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In the Name of Allah, the Merciful the Compassionate.

Every year the 10th of the month of Muharram my hearts is filled with the sadness of Karbala just like every brother and sister that has a fondness for the House of Prophet Muhammad. This pain that burns the hearts is the common pain of all the believers throughout the world irrespective of their sects, their affiliations, race, color and geography. Hazrat Hussein and his companions who were mercilessly murdered at Karbala has won a special place in the hearts of all Muslim believers with their brave stance during this event and their struggle for justice. Those who treated them with such cruelty have been punished in the conscience of all Muslims.

It is not right to turn Karbala into a commemoration of a sad day that has been experienced in history or a legend that is marked once a year and the martyrs are remembered. To understand Karbala is to live like Hussein and to properly understand justice and compassion for which he shed his life. Harbala is the resistance shown against injustice. Karbala is also the school where we can build the future. There are lessons to be taken from this school irrespective of our sects and affiliations. And there is no doubt that the greatest teacher in this school in Hazrat Hussein. It should be clearly known that the path for which Hazrat Hussein and his companions shed their lives is the path of Prophet Muhammad Mustafa.

The greatest goal of Hazrat Hussein was to see to it that similar Karbalas would not be repeated after him. We should never forget his prayer at Mina where he said “Dear Allah, let my martyrdom lead to the unity of our ummah.” Today we should think about the divergences committed by the Yezids, how they changed the verses of Allah, how they distorted facts to slander the Prophet as much as we think about the great values for which Hussein and his companions shed their lives. If today we are still trying to create a power base on the miseries of Karbala it means we have not understood Karbala properly and that we are unable to protect ourselves from the mistakes committed by Yezid.

Those who still put their sect and affiliations above Islam, those who commit the crime of butchering their Muslim brothers and sisters due to sectarian considerations as the Islamic world goes through the current hardships show that they have not understood Karbala and have not drawn the necessary lessons and conclusions from it

Today Karbala should inject new awareness into all of us. Karbala should unite us and help to embrace each other instead of promoting discord. Karbala has put a responsibility on our shoulders which is to open up our hearts and souls to each other and turn our hearts into the land of Karbala.

With these feelings I pray to Almighty Allah that we draw the necessary lessons from Karbala as the Islamic world to turn warns into peace, cruelty to justice, violence to compassion, and derogation to excellence in the geography of our hearts and in our region thus bringing peace, security and prosperity. We send salutations to our beloved Prophet Muhammad whom we are proud to be his followers, to his companions, to Hazrat Hussein who is the greatest of the martyrs, to the Karbala martyrs, and to all those who she their lives for righteousness, for justice, wisdom and virtues, honor and dignity and wish benediction for them and commemorate them with deep affection, gratitude and respect.

Prof. Dr. Mehmet Görmez

President of Religious Affairs