Imam Hussain(RA) embodied in himself magnificent qualities – wisdom, knowledge, leadership, patience, humility, forbearance and total submission to the Almighty, and his life is a source of inspiration and a role model for all generations to condemn all forms of oppression & Injustice.
Islam is not a religion of compromise. Living with peace with forces of oppression is wrong. If Imam Hussain (RA) had pledged allegiance to a tyrant ruler, he could have saved his neck, and would have most likely given a high post by the Caliph who would have allowed him to do his prayer, fasting, and other ritual acts of worship. But he was the grandson of a prophet who said, “One of the greatest Jihad is to stand up to a tyrant ruler, and say a word of truth.” Therefore, Imam Hussain in one of his speeches on the way to Karbala said, “To live with an oppressor is a crime in itself”
REASONS: Imam Hussain(RA), His family and friends sacrificed everything ( life ,wealth, family honor) that they had ,in their struggle against tyranny and despotism and for upholding the human values of truth, justice and liberty of thought, word and deed. Their struggle was aimed at the ultimate goal of awakening human beings of all times to uplift the human spirit beyond short-sighted materialistic pursuits, and establish a just and equitable order in society.
Imam Hussain (RA) wrote a will and handed it over to his brother Muhammad Hanafiyyah. The will read, ‘’I have not risen against Yazid in order to create corruption or discord, nor to elevate myself in the eyes of the people, nor to oppress.I have only risen to rectify, to reform the affairs of the Ummah of my Grandfather and of my Father. I want to invite people towards good and forbid them from evil.’’
Yazid the oppressive ruler openly indulged in sinful activities like drinking, womanizing, terrorizing/killing innocent people, making fun of scholars etc & yet claimed to be rightful successor/leader of Islam & the Muslim ummah. The silent majority scared and terrified by the overflowing military might and power, did nothing about this.
Yazid demanded that Imam Hussain (RA) pay allegiance (bay’aa) to him. When asked to give bay’aa to Yazid, Imam Hussain said, ‘’ We are the household of the prophet hood, the source of messengership, the descending place of the angels, through us Allah had begun showering His 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 do bay’aa (pay allegiance) to a person like him (Yazid).
I look upon death as but the felicity of martyrdom and I regard life among oppressors and transgressors as nothing but agony and torture. By God I will never give you my hand like a man who has been defeated; nor will I flee like a slave.’’ He rejected the rule of a man who was generally agreed not to have been fit to rule. In this sense he was a revolutionary, as indeed he is now regarded by contemporary writers.
Lessons: He also knew Quran, and knew that striving in the cause of Allah brings immense reward, “Those who believe, and suffer exile and strive with might in Allah’s cause, with their goods and their people, have the highest rank in the sight of Allah, They are the people who will achieve Salvation. (9:20)
“O you who believe! Shall I read you to a bargain that will save you from a grievous penalty? That you believe in God and in his messenger, and you strive in the cause of Allah with your property and your people, that will be the best for you if you knew it. 11(69:10-11) “And strive in the cause of Allah as you ought to strive”. (22:76) And those who strive in our cause – we will certainly guide them to Our Path. For verily Allah is with those who do good” (29:69)
The second lesson is the concept of ownership of life and giving it to the cause of the owner. Our body and life belong to our Creator, and should be spent on His cause. Even if we do that, all we are doing is returning it to the original owner. There is a great reward for martyrdom. A martyr is next to Prophets in heaven. “And if you are slain or die in the cause of Allah, Forgiveness and Mercy from Allah are far better than they could amass, and it you die or are slain, lo it is unto Allah that you are brought together”. (3:157-158) “Those who leave their homes in the cause of Allah and are then slain or die, on them Allah will bestow good provision. Truly Allah is He who bestows the best provision.” (2:58-59)
The third lesson, is standing up to trial when we are called. This has to be a criterion for entering into Heaven. Allah says:
Do you think you will enter the Garden (of Bliss) without such (trails) as come to those before you.” (2:214) “Allah has purchased of their believers their persons and their goods. For theirs (in return) is the Garden (of Paradise). (9:111) All of the prophets had tests of their own. Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) had many tests, including being thrown into fire.
The fourth lesson we learn from the story of Imam Hussain (RA) is that of sacrifice. To give life in the cause of Allah is the ultimate Sacrifice. Can we sacrifice our money we love so much for charity, our precious time for the education of our children, can we sacrifice our false pride in our race, color, language, and national origin, and of our sect, and accept other Muslims as brothers and sisters?
In the Shahadat of Hussain (RA)
Indeed is the death of Yazid.
Each Karbala revives Islam.
Muhurram is not just for ten days, and then going back to the business as usual. Muhurram is not just for Shia but for all Muslims. For a Muslim who stands up to fight in the cause of Allah, for him the place is Karbala, the month is Muhurram, the day is Ashura. He is Imam Hussain and his opponent is Yazid.
About Author: Atta Ur Rehman Abbasi is political figure , Spokesperson/Adviser to Minister HED & IT Punjab