Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, October 20th, 2017

Fundamentalism in Ashura and the Responsibilities of Preachers

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Fundamentalism in Ashura and the Responsibilities of Preachers

Religious fundamentalism has changed from encountering religious faith and mentality with jurisprudence into social and objective facts. Regardless of the fact that which religious mindset resulted in establishing this issue or which one will defend it as value, this should be pointed out that how to campaign against this horrific issue and how to ensure the peace and security of Muslim citizens, who suffer the most.
It is an undeniable fact that one of the frightening issues which has infiltrated our social life, mainly in Shiite culture, is the fundamentalism of Ashura which will curtail the rights, freedoms and tranquility of scores of our citizens. During Ashura (the 10th of Muharram) destructive religious teachings are fueled by some religious circles that will implant historical hatred and propaganda in the minds of people, which is against the behavioral attitudes and Sunnah. That is to say, harsh rhetoric and sarcastic words are spoken which are considered an insult to some other sects. For instance, flags and symbols are carried around the city that necessarily hurts one’s feelings. In tenths of Muharram, the streets are bursting with a number of unaware individuals who come out for flagellating themselves with knives. This will not only arouse the sense of hatred of some people but will be shown reaction at international level.
It should be noted that fundamentalism in Ashura is an objective issue which has infiltrated the culture of Shiites. Therefore, it is the responsibility of religious preachers to enlighten the Islamic issue in its true soul. In other words, it is the responsibility of religious preachers, intellectuals and all citizens to reflect Ashura with its capacity and potential and strengthen peaceful coexistence and abandon spreading hatred and fundamentalism.
Ashura and the great revolution of Imam Hussein (A.S) bears extensive capacities that will be the salient epitome of empathy and peaceful coexistence for the citizens. The popularity of Imam Hussein (A.S) is part of deep religious culture that all religious schools of thought, and intellectual and Islamic elements are respectful in this regard believing that empathy with the grandson of our Prophet and his household will form the heart of Muslims’ faith. Hence, this capacity should not be easily left at the mercy of ignorance, superiority or the means of disunity, violence, instability and fundamentalism in the society.
The revolution of Imam Hussein (A.S) also has a salient aspect regarding human rights that one can use it for human right teaching. Ashura’s revolution is replete with deep human attitude that has emerged with the encountering of those who fought a religious war with their enemies. There is no doubt that spreading and describing such human attitude and human rights will be a fruitful paragon from the spiritual society of Karbala and enrich the behavioral culture of Muslims. Putting light over this aspect from the perspective of human attitude and right-oriented revolution of Karbala underlines the greatness of this movement against despotism, which is also a need for the war-torn countries of Muslims. The need for the teaching and human right-oriented attitudes seems more necessary than ever before in Islamic societies – where in the blood of scores of people is shed with fundamental interpretation of religious texts and symbols of development of human societies are destroyed. Thus, a strong need and thirst are felt for human and peace-oriented teaching and attitudes that is reflected in the practices of Imam Hussein (A.S) and his companions.
Religious preachers, scholars and intellectuals have a heavier responsibility, comparing to other layers of society, to emphasize the cultural aspect of this issue and pave the ground for the media to explain the true spirit of the teaching of Ashura and point out the issues which will lead to coexistence. They should also reduce the opportunity for fundamental and violent elements regarding Ashura. What is more, religious scholars must not let mosques be changed into tribune for the individuals who have less knowledge or those who might hurt the feelings of others through blasphemy. They must not let those who seek to promote their anti-human intention through sowing the seeds of hatred and disunity.
Therefore, religious scholars and intellectuals need to conduct continued meetings so as to adopt their preaching strategy based on religious principles and urge all religious preachers to act upon the same strategy and programs regarding Ashura. They have to conduct congress with the presence of scholars and other social layers of the society so as to plan their preaching programs. It is crystal clear that such congresses will form the preaching program in the best possible way during Ashura and all preachers be committed to practice upon it.   

On the other hand, there should be much enlightenment regarding proceedings and carrying flags in cities and ask the security officials to keep the social order.

Mohammad Ishaq Arifi is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at the outlookafghanistan@gmail.com

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