India has always been looked upon as a bright and colourful country due to its rich diversity in religions, festivals and more. It has been admired throughout the world for its unity, compassion and acceptability towards every culture.
One of the festivals which is looked upon with great enthusiasm and spirits is Muharram. It is known as the first month of the Islamic calendar and is one of the four months when warfare is forbidden according to Islam. The term Muharram means ‘banned or forbidden’ and is observed with lots of prayers and greetings.
In this holy period, some Muslims fast during day hours on the 9th and 10th or the 10th and 11th days of the month. They also prefer to attend special prayer meetings in mosques or private homes. During the month of Muharram, some mosques provide free meals on certain nights of the month to all people.
However, the interpretation of this festival is not the same for every Muslim community. Some have their own beliefs and observe in their own manner.
The Shia Muslim community mourns Imam Hussain Ali’s death on the day of Ashura by flagellating themselves with sharp objects on Muharram. This exemplifies the suffering Imam Hussain Ali experienced shortly before his beheading. Since Muharram is a period of intense grief and mourning for Shia Muslims, the mourners gather at a mosque for sorrowful poetic recitations.
The blood sheddings on this day may be pious to the beliefs of Muslims, but any religion in its real sense can’t justify the killing of any other living being in its teachings.
Regardless of the sentiments people associated with the festival and their way of expressing emotions, festivals can’t be a medium to take the life of an innocent.
On the other hand, if people are trying to interpret and make the festival a meaningful one, they should try to lessen the sufferings of other individuals with the idea of blood donation.
The blood donation if done as per this ritual, will not only save the lives of the near and dear ones but will also grant the person with the uncountable blessings. It can be donated in the nearby hospitals on such an auspicious day which can save someone’s life. It has been rightly said that “RAKT DAAN: AAJ KA MAHADAN”.
Youth has always been the perfect example as the change-makers in society, and the same thing happened in Gujarat.
The Shia community’s new religious leader, Syed Mohammed Mujahid Husain Jafri left the old age tradition of shedding blood and inspired the people to donate it instead. He added there is no point in inflicting the pain on the self.
They decided to bring forth the constructive alternative which went with the spirit of Islam and chose to remember their Prophet not by mourning but by donating the blood. Around 3000 units of blood are collected every year by these Muslims of Gujarat.
This ill practice of shedding blood can only be modified by our ability to differentiate between right and wrong. It can do wonders to both the human and non-human lives. The separation of the small animals from their close ones can also be stopped through this and can help to improve the breeding of the animal culture.
The concept of killing and offering somebody to God in the name of religion is not at all explicable.
The world needs compassion, togetherness and love to sustain, and we should not equate it with the killing of the peaceful and innocent lives in this world.