How Can We Serve Imam Hussain (AS)?

We are currently meditating upon the philosophical themes behind the events of Karbala. As we prepare for the Day of Ashura, we will change our focus towards the deeper philosophy of how to apply this wisdom into our daily life, so that we can continue to assist our Imam (AS) in preserving his mission.

One of the most important words in our life is service. Our work, for example, is service and each day we spend the majority of our time there. This leads to an important question, what is service?

When we look at the original etymology of the word service, we find a very interesting point. In the Middle Ages, the word service referred to a public act of worship (which is why churches still have Services today). One could argue that our salaat is our internal service, where we work on strengthening our connection to Allah (SWT) and service is our external worship, where we share the gifts and talents that Allah (SWT) has given to us for the benefit of other creations of Allah (SWT). It is only since the time of the slave trade that the term service has the negative connotation that we associate with it today, where instead of it being something of high value to Allah (SWT), we subconsciously see it as something that is beneath us.

Rasulullah (SAW) expressed to us to serve each other in the following hadith mubarak:

As we can see from this hadith mubarak, the original etymology of the word service applies in Islam. To serve someone is not beneath us, it is the public worship of Allah (SWT) to serve another of Allah’s (SWT) creation with the gifts and talents that Allah (SWT) has bestowed us with.

In this hadith mubarak, Rasulullah (SAW) says that we should return the same service to the one who has served us. There is no doubt that on the Day of Ashura, Imam Hussain (AS), his family and companions served us by giving all that they had to preserve the true message of Islam.

How can we repay this great level of service? What can we possibly do to emulate the service that our Imam (AS) and the shohoda of Karbala performed for us?

Amirul Mumineen (AS) said, regarding sin, that we should consider no sin to be small. Amirul Mumineen (AS) explained this by teaching us that we should not look at the size of the sin, but rather the grandeur of the one we are committing the sin against, Allah (SWT)!

In the same way, our service may be small, but when we consider who we are returning our service to, it becomes an act of grandeur. To give someone a drink of water may be a small act, but to quench their thirst in the name of Imam Hussain (AS) is like giving them an ocean. To cause someone to shed a tear may be a small act, but to cause them to shed a tear in the name of Imam Hussain (AS) is as if you are giving them the rivers of Jannah.

May Allah (SWT) make us true servants of Imam Hussain (AS) so that we can externally express our love for him. May we become true servants of Allah (SWT) by serving Aba Abdillah (AS), as all that pleased Allah (SWT) pleased Imam Hussain (AS) and all of the service that Imam Hussain (AS) performed pleased Allah (SWT). May we, even if our act of service is small, be rewarded as that act is performed in the name of Imam Hussain (AS). Aamin.

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