By Ajaz Ahmad Guchay –
Considering it my duty to write on the topic quoted above, I would like to bring into the kind notice of our respected Muslim folk of the valley in particular and of the world in general, the strategy how to perform our religious practices especially Muharram procession (Jaloos, Majaalis, conferences and other forms of gathering during Muharram).
Dear brothers and sisters, religion plays an important role in everyone’s life. When we talk about Islam, the event at the apex level in the entire history of Islam is the massacre of Karbala. Although some 1380 years have passed since this heart wrenching event took place in the lands of Iraq, but its essence and relevance is still there. We can’t forget it, as it gives us positive energy to fight against the evil, to curb injustice and above all it fuels our hearts with the power of standing firm in times adversities. How can one skip such processions in which we remember the grandson of the prophet of Islam (pbuh) Imam Hussain a.s and his 71 companions who fought against injustice and lawlessness.
It is not possible for believers to skip such processions or majaalis. But this year the pandemic has changed almost whole world order. Each and every institution of the world be it religious or non-religious has transformed accordingly. Dear believers we (mourners) are also supposed to change our yearly routine of Muharram programs. I am not saying we should quit Muharram this year. What I’m stressing upon is that we need to follow the guidelines of our health institutions and administration. Because whatever administration and these health institutions are advising us in this crucial time is not colliding with the standards of Islam rather our Islam is also coinciding with these guidelines and set SOP’s. I as a responsible mourner would suggest some important measures, how to be safe while participating in Muharram processions, majaalis, and related conferences.
These are as under:
- We should limit our majaalis to minimum no. of people, in order to restrict large gatherings.
- We should organize majaalis short in time duration.
- We should not be fond of bigger jaloos rather we should cut it in fragments in order to restrict large gatherings.
- Our elders are at higher risk they should mourn at home in order to prevent themselves from deadly corona virus infection.
- Those who are ill or are having symptom like cough, fever and sneezing should remain at home.
- We should adhere to the sops, set by the health institutions.
- We should wear masks properly and regularly.
- Sanitizers need to be made available on stalls, where we earlier used to serve tea, milk or other things to the mourners of Imam Husain a.s.
- While serving NIYAZ etc., we should go through all the necessary precautions.
- While doing charity we should keep in mind that a mask can also be charity for those who can’t afford it.
- We must organize Muharram programs (Jaloos, Majaalis, conferences and other forms of gathering) at spacious venues.
- We must pave way to corona warriors, ambulances and needy while occupying the roads for Muharram processions.
- We must discuss our Muharram procession programs with administration and should get their permission first.
- To execute above measures we need a well-trained squad of Hussaini volunteers. These volunteers need to be laced with adequate protective gear.
- If possible, every mourner should buy a ppe kit instead of usual mourner dress, and for those who can’t buy it we must join hands to get them this important ppe kit.
- We should also aware people about the deadly virus while participating in Muharram processions. For this we can use play card, banners, head scarfs and the leading banner of Hussaini Daayirah.
- Last but not least people residing in red zones should at least think one time before joining the Muharram processions.
Our life is very much precious we need to protect it. As Muharram is our religious obligation so, is to protect ourselves from this deadly corona virus infection. We can fight this virus while participating in Muharram related programs provided we follow the above measures and the sops in letter and spirit.
However, if the situation gets ugly shape we need to reshape our strategy too. It is not the last word. We need to develop such kind of intellect which will mould our set program according to the current pandemic situations. We need to adhere to our religious clerics regarding the Muharram processions this year.
Hope almighty puts an end to deadliest corona virus. Ameen.
(The author is a teacher by profession in DSEK. Views expressed are personal. Email: [email protected])