Hundreds of mourners attended the 10-day programmes for the commemoration of the martyrdom of Imam Husayn(a) at the Islamic Centre. This is one of the most important commemorations in the Islamic Shi‘a calendar. The Islamic Centre of England is just one of many centres across the whole of the UK where these commemorations take place during the first 10 days of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar. The languages of these gatherings change in accordance with the ethnic background of the community. The Islamic Centre of England provides lectures in Arabic, English, Persian and Urdu.
Hujjatul-Islam Dr Shomali provided a series of lectures for the Persian speaking community under the title ‘Sanctity of Life’. These included the significance of the concept of ‘life in Islam’; the description of God by all Abrahamic religions as living; characteristics of divine life; life and characteristics of the angels and the sacredness of all forms of life.
Sheikh Isa Jahangir gave five lectures for the English speaking community. Centring his speeches on the theme of social ethics, he selected specific verses of the Qur’an to draw an identikit of the righteous individual according to Islamic teachings. _-
Sheikh Muhammad Al-haji Muhammad spoke in the Arabic programme. The title of his lectures were: Types of guidance and the effect on society; the training of children and family relationships based on the teaching of Ahl ul Bayt (a)
For the Urdu speaking community, the Centre invited Moulana Syed Akbar Ali Abibi, who titled his series of lectures ‘The Uprising of Imam Husayn(a) on Ashura’.
On the night proceeding the day of Ashura, the Urdu speaking community held a vigil all through the night until the next morning prayer time. The congregation engaged in supplications and remembrance rituals in the memory of Imam Husayn(a) and the martyrs of Karbala.
Further programmes were held on the day of Ashura, the day in which Imam Husayn(a) was murdered. The Muslim Shi‘a community around the world is expected to continue the mourning ceremonies till the fortieth day after Ashura.