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Dawat ni Majlis

During these days, every night Mumineen world over are gathering at the homes of their fellow brethren for the zikr of Imam Husain AS and doing maatam and bukaa’ Indeed, this led a mumin child aged four years to tell her father, “Abba! We used to go to the masjid for Imam Husain’s AS majlis. Now we do so at our own houses too. Maula TUS has turned our houses into a masjid.”

A child in all his innocence has spoken volumes in her few words. Al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS has directed us to lend our ears to children’s conversations, saying; elders have much to learn from the words of the young and budding generation.

A majlis may literally just mean a place where people gather and sit for a cause. However, culturally-Da’wat ni majlis is a voluminous expression of various significant elements of Thaqaafat Fatemiyah. From attire to language, to manners, to appearance, a mumin attending a majlis is aware of these elements and unfailingly adheres to them. His family follow in his footsteps unwaveringly. The atmosphere that prevails in a Da’wat ni majlis is so serene and pious that spiritually one transcends to a higher realm.

What is a majlis? Why is it important to hold it and attend it? What are its salient features? How integral is it a part of a mumin’s faith? Answers to all these questions are in the lines that follow:

Author of epistles of Ikhwaan al-Safaa’ Maulana Imam Ahmed al-Mastoor AS says:

It is the duty of our brethren; be they in any town or city, to gather in a majlis specific to them, called at known and fixed times and one which remains exclusive to them. Therein they discuss the knowledge of Ikhwaan al-Safaa’ and share amongst themselves this spiritual knowledge. ….Their prime concern should be the discussion of divine matters that enable their souls to attain perfection and, ultimately, emancipation from the corporal world.

These heavenly words of Imam AS tell a whole tale of reasons why Awliyaullah AS have since the advent of Islam stressed the importance of convening majlis. They graciously gathered Mumineen in their sacred majlis and directed them to hold majlis wherever they reside.

Mumineen and Muminaat with their young ones alike assemble in majlis. It is narrated of Umme Moosa binte Hulwani, an aged muminah in Kutama (a tribe of North Africa known for their obedience and services rendered to Dai Abi Abdillah RA), being regular at the majaalis held by Dai Abi Abdillah RA – she attained a high rank in the Dawat.

A majlis is held to commemorate various occasions like, urs mubarak, milad mubarak, misaq, nikah, maqdam, etc. Each kind of majlis has specifically outlined norms to be followed by those who attend them. Like a milad majlis, in which the attire reflects jubilation through bright colours and decorated ridaa’ and embroidered libaas al-anwar and kasbi topi for men. Even dupattas (adorned by those who have raza mubarak for dupatta) are occasion specific.

Asharah Mubarakah majaalis are distinct in their fervour. White topi and simple libasul anwar (preferably starched kurta saayaa of cotton) are their mark. Women wear lightly worked ridas of subdued colours.

On the eve of Ashuraa’, Imam Husain AS gathered his Ahlebait AS and As-haab Kiraam RA in a majlis that is recorded in the texts of Dawat as an event that stands as a beacon of selfless service and unswerving endurance in the face of hardships to accomplish a lofty cause. Asharah majaalis convened by Aimmat Tahereen AS and Duat Mutlaqeen SA are a measure to partake the barakaat of that majlis led by Imam Husain AS.

Since the day of Imam Husain’s shahaadat, Awliyaullah AS have each year conducted Asharah majaalis; irrespective of tumultuous times. As stated by Maulana Imam Ahmed al-Mastoor AS, there has to be a fix time for these majaalis. Remembering the sacrifices of Imam Husain AS, Mumineen flocked to these majaalis abjuring their routine engagements of job, business or study.

Heeding the call of al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS, Mumineen will attend Asharah Mubrakah majaalis from day one. This year, Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS has directed us towards izhaar al-nawh wa al-aweel express our mourning and wailing for Imam HusainAS loudly and openly just as Syedna al-Moayyad al-Shirazi RA has said in his majlis, “Weep and wail expressively; during days and nights, remembering the event of Karbala.”

In one of his discourses, al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Mohammed BurhanuddinRA said,

Just as copper cannot be equated to gold; no gathering or assembly can ever compare to Dawat ni majlis.

A deeper interpretation of one hadeeth sharif, leads to an understanding that attending the majaalis of Dawat is an indication of refinement and culture, while failing to give them their due importance is seen as a sign of primitiveness.

Let us be proud of our culture and heritage and express it through our nawh and aweel on Imam Husain AS. Indeed, lamenting the suffering and oppression faced by the Ahlebait AS upon the desert sands of Karbala from the 2nd of Moharram al-Haraam to its 10th, is the epitome of Thaqaafat Fatemiyah. While those who refrain from it or stop others from it are as primitive as one can imagine. May Allah shield us from those who seek to prevent other from the maa’tam and bukaa’ of Imam HusainAS and may we continue to express our grief and pain for Imam Husain AS as our beloved MaulaTUS intends for us to.

May Allah grant a long and healthy life to al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin, the custodian of Thaqaafat Fatemiyah till the Day of Qiyaamat. Aameen.