Category Archives: KARBALA The Beaming light

The revolution of Husayn (as)

In the month of Muharram 61 AH (approximately, the 20 of October 680 AD), an event took place in Iraq at a place known as Karbala on the bank of the river Euphrates. A large army which had been mobilized by the Umayyad regime besieged a group of Shi’a numbering less than a hundred and put them under pressure to pay allegiance to the Khalifat of the time and submit to his authority. The small group resisted and a severe battle took place in which they were all killed.
The leader of the small band of men who were martyred in Karbala was Husayn (as), son of Ali bin Abi Talib (as) and grandson of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sal), the Seal of the Prophets. Husayn (as) was the son of Fatima (as) the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad (sal). The Holy Prophet Muhammad (sal) once said regarding his grandson: “Husayn is from me and I am from Husayn. May Allah love whoever loves Husayn.”
Notes : Ibn Majah: Sunan, Hadith 144.
As well: “(Hasan and Husayn are) the chief youths of Paradise.”
Notes : Ibn Maja, Sunan, Vol. 1, p.44, No. 118.
And: “He who has loved Hasan and Husayn has loved me and he who has hated them has hated me.”
Notes : Ibn Maja, Sunan, Vol. 1, p. 51, No. 143.
Kaffir Yazid was the son of kaffir Mu’awiyya and grandson of kaffir Abu Sufyan – the arch-enemy of the Prophet Muhammad (sal). Mas’udi writes that Yazid was a pleasure-seeking person, given to drunkenness and filthy living. Small wonder that Husayn’s response to Yazid’s governor, when asked to pay allegiance to Yazid was, “We are the household of the Prophethood, the source of Messengership, the descending-place of the Angels, through us Allah had began (showering Hu’s favours) and with us Hu has perfected (Hu’s favours), whereas Yazid is a sinful person, a drunkard, the killer of innocent people and one who openly indulges in sinful acts. A person like me can never pledge allegiance to a person like him…”
Notes : Sayyid ibn Ta’us: Maqtalu’l Husayn, pp.10-11
The revolution of Husayn (as) was an Islamic movement spearheaded by one of the greatest leaders of Islam. The principles and laws of Islam demanded that Husayn (as) act to warn the Ummah of the evil situation which it was in, and to stand in the way of the deviating ruler. As Husayn (as) himself remarked when he left Madina for the last time, “I am not rising (against Yazid) as an insolent or an arrogant person, or a mischief-monger or tyrant. I have risen (against Yazid) as I seek to reform the Ummah of my grandfather. I wish to bid the good and forbid the evil.”
Notes : Al-Khatid al-Khuwarazmi: Maqtalu’l Husayn ,vol.1, p.88
 
“I am not leaving (from Medina) as a rebellion, oppressor and transgressor, instead my purpose is to reform the nation (Ummah) of my grandfather. I wish to reform the nation (Ummah) by the method of Amr Bil Maroof and Nahi Anil Munkar. It is not that I am the first person who is adopting this method to reform a nation, before me my great grandfather and father both adopted this method. I desire to follow their character (Seerah) of doing Amr Bil Maroof and Nahi Anil Munkar for reforming the nation (Ummah)”.Imam Hussein (a.s.)

On the day of Ashura, Imam Hussein (a.s.) revived great human values, attracted his companions towards them and displayed them to the camp of enemies in form of patience, steadfastness and forbearance. His army- which in terms of numbers was countable on fingers -portrayed attributes and qualities which dominated millions on the battlefield. His companions did not fight for worldly pleasures, but for the betterment of the Muslim nation (Ummah) by preventing the message of Prophet Muhammed (s.a.w.w.) from being wiped out by the likes of Muawiyya and Yazid

www.alqaem.org

The Caravan of Pride

The Caravan of Pride (Mawkeb-ul Abaa) is an eye-opening movie which skilfully portrays the heart wrenching series of events that unfolded after the martyrdom of Imam Hussain. After the massacre which took place on the plains of Karbala, the remaining members of the Family of the Holy Prophet (saw), who were not killed in the war, were taken captive and paraded in a humiliating and degrading fashion from Kufa (Iraq) to Shaam (Syria).

After the Caravan were paraded through the most difficult of conditions, underwent the most excruciating pain and were afflicted with the greatest of torments, they were finally brought to Yazids Palace in Damascus, Syria. It was here, in the very stronghold of Yazid, that the light of Truth pierced through the dark veils of ignorance Satan had thrown over the eyes of the Muslim masses, it was here, under the eternally damned eyes of the tyrant Yazid, that Syeda Zainab, the daughter of the ever victorious Lion of Allah, Ali ibne abi-Talib, delivered a unparalleled, pivotal and crucial sermon which awoke the people of Damascus from their deep slumber of heedlessness and shook the foundation of the Umayyad Dynasty, sending it crumbling to the ground. It was here, that Imam Zain ul-Abideen, in such magnificent words of eloquence, informed the people of Damascus who exactly it was they were oppressing by telling them the relationship he holds with the Holy Prophet, his great grandfather. Thus was the revolution of Imam Hussain completed, a revolution against injustice, a revolution against tyranny, a revolution seeking honour over humiliation, truth over falsehood, courage over fright, righteousness over immorality, knowledge over ignorance, a revolution whose shockwaves continue to resonate thousands of years later, and a revolution, an eternal stand against corruption, which proves to be the source of inspiration for humanity at whole…

Muharram An Idea Of Truth

 Moinuddin Chisti was referring of course to Hazrat Imam Hussain, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammed (s.a.w)
   Shah ast Hussain , Baadshah ast Hussain
     Deen ast Hussain, Deen panah ast Hussain
     Sar dad no daad dast dar dast-e-Yezid
     Haq ke bena la -ila ast Hussain .”
     Loosely translated , the couplet would mean:
    ‘ A rular is Hussain , an emperor is Hussain.
     Faith is Husain , guardian of faith is Hussain .
     He offered his head and not the hand to Yezid.
     Truly, Allal’s true mirror of faith is Hussain ‘.

The Daughters of the Holy Prophet(s.a.w.a.) in the Courts and the Market

The Daughters of the Holy Prophet(s.a.w.a.) in the Courts and the Market

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Kufa was the capital of Iraq and the capital of Hazrat Ali’s (a.s.). It was also a place of residence of Hazrat Ali’s (a.s.) friends and partisans. The walls and doors of Kufa were familiar with the eloquence of Hazrat Ali (a. s.). Janabe Zainab (a.s.) lived here as the daughter of the ruler. The women used to greet her as ‘the daughter of Ameerul Momeneen’ and ‘the daughter of Rasool Allah’. She was an extremely respected figure of the city. Today she was brought as a captive in this city. Those who had respected her were looking at her as a tragic spectacle. Those who greeted her were taunting at her. She did not have chadar over her head, and she was seated on the bare back of a camel. Instead of feeling remorse on the killing of the son of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) they were celebrating with joy. On the one hand such inhuman behavior of the masses and on the other hand the pain of sitting on un­saddled camels while they were veil less, and led by the heads of the loved ones atop the point of spears, with a group of thirstily wailing children, chained and manacled Imam Sajjad (a.s.) on top of all hordes of onlookers, who were ridiculing at this pathetic sight. Whenever afflicted ones are ridiculed their afflictions are multiplied. In such conditions should some­one have probed into the heart of Janabe Zainab (a.s.). It is difficult to raise the head in such hordes of calamities leave alone delivering sermons. While effective sermons have certain conditions, like the speaker should not be under any mental strain and should be in a relaxed mood. He should not be tormented by hunger and thirst, nor should he be under stress of sorrow and pain. None of these conditions were present here. Hunger and thirst were beyond any limit, the speaker was under all sorts of emotional and physical strains. The children were crying, the atmosphere was hostile; every glance was full of hatred. But here the speaker was inherited with the qualities of eloquence from her father. When she spoke, she shook the hearts of the ruthless killers. Her words penetrated the hearts of the listeners, their eyes were moistened. The mourn­ing voices turned into sounds of groaning and weeping.

 

When she decided to speak, her one gesture froze everything in sight. Not only men but animals too were quietened. Her awe and fury, her dominance and authority upon the universe and despite of all these her restrain and control, made her a person beyond praises. She spoke thus:

 

“All praise to Allah and blessing be upon my father, Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) and his pure progeny”.

 

Here she referred the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) as her “father” instead of grandfather only to make the people realize that how much was she close to him. She showed that these captives were none but the family of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).

 

She continued: “O people of Kufa, O people of deceit and treachery, are you mourning for us. Let not these tears dry, let not these pleadings be silenced. Your example is like that of a woman who herself knits the yarn firmly but then she breaks it herself. (You believed in the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and then you yourselves violated the covenant.) You believed as you wished to (not fulfill the conditions of belief). You are but flatterers, mischief-mongers, self-conceited, men­dacious and fiendish men. You disgraceful son of slave-maids, you are quipping like enemies. You are like the vegetation on marsh (which apparently looks green but inwardly is lousy and filthy, talks are good but acts are hateful). Or you are like that silver which is buried under sand. Your life has prepared perdition for you. Certainly the chastisement of Allah will be inflicted on you and you shall remain in it forever.

 

You are weeping while you yourselves cut our loved ones to pieces. Why are you wailing? By Allah you should cry more and laugh less. By this sin you have earned disgrace and disrepute. This blemish can never be removed. (Certainly this sentence is the living testimony for the killers of Imam Husain (a.s.), that they are still tainted with the sin.) This stain can never be removed. You have killed him who was the son of the last Prophet (s.a.w.a.), Chief of the Youth of Paradise, refuge of your virtuous men, hope of the oppressed ones, beacon of proofs and centre of sunnat. You have done a huge misdeed. May you perish. May Allah chastise you.

 

Now your efforts will remain fruitless. Your hands are severed. You have suffered an enormous loss. You are reverting towards the punishment of Allah. Insults and disgrace have been decreed for you.

 

O Kufans! curse be upon you. Do you know which beloved of the Prophet have you slain, and whose veils have you plundered? Whose blood have you spilled? Whose chastity have you disregarded? You have committed such a sin that it may split the skies, divide the earth and blow off the mountains.

 

You have done a shameless act. Such a crime which filled the earth and the sky. It will not be surprising if blood poured down from the skies. And the retribution in the hereafter will be disgraceful. None shall help them, nor will they be given reprieve. Allah does not hasten in giving punishment. He does not fearthe exhaustion of punishment and He is after you.”

 

Imam Sajjad (a.s.) said: “O aunt! Be quiet now. Praise be to Allah you are learned without being taught and God-gifted thinker.”

(Maqtal Al Husain, pg 310; Lohuf, pg 68; Ehtejaj Tabarsi, vol 2, pg 31, Najaf; Balaghatun Nisa, pg 23; Adabul Husain and Hemaseh Ahmad Sabir, pg 176-178)

 

Bashir bin Hazim Asadi has related “By Allah, I have not seen more bashful and pure women who can be a better speaker than Zainab. She delivered a sermon as if Hazrat Ali (a.s.) himself was speaking.”

(Lohuf, pg 88, Qum)

 

The effect of this sermon was this that those who were celebrating after the killing of Imam Husain (a.s.) realized their crime. Their existence became a source of shame for them. That day Kufans were constrained and confounded, weeping and slap­ping their faces, chewing their fingers. Bani Umayyah and their propaganda was reduced to a cipher. Janabe Zainab (a.s.) said at the end “Allah never hastens in giving punishment.”

 

The Court of Ibne Ziyad

Janabe Zainab (a.s.) delivered this sermon on the roads and streets. When Ibne Ziyad returned from the camp of Nakhila and entered the palace, he ordered for the decoration of the court and opened it for the public. Captives were brought in the court. They were brought in the court in such a manner that the sight was hair raising. Imam Husain (a. s.)’s head was kept in a platter and placed in front of Ibne Ziyad. He desecrated those lips with his stick which were kissed by Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).

 

He was doing this to announce his victory to them and threaten them with his tyranny. He was showing that now there was no strength left in the clan of Bani Hashim and Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), all of them are killed. Now there is no threat to his government and Yazid’s government as well.

 

When Janabe Zainab (a.s.) saw this, she in order to expel her anger and displeasure, separated from the women and sat alone. Her anger was writ large on her face. While her face was gleaning with the awe of Imamat. Ibne Ziyad inquired about the woman who sat separately and how dare can she show her indifference in his court? When he was told that she is none other than the daughter of Hazrat Ali (a.s.) he was filled with rage. In order to pacify himself he said: “Praise be to Allah, who disgraced you, killed you and belied you.” Janabe Zainab (a.s.) sprang to her in the style of her mother and gave such a fearless retort that the whole earth was subdued by her all-pervasive eloquence, in the words uttered by her: “Praise be to Allah who gave us respect through His Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) and purified us from all impuri­ties thoroughly. Certainly only sinners are disgraced and belied and it is not us but other than us.”

 

She showed her closeness to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and proved that this can never be taken away from us. The silence of Ibne Ziyad disclosed that Janabe Zainab (a.s.) was correct in her saying. When he could not think of anything else, he said: “How do you find Allah’s dealing with you Ahle Bait?”

 

This sentence reflected the theory of compulsion that we did not do it but Allah has done this. He meant that Allah is responsible for the event of Karbala and not they. But he was not dealing with an ordinary person. She could read between the hidden words and replied:

 

“I found Allah’s treatment to be the best. Since Allah destined martyrdom for them hence they were martyred. But soon Allah will gather you and them at one place and conduct a trial. There arguments will be made against you. Then see who shall succeed. O Son of Marjana! your mother will cry on you?”

 

She clearly exposed the defeat of Ibne Ziyad behind the facade of victory. In the court of Ibne Ziyad, in front of armed soldiers and ministers, she castigated him and shattered his egotistic fancies. Ibne Ziyad could not tolerate this castigation and started quiv­ering with anger.

 (Maqtalul Husain, pg 324, Qum)

Then, he in order to hurt her said: “The elimination of you Ahle Bait, who rebelled and revolted against me, Allah has given solace to my heart.”

 

Janabe Zainab (a.s.) had tears in her eyes at this, she said: “By Allah, you killed my elders. You dragged us Ahle Bait from place to place. My roots were chopped to pieces and breathing became difficult for us. If this gives you pleasure then be pleased.”

(Kamil Ibne Aseer, vol 4, pg 33; Maqtal Khwarizmi, vol 2, pg 42)

 

Here also she abrogated his accusation that he hadn’t killed Ahle Bait but Allah did.

 

The Court of Yazid

Yazid rejoiced when he heard about Imam Husain (a.s.)’s assassination. As his father became happy over the martyrdom of Hazrat Ali (a.s.), as his grandmother Hinda became joyous over the death of Hamza. Hence he wrote to Ibne Ziyad that cap­tives should be immediately sent to Syria. These sorrowful desperate captives left for Syria. Imam Zainul Abedeen (a.s.) hands were tied behind his neck. His womenfolk were with him. When after facing the calamities of the journey they reached Syria. Yazid recited verses of joy in the full court, which reflected his credo. These verses clearly clarify that he does not have any relation with Islam. The verse were as follows:

“Had my forefathers been alive today they would have become happy and blessed me that how I avenged them. The clan of Hashim played a game, neither any Prophet came nor did any Revelation.”

 

At this stage also the courageous daughter of Hazrat Ali (a.s.) overturned the designs of Yazid. She said:

All praise be to the Lord of the Worlds. Peace be upon the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) an his progeny. Allah has truly said,

Then evil was the end of those who did evil, because they rejected the communications of Allah and mocked at them.”

 (Surah Rum: 10)

 

O Yazid! Do you surmise that you have straitened the expanse of skies and the earth and dragged us from place to place. Do you think this degrades us and elevates you and you must be too happy with this thought and swelling with ego and haughtiness. Your world is gay and you usurped our rightful place. Don’t hurry but wait. Have you forgotten the verse of Quran:

‘Those who have disbelieved should not deem that we have given them respite for good rather we have given them reprieve so that they may increase their sins and for them is a formidable and disgraceful chastisement.’

(Surah Aale Imran: 172)

 

O son of Freed slaves (Those who were released by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) after the fall of Mecca) is it just that your women should sit in veil while the daughters of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) should be lugged from door to door? They be made captive, their veil be snatched, they should be dragged from town to town and all may look at them, and mean persons stare at them. They are neither helped nor aided by anybody.

How can he expect the Mercy of Allah who chew the flesh of holy men and martyrs of Islam. How can you lag behind in the enmity of Ahle Bait who bore such hatred towards us. Then without any guilt feeling shamelessly you boasted that ‘Had my forefathers been alive they would have congratulated me and would have said may your hands never be be­numbed’. At this you desecrate the lips of Imam Husain (a. s.) with your stick. You have caused these wounds. You have spilled the blood of the Progeny of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.). You have silenced the earthly stars of the clan of Abdul Mutallib and you are addressing your forefathers and talking to them in your imagination. Soon you will join them. Then you will wish that your hands should have been be­numbed and your tongue be bedumbed. Whatever I did I should not have done it and whatever I said I should not have said it. “By Allah O Yazid! By this tyranny and oppression you have minced your own skin and have blown your flesh to smithereens. How will you face Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) while you had spilled the blood of his Ahle Bait. While you have disregarded his chastity. Then indeed the day Allah shall assemble them he will seek retribution for them ‘ Do you not think them dead who were martyred in the way of Allah. But they are alive and receiving sustenance from their Lord.’

(Surah Aale Imran: 163)

 

O Yazid! Though circumstances and calamities have made me to stand here and I am forced to address you. While I think you are too lowly and debased. I condemn you and I rebuke you. Why not? My eyes are brimming with tears and my heart is wrenchful at the death of my loved ones and rela­tives. “Surprising and highly surprising is that cho­sen one of Allah should be slain at the hands of Satanic horde of freed slaves. Your hands are stained with our blood. Your mouth is full of flesh of Ahle Bait. Pure corpses are lying on the ground and animals are looking at them and desert sand is coming on them. If you think our murder and captivity is good for you then soon you shall witness your misdeed. No treasure of yours will help you. Allah never tyrannizes His servant. I complain against you to Allah and trust His self. “O Yazid! Utilize all your viles, employ all your efforts and use your full strength. But by Allah you can never obliterate our names. You can never finish our revelations. Nei­ther can you drive away ignominy and disgrace from yourself. Your thoughts and imaginations are too weak. Your days are numbered. The day caller will call curse of Allah be upon oppressors.

 

And praise be to Allah, the Lord of the words Who decreed forgiveness and bliss as our beginning and mercy and martyrdom to be our end. I pray from Allah for the most perfect reward for the martyrs and multiply it manifold and make our succession the best. Surely He is Merciful and Beneficent. Allah alone is sufficient for us and He is the Best Protec­tor.”

(Balaghatun Nisa, pg 21; Maqtalul Khwarazmi, vol 2, pg 64; Maqtalul Husain, pg 357; Adabul Husain and Hemasah, pg 179-181).

 

This sermon speaks volumes about the invincible courage of Janabe Zainab (a.s.) . No trace of tremble or hesitation can be found in her voice. She is not ashamed nor sorry, she claims martyrdom to be a source of pride and a cause of infamy for the tyrants. She said in the full court that “You can never obliterate our names nor can you finish our Revelation.” Then until today every namaz, azaan and all the precepts of religion affirm that a handful of Yazids can never undo their names, they made attempts though.

 

May Allah bless our women to emulate Janabe Zainab (a.s.) so that they may enliven the Islamic teachings in the present atmosphere of disbelief and polytheism.

 

Janabe Burair Ibne Khuzair Hamadani – The Reciter of Quran

Janabe Burair Ibne Khuzair Hamadani – The Reciter of Quran

 

The Chief of the Reciters, Burair bin Khuzair was from the people of Bani Mashriq and belonged to Hamadan.

(Asadul-Ghabah – Ibn Aseer Jazari)

 

Some of the authors of Rejal have referred to him as Burair bin Haseen instead of Burair bin Khuzair.

 

Burair was quite aged, brave and staunch worship­per keeping himself awake for the whole night in prayers. He was enumerated among the Tabeein’ (followers). He was popularly known as ‘Qariul-Quran’ (The Reciter of Quran) and ‘Sayyedul-Qurra’ (The Chief of the Reciters). He was a companion of Hazrat Ali (a.s.). His personality can be known by the fact that he was regarded among the respectable men of Kufa from the tribe of Hamadan. His uncle, (the hus­band of his maternal aunt) Abu Ishaq al Hamadani As-Sabeei was a Tabeei’ from Kufa, about whom it is said that for forty years he completed recitation of Holy Quran, once every night and performed morning prayers with the same Wuzoo which he had made for the ‘Isha’ (night) prayers. Nobody in his time surpassed him in worship. Regarding the narration of the traditions (Ahadees), he is considered reliable among the Shias and the Sunnis alike. He was from the aides of Imam Zainul Abedeen (a.s.).

 

According to historians when Burair heard of Imam Husain (a.s.)’s migration from Medina to Mecca, he immediately left Kufa for Mecca and joined the handful followers of Imam (a.s.) and finally attained martyrdom in Karbala.

 

Survi writes that “When Hur intercepted the path of Imam Husain (a.s.) with obvious harshness, Imam (a.s.) delivered a sermon. After the sermon of Imam (a.s.), Burair said: “By Allah, O Son of Messenger of Allah, Allah has obliged us by giving us an opportunity to fight at your side and get ourselves killed with our body cut to pieces, so that on the Day of Qiyamat, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) may intercede for us. They will never succeed and prosper, who do not fulfill the right of the son of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Indeed their plight will be deplorable when they face Allah. Woe be upon them when they will burn in the fire of Hell and their cry and plea will rise high.”

 

A section of historians recorded that when the thirst of Imam Husain (a.s.) reached at the peak, Burair sought permission from Imam (a.s.) that he may talk with the faithless army. When Imam (a.s.) permitted him, he went to the contingent of Ibne Saad and addressed them thus:

 

“O men! Surely Allah raised Muhammad with truth as a Warner and a conveyor of glad tidings, caller towards Allah with His permission and a bright beacon. The dogs and swines drink from the water of Furaat, while you block it for the son of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Is this the reward for the toils and pains of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.).”

The enemies replied: “Enough Burair! Shut your mouth, By Allah! Husain should be slain thirsty in the same way as Usman was killed thirsty.” Then Imam Husain (a.s.) himself addressed them.

 

Abu Makhnaf has recorded a dialogue between Burair and Yazeed bin Ma’aqal, who was from the tribe of Bani Umar in the following manner:

Yazeed: How is your condition, Burair?

Burair: Extremely good.

Yazeed: You are lying, while you were not a liar. Don’t you remember that while passing through the street named Lauzan in Kufa you were loudly an­nouncing that Usman is no good and Muawiya is deviated from the right path and Ali Ibne Abi Taalib (a.s.) is the righteous Imam.

Burair: Certainly, I said so.

Yazeed: I testified that you too are among the deviated ones.

Burair: Would you like to come forward for Mubahila (a trial from Divine) so as curse be upon the liars and truth be revealed.

 

Then both of them fought.Yazeed attacked Burair but was not successful. Then Burair struck Yazeed’s head, which shattered his helmet and bisected his skull. The sword got struck in Yazeed’s brain. Burair pulled the sword back and said: “I am Buriar and my father is Khuzair, and every virtue can be found in Burair.”

 

After eliminating Yazeed he assaulted the contin­gent. Razi bin Marqad Abdi attacked Burair. Burair smashed him on the ground and sat on his chest. He cried for help. Ka’ab bin Jaabir Umar Azadi took his men and sprang to his rescue. When they saw Burair they said “He is the same” Qari’ (Reciter) who taught us Quran in the mosque. Then they struck sword on Burair’s back and then came in front and hit him with the sword. Thus Burair was martyred

(Ansaar-ul-Ain, pg. 102; Zakhiratud Darain, pg. 261).

 

The narrator says that Razi rose from the ground and shed dust from his attire and expressed his gratitude to Ka’ab. When Ka’ab returned, then his sister or wife said, you killed ‘Sayyedul Qurra’ (The Chief of Reciters), a great crime indeed. By God, I will never talk to you again. It is said that Burair was killed by Bahrain bin Ous Zabbi.

THE TRAGEDY OF KARBALA

THE TRAGEDY OF KARBALA

By Muhammmad hayatuddeen

In the name of Allah, God of Muhammad, the last messenger of jihad, of awareness, of courage, of ability and liberty.

God of Ali, the Harun of Muhammad, a true example of the infallible training of the best of all creatures, the destroyer of the forces of kufur at Badar, Uhud, Khandaq, Khaibar, Hunnai, Jammal and at Siffin, who was throughout his life oppressed and yet leader of mankind.

In the name of Allah, the Creator of the house of Zahra in whom the salvation of humanity was placed, that small house which was as large as the universe but whose door was broken and was eventually set on fire.

In the name of Allah, God of Fatimah, leader of the women of both worlds, whose children are the leaders of the youth of paradise, whose husband is the distributor of paradise and hell, but whose ribs were broken and whose child Mohsin was caused to be aborted.

In the name of Allah, God of Zakzaky, a true example of an enlightened soul, a revolutionary and representative of the awaited Qaim. God of those martyred in September 1996 who gave their lives in defense of the honor of their Prophet and religion. God of Abubakar that three-year-old boy who was martyred in those blessed hands of his mother, whose sister and mother were fatally wounded by police in Zaria. God of Muhammad Baqir that three months old boy who was martyred on the back of his blessed mother.

In the tradition of Zakzaky who is my mentor, whose thoughts, understanding of Islam and whose ideals, wants, courage, and protest I emulate, I begin in the name of God of those oppressed throughout history.

May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon the best of all creatures and on his pure and infallible progeny, the manifestations of the Beauty and Glory of the Most Exalted Being, treasurers of the secrets of the Holy Qur’an which displayed the Oneness of Allah and His Beautiful Names, those known and unknown.   

As we mourn the tragic event of Karbala, I offer my heart felt condolences to the best of all creatures, to Imam Ali, to Sayyida Fatimah, to the master of our time, the Imam of guidance, to Sheik Zakzaky and to the enlightened members of our time and to all those who knew and weep over this tragic event.

May God, the Blessed, the Exalted, His angels, Prophets, friends and martyrs pour their damnations on the cursed tree, their supporters, and admirers from the day of Ashura to the end of time.

On the 10th of Muharam, 61 AH, Imam Hussain (AS), his brother Abbas, his sons Ali Akbar and Ali Asghar (ten month old boy) Qasim, the son of Imam Hassan, the children of Sayyida Zaynab, and a host of Imam Hussain’s companions were brutally murdered by the forces of Yazid son of Muawiyya son of Abu Sufyan, the leader of major wars against the holy Prophet and Islam.

The tragic event of Karbala was primarily the direct result of jealousy, hatred, arrogance and above all the unrepentant unbelief of the cursed tree (the Banu Umayyad) for the Noblest Prophet and Islam. The Banu Umayyads were the political over-lords in Makka before the commissioning of the Holy Prophet and naturally they saw him as a rival and a threat to their power, position and prestige.

This jealousy, this hatred, arrogance, unrepentant polytheism and extreme desire for revenge was transferred from Abu Sufyan to Muawiyya down to Yazid. This became obvious from the statement of Yazid when the blessed head of Imam Hussain was presented before him. He declared thus: ‘I wish those of my clan, who were killed at Badar, and those who had seen the Khazraj clan wailing (in the battle of Uhud) on account of lancet wounds, were here. They would have hailed me with loud cries and said, ‘o Yazid! May your hands never stupefy’, for we have killed the chiefs of his (the Prophet’s) clan. I did so to revenge for Badar, which has now been completed. The Banu Hashim only played a game with sovereignty. There has come no message nor was anything revealed. I would not belong to the Khandaq family, if I had not taken vengeance upon the descendants of Ahmad for their deeds’.

At the time Prophet Muhammad emerged at the center of the world, in Makka, the entire world was in absolute darkness. In the east, in Persia, they were worshiping fire. In the west, in Rome, they believe in the Trinity. The religion brought by Jesus (AS) was completely distorted. And in Makka they had three hundred and sixty gods placed in the Ka’aba. And in other parts of the world the objects of worship were stones, animals or gods carved out of woods. No region and anybody knew God, Exalted is He.

The world was in absolute darkness. Disorder, oppression, exploitation, and injustice were the order of the day. The world was on the verge of collapse. It was at this critical stage of the world condition that God Exalted is He, sent His most beloved Prophet to save the entire world from destruction. He came with the message that “There is god except Allah”. This message contradicted the entire philosophy of worship that was current then not only in Makka but throughout the world. He told them that the Creator of the heavens and earth, man and woman and the entire realms of existence both the visible and invisible was the true object of worship and nothing else.

The ruling class in Makka received this message with shock. How could Muhammad who came from a noble family, who was known as Al-Ameen (the trusted) bring such a message that contradicted the religion of their fore-fathers? Or was it a plot by Banu Hashim to permanently retain their leadership position as the most respected family in Makka? Why should the last Prophet of God, whom they have heard so much about from the Jews, emerge from the family of Banu Hashim?

This, they believe was impossible and must not be allowed. They thus immediately responded to this liberating message with anger, insult, scorn and persecution.

Prophet Muhammad and his followers were persecuted for thirteen years not because they did not believe he was the Prophet of God but because they knew that their power, position, prestige and influence were in jeopardy if he was allowed to succeed. This jealously and this envy was to have a devastating impact in the entire history of Islam.

The Prophet’s family was not exempted from this persecution. They were forced to move to the valley of Abu Talib where they were exiled and ex-communicated for three years. Nobody was allowed to sell or buy from them. Many died of hunger and nobody was allowed to help them, to marry from them nor were they allowed to marry from other families.

The extensity and ferocity of persecution that Prophet Muhammad, his family and followers were subjected to never deterred them from the path of truth and honor even at the expense of their lives.  Ammar, one of the most distinguished companions of the Prophet lost both his parents at the dirty hands of their enemies but he never wavered in his determination. Mus’ab Ibn Numayr, (the most pampered and the best dressed youth then) was severely brutalized by his parents because he had chosen the path of truth and honor. Bilal and scores of other poor and oppressed followers of the Prophet were severely persecuted by the Quraish aristocrats.   

This determination and commitment of the Prophet and his companions so frustrated the Quraish aristocrats that they resolved to finally put an end to his life. It was at this point that, God the Blessed and the Exalted, commanded the Prophet to migrate to Yathrib (Medina)

At Medina, the Prophet was received not as political refuge but as a leader with absolute power. It was a city whose major communities, the Aws and the khazraj were in constant war with each other. This war was always triggered by the Jews whose only interest was to dominate and exploit the two communities.    

At Medina, the Prophet was not only struggling to establish a new society on the basis of exclusive worship of God alone but was struggling to protect it from enemies both within and without. The polytheist of Makka led by Abu Sufyan from the clan of Banu Umayyad, did not leave the Prophet alone. They imposed the battles of Badar, Uhud and Khandaq on him and his followers. Several other battles were fought between him and others that were opposed to the new religion.

Meanwhile, internally the Jews were at work trying to frustrate the formation and protection of the emerging Islamic society. They tried to regenerate the old enmity between the two warring factions in the city that was replaced with love and brotherhood by the Prophet. The Prophet had to take decisive actions against these treacherous neighbors by expelling them out of the city and finally out of the region right after the battle of Khandaq.     

The Arab societies before the emergence of the most Noble Prophet were fundamentally idol worshippers with about three hundred and sixty of them placed in the Holy Ka’aba alone and with many in their various homes and localities. In addition, it was a society characterized by constant warfare between the components families, outright injustice, oppression and exploitations of the poor by the powerful and the rich.

It was a society characterized by extreme level of moral decadence. Alcoholism and fornications were the order of the day. Not even the ‘distinguished’ were free of this moral decay but were its champions and custodians.  And above all, it was fashionable and heroic to commit infanticide against female child since giving birth to a girl was considered disgraceful and abominable.

This was Makka and the Arab world then. It was also what was obtainable in other parts of the world. The Prophet therefore had an enormous task of re-shaping and re-directing the entire world from the worship of idols, trinity and other objects of worship to that of monotheism, from taking pride in family and blood relationship to that of brotherhood, from injustices, exploitation and oppression to fairness and justice, from indulgence in social vices to building up of a noble personality and a decent society subjecting itself to the absolute worship of Allah, the Blessed and the Exalted alone.

Within twenty three years the Noblest Prophet of God was able to achieve this. With the conquest of Makka the headquarters of opposition to the rule of Allah and the leadership of the Prophet were finally removed. And Abu Sufyan, his wife who chewed off the liver of Hamza and mutilated the bodies of the martyrs of Uhud and their son Muawiyya in addition a large number of people, had no alternative but to submit to the power of Islam and the leadership of Prophet Muhammad.  

With the defeat of Makkah and other centers of opposition to Islam and the Prophet, delegates from all over the Arabia and other parts of the world began to converge in Medina acknowledging and paying their allegiance to the power of Islam and leadership of the Messenger of Allah.

For the first time in several centuries a society based on the worship of God, the Blessed, the Exalted was formed. A society that was characterized by unity of faith, compassion, brotherhood, equity, fairness, justice, moral values. In this society, the only basis for measuring the position of man was not from which family he came from or what material wealth he possessed, rather as the Qur’an says: Surely the noblest of you in sight of Allah is the most pious of you (Q49:13).

Now that the enemies of Allah, His Prophet and Islam were defeated and could not directly confront Islam they ceased all oppositions openly and based on their strategic assessments resolved to join Islam and pretend to love and obey the Prophet. In this connection, the greatest danger posed to Islam was not by those who refused to join Islam but the hypocrisy of those that wear the attire of Islam and are its enemies behind a thick mask.

It was the activities of these enemies headed by Abu Sufyan that was to have a devastating and damaging impact on Islam that led to the massacre of the family of the noblest Prophet of God at Karbala.   

Meanwhile, the Noblest Prophet was very apprehensive over the new danger facing Islam and its consequence after his death. He had declared on several occasions and based on divine command, ‘I am leaving behind me two weighty things- the Book of God Exalted is He and my holy progeny which if you both follow would never go astray’. The adherence of his Ummah to the legacies he was leaving behind was the only guarantee that they have against going astray. 

The Prophet knew and was worried that because his followers will abandon what he was leaving behind him new actors were soon to emerge after his death. These actors will wear religious costumes and would be talking about God, Prophet, Qur’an, heaven, hell, good deeds, sins, spirituality, turning away from the allurement of this world and will destroy Islam by preaching “Islam”. Under the pretext of observing and honoring religious rites, in the name of glorifying religious personalities and under the guise of seeking blessings of the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah, they were going to hide the true essence of the Qur’an and its true and authentic teachings by preventing people from following those firmly rooted in knowledge-the holy progeny.

The Prophet knew that his Ummah were soon to be divided into seventy three sects of which only one will have the honor of entering paradise. Was it not because of this that he said on his death bed, bring to me a paper and ink so that I will write for you those things which if would all follow and adhere to would never go astray”? Did those followers around him complied with his orders? No! One of them bluntly refused and prevented others from complying. He told the Prophet that the Qur’an was enough for them since perhaps he knows better than the Prophet himself. What an unfortunate Thursday as Ibn Abbas would recall and cry.

The Prophet knew that soon after his death the house of Fatimah, his beloved daughter, would be attacked and set ablaze and her ribs will be broken which will bring down her pregnancy, that Imam Ali would be brought into his Mosque handcuffed, that the testimonies of Ali, Fatimah, Hassan, Hussain will be denied despite the fact the Most Exalted God had removed all abomination from them and purified them with a thorough purification.

The Prophet knew that his companion Abudhar would be killed not during the conquest   of Cyprus and not with the sword of polytheism, but he would die alone and hungry in exile, in the desert of Rabadhan, following the instruction of his ‘Caliph’. He knew that Ammar, his distinguished companion, would be killed unjustly by the soldiers of Muawiyya at the battle of Siffin.

The Prophet knew that on the tenth of Muharam, on Ashurah day, his son Hussain, his children and companions would be massacred while thirsty and hungry. The Prophet knew that on Ashurah day Imam Hussain’s head will be severed from his body and would be placed on top of spare, his hands would be cut and his body mutilated. The Prophet knew on this day Zaynab, Sayyida Fatima’s daughter, Imam Hussain’s wives and children would be taken as prisoners and spoils of war. A war neither by the armies of a Caesar, by the judgment of a Christian priest nor that of a Jewish Rabbi, but by the armies of “Islam” under the instructions of Yazid, that renegade son of renegades whose house had served, for twenty years, as the center of plots against Islam and the Prophet.

Ironically, upon their victory at Karbala, on Ashura day, to show their appreciation to God for ‘saving’ Islam from dangers of those that “rebelled against the religion of Muhammad, sinned against God, revolted against the “Caliph” of God’s Prophet and have split the Muslim community”, they instituted the festival of “CIKACKI” (THANKS GIVING).

Anyone who is familiar with the Qur’an and the Prophet knew that they were not afraid that Islam would be destroyed neither by the polytheist, nor idol worshipers nor the materialist. They knew that Islam would always be victorious against these groups. They however, knew that the most dangerous enemies of Islam are the hypocrites. Was a whole chapter titled the “hypocrites” not revealed in the Qur’an?

The Prophet knew that this hypocrite who wears the attire of Islam in an oppressor, an idol worshiper, human, money and power worshiper, who is an agent of oppressors, who is the guardian of ignorance, whose slogans as always is tawhid, who preaches Islam only to destroy Islam, who in order to please the deities he worships persuade people to accept those oppressors ruling over them, who steals their wealth and leave them at the mercy of poverty and wretchedness.

This hypocrite portrays the God of Islam Who rewards only toleration of oppression, exploitation, ignorance, weakness, poverty, backwardness of the people. It is no accident that the Qur’an and the Prophet speaks with more anger and hatred about this type of Muslims who have hypocritically accepted Islam than about those have openly rejected it.

The Prophet then was not afraid of the Ummayads led by Abu Sufyan who had Lat, Hubal, and Uzza in their hands. He knew that as long as they defied Islam openly they would be defeated. Were they not defeated at Badar, Uhud, Khandaq and Hunnai? Yes, he knew that as long as they had Lat and Hubal in their hands while shooting their arrows at Qur’an, at him and the Muslims they would never be victorious.

Before the fall of Mecca, they were on the other side of the “bridge” holding Lat, Hubal, and Uzza and were swearing with them. They were then easily recognized as the enemies. But soon after they crossed to this side of the “bridge” and at Siffin they swore to Allah and became enemies in friend’s attire. Formerly, in Badar, Uhud, Khandaq and Hunnai they were shooting at the Qur’an, but in Siffin they raised the Qur’an on top their spears and flags. And in Euphrates, at Karbala, they were easily able to get their revenge against Imam Ali who had defeated them at Badar, Uhud, Khandaq, and at Hunnai.

The Islam as we have it today was turned into mockery not by its enemies but by those who killed the family of Prophet Muhammad with swords engraved with the slogans of monotheism, by those rulers who were known as builders of mosques, as religious leaders, as protectors and propagators of Qur’an and reporters of the traditions of the Prophet.

The Prophet knew that throughout history and in all places ‘descendants’ of Umayyad will be present who will claim to be defenders of the Qur’an and Sunnah but who will use the same to destroy Islam. Yes, they will cry out that the Sunnah was being destroyed through the introduction of innovations into the household of Islam by a certain section of the Ummah. And of course, they must be declared kafirs. As they struggle to “protect” the Sunnah and remove all those innovations, they destroy the unity of Islam thus allowing its enemies to insult and ridicule our Prophet and religion.

Today the ‘descendants’ of Banu Ummayads are not only fighting against Islam but are also agents of the World Kufur and Imperialism in its war against Islam. The new slogan is now ‘war against terror’. It is either you agree to be a servant of America or you are declared an extremist and a terrorist. They are now preparing to help their Sunni ‘brothers’ in Iraq against the Shias whom they believe were responsible for the murder of Saddam Hussain and hundreds of others that are being killed daily.    

Sadly enough, we have not seen this kind of solidarity being given to the Palestinians whose suffering and anguish dates back to the days when the International Zionist massacred and sent them out of their land in 1947. This kind of solidarity was surprisingly denied the members of the Islamic courts in Somalia who were bombed and killed by the Ethiopian soldiers and American war planes. 

Oh Allah! I call You by Your most mighty name Al-wahid (the one) and I call You oh Allah, by Your name, Al-samad (the Everlasting Refuge), and I call You, oh Allah, by Your single name, Al-Azim (the Majestic), and I call You oh Allah, by Your Exalted name Al-kabir (the Great) by which all Your pillars stand firm,  to pour Your damnation upon those that laid the foundation of the tragedy of Karbala, those that participated in the event of Karbala, those that supported and are happy over the event of Karbala from the day of Ashurah to the end of time. Oh! Allah shower Your best blessings upon Imam Hussain, his family and companions that were the victims of the worst injustice imaginable.

Oh Allah! hasten the reappearance of our leader, the rightly guided, and the guide who will take revenge over the tragic event of Karbala and honor us with his company. Oh Allah! Put us among those who will help him, serve him, ever ready to follow his orders, ever ready to obey him and become martyrs in his presence. Oh Allah! If death comes in between us and him, raise us from our graves wearing our shroud and with guns in our hands so that we become his soldiers in his fight against the forces of kufur, injustice, oppression and exploitation and until You grant him complete victory. All these are not beyond Your powers, oh the Blessed, the Exalted. May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon Muhammad, the best of all creation, and his pure and infallible descendents.

Muhammad Hayatuddeen

A Glimpse from the Ray of Imam Hussain alayhis-salam


A Glimpse from the Ray of Imam Hussain alayhis-salam

abstract of lecture by
Ayatollah al-Udhma Sayyid Muhammad Shirazi


Allah Almighty states {Think not of those who are slain in Allah’s Way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the Presence of their Lord}[1]

This noble verse in the holy Qur’an points to the state of those who are killed in the cause of Allah, and it emphasises that their ‘life’ continues even after being killed, and that they remain alive. So he who is killed in the cause of Allah, his life would not be terminated, but he remains alive and receives sustenance (from Allah Almighty).

Also just as there are categories in this material life, those who are happy and those who are not, such classifications also exist in the hereafter too.

And how can it not be, when we have martyrs who scarified their lives to uphold the Truth and the Oneness of Allah Almighty. With their blood they have taken life out of darkness and into light, so that future generations can receive and adhere to the teaching of Islam.

And what if he who sacrificed himself – as well as being a martyr whom Allah promised eternal life – was also a pillar of faith and one of the Imams[2] of the Muslims and mankind, such as Sayyid-ul-Shuhada Imam Hussain alayhis-salam. What a great martyr he is, and an esteemed station he occupies! Addressing Imam Hussain alayhis-salam, his son and successor Imam Zayn al-Abidin alayhis-salam states, “and as for the Hereafter, it is luminous with the light of your face”.
The Ma’soom Imam

If we want to get acquainted with the great personality of a Ma’soom Imam, it is necessary for us to refer to some of the hadith that elucidate the station of the Imam alayhis-salam in the view of Allah Almighty, as well as his creative and legislative position.

Commenting about the Qur’anic verse, {and he to whom wisdom is granted receives indeed a benefit overflowing}[3] Imam Sadiq alayhis-salam said; “(This is) obedience of Allah and gaining knowledge about the Imam”.

Also commenting about the Qur’anic verse, {Say: “See ye? If your stream be some morning lost (in the underground earth), who then can supply you with clear-flowing water?”}[4] Imam Kadhem alayhis-salam said, “If your Imam disappears from you, then who will bring you another Imam?”

In another hadith from Imam Redha alayhis-salam, he said, “. . . the Imam is the trustee of Allah amongst His creation, His proof and evidence upon His servants, His viceroy on His land, the herald to Allah, the defender of the commandments of Allah . . .”

The Ma’soom Imam has been chosen by Allah Almighty to represent Him, since he has a significant position in the sight of Allah. The lofty station that the Ma’soom has attained is beyond our comprehension. Addressing the significance and superiority of the Imam, Imam Redha alayhis-salam said, “who can attain the full knowledge and understanding of the Imam, or who can choose an Imam? How impossible! The intellects went astray, the minds were confused, the eyes were blurred, the great men were belittled, the wise were bewildered, the eloquent failed to describe one aspect of his characteristics, or one virtue of his many virtues, and admitted their failure to do so, . . .”

So through these noble hadith and many more like them, it is possible for us to appreciate certain aspects of the personality and station of Imam Hussain alayhis-salam, and his closeness to Allah Almighty, and his role in leading and guiding the community of mankind. Thus if we wanted to reach the divine mercy, and attain the bliss and felicity of this world and the hereafter, then we must certainly follow the foot steps of Imam Hussain alayhis-salam, move according to the course he devised for future generations with his pure blood. Of course the same is true for other Ma’soomeen alayhum-as-salam, but here we are talking about and focusing on Imam Hussain alayhis-salam.

Imam Hussain alayhis-salam is distinguished amongst other martyrs and revolutionaries by characteristics that excel all other martyrs; he became the master of all martyrs – from the first to the last – and this is not because he is a Ma’soom Imam, nor is it because he is the grandson, and the beloved one of Rasulollah (the Messenger of Allah) salla-llahu-alayhi-wa-aalih, but it is because of the majesty of the aims for which he started his revolution, the immensity of the sacrifice that he offered, and the perfection he achieved in various dimensions. This is why the particular emphasis is made by Ahl-ul-Bayt alayhum-as-salam on establishing and upholding the Hussaini Sha’a’er, and the salute and visitation of Imam Hussain alayhis-salam.
Hadith on the Virtue of Imam Hussain alayhis-salam

There are many hadith about the station and position of Imam Hussain alayhis-salam. Rasulollah salla-llahu-alayhi-wa-aalih is reported as saying, “he who want to see the one inhabitant of the Earth who is most beloved by the inhabitants of the skies, he should look at al-Hussain”.

Rasulollah salla-llahu-alayhi-wa-aalih is also reported as saying, “Truly al-Hussain is one of the gates of Paradise; he who opposes him, Allah would deny him even the scent of Paradise”.

Perhaps only this hadith is sufficient so as not mention any more hadith about the station of Imam Hussain alayhis-salam.

There are many hadith narrated from the Ahl-ul-Bayt alayhum-as-salam with regards to establishing the Hussaini Sha’a’er. Imam Sadiq alayhis-salam is quoted as saying, “He whose eyes fill with tears when we are mentioned to him, Allah would bar his face from fire (of Hell)”. And can you imagine what would be the reward for he who weeps for Imam Hussain alayhis-salam, who is Sayyid-ul-Shuhada (Master of the Martyrs) and Qateel-al-‘Abarah (the murder victim who brings tears to the eyes).

Imam Mahdi may Allah hasten his return in his salute – known as Zeyart Nahiyah – to Imam Hussain alayhis-salam declares,

“Peace be to he in whose torbah (the soil of the burial site) Allah has made the cure (for every disease),

Peace be upon he under whose dome prayers are answered,

Peace be upon he whose descendents are the Imams, . . . ”

From the above alone, only the first statement is sufficient (his torbah being cure for every disease) to show the divine miracle in the matter, and if this proves anything it points towards the position and station of Imam Hussain alayhis-salam.
The Companions of Imam Hussain alayhis-salam

One other aspect that distinguished the movement of Imam Hussain alayhis-salam amongst other movements throughout history is the distinguished virtue of his companions, who were martyred alongside him, to the extent that Imam Hussain alayhis-salam said,

“I do not know of companions and family members more faithful and devoted than my companions and family members”

One of the greatest of the martyrs of Karbala is Abul-Fadhl al-Abbas alayhis-salam, the son of Imam Ali alayhis-salam and his mother is Omm-al-Baneen. Abul-Fadhl has many virtues and qualities, and has shown many miracles, which point to his station, and closeness to Allah Almighty. Imam Zayn al-Abidin alayhis-salam has said about al-Abbas alayhis-salam,

“May Allah have Mercy upon my uncle Abbas ibn Ali, for he favoured his brother over himself, showed extreme courage, and sacrificed himself for his brother, such that both of his hands were cut off. Thus Allah replaced them with two wings, with which he flies with the angels in Paradise, just as He gave Ja’far ibn Abi Talib. In the Sight of Allah al-Abbas has a station and position that all martyrs would envy on the Day of Judgement.”

Furthermore, al-Abbas alayhis-salam is known as Baab-al-Hawa’edge or the “Gate of Needs” to Allah Almighty, and this in itself is a manifestation of martyrs being alive by their Lord, such that people use their Light after their martyrdom, and the people plead to them to fulfil their needs.
Day of Ashura

There are days that are turning points in the course of history and in the direction of life on Earth, and one of the most important of those days is the day of Ashura. Just as the 27th of Rajab – the day of Mab’ath or First Revelation to Prophet Muhammad – forever changed the course of history and life on Earth, and just as Rasulollah salla-llahu-alayhi-wa-aalih planted the seeds of Islam and Iman in the hearts of the people, the day of Ashura and the sacrifice of Imam Hussain alayhis-salam returned Faith or Iman to the hearts of the people and restored the image of Islam which the evil hands tried to distort and destroy.

When the pagans of Quraysh asked Rasulollah salla-llahu-alayhi-wa-aalih to forego his mission and his call for the oneness of Allah in exchange for all that wished for in terms of wealth and position, Rasulollah salla-llahu-alayhi-wa-aalih replied, “by Allah if they were to put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left, for relinquishing this cause, before Allah establishes it or I die, I would not abandon it”. Just as Rasulollah salla-llahu-alayhi-wa-aalih showed his resolve and steadfastness in his mission, Imam Hussain alayhis-salam manifested his resolve on a number of occasions in Karbala, which would never be forgotten by the passage of time. For example at noontime on the day of Ashura, one of the companions said it is prayer time as it is now noontime, Imam Hussain alayhis-salam said, “Yes it is”, and he led the noon prayers, despite the raging battle and the ferocity of his enemies. Thus at the most pressing and dangerous times Imam Hussain alayhis-salam did not relinquish even one of the obligations of Allah Almighty, and he took this stance to emphasise the importance of protecting the sanctity of the divine obligations, establish and uphold the Islam and its laws and teachings. In the Zeyarat (Salutation) of Imam Hussain alayhis-salam it is stated, “I hereby testify that you upheld the prayers, paid the Zakat, enjoined on good, and forbid evil”. The day of Ashura is the day that teaches us how to straighten and perfect our way of life in this world, and how to match it to the Syrah or the way of life of Imam Hussain alayhis-salam, who sacrificed everything he had for the sake of Enjoining Good, Forbidding Evil, and upholding the duties of Islam, implementing its teachings, and adhering to Ahl-ul-Bayt alayhum-as-salam.
Hussain: Torch of Guidance and Ark of Salvation

It is reported that on one occasion Imam Hussain alayhis-salam entered into a room where Prophet Muhammad salla-llahu-alayhi-wa-aalih was present, and the latter welcome him by saying, “Welcome to you O Aba-Abdillah, the beauty of the heavens and earths”. It was said to the Prophet, “How can anyone other than you be the beauty of the heavens and earths?” Rasulollah salla-llahu-alayhi-wa-aalih replied, “by He who sent me as a messenger, al-Hussain is greater in the heavens than he is on earths. And it is written on the right of the Arsh “Throne”[5] that, “al-Hussain is Torch of Guidance and Ark of Salvation”, and then Rasulollah salla-llahu-alayhi-wa-aalih took the hand of Imam Hussain alayhis-salam and said, “O people! This is Hussain son of Ali, so glorify him and favour him (over others) Just as Allah has favoured him, for by He in whose hand is my soul, his place is in the heavens, and the place of those who love him is also in heaven, and the place of those who love them is also in heaven.”

Imam Sadiq, alayhis-salam said, “My (grand) father is Qateel-al-‘Abarah (the murder victim who brings tears to the eyes). The Imam was asked what is Qateel-al-‘Abarah? The Imam replied, “He (Imam Hussain) is not mentioned to a believer, unless he weeps for him.”
The Choice of Allah

Imam Hussain used to say, “I want to enjoin good, and forbid evil, follow the teachings of my grandfather (Rasulollah) and that of my father Ali ibn Abi Talib, . . .”. He wanted to take the Ummah from Evil to Good, and put a stop to Evil, he wanted to rescue the Ummah from the low and miserable state they had settled in to honour and glory, and this after the Muslim Ummah had accepted this deteriorated condition, symbolised by its state of apathy, reliance on worldly matters, its silence to oppression, and therefore the domination of tyrants such as Yazid and his father and their likes over the realm of the Ummah. Imam Hussain alayhis-salam wanted to spread and disseminate the spirit of Iman – commitment and conviction – and Truth in amongst the Ummah so that it could awaken once again; just as it was in the days of Rasulollah salla-llahu-alayhi-wa-aalih. For it was clear to him that the religion (of Islam) was being distorted and deviated and he wanted to restore it afresh.

This is how Imam Hussain alayhis-salam became the Torch of guidance, and Ark of salvation, and this is how he became the Choice of Allah Almighty. It is reported from Imam Ali alayhis-salam that Rasulollah salla-llahu-alayhi-wa-aalih said, “when I entered paradise[6], I saw written on its door with gold, there is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the Beloved One of Allah, Ali is Waliy-ullah, Fatima is Amatullah, Hassan and Hussain are the Choice of Allah, and upon he who hates them be the Curse of Allah.”

Adherence to the Choice of Allah, and using the light of this Divine Torch, will bring guidance in this world and salvation in the hereafter. This is because the love of Imam Hussain alayhis-salam is associated with good deeds, he is a torch who shows the path of the Truth to those who seek it, and since by his sacred movement he – alayhis-salam – discriminates between the path of Truth and the path of Falsehood. In his well-known declaration on the day of Ashura, he states,

“If the religion of Muhammad were not stand unless by my killing, O swords! So take me”.

Furthermore, Imam Hussain alayhis-salam also is the fifth member of As-hab al-Kissa, about whom the Purification verse was revealed; in the statement of the Almighty:

{Allah only wishes to remove all abomination from you, Ahl-ul-Bayt (Members of the Household), and to make you pure and spotless.}[7]

So by the evidence of the Qur’an, he is from the Ahl-ul-Bayt alayhum-as-salam. Rasulollah salla-llahu-alayhi-wa-aalih said, “To love me and my Ahl-ul-Bayt is valuable and beneficial on seven occasions: whose fears are immense; at the time of death, in the grave, at the time of resurrection, at the (time of evaluating one’s) Book of Deeds, at the time of questioning, and at the time of weighing (one’s deeds of good verses evil)”.

Truly Imam Hussain alayhis-salam is a Torch of guidance, and his light continues to shine upon us with goodness and blessing; for it distinguishes the path of the Truth from Falsehood at all times and ages, this is in addition to the perpetual presence of his light in his Ma’soom descendent – in the manifestation of his grandson Imam Mahdi may Allah hasten his reappearance. In acknowledging the momentous sacrifice Imam Hussain alayhis-salam made, and the colossal trial and tribulation he faced on the day of Ashura, Allah Almighty fashioned the Imams – who are the protectors of Islam – in amongst his descendents.
Head of Imam Hussain alayhis-salam

One of the miracles that Allah Almighty gave to Imam Hussain alayhis-salam was that his sacred head spoke as it was being carried from Karbala – in Iraq – to Shaam – modern Syria – and back to Karbala where it was buried in the grave where his sacred body had been buried. In the course of the entire passage of the women and children captives, with which the heads of the martyrs of Karbala were also carried from Karbala to Shaam and back, the sacred head of Imam Hussain alayhis-salam used to recite the holy Qur’an, and this phenomenon proved instrumental in guiding the people to Truth. The sacred head of Imam Hussain alayhis-salam also spoke in the court of the evil Yazid. When the sacred head of Imam Hussain alayhis-salam arrived at the court of Yazid, amongst others, the Roman envoy of the emperor of Rome was also present. After realising that the captives were the women and children of the household of the Prophet of Islam, and the head of the grandson of the Prophet was amongst them, the Roman envoy protested to and rebuked Yazid, and said, “had we had a descendent of Jesus amongst us we would have honour him and glorify him”. In response to this protest Yazid ordered the Roman envoy to be killed immediately. The sacred head of Imam Hussain alayhis-salam said in a loud voice, “there is no power but that of Allah”. At that occasion and at every other occasion throughout the journey from Karbala to Shaam and back, people were astonished to see and hear the sacred head of Imam Hussain speaking, and they realised that this was no ordinary event but a divine miracle, and Allah Almighty is showing them the realty of Imam Hussain alayhis-salam. Such events revealed to the people the reality and the significance of the hadith stated by Rasulollah salla-llahu-alayhi-wa-aalih, “I leave behind two momentous weights, the Book of Allah and my descendents the Ahl-ul-Bayt”the people realised that the truth is with Imam Hussain alayhis-salam when they saw the miracle of his sacred head speaking or reciting the holy Qur’an.
Conveying the Voice of Imam Hussain alayhis-salam to the World

There are therefore certain duties that we must discharge with respect to the movement of Imam Hussain alayhis-salam, some of which are:

1. We must present the movement of Imam Hussain alayhis-salam, as well as his principles and aims to the world through modern media such as Radio and Television, books, internet, etc. in the way that Imam Hussain alayhis-salam would want it. We must glorify the Sha’a’er which the Hussainiyahs facilitate commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Hussain alayhis-salam. It is also desirable that the days of Ashura are declared public holidays and signs of sadness and mourning being publicly displayed. Imam Redha alayhis-salam said, “even the Jahiliyyah – the pre-Islamic era – used to regard Muharram as a scared month, thereby forbade war and fighting in it, whereas our sanctity was violated in this month! Our blood was shed, our dignity breached, our women and children were taken prisoners, our tents were torched; and all their contents looted, our dignity were not saved even for the sake of (our grandfather) Rasulollah salla-llahu-alayhi-wa-aalih . . . , truly the day of Hussain wounded our eyelids[8], shed our tears, humiliated our revered in the land of Karb (anguish) and Bala’ (affliction), and you (O land) have left us with anguish and affliction until the last day of this life. So for the likes of Hussain the weepers should weep, for crying and weeping destroys the great sins”. Then Imam Redha alayhis-salam said, “With the start of the month of Muharram, my father could not be seen smiling, every day his heartache and anguish would increase until the tenth day, which was the day of sorrow, grief and weeping; saying this is the day al-Hussain alayhis-salam was killed”. Imam Redha alayhis-salam is also reported as saying, “he who does not concern himself with his business and occupation, or seek to sort out his affairs on the day of Ashura, Allah Almighty would see to his needs in this world and in the hereafter, and he for whom the day of Ashura is the day of mourning and sorrow, Allah would make the Day of Judgement the day of joy and happiness, and he would be pleased seeing us in Paradise. He who considers the day of Ashura the day of barakah – blessing and good fortune – and stores food stuff etc. in his house, on the day of judgement Allah would resurrect him and accommodate him at the bottom of hell with Yazid, Obaydullah ibn Zeyad, and Ommar ibn Sa’d – may the curse of Allah be upon them”.
2. Just as Imam Hussain alayhis-salam strived to implement the teachings of Islam and the laws of the holy Qur’an, so too we must follow in his footsteps and implement the teachings and laws of Islam throughout the Muslim land.
3. It is imperative upon us, wherever we may be, to hold programs for Imam Hussain alayhis-salam, in the best possible manner, since the survival of Islam until the end of time is the aim which Imam Hussain alayhis-salam died for. Islam shall remain alive by virtue of the blood of Imam Hussain alayhis-salam and the blood of those were brought up in his school, defending Islamic values and teachings, throughout history.

In short, commemorating the memory of Imam Hussain alayhis-salam by holding mourning programs of Ta’ziah in the days of Ashura, giving food on those days, etc. all of such programs help keep the memory of Imam Hussain alayhis-salam alive, and it is such programs that have protected the spirit of Shi’a and adherence to the holy Qur’an and the Ahl-ul-Bayt alayhum-as-salam.
Imam Zayn al-Abidin alayhis-salam and Ashura

Imam Zayn al-Abidin alayhis-salam also manifested the essence of this duty by his prolonged grief and weeping for his father. It is reported from Imam Baqir alayhis-salam, “ . . . and he (Imam Zayn al-Abidin) wept for his father for twenty years, and every time he was served food and drink, he wept for Imam Hussain alayhis-salam, until on one occasion his servant said to him, “Is your sorrow and grief not going to end?”, Imam Zayn al-Abidin, alayhis-salam replied, “Woe unto you! The prophet Jacob had twelve sons, and (when) Allah made one of them disappear, his eyes turned white (i.e. blind) because of his increasing crying for him, his head turned grey because of grief, and his back humped because of sorrow, and all this while his son was alive in the world. Whereas I saw my father, my brother, my uncle, and seventeen members of my family killed around me . . . so how can my grief and sorrow end?” It is reported that Imam Zayn al-Abidin alayhis-salam cried and wept so much for Imam Hussain alayhis-salam that it was feared that he would loose his eyesight. Every time he was given water to drink, he wept such that his tears poured into the water cup, and when he was asked about this, he replied “how can I not to when my father was denied the water that was absolutely free for the beasts and wild animals”.
Ahl-ul-Bayt alayhum-as-salam and Azadari

The Ma’soom Imams alayhum-as-salam held Azadari or mourning programs on the day of Ashura, and in fact the Imams of the Ahl-ul-Bayt alayhum-as-salam encouraged others to continue to hold such programs to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussain alayhis-salam in various forms and styles of remembrance be it those which are obligatory, or those that are Mustahab or permissible, for this day is like no other day. There has been many hadith from them in this respect; in one narration Imam Sadiq alayhis-salam is asked as to why the day of Ashura became the day of sorrow and grief, lamentation and weeping, rather than the day when Rasulollah salla-llahu-alayhi-wa-aalih died, or the day when Fatima-al-Zahra alayhas-salam died, or the day when Amir-ul-Mu’minin alayhis-salam was killed, or when Imam Hassan alayhis-salam was killed by poisoning? Imam Sadiq alayhis-salam replied, “Truly the day of al-Hussain is the day of the greatest catastrophe, since As-hab al-Kissa (people of the cloak) alayhum-as-salam who were the most honourable of creation in the sight of Allah were five, and when Rasulollah salla-llahu-alayhi-wa-aalih died, Imam Ali, Fatima al-Zahra, Hassan and Hussain alayhum-as-salam remained, and the people sought solace and comfort in them, and when Fatima al-Zahra alayhas-salam died, people sought consolation and comfort in Amir-ul-Mu’minin, Hassan and Hussain alayhum-as-salam, and when Amir-ul-Mu’minin alayhis-salam died people sought solace and comfort in al-Hassan and al-Hussain alayhum-as-salam, and when al-Hassan alayhis-salam died people could find comfort in Imam Hussain alayhis-salam, but when Imam Hussain alayhis-salam was killed, there remained no other member of As-hab al-Kissa to seek solace and comfort in, and by the killing of the last of them all access to As-hab al-Kissa was severed, whereas so long as there was even one of them amongst the people, it was as if all of them were amongst the people. That is why the day of al-Hussain alayhis-salam is the most calamitous of all days.”

Thus great rewards have been reported for establishing and upholding these Hussaini Sha’a’er. Imam Baqir alayhis-salam stated, “Imam Zayn al-Abidin used to say, “Any believer who weeps for Imam Hussain alayhis-salam and his tragedy such that his tears run down his cheek, Allah Almighty shall accommodate him in Paradise, and any believer who wept for us for what we suffered at the hands of our enemy in this world such that his tears run down his cheeks Allah shall accommodate him in a lofty station, and any believer who suffers hardship in our cause, such that he weeps for us and his tears run down his cheek, Allah Almighty shall repel from his face any anguish and protects him from fire on the day of Judgement”.

This was a quick insight in the role of Sayyid-ul-Shuhada alayhis-salam in protecting Islam, and a glimpse of his station in the sight of Allah Almighty, and lofty station and the eminence of the Imam in this world and in the hereafter, and how can it not be when he addresses Allah Almighty in his famous poem that he recited on the day of Ashura, during the last few moments of his life when he was lying on the ground overwhelmed by horrific injuries and swords wounds:

I left all creatures for the sake of You

and I orphaned the children so that I see You

So if I am cut into pieces for the love of You

the heart would lean to none other than You

And these words reflect the extent of the sincerity of Imam Hussain alayhis-salam in his love for Allah, and his honesty in defending Islam.

We pray to Allah Almighty to help us succeed in discharging our duties towards Imam Hussain alayhis-salam and his blessed and sacred movement.

O Allah bless Muhammad and the household of Muhammad, and make for us a position of honesty with Imam Hussain alayhis-salam and the companions of Hussain alayhis-salam, who gave their blood for the sake of Imam Hussain alayhis-salam, and grant us the intercession of Imam Hussain alayhis-salam on the Day of Judgement, for You have power over everything.

[1] The Holy Qur’an, Surah 3: Ayah 169.

[2] Imam – literally meaning leader – and in the scope of this article Imam refers to one or more of the twelve Ma’soom Imams who in turn succeeded Prophet Muhammad after his death as appointed by him. The first of the twelve Imams is Imam Ali alayhis-salam, followed by his son Imam Hassan alayhis-salam, followed by Imam Hassan’s brother Imam Hussain alayhis-salam, followed by nine Imams, all descendents of Imam Hussain alayhis-salam. On instructions from Allah Almighty, Prophet Muhammad salla-llahu-alayhi-wa-aalih appointed Imam Ali alayhis-salam as his immediate successor and stated the names of all twelve imams, even though only three were born in his lifetime. The nine Ma’soom Imams who followed Imam Hussain alayhum-as-salam are respective order: Imam Zayn al-Abidin, Imam Baqir, Imam Sadiq, Imam Kadhem, Imam Ridha, Imam Jawad, Imam Hadi, Imam Askari, Imam Mahdi alayhum-as-salam. Imam Mahdi is alive and he by the will of Allah he will appear to lead the people to peace and justice, after the world has been overwhelmed by tyranny and injustice.

[3] The Holy Qur’an, Surah 2: Ayah 269.

[4] The Holy Qur’an, Surah 67: Ayah 30.

[5] Arsh or is a symbolic “Throne” of Allah in the heavens, just as the Ka’bah in the holy city of Makkah is referred to as the “House” of Allah.

[6] . . . during one of many Me’raaj (Ascension to the heavens) that Rasulollah salla-llahu-alayhi-wa-aalih made.

[7] The Holy Qur’an, Surah 33: Ayah 33.

[8] Meaning we wept blood.