Imam-Husain

Making Muharram more impactful – Part 2


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The writer, Mohamed Jawad Khaki (Seattle, USA) is an entrepreneur, investor, technologist, and a community volunteer

This article forms part of the series ‘ A Call to Return’ – an initiative to inform and define the message behind the events of Kerbala, its relevance, and connection to life today, for both Shi’a Muslims and the rest of the global population. It is an effort by the writers to cast an apt perspective to a very commonly misunderstood message

IMAN for Muharram 1443 AH streamed an educational 10 part video series titled The Shia of America produced by Ahlulbayt TV as well as 10-night lecture series by Shaykh Arif Abdulhussain titled Islam & God Centricity. These two featured items were followed by locally organized classic lamentations (matam) and other rituals. If the programs were to have been conducted in person as opposed to online only, the streaming of the videos would have been followed by locally organized and moderated community Q&A on the presentations for that night.

I have revised my earlier discussion paper on planning Muharram commemorations and other programs at our community centers for relevance and impact where I touch upon the following:

  • Muharram commemorations present a great opportunity to inspire
  • The present day majlis attendee (young or old) finds it more enticing to interactively stick to their connected smart device than listen to a 60-minute monologue that often is not relevant to the issues of the present
  • How to make our religious commemorations/celebrations more impactful? How to make our majaalis gatherings more relevant?
  • Need to engage scholars from many disciplines, including religious seminaries, to help identify and address our present-day needs
  • What are the key challenges our communities face?
  • What is the purpose of our gatherings?
  • What is our unifying identity in this diverse world where we not only accept but appreciate our differences?
  • Do we need to revisit any of our religious and cultural practices?
  • What is the vision for our community?
  • Are our Muslim communities nurturing clear, independent and critical thinking?
  • What leadership traits will helps us get there?
  • How can you help further the discussion so our religious activities are more relevant and impactful in our daily lives?

You can view the revised version here.

Please review and send your feedback to relevance@iman-wa.org and let us know how you can help these efforts moving forward.

With salaams and duas.

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