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Causes of the Revolution (Part 5) from the book “The life of Imam Husain ('a)”


Islamic Articles - Tragedy of Karbala

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14. Enjoining Good

The strongest motive for Imam Husain (‘a) in his uprising was the establishment of enjoining good which was one of the primary principles of religion and the Imam was the person having greatest responsibility towards it.

Imam (‘a) in his bequest to his brother, Muhammad Ibn Hanafiyah, has explained the aim of his uprising against Yazid. His Eminence said: “…I am not taking up arms in order to make merry, or be ecstatic over what
I possess.

I am not making mischief, nor exercising oppression. But I am ready to fight for the sole goal of seeking reform of the Ummah of my grandfather, the Apostle of Allah (s). I want to enjoin good and forbid evil…”

Imam (‘a) rushed to the fields of Jihad so that he may lay the foundation on which Islamic respectable life may be built up. Pillars of foundation that had been demolished during the period of Umayyad regime. Because in their time the good had become evil and the evil had become good.

Imam (‘a) objected against them on many occasions. The most well-known of these instances is the speech His Eminence delivered before the Ansar and Muhajireen denouncing their attitude of supporting the tyrants, obstructing the truth and preferring a life of comfort and luxury as we have already mentioned in the first part of this book.

Regarding the matter, His Eminence said the following to his companions on the day of Ashura;

“Do you not see that truth is not acted upon and falsehood is not being removed so that a believer creates in himself the love of proximity of his Lord?”

His Eminence preferred death to life because he witnessed that the truth was being destroyed and falsehood was becoming stronger.

15. Uprooting Innovations

Umayyad regime dared to spread innovations among the Muslims and its aim was not but the destruction and defeat of Islam. Imam (‘a) indicated this in his letters to people saying, “The Sunnah is gone and innovation has become alive.”[1]

Imam (‘a) rose up so that the innovations that Umayyads had spread may be destroyed and to enliven the Sunnah of his grandfather that they had destroyed. On the basis of this the ever living aim of His Eminence was uprooting ignorance and hoisting the flag of Islam.

16. Order of the Prophet

The Holy Prophet (s) had been informed through the Unseen about dangers that Islam would face at the hands of Umayyads in future. He also knew that the reformation of message and restoring eternality to its principles was not possible except through the sacrifice of his grandson, Imam Husain (‘a).

Therefore it was incumbent on His Eminence to don the coat of mail and take up arms for the defense of faith. That is why His Eminence had ordered sacrifice. Therefore His Eminence, Husain (‘a) stated this reply to the sincere advisor refraining him from going to Iraq.

Imam Husain (‘a) told him as follows: “I have been commanded and I am going to fulfill the command…”

Historians have said, “The Messenger of Allah (s) prophesied to the people the martyrdom of His Eminence, Husain (‘a) and also informed them about the great calamities that would befall him and he always expressed sorrow at his killing and cursed his killers.”

In the same way Imam Amirul Momineen (‘a) has also spoken about the impending martyrdom of Imam Husain (‘a) as we have discussed in the previous volume and quoted the widely narrations in this regard…

Imam Husain (‘a) had perfect knowledge of what was to befall him because he had heard it all from his grandfather and father and he had become certain of his martyrdom. He had no more hope for living and went on the way of sacrifice and fulfillment of the command of his grandfather; he moved towards death with full determination.

17. Respect and honor

Of the most important factors for which the chief of the nobles undertook an uprising were ‘respect and honor’. Because the Umayyads wanted to force him to humiliation and degradation. But His Eminence did not accept it.

He continued to live in honor under the shade of swords and spears. His Eminence has himself explained this matter on the day of Ashura:

“Know that this man of evil ancestry has given two options. To pull the sword or face humiliation. Never could we accept humiliation. Allah, His Prophet and noble and valiant ones would never accept it for us. That we prefer the obedience of lowly ones to sacrifice in spite of the testimony of these great people…”

His Eminence then said:

“I don’t see death except success and I don’t see life with oppressors except as deceit.”

His Eminence happily laid himself in the lap of death to bestow respect and honor to humanity and sacrificed everything for his independence and honor.

18. Deceit and tyranny of Umayyads

Imam Husain (‘a) was certain that the Umayyads would never leave him alone and would leave no stone unturned to conspire against him and make his life difficult till he gives them the pledge of allegiance.

Imam was the most prominent personality of the Islamic world and Muslims had much regard and devotion to him because His Eminence was the grandson of their Prophet and Chief of the Youths of Paradise. And it is natural that such a thing was unbearable for the Umayyads that someone should, with all his dominance and lofty status be present in all the lands because such a thing posed a great danger to their kingdom.

The Umayyads were sworn enemies of the Prophet because in the Battle of Badr he had eliminated their elders and humiliated them absolutely. Yazid was waiting for an opportunity to take revenge from Ahle Bayt for the Battle of Badr. Narrators say that he said:

“I am not from Khandaf if I do not take revenge from the descendants of Ahmad.”

When he had taken his revenge and satiated his malice by shedding blood he began to cry and said:

“We have killed their elders of elders and taken revenge for Badr; thus our account is leveled.”

Umayyads were well known for their deceit and oath- breaking. Because Imam Hasan (‘a) made a peace treaty with Muawiyah and surrendered the Caliphate seat to him. In spite of this Muawiyah betrayed his trust and had him poisoned. And they had also given guarantee of security to Muslim Ibn Aqil but again they betrayed the trust…We have mentioned many examples of those whom Muawiyah had put to death because he feared danger from them.

Imam Husain (‘a) declared that the Bani Umayyah would not leave him. His Eminence told his brother, Muhammad Ibn Hanafiyah: “Even if I enter into the holes of reptiles they would take me out and kill me.” Also His Eminence told Ja’far Ibn Sulaiman Zai-ee: “By Allah, they would not leave me till they do not take out my heart from inside me.”

Imam (‘a) stood up against them and declared war and died an honorable death that was to shake up the throne of their tyranny and destroy their injustice and rebellion.

These were the factors that compelled the chief of the nobles to revolt against Yazid’s regime.


[1] Tabari, Tarikh 5/357


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