Hazrat Imam Hussain (a.s.) and his Martyrdom

The month of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, brings with it the memory of the sacrifice of the grandson of the Prophet Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) and his relatives and friends. This essay reflects deep respect for Imam Hussain (RA) and provides insight into the tragedy of Karbala, its causes and its consequences. It is presented in the hope that it will promote the Islamic unity and brotherly love that the author seeks in his preface.

Imam Hussain (a.s.) and his martyrdom

Hazrat Imam Hussain (a.s.) and his Martyrdom

When we invite strangers or guests and make them feel part of our family circle, it requires the greatest outpouring of our hearts for them. The events I am about to narrate refer to some of the most touching events in our country’s history on the spiritual side. We request our brothers from other religions to come and share with us some of the ideas that have been brought out by this event. Indeed, all students of history are aware that the horrors associated with the great event of Karbala served to unite the various conflicting factions which had unfortunately emerged at this early period of Muslim history. Did nothing. You know the old Persian proverb that applied to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him):


So evil is connected; – Ni Bari Fasal Kurdan Amadi.

“You came into the world to unite, not to divide.”


An example of which is the sufferings and sufferings and the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (peace be upon him).


I suggest first to give you an idea of ​​the geographical setting and historical background. I will then very briefly refer to the actual events that took place in that fateful Muharram and finally draw your attention to the great

Cities and their cultural meanings

The construction of the two great outposts of the Muslim Empire, Kufa and Basra, in the 16th year of the Hijrah was a clear sign that Islam was advancing its power and building a new civilization, not only militarily but morally. . and in social theories and sciences and arts. The old efficient cities satisfied him no more than the old and efficient systems which he displaced. Nor was he satisfied with the first steps he had taken. It was always testing, testing, rejecting, and refashioning its own craft. There was always a group that stuck to the old ways, wanted to take cities like Damascus, that preferred the path of ease and least resistance. But great souls stretch to new frontiers—of ideas as well as of geography. They realized that the old seats resembled dead wood breeding insects and decay that threatened higher life forms. The conflict between them was part of the tragedy of Karbala. Behind the construction of new cities, there is often the growth of new ideas. So let’s examine the matter a little more closely. It will reveal hidden gems of some very interesting history.

 lessons we can learn from them.

Downfalls of Makkah and Madinah

At the time of his birth, the great cities of Islam were Mecca and Medina. Mecca, the old Arab center of pilgrimage, the birthplace of the Prophet, rejected and abandoned the Prophet’s teaching. His idolatry was ineffective. His tribal identity was ineffective. His ferocity was ineffective against the Teacher of the New Light. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) swept the dust from his feet and went to Madinah. It was the water city of Yathrab, which had a considerable Jewish population. He eagerly accepted the teachings of the Prophet. He sheltered him and his associates and helpers. He rebuilt it, and it became the new City of Light. Mecca, with its old gods and old superstitions, tried to subdue and destroy this new light. Human odds were in Makkah’s favor. But God’s purpose sustained the light and subdued old Mecca. But the Prophet came to destroy as well as to build. He abolished the old idolatry and lit a new tower in Mecca – the tower of Arab unity and human brotherhood. When the Prophet’s life ended on this earth, his soul remained. He inspired his people and led them from victory to victory. Where moral or spiritual and material conquests go hand in hand, the soul of man advances fully. But sometimes there is material victory with spiritual decline and sometimes there is spiritual victory with material decline and then tragedy befalls us.

The Spirit of Damascus

The first expansion of Islam was towards Syria where the center of power was in the city of Damascus. Among living cities, it is probably the oldest city in the world. Its markets are thronged with men of all nations, and the luxuries of all nations are welcomed there. If you come west from the Syrian desert, the contrast is complete, both in the country and the people. From the dry desert sands, you come to fountains and vineyards, orchards and the hum of traffic. From the simple, strong, free, unassuming Arab, you come to the soft, luxurious, sophisticated Syrian. When Damascus became a Muslim city, this contradiction was forced upon the Muslims. They were in a different moral and spiritual environment. Some succumbed to the softening influence of ambition, luxury, wealth, pride of race, love of ease, etc. Islam has always been the bearer of great moral virtues. It wanted no compromise in any shape or form with evil, with luxury, with laziness, with the seductions of this world. It was a protest against these things. And yet representatives of this protest went soft in Damascus. Instead of trying to become leaders of spiritual thought, they helped the fallen princes of the world. Discipline was lax, and the governor was eager to be superior to the Caliph. This bitter fruit came later.


The trap of wealth

Meanwhile, Persia came under the control of Muslims. When Midian was captured in 16 A.H. and the battle of Jalula broke the Persian resistance, some of the military spoils of jewels, pearls, rubies, diamonds, gold and silver swords were brought to Madinah. A great celebration was held in honor of the glorious victory and the bravery of the Arab army. Amidst the celebration, they found the caliph of the day actually crying. One said to him, “What! a time of joy and you shed tears?” “Yes,” said he, “I see that riches will become a snare, a fountain of worldliness and envy, and finally a calamity to my people.” Above all, the Arabs valued simplicity of life, openness of character and bravery in times of danger. Their women fought with them and shared their dangers. They were not caged creatures for the pleasure of the senses. They demonstrated their skills in the initial battle around the head of the Persian Gulf. When the Muslims were under severe pressure, their women tipped the scale in their favor. They made their veils into flags and marched in battle array. The enemy considered them reinforcements and left the field. Thus an impending.

Basra and Kufa

In Mesopotamia, the Muslims did not base their power on the older and older Persian cities but built new outposts for themselves. First he built Basra at the tip of the Persian Gulf in 17 AH. And what a great city it became! Not great in war and conquest, not great in trade and commerce, but great in learning and culture in its best day – alas! Great even in the spirit of faction and decadence in its declining days! But its situation and climate did not suit the Arab character at all. It was low and moist, moist and stimulating. In the same year, the Arabs built another city not too far from the Gulf and yet fitting to be part of the desert, as Karbala was later built. It was the city of Kufa, built in the same year as Basra, but in a more pleasant climate. This was the first experience of town planning in Islam. In the middle was a square for the principal mosque. The square was decorated with shady paths. Another square was set aside for market smuggling. All the streets were laid out interlocking with each other and their width was fixed. The main thoroughfares for such traffic as they had (we must not imagine the kind of traffic we see at Charing Cross) were made 60 feet wide. Cross streets were 30 feet wide, and even smaller pedestrian streets were regulated to a width of 10.5 feet. Kufa became the center of light and knowledge. Caliph Hazrat Ali stayed there and died.


Enmity and poison of Damascus

But its rival, the city of Damascus, was full of luxury and Byzantine splendor. His glory destroyed the foundations of loyalty and military virtue. His poison spread throughout the Muslim world. The governor wanted to be the king. Modesty and selfishness, ease and laziness and waste grew like a canker sore. Liquors and spirituous liquors, suspicions, cynicism and social evils became so rampant that the protestations of God’s people sank into mockery. Mecca, which was supposed to be a symbolic spiritual center, was neglected or disrespected. Damascus and Syria became the centers of worldliness and arrogance which cut the main roots of Islam.

 Defeat turned into a victory

Hasnain Saleh refused to bow down to worldliness and power.

We have brought the story up to the sixtieth year of Hijrah. Yazid took over Damascus. He had no regard for the most sacred ideals of the people. He was also not interested in the general business affairs of the administration. His passion was hunting, and he sought power to satisfy himself. Discipline and self-restraint, strong faith and sincere effort, the sense of freedom and social equality which were the driving forces of Islam, were separated from power. The throne of Damascus had become a worldly throne based on highly selfish ideas of personal and family advancement rather than a spiritual office, with a sense of God-given responsibility. Moral degradation spread among the people. There was one man who could stem the tide. He was Imam Hussain (peace be upon him). He, the grandson of the Messenger of Allah, could speak without fear, for fear was alien to his nature. But his blameless and blameless life was in itself a reproach to those of other standards. They tried to silence him, but he could not be silenced. They tried to bribe him but he could not be bribed. They tried to guide him and bring him under their power. Moreover, they wanted him to recognize oppression and openly support it. For they knew that the conscience of the people might at any moment be awakened and overturned unless a holy man supported them. The holy man was willing to die rather than surrender the principles he stood for.


Moved from city to city.

Medina was the center of Husain’s education. They made Medina impossible for him. He left Medina for Mecca, hoping to be left alone. But he was not left alone. Syrian forces attacked Makkah. This attack was repulsed not by Hussain but by others. For Husain, though the bravest of the brave, had neither an army nor a worldly weapon. His very existence was a crime in the eyes of his enemies. His life was in danger, and the lives of all those who were near and dear to him. He had friends everywhere but he was afraid to speak. They were not as brave as they were. But a group grew up in the Kufa period who said: “We are disgusted by these events, and we must take refuge with Imam Husain (a.s.).” So they sent the Imam and invited him to leave Makkah, come to them, live among them and become their respected teacher and guide. His father was commemorated with devotion in Kufa. The governor of Kufa was friendly and the people were eager to welcome him. But alas, Kufa had neither strength nor courage nor persistence. Kufa, geographically only 40 miles from Karbala, was the scene of the tragedy of Karbala. And now Kufa is almost gone and Karbala remains as a monument of martyrdom.


Invitation from Kufa

When the invitation to Kufa reached the Imam, he pondered over it, looked at its possibilities and consulted his friends. He sent his cousin Muslim to study the situation on the spot and report back to him. The report was favorable, and he decided to go. He had a strong presentation of danger. Many of his friends in Mecca advised him against it. But could he abandon his mission when Kufa was calling for him? Was he the person his enemies in Damascus and Kufa were plotting for him? At the very least, it was suggested that he might leave his family behind. But his family and those close to him did not hear about it. It was a united family, distinguished for purity of life and domestic virtues and domestic affections. If there was any danger to his head, they would have split it. The Imam was not just going on a formal visit. The responsible thing to do was, and they should be with him, supporting him in spite of all its dangers and consequences. Shallow critics smell political ambitions in this act of Imam. But would a man of political ambition march without an army against a so-called enemy country, plot to bring it under his power and be prepared to use all his military, political and financial resources against it? 

Call to surrender or die.

At that time messengers came from Kufa and asked Imam Hussain to surrender. Imam Hussain (AS) offered to take one of three alternatives. He wanted no political power and no revenge. He said: I have come to defend my people, if I am late give me three alternatives: either return to Makkah or face Yazid myself in Damascus, or if my presence displeases him and you. I don’t want to divide the Muslims further, let me at least go to some distant frontier, where if I have to fight, I will fight the enemies of Islam. Each of these alternatives was rejected. What they wanted was to destroy his life, or, better still, to force him to surrender, to surrender to the very forces against which he was protesting, to declare his bond with the people. There were those who were transgressing the law of God and man, and it was to be tolerated. All those abuses that were defaming the name of Islam. Of course he did not surrender. But what was he to do? He had no army. He had reason to suppose that many of his friends from afar would gather around him and come and defend him with their swords and bodies. But time was of the essence, and he was not about to gain time by feigned compliance. He turned slightly to the left, the path by which he had reached Yazid himself in Damascus. He encamped in the plain of Karbala.


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cutting water; Inflexible will, dedication and bravery.

For ten days messages went back and forth between Karbala and Kufa. Kufa wanted to surrender and surrender. This was something that the Imam could not agree to. Kufa rejected every other alternative under the direction of Damascus. Those unfortunate ten days were the first ten days of the month of Muharram in the year 61 Hijri. The final crisis was on the 10th day, the Day of Ashura, which we are remembering. During the first seven days, various pressures were put on the Imam, but his will was inflexible. It was not a question of fighting, for there were 70 men against 4,000. The little band was hemmed in and insulted, but they held together so tightly that they were unharmed. On the eighth day, the water supply was cut off. The Euphrates and its tributaries were in sight, but the way was barred. Bravery was shown in getting water. Challenges were made for single combat according to Arab custom. And the enemy was half-hearted, while the Imam’s men fought to a despicable death and always accounted for more men than they lost. On the evening of the ninth day, Imam’s younger son was ill. He had a fever and was dying of thirst. He tried to take a drop of water. But this was flatly refused, and so they determined that, rather than surrender, they would die to the last man for the purpose for which they had come. Imam Hussain offered to send his people away. “They are after my person, my family and my people can go back,” he said. But everyone refused to go. They said they would stand by him to the end, and they did. They were not cowards. They were soldiers born and bred, and fought with hero-like dedication and bravery.


The Last Agony; The calm face of the man of God

On the tenth day of Ashura, Imam Hussain’s body was surrounded by enemies. He was brave till the end. It was brutally mutilated. His sacred head was cut off while praying. A mad orgy of victory was celebrated over his body. In this crisis, we have hour-by-hour details of what happened. He had 45 wounds from the swords and spears of his enemies and 35 arrows pierced his body. His left arm was severed, and a spear pierced his breast. After all this agony, when his head was lifted up on the spear, his face was the still face of a man of God. All the men of this brave band were slain, and their bodies trampled under foot by the horses. The only male survivor was a child, Husayn’s son Ali, nicknamed Zayn al-Abidin – “Glory of the Pious”. He studied, interpreted and taught his father’s high spiritual principles throughout his life in retirement.


Women’s bravery

There were women: for example, Zaynab, the sister of the Imam; Sakina, his younger daughter; And Shahr Banu, his wife, in Karbala. A large body of poetic literature has emerged in Muslim languages, describing the touching scenes they depict. Even in their grief and their tears, they are brave. They mourn the tragedy in simple, loving, human terms. But they are also aware of the great dignity of the nearness of the life of truth reaching its goal in the precious crown of martyrdom. One of the famous poets of this type is the Urdu poet Anis Kay who lived in Lucknow and died in 1874.

Hazrat Imam Hussain (a.s.): Lessons from tragedy

This is the story in a nutshell. What is the lesson? Of course there is physical suffering in martyrdom, and all pain and suffering claim our sympathy – the sweetest, purest, highest sympathy we can give. But there is greater sorrow than physical pain. This is when a brave soul appears to stand against the world. When the noblest goals are abused and mocked. When the truth begins to be eclipsed. Even the martyr seems to have but one word of compliance, a little act of non-resistance, and many sorrows and pains will be saved. And comes the insidious whisper: “Truth, after all, can never die.” This is absolutely true. Abstract Truth can never die. It is independent of human perception. But this whole war is to stick to the truth and righteousness of man. And this can only be done by the highest examples of human conduct—spiritual struggle and suffering, enduring firmness of faith and purpose, patience and courage where ordinary men fail or falter, in contempt of ordinary causes for higher truths. Sacrifice. of consequence. The martyr testifies and the witness redeems what would otherwise be called a failure. This is what happened to Hussain. The story of his martyrdom touched everyone, and he dealt a death blow to the politics of Damascus and stood for it. And Muharram still has the power to unite different schools of thought in Islam and to appeal powerfully to non-Muslims as well.

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Seekers of the spiritual realm

In my opinion, this is the greatest importance of martyrdom. All human history shows that the human soul strives in many directions, drawing strength and sustenance from many sources. Our bodies, our physical powers, have evolved or developed from earlier forms after many struggles and defeats. Our intellect has found martyrs and our great explorers have often gone forth with the spirit of martyrs. All respects to them. But the highest honor must still go to the great explorers of the spiritual realm, who faced terrible odds and refused to surrender to evil. Instead of defiling the holy things, they paid the penalty of resistance with their lives. The first form of resistance was offered by the Imam when he went from city to city, hunting from place to place but not compromising with evil. Then he was offered the choice of an effective but dangerous effort to clean up God’s house or to quietly abandon his struggling friends and make a comfortable life for himself. He chose the path of danger with duty and honor and never shied away from it, sacrificing his life with freedom and bravery. His story purifies our emotions. We can best honor him by allowing his memory to teach us courage and perseverance.








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