Turn in your Weapons

Muharram marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar. It’s the beginning of a new start where we pray to Allah to forgive our sins from the past year, and to also make this following year immersed in His remembrance and filled with Taqwa.

Muharram also is an important month rich with lessons about the sacrifice of the grandson of the Prophet, Imam Hussein (as). Every year, many people come together to commemorate these nights to take lessons of where they can apply them to their daily lives. Below is one story that was mentioned in one of the books narrating the story of Karbala which contained a lesson for me:

The day before the war in Karbala began, Umar-ibn-said sent a messenger with a letter of request for Imam Hussein to make allegiance to Yazid.  The messenger arrived close to the Imam’s tent and was faced with a guard. They haven’t mentioned in history who the guard of the tent was, but it was usually the Imam’s brother, Hadrateh Abbas.

Messengers were not allowed inside the tent until they turned in their weapons (typically a sword). The harder part of turning it in was dealing with Hadrateh Abbas and his frown as he watched them walk in. The first messenger couldn’t deal with facing Hadrateh Abbas and out of fright fled.

Umar-ibn-said was forced to send another messenger. This time this messenger turned in his weapon and was allowed to step into the Imam’s tent. He handed the letter to Imam Hussein (as) and just stood there staring at the Imam. The Imam tells him that if you have given your message, leave. The messenger’s legs start to tremble and his heart felt stuck, and as a result, he wasn’t able to leave. He tells the Imam, “I’ve just found you, where am I going to go?”.

This messenger stayed and became one of the martyrs of Karbala.

We don’t know what just one look of Imam Hussein did to him. All we know is that he had turned in his sword and entered the tent of Imam Hussein.

Sometimes, difficulties that we feel that religion is causing us- either the hardship of refraining from haraam, or performing our wajib, like enjoining the good and forbidding the evil- all of it is the difficulty of one second. That one second where you want to turn in your weapon and lower our guard. The one second we stop challenging everything and do what Allah wants us to do

If you ask an Arabic speaker what is the word for “stop” is in arabic, you will notice that their reply sounds so familiar, since that word comes from the root of the word “Tawqa.” It means put a stop to sins and anything from your lower nafs.

This is the key to our problems is the moment we don’t stop and think before we perform an action. The second before we yell back at someone, the second before we backbite, the second before we disobey our parents, the second before we play haraam music, the second before we snooze in and miss our fajr prayer – these are all the seconds we should have paused before we disobeyed Our Creator and lost a chance to attain a higher level of taqwa.

Insha’Allah this Muharram we learn when to put down our swords and weapons and turn to be true submitters of Allah.



About The Author

Narges Moaddel

Narges Moaddel was born in Tehran, Iran, but moved to the United States when she was only 18 days old. However, she moved back to Iran when she was nine and lived there for five years until she returned. She is currently majoring in Biology and is minoring in Near Eastern Studies at the University of California- Los Angeles (UCLA). She has served on the executive board of the Muslim Students’ Association for two consecutive years and has been a contributor to the Al-Talib, a student magazine. She is also, currently, a steering committee member for Al Hujjah, a group that acts as a platform for youth activism and leadership in Southern California, and has been involved with the local masjids and centers in the past few years.

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11 2011

3 Comments Add Yours ↓

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  1. 1

    A friend shared this site with me a few months back, and I finally decided to give it a read. Loved the post, and I’ve actually never heard that story of Karbala – subhanna’Allah, I learn something new every day. Will continue to read your posts, keep up the good work, insha’Allah :)


  2. Samira Rizvi #

    Sister, great piece! May Allah grant us all the tawfeeq to attain a higher level of taqwa this coming year…


  3. 3

    Mashallah, very inspirational and informative post!


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