Living for the cause, dying for God What makes a martyr


*William Haines (pastor and director)    

**Sheikh Musharraf Al-Hussaini (religious scholar)  

***Stephen Sizer (founder and director of Peacemakers)  

**** Haj Hashim Nawrozzadeh (humanitarian activist)

Good causes always have martyrs. These are the individuals who dedicate their lives to the cause, impersonate it, live it to the full and do not compromise in their pursuit to achieve it. Throughout history martyrs have stood out as sources of hope to their followers, attracting the respect and love of many and becoming beacons for positive change. They are described as selfless, candles (which burn themselves to give light to others), heroes, icons and immortals. In Islam, martyrdom is considered the highest status in societies. Martyrs are described as the “Living dead”, the immortals and the eternal witnesses on the struggle between right and evil. As the advent of Ashura approaches, many Muslims will commemorate the life, the struggle and the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, Mohammed’s grandson who was slain in the year 680 AD together with 72 of his relatives and companions. Martyrdom assumed new meanings in Karbala, Iraq where the massacre of the most pious took place.  

6.30 pm Monday 17th July 2023    

Venue: Abrar House, 45 Crawford Place, W1H 4LP    

The meeting will be held in person, followed by dinner    

You can also participate on Zoom using this link

Meeting ID: 856 8088 8416 Password: 000000    

Or on Youtube on this link:

Admission is Free. Please register for catering purposes – email:    

or text 07795 660 438    

*William Haines is a pastor and director of education of the Family Federation for World Peace. From 1992 – 1999 he was director of the International Educational Foundation in Russia writing and publishing a series of textbooks for the spiritual and moral education of teenagers in a post-communist society. The books were used in schools all across the former Soviet Union and translated into Mongolian, Azeri and Tajik amongst other languages, They were based the life of the founders and teachings of the traditional religions of the former Soviet Union and its neighbours namely Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Confucianism. The purpose was to inherit the wisdom of traditional religions as well as to understand and respect them. Two of the books, including the one on marriage and family, were published in Arabic a few years ago and are now being used in schools in the Palestinian Territories. William is a qualified religious education teacher and has taught in schools in north west London. He studied at the universities of Manchester, UCL, Cambridge and Unification Theological Seminary in America.  

**Sheikh Musharraf Hussaini comes from the family of Yahya Ibn Kaseer Ansari, one of the martyrs  of Karbala. He studied Marine Engineering at the Pakistan Marine Academy. His religious education was in Qom. He is a human rights and peace activist working through the Justice 4 Peace Organisation, and a political analyst who has lectured on a variety of topics. He is also a TV presenter hosting TV programmes on social, political and religious issues.

***The Revd Dr Stephen Sizer is the founder and director of Peacemakers, a charity which seek to be catalysts for peacemaking, especially where minorities are persecuted, where justice is denied, human rights are suppressed or reconciliation is needed Stephen is chair of the Convivencia Alliance and an executive member of the Israeli Committee Against House demolitions (ICAHD) Stephen is a retired Anglican priest. His PhD was a ground-breaking critique of Christian Zionism. He is the author of two books on Christian Zionism. You can access his published writings at  

****Haj Hashim Nawrozzadeh was born In Kabul Afghanistan, son of Al Haj Qurban Ali Nawrozzadeh who was one of the pioneers of Muharram Majalis (congregatioons) established in 1967 commemorating the Martyrdom of Imam Hussain (as) and the Household of The Holy prophet of Islam. Haj Hashim Nawrozzadeh is a prominent activist promoting humanitarian causes as well as Interfaith Dialogue and also chairman of The Imam Hussein Foundation Centre in Nth Watford which has an ethos of ‘Educate to Integrate’.

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