Muharram is the first month of the Islamic (Hjiri) calender. Unlike Gregorian calendar, which starts with new year celebrations, the first 10 days of the Hjiri calendar reminds us of a tragedy that took place 1379 years ago in Karbala. It was the 10th day of Muharram of 61 AH (10 October 680 AD) when grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Imam Hussain (A.S) and his clan met martyrdom at the hands of the army of Yazid (L.A), led by Umar bin Sa’ad.
The first 10 days of Muharram, are observed as a condolence for Imam Hussain and his family. It is the followers remembrance and support to the fight against injustice and inhumanity. During these pious days of Muharram we mourn and remember Ahlul Bayt (members of prophet family), helping the poor and feeding them.
Sabeel’s spring up in various locations where Muharram is observed – serving water, juices, tea, fruit and food to those participating in Juloos and remembering Imam Hussain and the Ahlul Bayt as well as for everyone passing by. Across communities, taking a sip of water or juice or a bite of food from these Sabeel is considered holy.
What are Sabeel- E -Imam Hussain (A.S) ?
Sabeel’s are small cubicles serving water, food, milk, sherbat and are usually found in Muslim localities during the month of Muharram, more so in the first 10 days of the month.
Why are Sabeel’s made ?
Karabala, the place where Imam Hussain (A.S) was martyred nearly 1379 years ago, is one of the holiest places for the followers of Ahlul Bayt, the family of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). In Shia’a Islam the Ahlul Bayt are central to Islam and interpreters of the Quran and Sunnah.
It was this town of modern Iraq where Imam Hussain and his followers were brutally killed by Yazid (L.A). Imam Hussain (A.S) chose to give his life and that of his family and friends for the cause of Islam. The 10th day of Muharram is termed as Aashura.
Yazid (L.A) had broken all rules of humanity when he stopped the supply of water for Imam Hussain and his followers. It is said that the water was stopped 3 days before Aashura, however, sources claim that water was stopped from the 4th day of Muharram itself and the water that the family of the Imam carried with them came in handy for another 3 days. Women, children and infants – none was spared the dearth of water.
Al Atash…Al Atash ( water..thirst ) were the cries from Bibi Sakina. Imam Hussain’s brother Hazrat Abbas was martyred when he was bringing water for little Sakina and others in the tents of the Imam (khaimah).
Imam Hussain said “O my followers! Whenever you drink refreshing water remember me Or whenever you heard about a martyred or a lonely person, weep for me I am the son of the Prophet who was martyred…
Water, says The Holy Qur’an, is the origin of life. In Surat-ul-Anbiyaa, Verse 30, Allah SWT says: ‘waja’lna minal maai kulla shay in haee; afalaa yu’minoon’, meaning “…and We have made of water every living thing; will they then not believe?”
Sabeel E Imam Hussain (A.S) is the followers way of mourning Imam and serving Humanity.
Labbaik Ya Hussain.