Imam Khomeini commemorated Ashura in Neauphle Le Chateau

Imam Khomeini commemorated Ashura in Neauphle Le Chateau

It has been recalled through a series of memoirs that a massive crowd of people had gathered around Imam Khomeini’s historic residence in Neauphle Le Chateau, on the outskirts of the French capital Paris, during days of Tasu’a and Ashura nearly four decades ago.

Among an estimated crowd of 500 people were intellectuals, reports, journalists, political analysts and a great number of supporters who had come there from around Europe and other parts of the world. 

Ali Akbar Mohtashemipour, a senior cleric recalls Imam came out of the house and moved towards a camp solely with great dignity. The site covered with black cloaks was entirely devoted to hold morning ceremonies on Tasu’a and Ashura.

Imam Khomeini asked me to start reading Rudaw and mentioning sufferings of people of Ahlulbayt, people of the House of the prophet in Karbala, Mohtashemipour added

As I began to mention the tragic event of Karbala, tears flooded Imam Khomeini’s eyes and coursed down his cheeks unchecked. Imam grabbed a handkerchief to make his tears dried, Mohtashamipour noted.

The memoirs is related to months before Imam Khomeini’s historic return to Iran and the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979

No doubt, Imam Khomeini was staunch supporter of holding these ceremonies where the sufferings of the members of the prophet’s household are expressed and explained for the participants. But he wanted these ceremonies to become a platform for promotion of real Ashura culture and genuine teachings of Islam.

Imam Khomeini time and again had maintains the culture of Ashura challenges and confronts all types of oppression, tyranny, colonialism and carries cultural, social and political messages. The infallible successors of the holy prophet have recommended of holding such a religious gatherings where sufferings of the Imam Hussein and his pure progeny (peace be upon them) must be expressed. The infallibles wanted these ceremonies to become the platform for promotion of justice and real Islamic administration be developed from such stages.

Given the above-motioned facts, Imam Khomeini used to say the holy months of Muharram and Safar have kept Islam alive and advised preachers to promote genuine teachings during this period. The great intellectuals advised all clerics to deliver such speeches at religious gatherings which can elevate the Islamic societies towards spiritual, moral and political development.

Imam Hussein and 72 of his companions were martyred in the Battle of Karbala in 680 AD after fighting courageously for justice against the much larger army of the Umayyad caliph, Yazid I, which some historians estimate to have been 100,000-strong.

Tasu’a precedes Ashura, the tenth day of Muharram, when the ultimate battle took place.

Tasu’a -- known as the Day of Loyalty and Resistance -- is devoted to Abbas ibn Ali, who made proverbial sacrifices during the Battle of Karbala to resist the tyrannical forces and take water to the Imam’s camp, which had been under siege for days.

 Millions of people are holding mourning processions to mark the day of Ashura, which is the climax of mourning rituals during the lunar month of Muharram. The event commemorates the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad and third Shia Imam.

The mourning rituals peak on the 10th day, traditionally known as Ashura, when the Imam and 72 of his companions were martyred at the hands of the despot to whom they had refused to pledge allegiance.

Many Shia pilgrims even go on pilgrimage to Iraq, where they take part in mourning rituals at the holy shrines of Imam Hussein, his father Imam Ali and his half-brother Abbas ibn Ali (peace be upon them) in the cities of Karbala and Najaf.

Read more: 

Imam Khomeini Underscored Philosophy of Ashura

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