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Shi'a Pundit

Devoted to the viewpoint of Islam of Muhammad SAW and Amir ul-Mumineen, Ali ibn Abi Talib SA, in the Shi'a Fatimi Ismaili Dawoodi Bohra tradition.

March 25, 2003

Karbala watch: bleeding sand.

It is said that when Imam Husain AS was martyred, the sands of Karbala turned red, and every rock, when lifted, revealed blood beneath. The earth wept and bled for Imam Husain AS.

The month of Muharram is still upon us, and the sands of Karbala still bleed. To me, this is more than merely weather and good optics. It is a message, a reminder - the month of Muharram is still upon us. Yawme Ashura was only 12 days ago. It is tempting to get caught up in war and debate, as if the fate of the world hinged on the outcome. But ultimately it hardly matters, compared to this. This remarkable photo exhorts us to remember that success of failure in the material world is an illusion, and that our ultimate repsonsibilities lie within ourselves. That is the message of Karbala. In this time of war, this photo calls me to jihad - not violence borne of politics, but discipline demanded of the self.

photo caption: U.S. Army 3rd Infantry Division troops from the A Company 3rd Battalion 7th Infantry Regiment weather the elements as a sandstorm at dusk turns the desert blood red near Karbala Tuesday, March 25, 2003. The sandstorm grounded many US-led forces bombing overflights over Iraq and slowed U.S. military progress in the area near Karbala Tuesday. (AP Photo/John Moore)

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About Shi'a Pundit

Shi'a Pundit was launched in 2002 during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. The blog focuses on issues pertaining to Shi'a Islam in the west and in the Islamic world. The author is a member of the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community. Bohras adhere to the Shi'a Fatimi tradition of Islam, headed by the 52nd Dai al-Mutlaq, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (TUS).

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