THE AWAKENING OF HUMAN CONSCIENCE


Proposal
Research Seminar

THE AWAKENING OF HUMAN CONSCIENCE:

THE EVERLASTING LESSONS FROM
THE SACRIFICE OF IMAM HUSAIN
FOR OUR CIVILIZATION TODAYImage

Research Department

Islamic College for Advanced Studies
(ICAS) Jakarta

Jakarta, 12 April 2008

A. PROLOG

First Problem: The Void of Meaning of Life

In line with the dominance of materialistic-positivism since the 19th century the prevailing view nowadays is that life is blind, irrational, and purposeless as the poet A.E. Housman lamented (quoted from John Cottingham, On The Meaning of Life, Routledge-London, 2003):
…. nature, heartless, witness nature,
Will neither care nor know
What stranger’s feet may cross the meadow
And trespass there, and go
Nor ask amid the dews of morning
If they are mine, or no

That vision leads modern men to find themselves stuck in the corner of emptiness, without knowing why they live and must die soon. In the words of T.S. Eliot’s stark reminder:

O dark, dark, dark. They all go into the dark
The vacant interstellar spaces, the vacant into the vacant
The captains, merchant bankers, eminent men of letters
The generous patrons of art, the statesmen and the rulers
Distinguished civil servants, chairmen of many committees
Industrial lords and petty contractors
All go into the dark . . . . .
And cold the sense and lost the motive of action
And we all go with them, into the silent funeral …
(Cottingham, 2003)

Second Problem: The Void of Faith and Reason

The next acute problem in the modern-postmodern world is the growing appearance of skepticism in various forms and diverse levels. According to Wittgenstein, our basic religious and moral commitments can make no claim to truth. He points out that there is no rational criterion of correctness of religions. He denies that any commitment entail a belief that certain things are true.

The idea of Wittgenstein is the path to total skepticism about the possibility of human knowledge. Another consequence of this idea is the emergence of relativism, pragmatism, and nihilism. According to post-modernism, there can be no overarching reason, no one true way of looking at things. We see now how rejection of metaphysics, conducted first by modernist thinker, has led contemporary thinker (postmodernist-relativist advocates) to attack the notions of reason and truth as well as faith.

Therefore, the skepticism on God’s existence and spiritual dimension of human being naturally has brought about the deeper skepticism, which is more directly dangerous, namely the void of faith and reason, the skeptical thought about human ability to know and understand reality. This condition generates contemporary men in the threat of despair, hopelessness, and disorientation in life. Let us listen to the voice of desperation from Richard Rorty below:
There is nothing deep down inside us except what we have put there ourselves; no criterion that we have not created in the course of creating a practice; no standard of rationality that is not an appeal to such a criterion, no straight argumentation that is not obedience to our own conventions (Richard Rorty, Consequences of Pragmatism,Minneapolis, 1982)

Third Problem: The Void of Wisdom and Love in Faith

It is horrified that one mode of reaction to the void of faith is the appearance of irrational fundamentalism. Karen Armstrong points out that one of the most startling developments of the late twentieth century has been the emergence within every religious tradition of a militant piety popularly known as ‘fundamentalism’. (Karen Armstrong, The Battle for God, New York, 2001). Its manifestations are sometimes shocking. Some fundamentalist (a small minority – according to Armstrong) commits such acts as terror, but they all have nothing to do with rationality, wisdom and humanity (love).

In one perspective, this movement is a response to secularism and the dominance of materialism, but in other perspective fundamentalism is another branch of skepticism, which is mainly disseminated by relativist-postmodernists. It is understandable, therefore, when Armstrong argues that fundamentalism emerge as a response to the spiritual crisis of the modern world. She explains that fundamentalism is a radical form of religious expression in resisting the assaults of modernity. In fact, they have absorbed the pragmatic-instrumental rationalism of modernity (and post-modernity).

For Seyyed Hossein Nasr (in his work Islam and the Plight of Modern Man, Chicago, 2001), what so-called fundamentalism are those who are caught between traditional values and modernism. This group, in fact, under the influence and pressure of modernist view (mechanistic-instrumentalism, priority of quantity), has suffered spiritual crisis like modern-contemporary man. Both live in their rim of existence, and depart from their axis of existence. They are ignorant of the innermost nature of human being, as a spiritual being. Nasr quotes the poet Farid al Din ‘Attar as follows:

Come you lost atoms to your Center draw,
And be the Eternal Mirror that you saw:
Rays that have wandered into Darkness wide
Return, and back into your Sun subside
(Mantiq al-tayr)


B. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY OF
THE SELF-SACRIFICE OF IMAM HUSAIN

The survival of the present-day world, which is in serious danger, is not because that we lack humanistic teachings. Rather, we lack faith in human ability to attain and apply those teachings.

The above description would like to signify the deep-serious problem of our civilization at the present. The present-day condition of man is stuck in huge threat and misery about the prospect of the world, about the nature and ability of human being. Contemporary-modern men don’t have trust both in God and themselves as homo sapientia (wise being, rational being). They neglect God as well as their nature of humanity. God and man have been death.

The phenomena of blasphemy of religious traditions such as blasphemous cartoon of the Holy Prophet two years ago in Danish daily and others sacrileges toward other religions could be considered as the blasphemous thought and action toward God and man all together. They have ignored themselves as homo sapiens, their character as human being, rational animal.

That is total skepticism. They lose faith and reason. They lose truth and wisdom. They lose the sense of love and humanity. They do not only reject their spiritual dimension but also rational dimension as well as human and love. They do not only wipe out the Light but they also remove the Eye, which is means for perceiving the Light.

That is total skepticism. This condition is deeply critical and dangerous for our civilization. The current world suffers from the void of sincere love, real faith, actual commitment. We have come to the deadlock condition in which humanity and moral values have been neglected while cunning and hypocrisy have been considered as civilized manners.

For that reason, the world at the present requires the fresh blood (spiritual energy) to revive the heart. We need necessarily the bright spirit to revitalize optimism and hope for mankind nowadays and the future. We deeply are in need for awakening of human conscience in overcoming moral decadence, human disorientation, corruption, treachery, hypocrisy, insincerity, deceit, deception, despair, meaninglessness, and hopelessness.

We need a comprehensive-existential model to generate our optimism to the human capability in order to attain and apply the truth, real knowledge, wisdom, and love. We should be willing to study the perfect person who has performed successfully the proper way of life as human being.

We are required to open our minds and hearts to take into account the real religious man who has true faith, wisdom, actual commitment, and faithful love. We should be ready to start loving the person because all levels of his existence has revealed all noble abilities and characteristics of human being as vicegerent of Allah (Khalifatullah).

The person we mean in this research is Imam Husain, the grandson of the Holy Prophet Muhammad SAW. Imam Husain, the king of martyrs (sayyid ash-shuhada), sacrificed himself and his relatives as well as his companions for saving Islam from decadence and destruction, for keeping humanity from disgraceful humiliation and lasting-historical blunder. Imam Husain appeared to bear a great responsibility to protect Islamic teachings and everlasting mission for mankind once Muslim community (ummah) at his time became skeptic, hopeless, and void of human dignity. On his way to Karbala, Imam Husain said:
“This world has changed and its good has turned tail. Nothing has remained from it except a thing that is as scanty as the leftover of a cup and a mean life that is like a noxious grazing. Have you not noticed that the right is ignored and the evil is not forbidden…People are certainly the slaves of this world; religion is but a slaver on their tongues. They turn it wherever their livelihood demands. If they are examined by misfortunes, the truly religious ones will be but a few.”

The characteristic of the great sacrifice of Imam Husain is the way how he takes all his companions and relatives in his path. He released them from his allegiance and told them that all of them could leave him and go away wherever they liked so that their lives could be saved. In brief he persuaded his companions to leave his suffering path for their survival. But, in fact, his companions stood up and reiterated their faith and commitment to the Imam’s path. From this occasion, Muhammad Iqbal, an eminent poet-philosopher from Pakistan, says:
“The end of it is Husain and the beginning is Ismail”

Iqbal means that by according freedom of action to his companions and relatives, Imam Husain performed the same duty that Prophet Ibrahim (as) had performed by seeking the opinion of Ismail (as). Ibrahim (as) could have sacrificed his son without taking the opinion of his son. But by this action the son was free to express his willingness for slaughter, for the sake of God’s willing. In the same manner, Imam Husain also, by according permission to them all to leave Karbala and the companions expressed their determination to voluntarily lay down their lives, made this even a model of an authentic martyrdom, a great sacrifice.


ImageMuhammad Iqbal: “ Imam Husain is the chief of the lovers of Allah”

We can say that the path of Imam Husain is the path of love in faith and commitment. This is the main characteristic of Imam Husain’s course and teachings. He says,
“Some people worship God to gain His gifts; this is the worship of the merchants. Some worship Him to avoid His punishment; this is the worship of the slaves. Some worship Him solely to show gratitude towards Him; this is the worship of the free!”

That is why Annemarie Schimmel points out enthusiastically that Imam Husain is the Imam of the lovers and the hero of freedom. Once delivering a speech at an university in United States she, a well-known international researcher on Islamic teachings, stated explicitly
“Never expect to teach Muslim about freedom and human rights. Since they have Imam Husain, the Prophet’s beloved grandson, who sacrifices himself for saving his faith and community from oppression and humiliation of tyrant.”

ImageAnnemarie Schimel: “Imam Husayn is the mystical model for those who want to pursue the path of love through suffering and sacrifice.”

In deeper study we would find that the martyrdom of Imam Husain has been a model of suffering love as well as a model of mystical path. According to Schimmel, the theme of Husain as the mystical model for all those who want to pursue the path of love looms large in the poetry of Sufis. Shah Abdul Latif calls the martyrs of Karbala as signs of divine love. For him, suffering is a special gift for the friend of God. He says:
The earth trembles, shakes; the skies are in uproar
This is not a war, this is the manifestation of Love

Daniel Rudman (see the essay “Mysticism and Imam Husayn”) is one among scholars who undertake in depth the research of Imam Husain’s martyrdom. He says that an important facet of Islamic mysticism is the relationship between action and thought. For the Ultimate is not relegated to the interior so must be the person who seeks it. A mystic (Sufi) must not be confused with an ascetic. In this regard, the actions of Imam Husain are filled with spiritual significance.

Referring to Seyyed Hossein Nasr work, Rudman says, spirituality implies not only the essence of transcendence but also the experience of immanence in the very light of this transcendence. Because the Divine Oneness implies not only transcendence but also immanence. Nasr unveils two important aspects of the mystic and mysticism, the reliance on knowledge and symbol for God as light. The interplay between action and thought is rooted in the tradition. These specific components, Rudman says, are exemplified when examining Imam Husain.

Therefore, according to Rudman, as we will explore the events of Karbala and Imam Husain, mysticism will also be revealed. The spiritual dimension of mystical martyrdom is very important when exploring Imam Husain. Due to the pervasive nature of the subject, it is impossible to ignore one form of esotericism for the sake of another. Therefore, universal and Islamic mysticism will all be found in Imam Husain as all manners are ultimately dependent upon each other.

In relation to above-mentioned prolog, here we could state that one of the important message of Imam Husain is that he really manifests the ability of human being to embrace the truthful faith, real knowledge, and sincere love. Through his path (teachings and action) Imam Husain attempts to unveil the human ability to be committed to the faith and reason as well as the sense of humanity. Rudman continues his research result:
By conveying equal appreciation for pleasure and pain, Husain shows that he is cognizant of true reality. Only the Sufi is able to fully understand that all earthly manifestations are part of the supreme unity. In addition, as mysticism declares that man is able to have knowledge of God, Imam Husain identifies this faculty within all people. Husain demonstrates to Nasr’s assertion of wisdom as a primacy mystical path toward he realization the Divine.

Contradictory to skepticism view, Imam Husain teaches us that there is the latent ability in all of mankind to achieve knowledge on reality including Ultimate Reality, knowledge of the Divine. Imam Husain provides us with great optimism and real hope that we, homo sapiens, have ability to manifest faith, wisdom, love, and universal human values completely in practice through all different level of our existence.

Contrary to the contemporary world, which is void from demarcation of the truth from the falsehood that has brought about obscurity and relativism, Imam Husain path serves also to identify the truth and the falsehood. Abu Zaynal Abidin (see the essay “An Everlasting Instruction”) explains that Imam Husain teaches us how to signify the truth and distinguish from the falsehood. When Imam Husain is asked to pay his oath (bai’at) of allegiance to Yazid, he presents a rational exposition, worthy of consideration. He first introduces himself and then Yazid, and then he says:
“My example (who is utterly submissive to Alah) cannot give has hand to the like of Yazid (who is an open sinner)”

In short, the way of thought of Imam Husain can be described below:
Premise 1: I am manifestation of truth
Premise 2: Yazid is a manifestation of falsehood
Premise 3: A manifestation of truth cannot unite with a manifestation of falsehood
Conclusion: Hence, I cannot agree to pay the oath of allegiance to him

Rather than saying “I will not pay the oath of allegiance to Yazid”, Imam Husain says “Anyone like me does not (cannot) pay the oath of allegiance to anyone like Yazid”. By this statement, Imam Husain demonstrates his school of thought, namely, the path of rationality, necessity, clear-methodical thought, and universal-objective criterion.

Another important and obvious lessons from Imam Husain is that the universality of his teachings and path. His messages transcend the barriers of caste creed, race and religion. Murtadha Mutahhari (see the essay “The Truth about Hussain’s Revolt: Hussain – The Universalist”) declares that advocates of human rights, sociologist, reformers, theologians, all included, will find “delightful wisdom, sweet instructions, and a meaning suited to their mind”, in his martyrdom in Karbala. Muthahhari says,
Imam Husain messages is certainly not an exclusive preserve of any particular group. It embraces the entire human race. It was not a power struggle. Imam Husain persistently and explicitly expounded, “What matter to me is to ‘correct not conquer’ “ – an affirmation that he would die in the firm belief that a despot’s idiosyncrasies could never be an effective instrument of religious policies.

It is very clear what Muthahhari says is true. Look at Mahatma Gandhi, Gibran Khalil Gibran, Antonie Bara, Edward Gibbon – just to mention some non-Muslim scholars- , they are among those who admire sincerely the great sacrifice of Imam Husain. They study this tragedy and succeed to take meaningful messages and everlasting lessons from it. Gandhi says,
“I learnt from Hussein how to achieve victory while being oppressed.”

Mahatma Gandhi: “ImageI learnt from Hussein how to achieve victory while being oppressed.”

(When Gandhi initiated a historical march to protest against the oppression of the British colonialist, he took 72 people with him as a symbol of emulation and admiration for Imam Husain’s revolt to protest against Yazid’s oppression)


Meanwhile Khalil Gibran declares, “Husayn is the light that illuminates all religions”, a Christian scholar Antonie Bara states explicitly, “Imam Hussein belongs to the whole world. He is the conscience of religions”. He wrote a book “Hussain in Christian Ideology” based on his research of Imam Husain movement. In that book, he says,
“No battle in the modern and past history of mankind has earned more sympathy and admiration as well as provided more lessons than the martyrdom of Husayn in the battle of Karbala”


ImageKhalil Gibran: “Husayn is the light that illuminates all religions”


Edward Gibbon, English historian and member of parliament, acknowledges what Bara stated above. Gibbon wrote,
“In a distant age and climate, the tragic scene of the death of Hosein will awaken the sympathy of the coldest reader.” (The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, London, 1911, volume 5, p. 391-392)

The last quotation leads us to infer that the sacrifice of Imam Husain really awakens human conscience in all levels of his existence, in transcendent and immanent dimension, in thought and action realms, in faith and reason faculties, in spiritual and discursive path, in esotericism and exotericism, and in divine will and human freedom. The path of Imam Husain is able to accommodate those demands, which are extremely required by our world today. The path of Imam Husain is the victory of Islamic conscience, deepest human conscience over might of evil, over the blind skepticism.

SUMMARY

As a summary, we can assert that the sacrifice of Imam Husain in Karbala at Ashura is:
1. The Path of Meaning of Life
2. The Path of Faith and Commitment
3. The Path of Reason and Knowledge
4. The Path of Identification of the Truth
5. The Path of Love
6. The Path of Humanity
7. The Path of Morality-Character Building
8. The Path of Wisdom
9. The Path of Freedom
10. The Path of Actual Mysticism
11. The Path of Islamic Conscience

Comeback to our concern about the world’s current condition in the above-mentioned prolog, through this research in depth we necessarily expect that we could revitalize our belief and faith in our innermost ability of human being, homo sapiens, God’s vicegerent. Since as we said in the above:
The survival of the present-day world, which is in serious danger, is not because that we lack humanistic teachings. Rather, we lack faith in human ability to attain and apply those teachings.


C. VISION AND PURPOSE OF THE RESEARH SEMINAR


VISION:

The Martyrdom of Imam Husain is The Greatest Sacrifice that always inspires humankind for defending faith, truth, justice, freedom, morality, and humanity


PURPOSES:

1. To understand in depth the reasons and aim objectives of the great sacrifice of Imam Husain in Karbala at Ashura
2. To discover the great and lasting messages of the martyrdom of Imam Husain
3. To elaborate deeper meanings of the martyrdom of Imam Husain
4. To apply the messages of and lessons from Imam Husain’s sacrifice for fostering social justice, moral values, humanity, freedom, and spirituality.
5. To introduce and publish the results of scientific research and seminar in part of program of awakening of human conscience at the present


TITLE:
The Awakening of Human Conscience:
The Everlasting Lessons from the Sacrifice of Imam Husain for Our Civilization Today


D. LIST OF TOPICS OF RESEARCH PAPERS

There are 17 topics that can be categorized into three groups of studies, they are:
I. Historical-socio-cultural Studies
II. Religious (Tradition) – theological- moral Studies
III. Philosophical- sufistic -ethical Studies


I. Historical-socio-cultural Studies
1. Descriptive-historical Analysis of the Karbala Tragedy
2. Socio-political Analysis of the Karbala Tragedy
3. Socio-cultural Analysis of the Karbala Tragedy
4. The Genealogy Study of The Great Sacrifice of Imam Husain from The Prophet Ibrahim
5. The Effect of Imam Husain’s Martyrdom for Saving Islam from Distortion and Destruction
6. The Imam Husain’s Martyrdom in Indonesia Literary and Tradition

II. Religious (Islamic Tradition)–theological-moral Studies
7. The Spirit and Core Messages of The Quranic Teachings in relation to the Martyrdom of Imam Husain
8. The Martyrdom of Imam Husain in the Perspective of the Doctrine of Amar Ma’ruf Nahy Munkar
9. The Characteristics of Imam Husain as the Greatest Martyr (Sayyidus Syuhada) and the Saviour of Islam
10. A Theological Study on the Karbala Tragedy
11. The Movement and Martyrdom of Imam Husain as a Great and Lasting Lesson for Morality (Human Character Building)

III. Philosophical-sufistic-ethical Studies
12. The Martyrdom of Imam Husain as a Supreme Sacrifice for Maintaining the Idea of Holy and Authenticity in faith: A Phenomenological –existential study
13. The Martyrdom of Imam Husain as a Great Sacrifice for Humanity and Civilization
14. A Psycho-sufistic Interpretation on the Holy Sacrifice of Imam Husain
15. The Imam Husain’s Martyrdom as a Necessary Decision in the Perspective of Human’s Responsibility (Amanat, Truth) as God’s vicegerent (khalifatullah)
16. The Teaching and Meaning of Islam (total submission) and Martyrdom in the Perspective of Mysticism
17. The Philosophical Account and Judgment on Moral Teachings and Messages of the Martyrdom of Imam Husain as


E. TERM OF REFERENCES OF EACH TOPIC

I. Historical-socio-cultural Studies

1. Descriptive-historical Analysis of the Karbala Tragedy

This topic is introduced to explain historical background the Karbala tragedy in comprehensive and systematic manner.
· To describe in details the historical context of the Karbala tragedy
· To describe and elaborate each important event and occasion from the death of Mu’awiya, Yazid force to ask Imam Husain to give allegiance (bay’at), the journey Imam Husain from Madinah to Makkah
· To explore each important event and lesson from Imam Husain’s journey from Makkah to Karbala (8 Dzulhijjah to 10 Muharram 61 H)
· To elucidate important-historical even per minute the massacre of Imam Husain and his companions and family in Karbala
· To analyze the great-everlasting messages and sermons of Imam Husain during his journey (Madinah to Makkah and Makkah to Karbala)

2. Socio-political Analysis of the Karbala Tragedy
This subject is arranged to study social-political background the massacre of Imam Husain and his companions and relatives in Karbala.
· To investigate the political condition during Mu’awiya reign in which human rights were violated and denied as well as terrorism spread in the Muslim community
· To analyze in political perspective why Mu’awiya had a strong sense of hatred towards the family of the Holy Prophet as well as having much effort to harm them for twenty years
· To explore why Mu’awiyah appointed his son, Yazid, as his successor to take the Islamic caliphate
· To elaborate the practice and ways of paying oath of allegiance (bay’at) to Yazid
· To discover the reasons why Imam Husain moved to Makkah from Madinah as well as from Madinah to Kufah (in fact, to Karbala) though he has known the betrayal of Kufah people indicated by the death of his deputies (Muslim bin Aqil and Hani)

3. Socio-cultural Analysis of the Karbala Tragedy
This theme is designed to focus on socio-cultural background and context of the massacre of Imam Husain and his companions and relatives
· To explore the way of thought and mental attitude of the majority of Muslim community when Mu’awiya and Yazid forced them to pay oath of allegiance (bay’at) to Yazid.
· To explain the meaning and implication of allegiance to the tyrannical rulers. There is a famous poem that reflects the cruel situation: “I do not know what happened to the Muslim men; or how Yazid happened to be the king amongst them”.
· To expose character and psychology of tyrants as denoted by Mu’awiya and Yazid
· To discover the lessons from Imam Husain movement how he taught the Muslim people not to be surrendered disgracefully by slavery of rulers
· To explore the idea of freedom and dignity of mankind that was initiated by Imam Husain and his companions and relatives in their age

4. The Genealogy Study of The Great Sacrifice of Imam Husain from The Prophet Ibrahim as
This topic is presented to undertake a genealogical study of the great sacrifice of Imam Husain that has a chain of holy sacrifice to the tradition of Prophet Ibrahim as.
· To describe in systematic way the holy chain of great sacrifice from the Prophet Ibrahim as through his descendant the Prophet Ismail as.
· To explain what Iqbal means by his poems: “The end of it was Husain; while its beginning was Ismail”
· To explain the meaning of the verse of the Holy Quran ..” And (remember) when his Lord tried Ibrahim with certain words, he fulfilled them. He said: Surely I will make you an Imam of men. Ibrahim said: And of my offspring? My covenant does not include the unjust, said He.” (QS 2:124)
· To explore the relation and spiritual chain of the family Ibrahim AS and the Promised Last Apostle Muhammad SAW and the Twelve Imams
· To elaborate the fact that the martyrdom of Imam Husain was prophesied by the scriptural books of Hindu, Zoroaster, Jew (The Old Testament) and Christianity (The New Testament)


5. The Effect of Imam Husain’s Martyrdom for Saving Islam from Distortion and Destruction
The purpose of this topic is to study the effect of the martyrdom of Imam Husain in preserving the authentic Islamic teachings and the true spirit of Islam as well as the dignity of Islamic history
· To explore the questions what the benefits of the martyrdom of Imam Husain for Islam and humanity
· To elaborate the main aim and objectives of Imam Husain’s revolt in the context of rescuing Islamic teachings and civilization from the deviation
· To bring up the fact that by the time Imam Husain’s revolt the Islamic community suffered from various disease in different domains (oppression, nepotism, injustice, and violation of human rights in social domain; corruption, bribery, cheating, moral disorientation, and indifference/passivity of the community in ethical domain; distortion of the sunnah, fabrication of hadith, the ruling king’s misleading propaganda, and deviations of Islamic laws and doctrines in religious domain)
· To reveal the reasons why Imam Husain took his wife (Saribanu), sister (Zainab al-Kubra), children (Ali Zainal ‘Abidin Al-Sajjad, Fatimah, Sukayna, Ali Akbar), brothers (Al-‘Abbas, Ja’far), nephews (Al-Qasim, Abdullah) to go to Karbala
· To analyze the speeches of Lady Zainab and Ali bin Husain Al-Sajjad in some events in the court of Yazid and Ibn Ziyad, as well as in front of Kufa and Damascus people

6. The Imam Husain’s Martyrdom in Indonesia Literary and Tradition
This issue covers the description and explanatory account on Imam Husain’s martyrdom in Karbala at Ashura in literary and tradition of Indonesia’s regions and provinces.
· To describe in depth the Ashura processions that become part of the Aceh culture
· To analyze the content and meaning of Hamzah Fansuri’s literary about Imam Husain’s martyrdom
· To elaborate the “Tabuik” tradition in Pariaman, West Sumatera as well as in Bengkulu
· To analyze the Java’s literary and tradition concerning Ashura processions
· To study the great epic of Imam Husain in other regions of Indonesia such as Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara, Maluku archipelagos


II. Religious (Islamic Tradition)–theological-moral Studies
7. The Spirit and Core Messages of The Quranic Teachings in relation to the Martyrdom of Imam Husain

This subject is presented to study in depth and comprehensive manner the supreme martyrdom of Imam Husain in accordance with the Quranic teachings
· To reveal the spirit and core messages of the Holy Quran for mankind
· To explain the Quranic teachings about the doctrines of amar ma’ruf nahi munkar and jihad in relation to the Imam Husain’s revolt
· To analyze the accordance of Quranic doctrine of shahadah with the Imam Husain’s martyrdom
· To analyze the concordance of Quranic teachings about the doctrine of ummat-imamat with regard to the Imam Husain movement
· To search and identify the verses of the Holy Quran that have correspondence with the great epic event of martyrdom of Imam Husain

8. The Martyrdom of Imam Husain in the Perspective of the Doctrine of Amar Ma’ruf Nahy Munkar
This topic is presented to study the Imam Husain’ revolt in the perspective of the doctrine of amar ma’ruf nahy munkar in elaborative way and explanatory description
? To analyze the speech of Imam Husain, Wa innama kharajtu li talabi-l islahi fi ummaati jaddi…. ”I have not arisen for the purpose exuberance, arrogance, corruption or oppression, but to reform my grandfather’s (The Prophet Muhammad P.B.U H.) Ummah. I want to promote virtue and denounce the evil (amar ma’ruf wa nahy munkar), and take the course of my father (Imam Ali bin Abi Thalib) and grand-father”
· To expose the social-moral-religious conditions by the time Imam Husain rose against despotic, invalid ruler Yazid
· To explore systematically the reasons why Imam Husain had strong determination to go to Karbala although he knew that he would be killed
· To find out the root causes of the rise of Imam Husain since the beginning Umayyad caliphate
· To explain why Imam Husain rejected Ibn ‘Abbas idea to cancel his journey to Karbala and to escape the troops of Yazid

9. The Characteristics of Imam Husain as the Greatest Martyr (Sayyidus Syuhada) and the Saviour of Islam
The purpose of this subject is to elaborate and give explanatory description the characteristics of Imam Husain as the Greatest Martyr and the Saviour of Islam
· To describe a brief biography of Imam Husain as well as his sayings
· To explore the meaning of the remark of the Holy Prophet, “Husayn is from me and I am from Husayn. Allah loves him who loves Husayn. Husayn is the son of the Prophet and father of the Imams”.
· To elaborate the characteristics of Imam Husain as the grandson of the Holy Prophet, the son of Imam Ali bin Abi Thalib, and the third Imam of Ahlul-Bait
· To explain the characteristics of Imam Husain’s revolt: the main purpose, the method, and the way of communication (organization building)
· To elaborate the characteristics of Imam Husain’s relatives and companions (including al- Hurr Riyahi) who committed to accompany the Imam’s martyrdom

10. A Theological Study on the Karbala Tragedy
This topic is presented to analyze the Karbala tragedy from theological standpoint and background
· To explain the unique position of Imam Husain (as a successor of the Holy Prophet) in saving Islamic teachings
· To explore the root causes of indifference attitude (apathy, being passive) of the Islamic community towards injustice, terrorism, corruption, oppression, and distortion of Islamic teachings conducted by Mu’awiya and Yazid
· To analyze the saying of Iman Husain, “Some people worship God to gain His gifts; this is the worship of the merchants. Some worship Him to avoid His punishment; this is the worship of the slaves. Some worship Him solely to show gratitude towards Him; this is the worship of the free!”
· To expose why some companions of the Holy Prophet such as Abdullah ibn Umar and Ibn ‘Abbas did not pursue the path of Imam Husain’s revolt although they knew Imam Husain was on the right path
· To explore the teaching of taqdir and ikhtiar (free will) in relation to the Karbala tragedy

11. The Movement and Martyrdom of Imam Husain as a Great and Lasting Lesson for Morality (Human Character Building)
This subject focuses on taking profound lessons from the movement and martyrdom of Imam Husain in Karbala for morality and instruction of human character building
· To explore in depth the reasons of the rise of Imam Husain along with his relatives and companions in moral perspective
· To expose the prevailing morality in Muslim society by the time the dictatorial kings of Mu’wiya and Yazid occupied Islamic caliphate
· To explain the meaning of Imam Husain’s remark: This world has changed and its good has turned tail. Have you not noticed that the right is ignored and the evil is not forbidden? People are certainly the slaves of this world; religion is but a slaver on their tongues.
· To expose those who acknowledged the true path of Imam Husain but they in fact surrendered to Yazid troops (Ibn Ziyad) to battle against the Imam and his companions and relatives.
· To expose the causal factors why Kufa people betrayed Imam Husain
· To bring up the defection of a professional soldier al-Hurr bin Yazid Riyahi to move from the side of Ibn Ziyad and Yazid to the side of Imam Husain as the victory of Islamic conscience over the force of evil, as the victory of human dignity and character over the slavery and humiliation


III. Philosophical-sufistic-ethical Studies

12. The Martyrdom of Imam Husain as a Supreme Sacrifice for Maintaining the Idea of Holy and Authenticity in faith: A Phenomenological–existential study
The purpose of this subject is to delineate the significance of the martyrdom and sacrifice of Imam Husain for sustaining the idea of holy and authenticity in faith and religious belief.
· To bring up the importance of keeping the idea of holy and authenticity in faith and reason for religious people
· To explore, through phenomenological-existential approach, how Imam Husain taught us to be concerned with authenticity, sincerity, and dignity as human being as well as religious man; for example, an event of the Imam’s sermon on the night of Ashura in which Imam let all his companions to leave him.
· To reveal the profound messages and lessons that we can take from the sacrifice of Imam Husain in the term of authenticity what called ‘religious experience’
· To identify the self-sacrifice of Imam Husain and his companions and relatives as one of the supreme and real religious experience on which we should pay attention
· To signify the importance of sacrifice, suffering love, and holy commitment for supporting religious belief and life

13. The Martyrdom of Imam Husain as a Great Sacrifice for Humanity and Civilization
This topic is designed to elaborate the importance of the martyrdom of Imam Husain as a supreme sacrifice for maintaining human values and dignity.
· To discover and bring up the characteristics of Imam Husain’s revolt as the universalist-humanist ones
· To explain the reasons behind the rise of Imam Husain in the perspective of humanity
· To explore and identify the self sacrifice of Imam Husain as one of the supreme endeavour for mankind and civilization
· To explain the remark of Mahatma Gandhi, “.. I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of Hussain the scrupulous regard for pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission to save Islam. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle ..”
· To provide the reasons why Gibran Khalil Gibran says, Husayn is the light that illuminates all religions

14. A Psycho-sufistic Interpretation on the Holy Sacrifice of Imam Husain
The purpose of this subject matter is to present an interpretation of psychological-mysticism about the holy sacrifice of Imam Husain
· To describe the self-sacrifice of Imam Husain as the spiritual journey
· To explore and identify the process of Imam Husain’s revolt in the term of purification and perfection of the soul
· To explain in depth psychological-sufistic interpretation on a famous saying of Imam Husain: Death with dignity is better than life with humiliation.
· To bring up and identify the self-sacrifce of Imam Husain as a mode of real annihilation of ego and the self
· To bring up and identify the path of Imam Husain is the real model of Islamic mysticism, the actual Islamic mysticism
· To elucidate the meaning of Imam Husain’s saying, (O Allah).. I have left the entire world for the sake of You and I have orphaned my children so that I see You

15. The Imam Husain’s Martyrdom as a Necessary Decision in the Perspective of Human’s Responsibility (Amanat, Truth) as God’s vicegerent (khalifatullah)
This topic is presented to elucidate the fact that the Imam Husain’s martyrdom is a historical necessity in the context of human’s responsibility as God’s vicegerent
· To analyze the Imam Husain’s statement of rejection to take the oath of allegiance to Yazid
· To study the prevailing moral-socio-political-religious situation by the time Imam Husain’s revolt would be necessary
· To elaborate deeper the way and process of making decision Imam Husain pursued such that the martyrdom must be a historical necessity in the perspective of his responsibility as the Imam, religious leader
· To analyze the profound sermons and speeches of Imam Husain concerning his fulfillment of the true function of spiritual leader, the path to respond the reality
· To bring up the Imam Husain’s martyrdom as the path of identification of the truth for defending human responsibility and dignity

16. The Teaching and Meaning of Islam (total submission) and Martyrdom in the Perspective of Mysticism
The purpose of this subject is to understand in depth the martyrdom of Imam Husain as the holy sacrifice in the perspective of mysticism, particularly Islamic mysticism
· To reveal the greatest insight provided by mystical approach into the historical and immortal contribution of Imam Husain
· To introduce and define the meaning of mysticism as the path of love and the path of knowledge as well as the universal qualities of a mystic (Sufi)
· To identify the mystical qualities and characteristics of Imam Husain
· To delineate the generic meaning of Islam as a total submission and its relation to the practice of the self-sacrifice of Imam Husain in Karbala; relationship between being Muslim (submission to God) and being martyr (submission to God trough self sacrifice)
· To explain the remark of Annemaries Schimmel, Imam Husayn is the mystical model for those who want to pursue the path of love through suffering and sacrifice. He is the imam of the lovers.
· To explore the remark of Antoane Bara, Imam Hussein belongs to the whole world. He is the conscience of religions
· To establish Imam Husain is an exemplification of the real Islamic mysticism and a great mystical figure; to explain the Imam Husain’s saying, (O Allah).. I have left the entire world for the sake of You and I have orphaned my children so that I see You. So if I am cut into pieces fro the love of You, my heart would lean to none other than You


17. The Philosophical Account and Judgment on Moral Teachings and Messages of the Martyrdom of Imam Husain as
This topic is presented to study and explore moral teachings and messages of Imam Husain in philosophical explanation and assessment.
· To study the sermons and speeches of Imam Husain concerning moral commitment and teachings
· To explore the way of thought of Imam Husain in ethics. What are the principles of moral values that Imam Husain puts forward? How does he take moral decision?
· To study in ethical judgment the reasons behind Imam Husain’s decision to rise against despotic ruler Yazid through the practice of self sacrifice, being martyr
· To provide philosophical account on the significance and worth of the exercise of self-sacrifice for mankind
· To scrutinize the possibility of applying Imam Husain’s moral view becomes an established school of thought in ethics at the present-day world

H. BIBLIOGRAPHY

Each writer is provided with the list of references, which are required for undertaking their research. There are two kinds of references:
(1) References that are available in ICAS library (one book is sent to each writer, i.e, the work of Antoane Bara, The Saviour; Husain dalam Kristianitas, Citra-Jakarta, 2007). The writers deserve to use this collections once they visit to ICAS library
(2) References in softcopies (the committee sends all writers a CD that contains 10 books and 60 essays; some of them are printed and sent to writers)

1. List of References (available in ICAS library)

Arabic and Persian edition
1. Abd al-Husain, Ayatullah, An-Nahdah Al-Husainiyah, al-Dar al-Islamiyah, Beirut,1988
2. Al-Aqqad, Abbas Mahmud, Abu Ash-Shuhada Husain bin Ali, al-Majma’ al-Alami li at-Taqrib baina al-Madhahib al-Islamiyah, Teheran, 2004
3. Al-Ghifari, Abd ar-Rasul, Karamat al-Imam al-Husaini, Lebanon, al-Dar al-Islamiyah, 2002
4. Ash-Shushtary, Syeikh Ja’far, Masa’ib al-Imam al-Husain, Lebanon, al-Dar al-Islamiyah li At-Taba’at wa An-Nashr wa at-Tauji’, 2005
5. Farhi, Sayid Ali, Nahdatu Husain, Qum, 1343 H
6. Hamdani, Ahmad Sabri, Adab Husain; Hamasatuhu, Qum, Muassasat an-Nashr al-Islamy
7. Ibrahim, Muhammad, Barasy Tarikh Ashura’, 1366 H
8. Majmu’at min al-Bahithin, Dirasat wa Buhuth Mu’tamar Al-Imam al-Husain,
9. Majmu’at min al-Bahitsin, AL-Imam al-Husain, Suriah, 1424 H
10. Nuruddin, Sayyid Hasan, Ashura fi al-Adab al-Amily al-Mu’asir, Lebanon, al-Dar al-Islamiyah, 1988
11. Qummi, Syeikh Abbas, Waqi’atu Karbala, Qum, 1382 H
12. Rohnamo, Zainal Abidin, Zendegony Imam Husain, Teheran, 1376 H
13. Syahdi, Sayyid Ja’far, Qiyamu Husain, Qum, 1343 H
14. Syamsuddin, Mohammad Mahdi, Thaurat al-Husain fi Wijdan ash- Sha’bi, Beirut, Dar at-Ta’aruf li al-Matbu’at, 1981
15. —————————————–, ‘Ashura’, Al-Dar al- Islamiyah, Berut, 1982
16. Yazdi, Muhammad Taqi Misbah, Båriqah min Samåi Karbala, Beirut, al-Darr al-Ma’arif, 2003

English Edition
17. Ali, S.V. Mir Ahmed, Husain; The Saviour of Islam, Ansariyan Publications, Qum 2005
18. Al-Jibouri, Yasin T, Karbala and Beyond, Ansariyan Publicatiosn, Qum 2002
19. Qummi, Syaikh Abbas, Nafasul Mahmoom, Ansariyan Publications, Qum, 2005
20. Rizvi, Sayyid Saeed Akhtar, Understanding Karbala, Ansariyan Publications, Qum, 2006
21. Zakir, Tears and Tributes, Ansariyan Publications, Qum, 2004


Indonesian edition
22. Bara, Antoane, The Saviour; Husain dalam Kristianitas, Jakarta, Citra, 2007
23. Jalali, A. H, Tragedi 10 Muharram; Sebuah Narasi, Jakarta, Al-Huda, 2007
24. Labib, Muhsin, Husain; Sang Ksatria Langit, Penerbit Lentera, Jakarta, 2004
25. Munfarid, A.N, Karbala, Mitra Zaman, Bandung, 2005
26. Thawus, Duka Padang Karbala, Jakarta, 1999


2. List of References (Softcopies)

10 Books

1. Abd Al- Razzaq al- Muqarram, Maqtal_al-Husain: Martyrdom epic of Imam al-Husain
2. Abu Muhammad Zaynu’l Abidin, An Everlasting Instruction-Imam Husayn’s Journey to Makka
3. Ali Husain Jalali, Karbala & Ashura
4. Daniel Rudman, Mysticism and Imam Husayn
5. Dr. Ibrahim Ayati, A Probe Into the History of Ashura
6. Dr. Mahmoud Ayoub, The Martyr of Karbala
7. Imam Muhammad Shirazi, Husain-The Sacrifice for mankind
8. Imam Husain-Quotes about and by him
9. Muharram (from hujjat-workshop)
10. Ziyarat_Ashura_Commentary

List of 60 Essays
8 Essays in Bahasa Indonesia:
1. Abdullah Yusuf Ali, Imam Husain dan Kesyahidannya
2. Annemarie Schimmel, Karbala dan Imam Husain dalam Kesusastraan
3. Husein Rahasia Kekekalan Semua Agama
4. DR. Asqar Furuqi, Imam Husain dan Air di Karbala
5. Nasihat-nasihat suci Imam Husai A.S
6. Peran Imam Husain Melestarikan Ajaran Islam
7. Revolusi Imam Husain a.s
8. Rute Imam Husain dari Mekah ke Karbala

52 Essays in Englsih:
1. Sayyid Saeed Akhtar Rizvi, A Fiction- The Fast of ‘Ashura
2. Dr. Ali Shariati, After Shahadat An excerpt from Jihad and Shahadat
3. Antoine Bara, Imam Hussein belongs to the whole world
4. Martyr Murtada Mutahhari, Ashura – History and Popular Legend
5. Ashura – Martyrdom of Imam Husayn
6. Mullah Bashir Rahim, Dhakiri
7. Did Imam al-Husain (AS) Know He Would Be killed
8. Lynda Clarke, Elegy (Marthiya) on Husayn- Arabic and Persian
9. Every day is Ashura and every land is Kerbala
10. Mulla Bashir Rahim, From Ibrahim to Husain, Mina to karbala
11. Mahatma Gandhi, I learnt from Husayn how to be wronged and be a winner
12. Husain (as) In the Eyes of Muslim and Non-Muslim Scholars
13. Hussain – the Universalist
14. Sayyid Wahid Akhtar, Karbala’, an Enduring Paradigm of Islamic Revivalism [1]
15. Bashir Rahim, Karbala- The Islamic Conscience
16. Karbala- The Everlasting Stand
17. Annemarie Schimmel, Karbala and the Imam Husayn
18. Ramzan Sabir, Karbala – Chain of Events
19. Jahane Rumi (Shah Ast Hussain)
20. Iqbal, Islam and Karbala
21. Iman Hussein Revolution, Reasons and Motives
22. S.J Hussain, Imams – Clear and Coherent Policy
23. Imam Husayn ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib (peace be upon him)
24. Abdullah Yusuf Ali, Imam Husain And His Martyrdom
25. Imam Husain (AS)- A brief Description and Analysis
26. Hussain in the eyes of Humanity
27. Dr. Mahmoud. Ayoub, The Excellences of the Imam Husayn in Sunni Hadith Tradition
28. Annemarie Schimmel, The Encyclopedia of Religion
29. H. E. Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah, The Connotations of Ashoura
30. Mulla Bashir Rahim, The Cause
31. Zakir, The Betrayal in Kufa An excerpt from Tears and Tributes
32. Tawil of Karbala
33. Some Traditions on Imam al-Husain (AS)
34. Significance of Ashura
35. Sheikh Al-Ameeni ,Our Husayn (a), Mourning him and his Karbala
36. Sheikh Al-Ameeni ,Our Husain, Mourning him and his Karbala
37. Seyyid Saeed Akhtar Rizvi, Martyrdom of Imam Husayn and the Muslim and Jewish Calendars
38. Bashir Rahim, Karbala-The Cause
39. Karbala, the Islamic Conscience
40. Allama Tabatabaei, Were the policies of Imam Hasan and Imam Husayn (by Allama Tabatabaei)
41. Too many Yazids and no Imam Husain in the Ummah today
42. The-tragedy-of-KarbalaI-I
43. Zakir, The Youths of Karbala
44. Shaheed Murtadha Mutahhari, The Truth about Hussain’s Revolt
45. The Tragedy of Karbala
46. The Massacre of Karbala
47. The Martyrs of Karbala-The Kind of Men They Were
48. Shaykh Al-Mufid, The Journey of Imam Husayn
49. S.H.M Jafri, The Imam Husayn’s Concepts of Religion and Leadership
50. Mulla Bashir Rahim,The History and Philosophy of Aza of Imam Husayn (a)
51. The Great Tragedy of Karbala
52. The Glorious Message of Ashura

I. LIST OF WRITERS

There are 21 participants who take part in this research. They are:
1. Prof. Dr. Jalaluddin Rakhmat
2. Prof. Dr. M. Amin Abdullah
3. Prof. Dr. Mulyadhi Kartanegara
4. Prof. Dr. Husni Rahim
5. Prof. Dr. Ridwan Lubis
6. Prof. Dr. Amsal Bachtiar
7. Dr. Abdul Hadi W.M
8. Dr. Haidar Bagir
9. Dr. Seyyed Mohsen Tabatabaei
10. Dr. Anies Baswedan
11. Dr. Yudi Latif
12. Dr. Ihsan Ali Fauzi
13. Dr. Alef Theria Wasim
14. Husein Shahab, MA
15. Husain Heriyanto, MHum
16. Muhsin Labib, MA
17. Ibrahim Muharam, MA
18. Husein Al-Kaff, MA
19. Musa Kazhim
20. Edwin Arifin, MA
21. Gerardette Philips, MA

J. THE ORGANIZING COMMITTEE

Advisor: Seyyed Mohsen Tabatabei (Director of ICAS Jakarta)
Chairman: Husain Heriyanto (Head of Research Department of ICAS Jakarta)
Secretary: Aan Rukmana
Supporting staff: Ai Fatimah Nur Fuad, Ahmad Samantho, Syamsul Bima, Saifuddin


K. THE PROGRAM OF WORKSHOP

The research seminar (workshop) will be held on Saturday, 12 April 2008.
The venue (3 alternatives):
(1) Campus of ICAS Jakarta
(2) Campus of Paramadina University, Jakarta
(3) Campus of State Islamic University Syarif Hidayatulah, Jakarta

Timetable

12 – 30 November 2007: Searching and collecting references, books, and papers through buying, borrowing, browsing, copying, and bookbinding

7 – 17 November 2007: Arranging the draft proposal of the research seminar

7 – 30 November 2007: Holding discussion and meetings with several scholars, lecturers about the topics, timetable, list of writers

21 Nov. – 22 Dec. 2007: Doing research in depth along with arranging the final proposal of the research seminar as well as Term of References (TOR) for each topic of paper (17 topics) along with its expectation, scope, purposes

17 Nov. – 22 Dec. 2007: Seeking the writers’ confirmation to take part in research

22 – 26 Dec. 2007: Printing and bookbinding of the proposal

26 – 29 December 2007: Sending official letter calling for papers to writers

2 Jan. – 25 Feb. 2008 Monitoring the activity of writing papers including providing writers with references are required

25 February 2008: The Deadline of submission of papers

25 Feb. – 8 March 2008: The collection and selection of papers

2 Feb – 29 March 2008: Organizing all preparations are required in holding the seminar (bookbinding of collection of papers, printing brochure, banner, the venue)

8 March 2008: Sending invitation letter to selected writers for participating in workshop

12 April 2008: Holding the workshop

14 April – 10 May 2008: The submission of revised and improved papers

12 – 31 May 2008: The process of editing and proofing of collected papers in preparation of publishing books as well as seeking cooperation with publisher

June 2008: Publishing the book entitled The Awakening of Human Conscience: the Everlasting Lessons from the Sacrifice of Iman Husain for Our Civilization Today.*** (Prepared by Husein Heriyanto & Ahmad Samantho

http://www.icas-indonesia.org

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