What Is Moharram ?

Rāyyan bin Shabeeb, who says that I went to meet Imām Ali ar Rezā (a.s.) on the first day of the month of Moharram. Imām Rezā (a.s.) asked me,

O son of Shabeeb! Are you in the state of fasting today”?
“This is the day when Prophet Zakariyyah (a.s.) prayed to his Lord thus
“Lord grant me from unto Thee a good offspring, Verily Thou art the Hearer of Prayers”

Then Allāh accepted his Prayers and commanded His Angels to go and give him glad tidings regarding the birth of his son Prophet Yahyā (a.s.). The Angels came and called out to him while he was engaged in Prayers in the niche. Hence the one who fasts on this day and asks for his desires from Allāh, his prayer will be answered as was of Zakariyāh.”

Then Imām (a.s.) said,

“O son of Shabeeb! Moharram is such a month that the Arabs of the age of ignorance (pre-Islāmic) too respected it’s sanctity and forbade oppression and blood-shed in it. But these people (the umayyads) did not honour the sanctity of this month nor of their Prophet. In this month they killed the son of the Prophet and imprisoned the women-folk after looting and plundering their belongings, verily Allāh will never ever forgive this crime of theirs.”

“O son of Shabeeb! If you wish to mourn and lament over anyone, do so upon Husain bin Ali bin Abi Tālib (a.s.) for he was beheaded like a lamb. Eighteen persons from among his family, who were unparalleled in the earth, were also killed alongwith him. The heavens and the earth lamented the death of Husain. Four thousand Angels descended from the heavens to aid him, but when they reached there they saw that he had already been mar-tyred. Thus, now they all remain near his blessed grave with disheveled hair covered with dust until the rising of the Qaem (Imām al Mahdi). Then they will all aid him and their slogan will be: Vengeance for the blood of Husain.”

“O son of Shabeeb! My father (Imām Moosā al Kazim) has related from his father (Imām Ja’far as Sādiq), who has related from his grandfather (Imām Ali Zainul Ābedeen), that when my grandfather Imām Husain (a.s.) was mar¬tyred, the sky rained blood and red sand.”

“O son of Shabeeb! If you weep over the afflictions of Husain (a.s.) such that tears flow from your eyes and fall upon your cheeks, Allāh will forgive all your sins whether big or small and less or large in number.”

“O son of Shabeeb! If you desire to meet Allāh the Glorified in a state purified of all sins, then go for the pilgrimage to the grave of Imām Husain (a.s.).”

“O son of Shabeeb! If you desire that you may abide in the palaces of Paradise in the company of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and his Progeny, then invoke Allāh’s curse upon the murderers of Imām Husain (a.s.).”

“O son of Shabeeb! If you desire to earn the reward of those who were martyred alongwith Imām Husain (a.s.), then whenever you remember him, say: I wish I had been with them, then I too would have attained the Great Triumph.”

“O son of Shabeeb! If you desire to reside in the exalted status of Para¬dise alongwith us, then bemoan our sorrows and sufferings and rejoice in our happiness and remain attached to our love. For even if a person is attached to a stone in this world, Allāh shall make him arise with it on the day of Qiyāmah.”

Reference: Tradition No. 1 Nafasul Mahmoom
Relating to the heart rending tragedy of Karbalā, Vol. 1 By Hāj Shaikh Abbās Qummi (a.r.)
Translated By Aejaz Ali T Bhujwala (Al Husainee)

Cancers in North East States

Blog by Shariq Haider NaqviThe incidence of cancer is on the rise in the northeast states. Aizwal district has a cancer incidence of 277.2 per 1, 00,000 male population: 231.5 per 1, 00,000 female population whereas Delhi has an incidence of 110.3(male):118.7(female) and Mumbai 983(male): 101.7 (female) per 1, 00,000 population. Mizoram has reported a high number of tobacco consumers among children below 15 yrs-67.1 % (make smokers) 60.3% (male chewers), 22.1 %( girls smokers), 60.7% (girls chewers) whereas the national percentage is 33.1% (male smokers), 28.3% (male chewers), 2.5% (girl smokers) and 12.4 % ( girl chewers). The monthly expenditure on pan, tobacco, etc is Rs 16.08 per person (National) whereas for North East states it is Rs 33.41 per person.

As per records available in the Department of Radiotherapy, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal, the Department has diagnosed and treated 1679 cancer cases during Jan 2005 to March 207. There was 236 lung, 167 cervix, 88 breast, 6 stomach and 73 gall bladder cancer cases. Maximum number of cases is encountered in the age group of 31-50 years 51-100years.

In the northeast tobacco is socially acceptable and used as an appetizer, laxative and a substance that improves energy and concentration. Tobacco is offered to guests and friends and allowed in various religious ceremonies and occasions. Tobacco is chewed and held in the check or lower, lip in the form of betel, quid, zarda, khaini etc .Tobacco smoking is commonly used in hukka, bidi and cigarette.

Surveys have revealed that people living in kachha houses (78.6%0 with surface water (46.0%) for drinking and cooking purposes and using pit toilet (67.0%) and wood (68.8%) as fuel face the maximum problem of non-communicable diseases. People having low% of media facilities and low earning capacity, have less awareness of health care facilities. All this is true of the northeast states.

Besides, the northeast is mainly composed of hills with a small area of valleys. The median distance in km is 3.6 (primary Health Care Center) 8.7 hospital, 4.21 (dispensaries).

smoking killsTo control this scourge of cancer in the north states, it is necessary to send out clear cut awareness messages that contain risk factors, preventive measures, ways and means for recognizing cancers. It is also imperative to bring down the cancer by means of changing life style, reduction in consumption of tobacco (smoking and smokeless), alcohol and drugs etc.

People should also be made to recognize and understand the seven warning signals of cancers, a lumps or hard area in breast, some change in a wart or mole, a regular change in digestive and bowel habits; regular cough, excessive loss of blood after the usual dates, blood loss from any wound, swelling or sore that does not get better and unexplained loss of weight.