Written by Shahryar Naqvi
Saturday, 25 September 2010 16:56
Islamic Articles -
Imam Hussain Al-Shaheed (A.S.)
Editor of: Al-Masoom, The English Magazine Imamia Masumeen Center (HOPKINTON USA)
Innallaha ma Asabireen.Â This means that Allah is with the patient ones.Â When we speak of patience that else is more patient than Imam Husayn (AS).Â He was a martyr for Islam and his family were martyrs for Islam.Â His sacrifice is one of the most important and pivotal points in Islam and Islamic history.Â At the same time when we think of sacrifice we think of Prophet Ibraheem.Â Yet he had to sacrifice only one person, his son and even then Allah switched his son to a ram.
Imam Husayn (AS) on the other hand sacrificed the whole of his family.Â How much greater would Imam Husaynâ€™s (AS) sacrifice be, also known as Zibhee Azeem.Â We celebrate Eidul Adha every year and we rejoice.Â On this occasion we mourn a sacrifice much like Prophet Ibraheemâ€™s, the sacrifice of Imam Husayn (AS).
Dear brothers and sisters in Iman, this is the sad and tragic month in which our Imam Husayn (AS) and his family had to face many
hardships and eventually face shahaadat.Â This story of enmity and hatred for the family of holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) began many years before Karbala.Â Banu Umayyad hated Bani Hashim since the very beginning.Â Banu Hashim is named after Hazrat Hashim who was a compassionate, magnanimous, and deeply caring person.Â His nephew Umayyad was a jealous, backbiting, and angry person. This where Banu Umayyad is named after. Umayyad started to disrespect his uncle Hashim and later was banished to Syria by the elders of the tribe.Â This is were truly our story begins.Â Karbala was just the climactic point of the enmity.Â Interestingly, however much Banu Umayya hated Banu Hashim, Banu Hashim never returned the hatred.
Imam Husayn (AS) was born on the third of Shaaban.Â His father was Imam Ali (AS), his mother Bibi Fatima (AS), his grandfathers were Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and Hazrat Abu Talib (AS).Â How pure must the blood of Imam Husayn (AS) be.Â Sadly this pure blood was to be shed all over the battlefield in Karbala.Â From an early age he was extremely intelligent and he realized the importance of his grandfathers mission.Â He learned the lesson of wisdom from the Prophet (SAW), his bravery and gallantry from Imam Ali (AS), and his pride in his strong character from Bibi Fatima (AS).Â His name was the first of its kind given by Allah.Â A unique name for a unique human being.
It is reported that on Eid day, every one was going to the mosque to offer namaz.Â Many children were riding horses and camels with the elders.Â Imam Husayn (AS) being a child of four or so, was also going to the mosque with his grandfather, and very innocently asked him where was his camel.Â The Prophet (SAW), out of extreme love, put Imam Husayn (AS) on his back and said, â€œthis is your camel.â€Â Imam Husayn (AS) then asked, â€œWhere is its halter?â€Â The Prophet (SAW) handed him a part of his hair and said, â€œhere it isâ€.Â One of the companions looked at this and said to Imam Husayn (AS), â€œWhat a glorious camel you have?â€Â The Prophet (SAW) interrupted and said, â€œ No, say what a glorious rider.â€Â How important must Imam Husayn (AS) be to Islam that he was on the shoulders of the Prophet (SAW), much like his father did in the Kaâ€™ba while destroying the idols.Â This glorious rider as the Prophet (SAW) said was to be massacred and trampled by horses and his head was to be put on a golden platter and shown to his own daughter.
When the Prophet (SAW) passed away Imam Husayn (AS) was only seven years old.Â Imam reached his manhood during Umars khilafaa.Â During Umars reign Yazeed was appointed governor in Syria.Â He died and his younger brother Muawiya took power.Â During Usmans reign Muawiya had total control in Syria and was beginning to pave the way for his son Yazeed.Â Â Â After Usman, Imam Ali (AS) took over the khilafa, but Muawiya would not accept his khilafa.Â A battle followed at the bank of the Euphrates in Iraq, which ended in confusion and without result name the battle of Siffin.Â Imam Ali (AS) was assassinated during prayers and this led the way for Muawiya to do what he wanted.
Imam Hassan (AS) then took the reigns of khilafa and instead of fighting Muawiya and destroying the weak Muslim umma, he made a treaty to protect and save Islam in its weak stages, getting the protection of his followers.Â The conflict at this point was able to resolve on a treaty, but later on during Imam Husaynâ€™s (AS) time that would not be enough.Â He would have to do so much more.Â The disease would get worse in the Muslim ummah and Imam Husayn (AS) would have to give a strong medicine in order to cure the illness.
Muawiya died in Rajab and at this time Imam Husayn (AS) was at the mature age of 57.Â After Muawiyaâ€™s death, Yazeed succeeded his father in Damascus.Â He was even worse than his father, if one could be worse than the other.Â The only difference between Yazeed and his predecessors was that Yazeed openly defied Islam, but his predecessors did it in hiding and in Saqifa.Â One of the first things Yazeed did was to get allegiance from Imam Husayn (AS); who diplomatically refused.Â Imam Husayn (AS) then went to Makkah to perform hajj, but had to leave since he found out that there were people there to assassinate him.Â How low was the Muslim ummah at that point that a man could not even complete hajj in fear of being killed.Â The people of Koofa wanted Imam Husayn (AS) to come there and preach the pure way of the Prophet (SAW), Imam Ali (AS), and Imam Hassan (AS).Â Imam knew that the Koofans rarely kept their word, but as an Imam how can he not answer to the pains of his fellow ummah.Â Oh my friends, who was there to hear the pains of Imam Husayn (AS).Â Imam Husayn (AS) went towards Koofa, but was stopped on the way and re-routed towards Karbala.Â It is said that the army at Karbala was at least 30,000 and as much as 120,000.Â This massive number of men was brought from Umar ibn Saad who had 4,000 men, Shammer who had 4,000-6,000 men, and there were men from Ibn Ziyad and many from Syria sent by Yazeed.Â All these men to fight one man.Â The enemy stopped water from going to the camp of Imam Husayn (AS) on the seventh of Muharram.Â Some of these were the same people that the Imam gave food and water to in the Arabian Desert just a few days earlier.Â His family was then massacred on the tenth of Muharram.Â The rest that survived the horror were paraded in Sham and in front of Yazeed.Â Karbala had a major impact and effect on the political, cultural, social, language, literature, and on human philosophical thought of all time.