Karbala, Iraq -  October 22,  2004


Ramadan nights in Karbala illuminated by Ayatollah Al-Qazwini

     Every year the month of Ramadan comes and goes; every year we fast, yet without proper appreciation of the potentials of character building that the fasts hold for us. We find ourselves as spiritually backwards after the fast are over as when the month began. In fact our lack of knowledge of the real objectives of fasts often tends to produce an adverse effect in us, for, as is well known, the best of medicines could have ill effects if not taken in accordance with the physician's directives and instructions.

     Thus it is, that the fast tends to make many of us irritable and quick tempered (expecting, as we do, VIP treatment from others, especially our subordinates and family members because of our fast) while the fast was in fact meant to mellow us into exhibiting the finer tracts of human character as illustrated by our Imams.

     Imam Zaynul Abidin would record the lapses of his servants during the month of Ramadan, without telling them anything at the time. As the month would draw to its close, he would gather the servants before him and apprise them of their mistakes, for giving them at the same time and beseeching the Lord to forgive him, even as he had forgiven them. The holy Imam, infallible that he was, only sought by this practical demonstration to draw attention of his followers to the fact that they would be accountable to God for their actions and should they desire His forgiveness, they would have to forgive their subordinates as well. This practical lesson taught by the Imam ought to be rigorously pursued during the month of Ramadan by the followers of the Imam.

     This story above and many other stories about the holy month of Ramadan are discussed by Ayatollah Al-Qazwini in his speeches each night during the month of Ramadan. Ayatollah Al-Qazwini speaks each night in Arabic at the shrine of Imam Hussein in Karbala, Iraq. Hundreds of people gather each night to listen to the Ayatollah's speeches, all drawn by the grace of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Mohammad. The previous nights of Ramadan, he spoke and enlightened the people about the life of the Prophet and the Imams, commentary on the Qur'an, importance of fasting, and other important subjects. This year is the second year Ayatollah Al-Qazwini speaks in Karbala, as he left the U.S. after more than 15 years holding Ramadan program there.