Thursday, June 12, 2008,1:09 am
313: A Review

The blessed month of Shabaan is not far away and once again we shall witness the blessed night of 15th Shabaan. Many of us would spend the night in prayer before our Lord and remembering the Imam of our time [aj]. Many of us would propagate awareness of the Mahdi [aj] to the masses through different resources and means. A group of people chose to propagate the message about the Mahdi [aj] by making a movie called '313'. The number 313 is significant to the return of the Mahdi [aj] as it is the number of commanders of his army as well as his closest companion.

When the trailer was released of the movie there was a huge outcry about the music it had used in the background and whether it was Islamic or not. Many of us took it upon ourselves to label it with the tag of 'Haram' before we even saw the full product. I am not here to discuss whether the music is acceptable or not but to simply give an overview of the movie. Despite the negativity that surrounds it the movie was actually quite good in its script and screening aspect. The script, I thought, was brilliantly executed into a movie and the characters chosen matched in terms of roles. The storyline of the movie seemed quiet simplistic when watching the trailer however the finished product is far from simplistic. The messages, the small statements and other simple things included actually leave the viewer with a lot to ponder over after watching the movie. In my opinion, the production team deserves great credit for their hard work and given that this was their first time with such a project, it is an achievement in every sense.

I am not going to write about the full movie however I will only talk about certain aspects which I found to be really great and the reason why I am doing this is to avoid spoiling it for others who have not seen it.

The idea of a journey undertaken by the youth who is lost to the materialistic aspects of the society and goes on to turn towards the Imam of our time [aj] and to uphold justice in his life by changing his wrongdoings and asking for forgiveness is not easy for everyone. However, what this movie does is give hope to people by an example. In this modern age, the means of conveying a message is not restricted to the pulpit alone. We have to take whatever means there are available and spread the message to the people, however it should be done in the right manner.

What struck me the most in the movie was two things; the way they tackled the questions relating to the Mahdi [aj] in the movie and the way they incorporated the signs before his return in the movie. Both of them are not easy to implement in a movie, they are much easier in a Documentary. The conversations between Sheikh Abbas Virjee who plays the role of Mohsin in the movie and the main character Layth Ali were simply the highlight of the movie. The way he enlightens the youth with the knowledge about the Imam [aj], the understanding the need of reflection and the answers to the complex questions about the Mahdi in a simplistic manner was something which I personally felt made the viewer think more about the Imam of our time [aj].

One of the best scenes for me was in one of the dreams Layth, he sees people praying and the turba turns to gold coins showing how in the time before the zuhoor people would be very much into their wealth rather than their faith. Another such example was when in another dream Layth sees people who come across as pious misusing religion for their desires. The way the director had included these messages into the movie was really great and I think many of these simple messages as a whole made the movie really great. The way of presentation not only opens the eyes of the viewers to reality but it also makes them ponder on whether they are falling in that trap or not.

I am however critical of certain aspects of the movie but overall it was good. What I would advice if the production team were to be start another project is that to work a bit on the camera technique. The changing of the camera angels during the scene was very quick, at times it was instantaneous. Small things like this could have an overall effect on the end product. Another thing I would like to see change in future projects is the aspect of music involved. Regardless of who we are portraying the movie to be for, our style should not mirror that of Hollywood films or otherwise. We should be unique and creative in our approach rather than trying to imitate others.

Lastly the thing which I personally made me think was relationship that I had with my Imam [aj]. In a part of the movie, the Sheikh is giving advice to Layth and he constantly stresses about the relationship of the follower of the Imam with that of the Imam. Further in the movie we do find an example of this when Layth turns to the Imam in his hour of need for help sincerely. This drives home the message for us Shias as to how many of us are sincere in our approach to our Imam [aj]. How many of us can truly say we are upholding the teachings of the Ahlul Bayt [a] in every aspect of our faith? The movie gives food for thought on many points in it, it is upon us as to how much use we make of it.

May Allah hasten the return of the Imam [aj] and may He give us the strength and the patience to endure every tribulation and hardship in the time of occultation and may He raise us to be in the army of Al Mahdi [aj]

posted by Ya_Baqiyatullah
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Wednesday, June 11, 2008,7:01 pm
Ya Zahra [s]

I begin in the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. To Him belong all the greatest names. To Him belong the heavens and the earth and what lies in them. He is the Master of universes and the Provider for all creation.

The dawn of the day bought sadness with it. Grief and sorrow had encircled the house of the beloved Messenger of Allah [p]. The Mercy upon Manking is spending his last hours in the company of his beloved household, Ahlul Bayt [a]. Tears roll down onto his cheeks as he glances on the faces of the purified ones think of how this is the last meeting.

His daughter Lady Fatima [s] sits beside his bedside mourning and weeping as she remembers the precious moments of her life spent with him. The moments when he would kiss her neck whenever he felt for the fragrance of paradise and the countless times when he would stand up and welcome her in any gathering to show how highly he respected her. And then there comes this last moment when he whispers to her words which makes her forget her sadness and brings a joy to her heart and smile to her enlightened face.

The messenger of Allah [p] has departed from this world to meet his Creator. His household, the Ahlul Bayt [a] wail and lament for the great tragedy that has befallen. The masters of the youth of paradise weep, his successor laments and his beloved daughter cries as the experience the pain of separation. The tears flow from the eyes of his beloved daughter, Fatima [s], continuously expressing her love for him, her love was unmatched even if the seven oceans combined could not match her one tear. She was so close to him that she was given the title of mother of her father, Umme Abeeha.

Lady Fatima [s] cries in the remembrance of her father, the Prophet of Allah [p], day and night but how her sadness was deepened when the so called companions of the Prophet [p] caused her distressed. No words can match the atrocities done on her by the so called companions. They took away her inheritance by force [Fadak], they usurped the right of her husband, Ali [a] and if such was not enough they even attacked her house and caused her unborn baby, Muhsin [a] to be Shaheed.

It was an evening in Medina, when the hearts of certain men filled with hatred against the successor of the Prophet [p] caused them to attack the house of the daughter of the Prophet [p]. They showed no mercy upon that door where the Prophet [p] would come and recite “Assalamu Alayka Ya Ahl ul Bayt-e-nabuwa…”, that door where the angel of Death would descend and ask permission to enter, yet these men of hard heartedness choose to seal their place in Hell by pushing the door upon the blessed lady crushing her ribs between the door and the wall of the house. Medina shook at this image, the grave of the Prophet [p] was in turmoil at this scene yet these men showed no mercy and dragged the brother of the Prophet [p] through the streets of Medina to attain a forced allegiance to the so called elected Caliph of the Muslims. The Lady of Light [s] had left an example for all generations to come in the process, she had examplified how one should defend the Imamah regardless of the circumstances. The lessons of patience of Fatima [s] left a mark in history forever.

Not much time had passed when sorrow and grief had descended upon this blessed house again. The beloved daughter of the Prophet [s] had made her final depart and returned to her Lord. Al-Hasan [a] and Al-Husayn [a] were weeping at another great loss so soon, first their grandfather had left this world and now their mother has left this world. She had left this world, oppressed and hurt from the very people who followed her father. Her tears still fall, her heart still makes the same call, her grave remains still hidden. . .

Words cannot describe what her husband witnessed as he washed her blessed body. The tears flowed continuously from his eyes and the heart trembled. And then there was a moment where his eyes could not bear to see and his heart just shattered. How can he bear witness to the broken ribs of Fatima [s]? History absorbed within it the tragedies upon this Lady, the atrocities she had to bear after the seperation from her father Rasoolullah [p]. She cried for that promised reunion with her father in the gardens of paradise, she was that flower whose fragance remained even when it had withered away.

Darkness had fallen upon the city of Medina. The coffin of this Lady is taken to be buried in the darkness of the night as she had willed. She is laid to rest by her beloved husband in a grave marked as the secret of Allah. A secret which shall be unearthed by the Yousif of Zahra [s], Al Hujja [aj] upon his return.

Her final abode remains unknown yet when the time rose she did not leave her son on his own. She left Medina with him for Karbala, she saw every tragedy of Ashura with her eyes, she took the head of her beloved son in her lap as the sword of Shimr moved to severe it, she travelled to the city of Kufa with her daughter Zaynab [s].

We await your return O Yousif of Zahra [s] so you may guide us to the grave of your Grandmother. Al Hujja [aj], we pray for your return as in your return there lies the answer to the treasures of Allah, there lies in the peace on the heart of your Grandfather Al Husayn [a] and there lies in the salvation for us, your followers.
posted by Ya_Baqiyatullah
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