Dearborn–January 20–â€œAll of the maraja (religious authorities) that I know,â€ says Hajja Khalida Beydoun, Public Relations Director for the IIK, â€œsay that it is completely haram to harm yourself during Ashura.â€
In accordanc3e with the disdain for self-harm and pain, an Ashura presentation was performed over the first 10 days of Ashura at Byblos Restaurant in Dearborn, having at its peak attendance about 350 people mixed with adults and the youth, sponsored by Islam Universal (IU) and with the hard work of Imam Abdul Latif Berry, Hajja Khalida Beydoun, and the IIK, expecially of two young students of UM Dearborn, Houda Fawaz and Rashid Beydoun, under the supervision of Kamal Charara and Mousa Farieni–board advisors for IU. Joe Bazzi, the owner of Byblos, donated full 10 days of time at his restaurant for free to the group.
For the 10 days, explains Hajja Khalida, Shaykh Hisham al-Hussainy â€œdid a phenomenal job; he did the majlis (religious meeting) for all 10 days and he did it passionately–he would actually take his time, and would explain.â€ The core of his lectures was reading Qur`an and explaining it.
Further explained Hajja Khalida, â€œThe President Of IU did hard work–Rashied Beydoun, did a phenomenal job; with Houda Fawaz; the two were â€œthe major two playersâ€ who put the event togetherâ€”they invited guest speakers, got the banquet center, announced everything to the community, collaborated w/ IIK.â€
On Sunday, there was dinner and a play, the conclusion of the 10 days of Ashura. Hajja Khalidaâ€™s girls class volunteered daily, reading Qur`an in English before the majlis, at which Shaykh Hisham al-Hussainy would give a presentation in English.
Mohamed al-Najjer, the son of Shaykh Hisham, read the Latmieh (a Shiâ€™a prayer book praising the virtues of Ahlul Bait) in English, and Hajja Khalida explains that this is â€œthe first time it was done in English.â€
27 of the girls from Hajja Khalidaâ€™s class reenacted a lesser-known aspect of the events following the martyrdom of Sayyidinal Hussain (ra), a play for the women of Ahlul Bait describing the events after Karbala, when as Hajja Khalida describes it â€œ100-200 women and children,â€ all the family of Prophet (s) at that time, were brought together and humiliated and imprisoned.
During the play Sayyida Zaynab confronted Yazid about what he was doing to Ahlul Bait. He then humiliated them, and they were imprisoned in Damascus for a while.
Rashied Beydoun played Yazid, and Houda Fawaz played Sayyida Zaynab (ra), (the sister of Sayyidinal Hussain and Sayydinal Hasan (ra)), who was among that group.
Hajja Khalida explained that the play shows the importance of women even at that time.
Hajja Khalida explained that the play â€œhad the crowd weeping; you could hear a pin drop.â€ She says that the play is to show â€œthe importance of women in Islam, and how severe and needed that role is;â€ to show â€œSayyida Zaynab and how she was back then. Itâ€™s important to be strong and knowledgeable now.â€
They had a raffle at the end for religious items to display in oneâ€™s home, as a fundraiser for the masjid. There was also an auction of things donated to the mosque. All the funds went to IIK.
A crowd of at least 200 people crowd came to the play on Sunday. It was the first event Islam Universal did on their own without help for advertising. The event was primarily intended for the youth, and that is why it was done in English.