone wrote that profile for me, and I did ask them to remove the word philosopher because I'm not a philosopher, but they insisted on keeping it in there. So, and I'm not very techie, so I didn't know how to remove it from the profile. InshaAllah I will just start with a few reflections on the life of Sayyidah Zaynab, salamu Allahi alayha, and then, thinking about, again, the relevance of her life to the society that we are in today.
Bismillah, Al-Rahman, Al-Rahim. So just as a refresher, I'm sure everyone knows very well the facts of her life, we have got some young ones here as well, so maybe they can, um, also benefit from just reflecting on a few of the key points in her life. So she was born five years after Hijra, when Imam Husayn, alayhi as-salam, was three years old. And it is said that Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him and his holy progeny, said that the children of Fatimah, salamu Allahi alayha, who I, of whom I am their lineal protector, have been created from the essence of my nature. She [Zaynab] was seven when Lady Fatimat uz-Zahra, salamu Allahi alayha, passed away and she would have reached into her mid 50s at the time of the tragedy of Karbala.
She was also, as you will know, married, in a simple ceremony, as the author has said of this information, to Abdullah Ibn Ja'far At-Tayyar, who had been raised by the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him. And after the martyrdom of the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, then Imam Ali, alayhi as-salam, then became the supporter of Abdullah Ibn Ja'far At-Tayyar. So we know that Lady Zaynab, salamu Allahi alayha, was known for holding Majlis, and we can imagine being raised in the household of the Ahl ul-Bayt, being raised under Imam Ali, alayhi as-salam, how that 'ilm would have been inculcated right from birth.
And so it is known that, her Majalis, you know, were popular amongst people and well, well attended. It is interesting to see how many names, how many titles she was given as well. So she was called Baligha, meaning eloquent. She was called by Imam Zayn Al-Abidin, alayhi as-salam, 'alima ghair al-mu'allima, the one who has knowledge without being taught. She was called Zaida, the abstemious one, the one who has detached themselves from worldly desires. She was called Abida, meaning the devoted one. She was also called Hawra' al-Hawra', which means to be fair, or is also another title of the Companions of Paradise of Jannah as well. She was also called Umm Kulthum Al-Kubra. She was called Siddiqa as-Sughra. She was called 'Aqilat Bani Hashim, the wise woman of Bani Hashim. She was called al-'Arifa, Fadhila, Al-Kamila, and 'Abida aal 'Ali, the worship of the family of Ali. A-Ma'suma as-Sughra, Aminat Allah, Na'ibat az-Zahra', the representative of lady Zahra', salamu Allahi alayha, Na'ibat Al-Husayn, Aqilat An-Nisa', Shariqat ash-Shu'ada', obviously the one who shares in the status of the Shuhada. And Shariqat Al-Husayn, alayhi as-salam, as well.
So, although we don't have a lot of information about her, her life, much like many of the the women of the Ahl Al-Bayt, alayhimu as-salam, we can see from the the titles that she was given that she was well known for her character and and her position. So it is interesting to see as well that she was 22 when Imam Ali, alayhi as-salam, moved to Kufa, so he moved to Kufa 37 after Higira, when the people, as we know, they pressed him to become the caliph, they tried to force him to become the caliph and he accepted. And so she was 22 when that happened. And so she accompanied Imam Ali, alayhi as-salam, to Kufa with her husband. And it goes without saying that she would have witnessed so much turmoil right from the passing away of her mother living under, her entire life seeing her family being oppressed and having their rights denied them, and also seeing the Sabr that her family would have bourn under this oppression.
And of course, we also know that she was known as the mountain of patients. Perhaps not just because of what she tolerated seeing in Karbala, but from all of this Sabr being cultivated from when she was a child. And then, after the martyrdom of Amir Al-Mu'minin, alayhi as-salam, she returned to Medina, and then, 10 years later, she witnessed the martyrdom of her brother, Imam Hasan alayhi as-salam. She also had some other titles as well, which would have come, this would have been later. Umm al-Masa'ib, the the mother of calamities. umm Al-Raziya, the mother of catastrophes, and Umm Al-Nawa'ib, or again, the mother of catastrophes. And so, although we know that this is the date of her birth, I am not going to read out the details of her birth because you can find those online, I am sure everyone is very familiar with them. And so this is why I wanted to think about her, what she can mean to us today, which I will be reflecting on InshaAllah.
Interesting to see as well, reading some of the scholars who have written about her. That is that it is not clear when she passed away. Some say it was 62 after Hijira. Some scholars say that she was actually buried in Medina, that while she may have briefly visited Damascus, she ended up in Medina and there is no recording of her having actually left after she returned to Medina. And I was thinking that this, in a sense, in some way makes sense, because Imam Zayn al-Abidin, alayhi as-salam, was there. So some people have done research into the maqamat that that are in Damascus and also Cairo now, and they have said that the maqam that is called Sayyida Zaynab in Cairo is actually the maqam of a different lady Zaynab, as-salamu alayha, a bit further descended down, I think, from Imam Hasan alayhi as-salam. So it is not Lady Zaynab, who we know, sister of Imam Husayn, alayhi as-salam.
They have also said that, some scholars have also said that the maqam of Sayyida Zaynab, as-salamu alayha, in Damascus is also someone else's maqam. But nevertheless, what is important is that these are focal points for the lovers of Ahl ul-Bayt, alayhum as-salam, to gather and to remember the Masaib of the Ahl ul-Bayt, alayhum as-salam. She also narrated traditions from her mother and father, she narrated traditions from Asma' Bint Umays, and Umm Aiman and others have also narrated from her. And again, her narrations can be found in Bihar Al-Anwar, and other volumes, but as we know, there isn't a great deal that has been actually recorded from her and transmitted.
And perhaps this is because one of the reasons, as we know, is so many books from the School of Ahl ul-Bayt, alayhum as-salam, have been destroyed. So it wouldn't be surprising if people had been making notes in her Majalis, but that those have been suppressed, quite possibly because of what she may have been saying in those Majalis. One scholar has noted that Ibn Tayfur, in his book, Balaghat An-Nisa', says that he quotes from a narrator says, after the martyrdom of Imam Husayn, alayhi as-salam, I entered Kufa and I saw Zaynab. I swear to God that I have not seen any woman as fluent as her. And she addressed the people just as she was speaking with the tongue of Ali Ibn Abi Talib, alayhi as-salam. And we know that she did have great presence of mind and great eloquence. And that's something that the Ahl ul-Bayt, alayhum as-salam, have being characterized with and blessed with this particular eloquence.
And so I don't want to end this remembrance of her birth to dwell a lot on the Masaib that she went through, but rather to think about, like I said, and as I'm sure the Ahl ul-Bayt, alayhum as-salam, would want us to think about how we can relate to them in this day and age, especially as things are changing so rapidly around us in our society, and more and more Muslim youth are finding it very hard to hold on to Islam, and they are finding it hard to hold Islam in their hearts and they are kind of getting swept into the mainstream of our society, and really a lot of them are losing their way. So it's very important that we reflect upon how we can enliven the memory of Lady Zaynab, as-salamu alayha, in a way that that is, of course, relevant to us.
Something that occurred to me a few years ago when I was thinking about the Masaib of the Ahl ul-Bayt, alayhum as-salam, and having researched into a lot of the kind of neo-Platonic influenced, you know, 'Irfani Islamic influenced texts about the journey of the soul towards Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, I have noticed a difference between a lot of the 'Irfani texts that talk about the progression of the soul towards the One, towards Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, and how those treatises are often written is in a way that the soul progresses from darkness to light, and that through obviously Jihad An-Nafs, the struggle of the Self, overcoming the weaknesses of the Self and so on, the soul gradually discards the darkness of the material world, this realm, and moves towards the light of the Divine.
But, I have thought over the years in terms of, you know, after after reading these texts, they don't often tell you about what people who followed this Path have done when they have been faced with real concrete challenges and difficulties, they set out almost like a kind of theoretical journey towards Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, which sounds very nice. And, of course, when you are younger, you kind of read them with this passion and and believe that that somehow in reading the texts, you're going to be affected by them and you are going to inshaAllah with hard work, go on this journey towards Allah.
But when we look at the Masaib of the Ahl ul-Bayt, alayhum as-salam, and we look at the darkness of the world in which we are living. And what has appeared to me over the years, is that there is a knowledge that is revealed through darkness, there is a knowledge that is revealed through Masaib and tribulations. One or two of the the Catholic Saints, Therese of Avila and St John of the Cross, who lived around the 16th century and were actually influenced by Islam through Spain, have famously written about the dark, what is called the dark night of the Soul, which is where the soul feels distant from Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, the soul feels obstacles between itself and Allah, and that actually it is in these periods of spiritual darkness that Allah reveals Himself as well.
We do have in the Islamic tradition what's called qabd and bast. So, bast is a state of expansion where you feel like you're progressing very fast spiritually towards the one. And it is contraction where you feel that you are struggling in darkness towards, to reach Allah, and there is a narration from the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him and his holy progeny, where he says that qabd and bast are states that Allah brings upon the person and they have no control over it. It is something that is decided by Allah. So in the yes, in the Islamic tradition, it does mention this state of qabd, of contraction, but we don't really find much to be said about it. It's something that, you know, you may pass through, but it's not something that is central to, and fundamental to gaining knowledge of truth of what truth is.
There are some narrations by the Ahl ul-Bayt, alayhum as-salam, that show a quite different way of understanding suffering, and understanding how we may gain knowledge through suffering. So Imam Husayn, alayhi as-salam, as it is said, in Bihar Al-Anwar: By Allah, I swear, afflictions poverty and being killed comes more swiftly to those who love us than racing horses or a torrential stream rushing to its end. And if that were not the case, we would deem you as not being one of us. So Masaib and tribulations that come to someone who stands by the Ahl ul-Bayt, alayhum as-salam, are to be expected and to be bourn with this Sabr. It's a destiny, you know, it's something that is destined for the the lovers of the Ahl ul-Bayt, alayhum as-salam.
And Imam As-Sadiq, alayhi as-salam, has said in Mishqat Al-Anwar, if you intend to be my brothers and my companions, then prepare yourselves for enmity and hatred of the people, otherwise, you're not my companions. I mean, we know enough that the lovers of Ahl ul-Bayt are hated by many for different reasons, because of misunderstandings, obviously, but perhaps also, Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala, decrees that someone will misunderstand you. There is another narration that says that the word of the of the Mu'min will not be believed and will not be heeded. And this is something that Allah, a suffering that Allah decrees for the Mu'min to raise their status.
And Imam As-Sadiq, alayhi as-salam, has also said about this status: a person may have a status with his Lord, that he cannot attain by his actions, therefore he is tried with his body, or tried with his possessions, or he is tried with his children. And he and if he bears it with patience, Allah raises him to that status. And this was something that Imam Al-Baqir, alayhi as-salam, said about Karbala, that why did this calamity happen? And he said: is because Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, wanted to raise the maqam, wanted to raise the status of the Ahl ul-Bayt, and to give them this high station, and that can only be done through this pathway of intense difficulty and suffering.
So, there are there's, you know, rather than we just thinking that we can perceive the truth or we can strive for the truth, by battling against darkness and seeking that light to inform our hearts, and and give us insight, there is also a lot to be gained from passing through periods of darkness as well. Everything is an opportunity to benefit from, everything is an opportunity to gain knowledge of Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala.
And I think that this can help us to bear difficulties that are going through our lives and especially with the younger generations who are really struggling a lot of the time to make sense of the world, because I think even for older generations, the world is making less and less sense. And that is by design, that the more confusing things are, the greater control the state can have over people, over populations, and the more the family bonds will break down and the more that family bonds break down again, the greater control the state has. And this is not just me saying it is a few studies that are saying this.
And so, if young people are going through a very difficult time, and are feeling that it is so hard to be a Muslim today, so hard to be a Muslim in this day and age, and and you hear all these great things that you can that you can achieve, and I want to achieve those things, but I feel so far away from that and how can I achieve it? There is, like I said, 'Ilm, Hikma knowledge and wisdom to be gained from the very tribulations and difficulties that we are passing through, especially if we have Sabr. I mean, you have to have Sabr to bear whatever is thrown at you. So I was thinking of some some tips in terms of Lady Zaynab, as-salamu alayha. Yes, she suffered. We know that she was deeply affected. This is not to say that she passed through the Masaib and and came out, with a straight back, we say, you know, as we know, her back was bent from from what she had been through, but she was still there. And even after Karbala', as we know, she was still holding Majalis and she was still known. So in spite of that, she still kept going.
What strikes me when we look at the history of the Ahl ul-Bayt, alayhum as-salam, is and this is particularly, I suppose, the history of Islam itself. Is the psychological warfare that was waged against the Ahl ul-Bayt, alayhum as-salam, so we know about the battles and the plots against the Ahl ul-Bayt, the wars that were, you know, raised against them as an example by Muawiyah, by Yazid, even after Karbala', the caliphates of Bani Ummayah and the caliphates of Bani Abbas also waged war against the lovers of Ahl ul-Bayt, alayhum as-salam. And the descendants of Ahl ul-Bayt, also had to tolerate this, these battles.
But I think what we are living in today and maybe we have been for the last hundred years and obviously it's not just Muslims, this is a global issue. Is the psychological warfare that is waged through culture and through media, and looking at what has happened to Japan, is an interesting case of a country that has really lost its grip on its family values, and its religious traditions, and its order, and places of sanctity, that they did have. I studied Japanese for my degree quite a few years ago, so I have forgotten a lot of it. But time to time, I kind of touch base with, you know, what is going on in Japan. And what you see, especially if you look on YouTube, is that obviously we know it has had a high rate of suicide, but there are all these very bizarre trends that [sorry I cant speak today] arising amongst the youth. Very bizarre kind of fashion trends and so on.
There are all sorts of things going on like they are now set up in I think it's in Tokyo, they've set up cubicles where people who can't cope with modern life, can stay in, and what they do is they will go into this cubicle where they have got their laptop or whatever, and they just don't come out and they get addicted to this solitude. And people have been interviewed who stay in these cubicles. And one girl was saying that I just need to be alone. But it's nice because I can still hear other people in the cubicles. I can hear that someone is there. So I don't feel totally alone, but they can't cope with modern life and they end up staying in these little cubicles about they have got space for a desk and and maybe I don't know if they see a mattress or something, they will stay there for four or five years and they completely lose their social skills and their grip on reality. And sometimes even when they want to come out, they are too scared to come out of this little box that they have decided to live in.
And family bonds and family values started to break down in Japan, after the Second World War, with this drive for, you know, its economic supremacy. And everyone admires Japan because of its economic achievements, but there has been a big price to pay, which is that the youth are totally lost as we know they are not getting married anymore. They are not interested in having families. They are not interested in relating to anyone. They have got a growing elderly population with no one to look after them. And this would be unheard of. It would be like the same happening in Muslim societies where the elderly are just being left on their own. So the the issue is that we have to be really aware of the psychological warfare that is going on, and to prepare our younger generations for this.
The Ahl ul-Bayt, alayhum as-salam, were always aware of exactly what was going on around them, the kind of society that they are living in [I think it is getting a bit warm in here. I don't know if people are feeling sleepy if you want to open the window]. So it wasn't just about battles, you know, going to the battle front, but it was also about holding onto your mind and holding onto your sanity. And this is very much what Islam is for me, why I came into Islam because I could see things breaking down when I was a teenager. And this is a path that as long as you hold onto it, can help you to retain your sanity, but we also have to be very well informed. I am getting many parents now who are contacting me, and I think maybe other people are, who are contacting me and saying my my child, who has now reached their mid 20s, has left Islam, and, you know, is not on a good path, and has lost their grip on on on their life and lost their grip on their direction. And lost their interest in the Deen as well and can't see its relevance.
So it's very vital that I mean, maybe inshaAllah, there could even be workshops to help younger people understand the world that we're living in and and maybe elder generations as well to help us understand what is going on so that we can psychologically, excuse me, maintain that awareness and insight into the path that we need to take, in relation to this psychological warfare that is going on. Over the decades, Muslims have striven to fit in with with the corporate culture, to achieve well in the job market and so on, but again, this is not really sufficient nowadays for providing our youth with the tools that they need to cope with the kind of world that we are living in. We need to cultivate wisdom.
So Lady Zaynab, as-salamu alayha, I mean, obviously, when you read about her, you see all these accolades for her. And of course, she was called you know, she was known for her wisdom. And I was thinking to myself, what is wisdom? Do we have wisdom? Do we conduct ourselves wisely and with wisdom? And I looked up some definitions of wisdom, we have the ability to use your knowledge and experience to make good decisions and judgements. Even the word "Hakama" means to judge or to have insight as well. I was looking also at the the Bible, and what it says with regard to wisdom and it has some quotes here, when Solomon became king of Israel, he could have asked, so this is what the narrator says. He could have asked for many things, but he asked for wisdom. God answered the prayer and said, Since you have asked for this and not for long life, or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies, but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that they will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. And his wisdom was known, obviously, throughout the region, he was known for his his wisdom.
Prophet 'Isa, alayhi as-salam, said to his disciples when they began to be under persecution, I will give you a mouth and wisdom which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. There are also narrations in Proverbs, whoever trusts his own mind as a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered. By wisdom, a house is built and by understanding it is established. And we also have obviously in the Holy Qur'an, the Kitab and Hikma, is always mentioning the Kitab and Hikma, and there's lots of discussions on what the Hikma is. Some say it's also the Kitab, but it also makes sense that you're not just given the Kitab, but you also need that Hikma to understand the book and to be able to apply it.
As it says: Bismillah Al-Rahman Al-Rahim. "Remember when Allah made a covenant with the prophets? Now that We have given you a share of the Book and Wisdom and then a Messenger comes to you confirming what is with you, you must believe in him and help him" (3:81). And Ibrahim, alayhi as-salam, said: "our Lord raise amongst them a messenger from them to recite your verses to them and teach them the Book and Wisdom and purify them" (2:129). So I will just end with this point about, where I feel that we are at in terms of, I am sure everyone is aware of the craziness that is going on in the media, the craziness that is going on in schools, in terms of what children are being educated, the power of mainstream culture.
Again, I would say to parents who are very shocked and surprised that I raise my child, you know, they used to wear hijab, they used to recite Noha, attend all the Majalis, how is it now that they have taken off their hijab, and they are even kind of being sarcastic about the religion, and they just they are starting to feel that it is something that is old fashion, and that isn't meeting the needs of my needs growing up in the society. And I would say to parents, first of all, don't don't blame yourselves. But rather, we need to be much more aware of the kind of environment that we are living in, and to be much better informed of the influences that youth are being subjected to, and also the intense psychological difficulties that they often have being a Muslim in the West.
So, the Ahl ul-Bayt, alayhum as-salam, stood tall through all of their trials and tribulations, mainly because of this insight. The warfare came second. If Imam Ali, alayhi as-salam, had not had a correct insight, then he would not have had the wisdom with which to conduct the battles that he engaged in. And each of the imams would not have had the wisdom and insight into how to manage the affairs of the lovers of Ahl ul-Bayt, alayhum as-salam, when they too were also under a lot of psychological pressure and psychological warfare.
We need to set up helplines, lines where people can just talk in confidence about what they are experiencing, because when I get parents who want me to talk to their grown up youth, it is very difficult to say to both parents and to youth, well, let's just scroll back a hundred years. The reason why you are where you are now, is because of what was happening 100 years ago. And you need to understand how the thinking of the secular Western world and I'm not going to say just the West, because Christians are feeling it as well. But the secular West, and the state, the way that it has tried to exert pressure on the whole world is one reason why you are feeling disconnected from yourself today.
We need to teach our youth coping skills. We need to teach them how to connect to themselves, and we need to have open forums where they can ask questions, and actually be honest about how they feel with the challenges that they are dealing with. And I think that, inshaAllah, if we strive to set something up for our young people, then that, of course, is serving the Ahl ul-Bayt, alayhum as-salam, and inshaAllah, we can try to continue their legacy. Not just with Majalis, but by really seriously answering questions and doubts that they may have.
So I'll just conclude on that note and thank you very much for having the Sabr for listening to me. And we pray for the intercession of the Ahl ul-Bayt, alayhum as-salam. We pray for the intersection of Lady Zaynab, as-salamu alayha, and that, inshaAllah, we can end our lives firmly rooted on the Path of Ahl ul-Bayt, Ilahi Ameen. Allahumma salli ala Muhammad wa aali Muhammad.
Sister, do you have some time for questions, if that's OK? Sister? Are there any questions from either the gents or ladies' side? About the job, about the situation in Japan, have you compared with the Western world and America? I think that with regards to Japan, they've had a much harder time than the United States, in terms of the psychological dislocation. Because Japan went very suddenly from being traditional to, literally overnight, within 10 years, around the 1920s, moving into westernization and then, of course, capitalism, and they have kind of striven to, I suppose, I don't know if it's to become westernized, not really to become westernized, but they've been under pressure to become westernized and the youth have not been given answers as to what is going on in in in our lives. What is reality all about? They used to be obviously a Buddhist and Shinto country. They have lost their religion. So now they are just at the mercy of pop culture. Really, it's capitalism and its pop culture and fast food.
How much percentage of the population are on that direction? Difficult to say, but I would say most of the the youth are. It is, I would say it's the majority of the youth that have have have have lost their connection with their tradition, and we're not just talking about obviously about tradition for the sake of tradition, but Japan is an example of a country that has embraced, you know, this economic development and embraced modernity. So we know what Tokyo is like. It has embraced modernity, but the youth are becoming casualties of that. And I think because a lot of that results from this sudden impact of a totally different culture that has been impacted upon Japan, it is a bit different from what has happened in the United States because the United States is Western. So so it's not like the United States has had a totally different, it is not like everyone in the States had to suddenly become Japanese overnight, but it is the other way around.
And this has impacted the the whole world. This is something that I have I have observed. Over the years that there is a fallout, there is a big psychological fallout from what has happened in the 20th century, with colonialism, and then capitalism, and then secularism, and then a hugely funded media, very powerful pop culture and and movie culture. And while it may look very alluring, it is starting to break the society down.
Assalamu aleykum. Wa alaykum assalam. Thank you very much for the very deep speech that you had and my question is really, well, you were talking about that, how the West or some government, some forces are exerting, you know, the cultural disappearing and their Akhlaq may be disappearing, but, now I am going to bring the question into our part, our side. I mean, we can see within our Ummah that there are some people that haven't changed, even they have got deeper into the religion or Akhlaq. I mean, I wouldn't call religion because then that becomes for especially Islam. But Akhlaq is the same in all religions. So we see that some people are more deeper into that, and some, as you said, or just converted from it. So I would put my question into that, what is our weakness, how we can focus on those things and strengthen ourselves? Like I would say, most of us have our religion or beliefs as some sort of identification, that, as you said, the darkness and the light, I would say is mostly some sort of ceremonies on the dark side. It is we we feel that it is, for the light. But as you said, again mentioned, it is on the top of darkness. So identifications have had had some habits, tradition, these are what we are doing. We are not really thinking what we are doing, what we do, we really believe. So if this is if you agree on that, then we should start probably work on our own weakness.
Thank you for your question. Yeah, I think that I remember years ago hearing from a friend who passed away when she was talking about how a lot of the practices of the lovers of Ahl ul-Bayt are like customs and rituals. And back then I was reading a lot in terms of, you know, I wasn't attending a lot of Majalis. I hadn't witnessed a lot of rituals or customs. I was more reading the teachings of the Ahl ul-Bayt. So I thought, well, she is probably just saying that, you know, surely most people are reading the traditions and and reflecting on on the teachings. But over the years, I have started to see that it's very easy to fall into that habit, like you say, and to think that that is. Sufficient. Maybe, and I just think that, unfortunately, we are, there, like we say, there is this big emphasis on loving the Ahl ul-Bayt and people will say, I will die for the Ahl ul-Bayt and so on, but I do sometimes wonder I could be wrong, but I do sometimes wonder whether we are living in an illusion. We are deluded into thinking, yes, you know, look at our julus.
And, if you look at colonial policy, I mean, when the when the British were colonialists, they always allow people to have their customs because they thought as long as we allow them to have their customs, yeah, we allow them to have that, then they will be happy and then they'll be docile. If we allow them to have their customs, they will be docile, and they won't be a threat. And there's, you know, Muslim saying, oh, we're doing such a great thing, we're carrying out our custom. Look at this, look at us, and so on. And this is not to belittle the efforts that people put in to this. It takes a huge amount of effort and organisation, and and I'm not questioning anyone's heart. I'm not the one to judge. But I feel there is a desperate lack of awareness about what is really going on around the Shi'a.
I mean, I was reading with around the time of Muharram this year, in Iraq, there were riots in Basra because they don't have electricity and they don't have jobs. And there had been protests and the government had shot the protesters. And I remember thinking, oh, you know, we really need to highlight this and, need to address this and maybe raise attention to some MP over here. But I read more deeply into the situation in Basra, and I thought I would be out, I would be out of my depth in that situation because it is not a nice situation and there is warfare, people getting shot. Who am I to again? Try to do something, even my Arabic is not good enough to try to do something. But it was, there is the Shi'a going for Muharram, you know, going to Karbala' and everything. Yes, [unaudible]. So we desperately need reform and we also desperately need much greater political awareness and political organisation, and I don't know how that is going to happen, but that is what we need. You know, the the rituals are by far not enough. Otherwise, yeah, let them have their rituals, in the meantime, we are just going to rob the country from under their noses and they won't even notice because they are too busy, you know, occupying themselves with their rich, with their rituals. This is the situation, how it looks to me. So, of course, the youth are going to say, well, how is this effective? In a real sense.
Any further questions from the gentleman? OK, I think we'll end that and thank you very much. Can I? Sorry, it's not a question, but it's something came to my mind. I thought maybe I could share it. I would probably suggest, because our community really I appreciate this community. There are very intelligent people within this community and are very good believers as well. So I would suggest that if sometimes, instead of just having a speaker, we can have tables, sit down and put some subject like, you know, are we allowed to do this or not? And then let the youth especially to discuss things. Yeah. Right, together and be against and promote it, and then get some results. Get them to think. Yes. I mean, we just inherit what we have, the beliefs that we have, but they won't be able to just inherit. They have so many other forces against it. So they need to have logic behind it. That's probably the only way to find their logic. Classes on logic. Yeah. The logical basis of this Deen. Thank you, sorry. Thank you very much. Salawat 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad [Allahumma salli ala Muhammad wa aali Muhammad]. Thank you.