Big Girls don’t Cry
Often during my adolescent years, the act of crying had been synonymous with showing weakness. Whether at school when in front of peers, or at home in front of siblings, it carried the label of ‘Cry Baby’ and I was often told off because everyone knows ‘Big Girls don’t Cry’.
As a result of my experiences, crying became a deeply personal thing for me; an act that I had learnt to restrain or conceal in public. I also felt that somewhere in my mind there was a safety valve that was activated when something emotional came close to me. But in recent years, through growing and learning from waaz, I have realised that the ability to feel passionate and vulnerable to the point of crying, is actually a strength and one that sets us apart. Innovation and progression is not borne from someone who doesn’t care about the chosen subject, rather, it is that ability to feel and express emotion that is a driver of change.
The ability to feel compassion and express grief has allowed me to gain perspective and realise the importance of how I am connected to this world, not just through history but through my personal history and heritage. The realisation that Imam Husain’s sacrifice not only created my place in this world, but His Dua Mubarak connects me to the past and the future, moves me to tears. The concept that our forefathers for generations have gained the barakat of listening to Imam Husain’s Shahaadat also moves me to tears. It is because of this, that this Ashara I feel empowered to ‘wear my heart on my sleeve’ and reflect my grief outwardly in expressing noha and aweel when Maula TUS raises the call of “Aahin”, reaffirming this new strength.