SECOND IMAM HUSSEIN DAY SEMINAR IN TRINIDAD 1418/1997


Bilal Muslim Mission of Americas in association with St. James/Cocorite Hosay Associated hosted the Second Imam Hussein Day Seminar in Trinidad.

The Chief Guest Speaker was Sheikh Abdillahi Nassir from Kenya. Sheikh Abdillahi Nassir arrived in Trinidad Friday night May 23rd. The Seminar was held on Saturday May 24th. Sheikh Abdullahi Nassir also visited Guyana for a few days.

Other speakers included an Anglican Bishop, A Hindu Priestess from Raj Yoga, an Official of the Port of Spain Municipality, the President of Bahais Group, Public Relation Officer of Trinidad Muslim League(Sunni) , the President of Imame Zamana Mission, the President of Community Islamic Council, the PR from St. James/Cocorite Hosay Association and BMMA. The event was chaired by Br. Gulamabbas Jaffer from Orlando.

The speeches given by various speakers on Imam Hussein (a.s.) are worth listening to. Especially the speech of Dr. Hamid Farabi, the President of Bahais.A copy of the speeches by all speakers have been recorded on video tape. Those who are interested to view this tape, please contact our office in New York.

Last year this event received poor response. This year 500 invitation cards were sent to local dignitaries and the event was publicised well in advance. This effort was rewarded by a heavy attendance. The Commissioner of Police of Port of Spain sent his personal representative.

The program started at 4.30 p.m. in the afternoon and ended at 6.40 p.m. The Maghrib and Isha prayers were led by Sheikh Abdullahi Nassir. Thereafter niyaz was served.

The main objective of this seminar is to educate the mass about the History of Kerbala and the message of Imam Hussein (a.s.). By the Grace of Almighty Allah this objective is being realized, slowly but surely. The total population of Trinidad is approximately 1,400,000. 30 % of the total population of Trinidad does follow any religion at all. 5 to 10% are Muslims, and less then 500 are Shias.

BMMA’s first visit to Trinidad was 100 years after the massacre of Shias by the British Raj in 1884. Alhamdulillah, this year BMMA purchased a center for the Shias of Trinidad 70 years after the only Shia mosque in Trinidad was demolished by British Raj conspiracy.

BMMA has a long way to go in South America and the Caribbean. Inshallah with your support and cooperation BMMA will succeed in this Mission.

For more information contact our office in New York or Canada.

1418/1997 MUHARRAM IN TRINIDAD

This is the third year that Bilal Muslim Mission of Americas participated in Ashrae-Muharram in Trinidad. The success of enlightening the Trinidadians in general and Muslims in particular was very successful indeed.

Every night majlises were held in Port of Spain , the capital of Trinidad, at Imame Zamana Center. The theme this year was the message of Imam Hussein (a.s.) in redeeming mankind by breaking the chains of tyranny and adapting freedom with self respect as taught by Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) . Niyaz was also served every night.

Lectures were also delivered in St. James and Cocorite on the 8th ,9th and 10th nights at different chawks(Imambaras) where Tadjas(tazias) are constructed and then paraded on the streets of St. James. The theme of these lectures were to dispel the myths and falsehood that were perpetrated by the media and other critics on the Hossay Procession.

BMMA printed fliers for the Flag Night, Small Hossay Night and Big Hossay Night. These fliers had a very big impact on the Shia Community in St. James and Cocorite as well as Trinidadians in general. These fliers are available on World Federation Website.

Only on article against Hossay Procession was printed in local papers compared to dozens of articles in previous years. The local Government official admitted at the Hussein Day Seminar that the efforts of BMMA have paid dividends. That the solemnity of the Procession is being realizes by the participants and the onlookers and that merrymaking and alcohol drinking is less apparent.

On Friday May 16th BMMA was invited to participate in local TV shows which were broadcast Live. Questions by the viewers were also answered. Live radio interviews were also conducted.

On Saturday night May 17th, the Imame Zamana Mission organized a Procession from Port of Spain to St, James (Approximately 4 miles).Previously this Procession used to come out simultaneously with the Hossay Procession. This year the Procession came out one hour before the Hossay Procession and received undivided attention. Unfortunately the Sunni Mosque in St. James where this procession used to conclude was closed. By the Grace of Almighty Allah, the Police in St. James allowed the Procession to occupy a portion of a recreation area which was recently constructed on the Main Street by the Municipality of St. James. Alhamdulillah history was made. The first public lecture on the streets of St. James on Imam Hussein (a.s.) was delivered. This lecture was heard by the onlookers in silence as the Hossay Procession with drums was not yet out on the streets. The event was a complete success.

We hope to continue with our efforts to propagate Shiite Islam in the Caribbean and South America. Anyone who wishes to participate in the Muharram next year, please contact our office in New York.

Wassalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

HOSSAY IN TRINIDAD IN 1997

SMALL HOSSAY SMALL HOSSAY SMALL HOSSAY SMALL HOSSAY

Tonight is the second night of the Hossay procession in St. James by St. James/Cocorite Hossay Association in 1997. The Shiite Muslims of St. James and Cocorite with their dedicated friends work tirelessly for weeks without asking for any worldly reward in making this Hossay Procession possible year after year. What is it that motivates these Tadja and Moon builders? Let us find out.

What is Small Hossay?

Hossay is a term which precipitated from the word Hussein who is the Grandson of Prophet Muhammad (peace upon them). The small band of Imam Hussein(a.s.) comprised of about 72 persons who were mercilessly butchered on the day of Ashura on the burning sands of Kerbala on the banks of River Euphrates in Iraq. An infant baby aged 6 months only was one of those killed. He was the youngest son of Imam Hussein. His name was Ali Asghar.

When all companions including the flag bearer Abbas lay slain on the battlefield, Imam Hussein(a.s.) prepared himself for the final sacrifice. He made a last attempt and called to all, "Is there any one who will help me now? Is there any one who will come to my aid?." There was pin drop silence. All knew that Imam Hussein(a.s.) was the Grandson of the Prophet of Islam. The soldiers of the army of Yazeed were Muslims too and knew who Imam Hussein(a.s.) was. They knew what Imam Hussein(a.s.) stood for. Yet they did not have the courage to respond to his call because they had lost their SELF RESPECT and were subservient to the rule of the Tyrant Yazeed who had offered them petty worldly rewards. The rewards of this material world which are temporary had blinded their sense of Justice.

Suddenly the wailing of the women in the camp of Imam Hussein(a.s.) burst forth piercing the dead silence. Hearts trembled. Eyes were transfixed. Imam Hussein(a.s.) returned to the camp and inquired the reason of the heart rending wail. He was informed that the six months old Ali Asghar threw himself from the cradle when he heard his fathers appeal for help. As though the infant was responding to help and aid his father when no one else would. Imam Hussein(a.s.) picks up the infant in his arms, telling the mother that he will show the plight of the infant’s thirst to the enemies. Perchance they will show some mercy on the infant and give him some water.

Imam Hussein(a.s.) takes the infant to the battlefield. He raises the infant Ali Asghar for all to see and says," I know that you are determined to kill me. What is the fault of this tiny baby? Look at him. He has not had a drop of water for three days. Don’t you have children? Will someone one give him a little water?" DEAD SILENCE. He lowers the baby on the burning sands of Kerbala and says, "If you think that I shall drink the water, then come and give it to the infant yourself." Imam Hussein(a.s.) looks at the baby and says to him, "My child, show them how thirsty you are." The infant takes out his tiny dried tongue and passes over his parched lips. The enemies could not bear it any longer. The whole army started crying, sobbing loudly. The moment was tense, electrified with feelings of love and mercy for the baby. The commander of Yazeed’s army, Omar bin Saad, sensing the odds against him orders his best archer, Hurmula, "Reply to the words of Hussein." Hurmula loaded his bow with an arrow, aimed it at the infant and shot at him. For a moment the arrow was in the bow, the next moment it had penetrated the neck of Ali Asghar mortally wounding him. Imam Hussein(a.s.) picks up the infant and while removing the arrow from his neck sees the infant breathe his last. Imam Hussein(a.s.) raises the dead infant on his arms and says, "From Allah we have come, to Him is surely the return. I am resigned to His plan and I am obedient to His orders." He takes the dead infant back to the mother and both of them dig a small grave and bury tiny Ali Asghar.

Shiite Muslims globally dedicate this night to commemorate the merciless murder of Ali Asghar. Prayers are held, Processions with Small Tadjas are paraded on the streets by mourners.

The Shiite Muslims of St. James and Cocorite with their friends take out the Small Hossay on the main street of St. James to commemorate this carnage. They affirm their solidarity with and express their condolences to Imam Hussein(a.s.). It is a great tragedy unequalled in the annals of history. Ali Asghar‘s martyrdom reassures mankind that age is not important when standing up in support of Human Justice and Truth. If death is the ultimate sacrifice for such support, so be it.

Edward Gibbon in his book "The decline and fall of roman Empire" writes, "In the distant age and climate the tragic scene of the death of Hussein will awaken the sympathy of the coldest heart."

For more information call Bilal Muslim Mission of Americas at 1-516-681-8500

HOSSAY IN TRINIDAD IN 1997

FLAG NIGHT FLAG NIGHT FLAG NIGHT FLAG NIGHT FLAG NIGHT

Tonight is the first night of the Hossay Procession in St. James by St. James/Cocorite Hossay Association in 1997 that corresponds to the Islamic Calender 1418 Hijra. These processions will come out every night for three nights and on the day of Ashura(The tenth day of the first month of Islamic Calender), 3 days from today, the Hossay Procession will come out in the morning.

What is Flag Night?

Flag Night is the eighth night of Muharram that is the first month of Islamic Lunar Calender called Hijra. This night is dedicated to the flag bearer of the small band of companions of Imam Hussein(a.s.), the Grandson of Prophet Muhammad (peace be on them).This flag bearer was the half brother of Imam Hussein(a.s.). His name was Abbas. He was 32 years old when martyred on the day of Ashura in the year 61 Hijra on the burning sand of Kerbala on the banks of River Euphrates, in Iraq.

The name Abbas means "TIGER." He was the bravest soldier of his time and was the military teacher of all the children of the household of Prophet Muhammad(peace upon him and his progeny). His name brought fear in the hearts of the enemies and his presence was a security for the women of the Prophets family. The sister of Imam Hussein(a.s.), Zainab, drew courage and comfort at the presence of Abbas.

On the day of Ashura when the whole contingent of Imam Hussein(a.s.) numbering 72 was killed and Abbas was left alone, he asked Imam Hussein’s(a.s.) permission to fight the army of Yazeed, the enemy of Islam. Imam Hussein(a.s.) loved his brother Abbas very much. Abbas was ready to lay down his life for Imam Hussein(a.s.), but Imam Hussein(a.s.) was reluctant to allow him to fight and kept him at his side.

At last Abbas approached Imam Hussein(a.s.) and politely asked his permission to go to the banks of River Euphrates to fetch water for the small children, especially the three year old daughter of Imam Hussein(a.s.). These children were thirsty and hungry for three days. Imam Hussein(a.s.) reluctantly allowed him to go. Happily Abbas took the water pouch and raced his horse towards the river. He filled the pouch with water thanking Allah Subhanahuwata’ala for the opportunity to be of service to the children of Imam Hussein(a.s.). He started towards the camp of Imam Hussein(a.s.). On the way he was ambushed by the soldiers of Yazeed’s army. Abbas’s position was very vulnerable. In one hand he had the water pouch and a FLAG in the other. He was more concerned with the safely of the water pouch then himself. He was attacked by hundreds of enemy soldiers and fought with all his might but in the melee his both arms were severed, first the right and then the left. He still was able to save the water pouch. Alas one enemy soldier shot an arrow at the pouch bursting it and another dealt him a heavy blow on his head with a mace. He was mortally wounded. The water pouch was busted. His hopes were dashed. The FLAG fell. Abbas also fell from his horse on his face without arms to support himself. When Imam Hussein(a.s.) saw Abbas fall from the horse, he rushed to his brother’s aid picking up his severed arms on the way. When Imam Hussein(a.s.) reached him, Abbas was breathing his last. He gave a final glance at his brother and departed from this earth to eternal bliss.

Shiite Muslims all over the world commemorate the martyrdom of Abbas on this night by raising the FLAG that fell. So do the Shiite Muslims and their friends in Trinidad. This commemoration is to remember the sacrifice of Abbas for Islam and Humanity. He demonstrated to the whole mankind that no matter what, truth and justice must be defended at all costs even by sacrificing life itself. Abbas is an epitome of bravery and courage. His unflinching support and solidarity for Imam Hussein who stood up against tyranny and oppression to Save Islam and Redeem Humanity are praised today and his laurels will be sung till the day of resurrection.

The Shiite Muslims and their friends take out the procession on St. James main street and call it THE FLAG NIGHT. This procession is very solemn and sorrowful and is a lesson to the commemorators and the onlookers alike that 1357 years have come to pass but the FLAG of Abbas is still flying high. His memory is as fresh as if he was martyred only yesterday. The sacrifice of Abbas with Imam Hussein(a.s.), the Grandson of Prophet Muhammad(peace be on them) freed THE WHOLE MANKIND from the oppression and slavery of tyrants and oppressors. Imam Hussein emancipated the Human Self Respect from the shackles of persecution. Imam Hussein saved Islam and Redeemed Mankind. Hossay Procession in Trinidad by Trinidadians refreshes this message every year and we should all be thankful to the Lord of the World, Almighty Allah, for giving us this opportunity. Let us learn to live with self respect and brotherhood in this beautiful land of Trinidad and Tobago. RISE IN UNITY AND SELF RESPECT UNDER THE FLAG OF ABBAS FOREVER.

For further information call Bilal Muslim Mission of Americas 1-516-681-8500

HOSSAY IN ST. JAMES AND COCORITE IN 1997

BIG HOSSAY BIG HOSSAY BIG HOSSAY BIG HOSSAY BIG HOSSAY

Hossey procession to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (a.s.), the Grandson of Prophet of Islam(peace on them), is an annual event in Muharram, the first month of the Muslim Lunar Calender called Hijra. The migration of Prophet Muhammad(peace on him and his progeny) from Mecca, his birthplace, to Medina is known as Hijra. The martyrdom of Imam Hussein took place on the tenth day of Muharram in the year 61 Hijra, 1357 years ago. The Shiite Muslims in St. James and Cocorite together with their well-wishers who come from all walks of life and from different religions undertake upon themselves to remember this event. The people of Trinidad are indeed fortunate to observe this procession every year.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THIS PROCESSION?

This small band of Shiite Muslims and their friends show their solidarity with Imam Hussein (peace be upon him) who gave his life and the lives of his 72 companions on the day of ASHURA in KERBALA. This solidarity symbolizes the anguish , pain and sorrow that they show for the massacre that took place on this day on the banks of river Euphrates, where the SAVIOR OF ISLAM AND THE REDEEMER OF MANKIND lay slain with his companions, there heads cut from their bodies and raised on spears. These mourners of Imam Hussein(a.s.) refresh the memory of this event. They give their pledge to the Supreme Creator, Allah Subhanahuwata’ala, that had they been in Kerbala on that day they would also have given their lives for the cause and attain success and salvation with Imam Hussein (a.s.)

WHAT IS THIS CAUSE?

Within a short period of 50 years after the demise of Prophet Muhammad (p.u.h.a.h.p.), the religion of Islam was corrupted so much that the message brought by the Prophet was completely weakened. The corrupt ruler of Muslim Empire, YAZEED, who had usurped the caliphate, openly proclaimed that the religion of Islam was only a drama played by the family of the Prophet (p.u.h.a.h.p.). He publicly indulged in drinking wine, gambling and adultery. These vices are prohibited in Islam. Yazeed validated them. He then ordered his governor in Medina to force Imam Hussein (a.s.) to give allegiance to Yazeed. Imam Hussein(a.s.) refused to bow down to this threat. He left Medina in the last days of the month of Rajab in the year 60 HIJRA and proceeded to Mecca. Imam Hussein(a.s.) stayed in Mecca until the 8th of Zu-al-Hijja (The last month of the Muslim Calender) 60 Hijra and proceeded to Kufa, in Iraq. He journeyed to Kufa because the Kufans wrote him numerous letters requesting him to come to their aid as they were disillusioned with the tyranny and oppression of Yazeed. Yazeed was the ruler of the whole Muslim Empire and ruthlessly persecuted and oppressed the Muslims. Imam Hussein(a.s.) responded to the letters from the Kufans and send his cousin Muslim bin Aqueel as his ambassador to prepare for his arrival. Yazeed’s spies reported this to him. Yazeed dispatched the ruthless governor of Basra to Kufa. He arrested Muslim Bin Aqueel and assassinated him. Imam Hussein (a.s.) was on his way to Kufa when he heard of this atrocity. Soon after he was confronted by a contingent of 1000 soldiers from the army of Yazeed under the command of Hur. He was escorted to KERBALA on the bank of RIVER EUPHRATES. Imam Hussein and his small band of faithful companions were mercilessly killed after they were kept hungry and thirsty for three days. This event took place on 10th of Muharram 61 Hijra. This day is called ASHURA.

Imam Hussein(a.s.), the rightful custodian of Islam, refused to confirm and agree with the corruption perpetrated in Islam by Yazeed. He chose to sacrifice his life. He was not seeking any power or kingdom. Imam Hussein’s(a.s.) mission was to COME TO THE AID OF THE RELIGION OF HIS GRANDFATHER. THIS RELIGION IS AL-ISLAM.

ISLAM means peace. Imam Hussein(a.s.) saw the danger of Islam being destroyed by Yazeed. Self Respect had vanished. Persecution and corruption was rampant. Vices were enjoined and virtues were prohibited. The noble teachings of Islam were replaced by the corrupt desires of the ruler. All Muslims were forced to submit to Yazeed’s orders. Anyone suspected to oppose this order was mercilessly eliminated. Bribery was the norm. Conspiracy was the way of life. The whole nation of Islam trembled with fear of persecution and oppression. He totally refused to pay allegiance to Yazeed.

Imam Hussein(a.s.) gave his life and saved Islam. He rekindled the self respect in the hearts of Muslims and redeemed mankind from the shackles of tyranny and oppression. HUSSEIN IS FOR THE WHOLE MANKIND. Let us remember that ‘Islam is reborn after every Kerbala’. Trinidad is Kerbala also. Every day is Ashura. RESPOND TO THE CALL OF IMAM HUSSEIN(A.S.). PREACH AND PRACTICE ISLAM THE WAY IMAM HUSSEIN(A.S.) DID. STAND FOR JUSTICE AND UNITY. ALWAYS.

For more information call Bilal Muslim Mission of Americas at 1-516-681-8500.