Dearborn-January 9–About 600 people filled the Byblos banquet hall this past Friday night as Islam Universal held a fundraiser and remembrance of Ashura, which is perhaps the most important period in the Shiâ€™a yearâ€™s religious calendar.
Shaykh Jehad, mentioned in last weekâ€™s Southeast Michigan column, appeared, along with many other local imams, including Imam Abdul Latif Berry of the Islamic Institute of Knowledge.
The imams present spoke mainly in Arabic, but Shaykh Jehad (an immigrant to Australia) spoke in English, mainly about the importance of Ashura and the importance of ahlul bait and the teachings of the family of the Holy Prophet (s).
At the end there was a symbolic procession of mourning by about 15 women all dressed in black and completely covered, who performed a rehearsed play in which they proceeded through the tables of the banquet hall, screaming and crying, and at the end of which one of the girls read a speech by the women of ahlul bait to Yazid.
The speech was a beautiful invocation of faith and sadness mixed together, a clear statement that although in the present of that time the people of ahlul bait and those who love the family of the Prophet (s) were dismayed by the atrocity of Yazid, yet they promised that in the afterlife his immense transgressions against them would not be forgiven by them.
â€œYour sins have blinded youâ€ to what you are doing, they said.
At least 600 people were present for the approximate 2 hour presentation, at the end of which several pieces of art were auctioned off in order to support the work of Islam Universal–One was a picture of a desert, another of a woman and child very reminiscent of Mariam (as) and her son Isa (as), another of calligraphy â€œAllah.â€
After the speakers had spoken and the prayers had been said for the martyrs of Karbala, there was a very nice dinner of traditional Middle Eastern food.